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As an aspiring writer, I blog about whatever happens to move me at the moment -- though some posts contain serious content, my big-picture goal is to bring a little humor into an often humorless world! Welcome, y'all, and make yourself at home! Please make sure you update your bookmarks!

When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Be happy, be safe

This week, in our area, a 17 year old, who was working on his Eagle Scout badge, went to the track at his high school to work out. When he failed to come home, his father went out looking for him -- and found him -- on the track -- dead. So far, there has been nothing about foul play -- the boy had asthma, even though it was "under control". I can tell you, however, as someone with asthma, it's never really under control. I have gone months without using my inhaler, then suddenly, for no apparent reason, have needed it. Sometimes it's due to something respiratory, sometimes, there seems to be no reason at all.

But the main thing that went through my mind was this:

I have a 17 year old.

Not too long ago, a young man lost his life in a boating accident. I heard this on the radio several times but didn't connect the dots until I read his name. He was one of four Russian orphans that former neighbors had adopted. When they were young, we'd seen them become "Americanized" -- they seemed to go from barely speaking English to not being able to tell they were from Russia overnight. But an unwise decision, out on the lake, took his life.

But the main thing that went through my mind was this:

I have a twenty-two year old.

Recently, a cousin of mine, who's about the same age as I am, lost his 26 year old daughter. She had diabetes and did not take care of herself. She must have known the end could come at any time because she told her parents where she wanted to be buried. How many 26 year olds are thinking about that?

But the main thing that went through my mind was this:

I have a 24 year old.

As children grow, your worries about their well-being change but the fear of something happening to them remains. You have to let it go, to a certain extent, because they have to live their lives and you just can't wallow in worry every minute of the day. But, as a parent, those worrisome moments are always there, lurking. I suppose when I'm in my 80's and they are in their 50's, I'll still be fretting. And, I guess, that will include grandchildren by then so I'm pretty well screwed in the worry department.

But that's how it is. How it will be. You worry about those you love. And you say a prayer for them, every single day. And, sometimes, you just have to hear their voice so you'll know all is well. And you know, hearing that voice, if all isn't well. Then it's like pulling teeth to get it out of them.

Well, two out of three, anyway. The first one doesn't hold much back. The second one is sometimes forthcoming. The third one, forget it. But that one is just like me so what can I say? They are all themselves but my desire for each of them is the same:

Be happy. Be safe.

And call me.
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  1. Great post! I guess you and I are at about the same place in life. I have a 21 year old, 18 yr old, 16 yr old and a 9 yr old (yeah, we had a shock, but a good shock :D).

    My 21 year old lives in NYC, and I have to make myself NOT think about her living in Harlem and sometimes riding the subway late at night. Why did I even type that. I'm really trying not to think about it. Oh, and she has asthma (picture me cross-eyed).

    We encouraged her to live! and she's doing it, and doing it pretty responsibly, but I still catch myself fretting. I guess I'll stop when I die. LOL!

  2. You did have a shock!! LOL!

    Well, I don't have one in NYC but I have a son in Atlanta and, honestly, sometimes I think I'd feel better about it if he was in New York! No, I doubt it but Atlanta can be pretty rough and Georgia Tech is right downtown in the middle of everything. My youngest (daughter) is making noises about going to GA Tech...I'm holding my breath...but, at least Wesley would be there, too.

    You're right, it'll stop when I die...but then I'll probably haunt them...

  3. LOL!

    I grew up in Dallas, and there are places there that make NYC look tame. So I hear you. Oh, and I'm familiar with Atlanta. Worked for IBM for years and had to be in Atlanta a lot.

    Frankly, as you well know every city in this country has its bad spots and most people survive there. That is what I remind myself of daily. Most people do not get hurt in those places, and it's still news when they do. Yes, this is self talk. :D

    Plus, like you said you just have to let it go to a certain extent.

    Oh, and my 18 year old freshman in college is talking about moving to LA to finish school. That or Univ. of Hawaii (since COLO. State is a sister school; that's just great -- not LOL!). I would rather she just move on up to Harlem with her sister. :D

  4. You're right -- nowhere is necessarily safe -- and, for every person affected by a crime, there are just as many (or more) who aren't -- but we tend to hear all the bad news, not the good.

    I would cringe if there was a chance one of mine would have wished to go to Los Angeles -- on several levels, it's just not my cup of tea.