Fear can be a debilitating monster. It can show it’s ugly face at the most unlikely moments, very sneaky and unsuspecting. Your chest tightens, your heart races, your muscles tighten. Your breathing speeds up so much you can’t keep up .It almost hurts. I never thought of myself as a fearful person. As a child I was cautious. I wasn’t the daredevil child who swung from the jungle gym upside down. I tried things, but I was carefully cautious. I was a ballet dancer, a piano player. I didn’t take chances. The “biggest” thing I did back then was dive off the high board! I remember the day I did a flip into the deep end. You wouldn’t catch me climbing the stairs today, much less walk the plank! The thought of the climb makes my heart race.
Gregger was the daredevil. He had that good boy personna, but inside a little bit of devil was always aching to get out. The gaping hole in the back of his leg…a burn from the forbidden motorcyle ride his parents NEVER knew he took. He loved jet skiing with the kids, riding the waves at crazy speeds while I sat on the shore clenching my jaw so tight I’d end up with a migraine for three days! He loved bike riding, roller blading (yes, back in the day), even skateboarding. He was the “fun” one and I was the “ooh, aah, stop, careful, WATCH OUT!” mom who drove everyone crazy. My biggest moment was in Hawaii years back when everyone dared me to go parasailing. Gregger and I were teaming it, so I figured what the hell. I’ll show everyone! It was the first and DEFINITELY the LAST! My kids thought it hysterical to guide us sky high (as I clung for dear life), drop us into the sparkling blue water (just as I thought it was over), and sharply shoot us straight back up again! Holy crap! If my heart didn’t stop then I knew it was a strong ticker! I made Gregger get me one of those cheesy t-shirts that says “I survived Parasailing in Maui” just so I could flaunt my fearless moment!
Fear strikes at the strangest moments. Pre kids I was a fearless flyer. Post kids, I am white knuckle all the way. Gregger would sit back, watch his movie, read his magazines, and I’d be clutching his hand, the arm rest, praying until those wheels touched down. It’s all different now. Being afraid has a whole new meaning. I never used to be afraid of the dark. I never used to be afraid to come into my house at night or walk out in the backyard. But, now I do it alone and it’s oh so creepy. I don’t like being afraid. I don’t like jumping when a bird flutters from a tree at night and or something wriggles on the ground, especially when I discover it’s a freaking snake! I don’t like driving into my garage peering over my shoulder, shutting it before the car is off so no one can sneak in without my knowing. I don’t like walking into my house at night and feeling like someone might be there, so I tiptoe across the floor, opening the doors, guardedly peering into the rooms. Then I circle back, grab a phone (just in case) and lock my bedroom door…paranoia? One night I swore I was going to see feet under my door jam so I kept the lights on and waited. Crazy? No, just a little afraid. I’m not a good “alone” person, but I’m learning. I had the Gregger to “protect” me for 40 years (that’s actually kind of funny!). Just knowing he was there was protection enough for me. Little by little I’ll let the fears creep away into the darkness. I will accept the fear, act powerfully, expect the best and take control one fear at a time. And in the meantime, I’ll keep a baseball bat outside (for creepy critters), a phone by my side (for 911), and good thoughts in my head!