My friend Lisa and I were talking about bugs earlier (we're odd that way) and it made me think about all the times that Britt, who was my self-appointed bug killer, dispatched large - and sometimes flying - creepy-crawlies that had made their way into our house. That made me think of all the many ways in which Britt really was fearless...in ways that sometimes scared me when she was young and that I learned to admire as she grew older. Those thoughts, in turn, reminded me of a conversation I had last month with one of her professors (who has become a cherished friend) about some of the ways in which the experience of losing has changed me.
One of the biggest changes is the absence of run-of-the-mill anxiety in my life. About 12 years ago (give or take a few years...time is so fuzzy these days) I was robbed at gun point right in front of my house. A horrible experience all the way around that left me with intermittent panic attacks and a random free-floating fear of almost anything. Being alone, strange places, strange people, new situations, large crowds, being out after dark...you name it. I was just afraid all the time. These days, not so much. But I never really thought about it until last month when I went up to Statesboro to have lunch with Laura. Our conversation was somewhat disjointed - we see each other rarely and tend to hop from subject to subject, trying to say everything all at once - but at some point she mentioned getting nervous about something and I heard myself tell her "That doesn't happen to me any more. After all...what could possibly happen to me that could be worse?"
Ever since, I've been turning that over in my head. How should you live a life when the worst possible thing that could happen has already happened and you're still standing? What might be possible when you really do know that you can survive the worst possible thing? And what obligations come with that? It's a lot to ponder and I welcome your thoughts.
One other thing: I mentioned earlier in the month that I was jumping on my friend Sue's coat-tails this month and unofficially joining her blog-a-thon by committing to posting once a day during May. My friend Lisa, who posts over at Mappa Mundi, is coat-tailing with me. Sue's post for today alerted us to the blog-a-thon's 'Guest Blogger Day' tomorrow and Lisa graciously invited me to swap with her. So I'll be posting at Lisa's place and she'll be posting here. I hope you'll visit both and say hello.