I have a complicated relationship with religion. I always have. I’ve said this here before, I’m sure. My parents were never religious, although my mom had her “deep thought” moments. If we went to church as children it was an infrequent occurrence, and I don’t remember my parents being there. So religion was not something part of our upbringing, nor was it something outwardly encouraged.
I grew to question more than believe. There were a lot of things in my life that led me to this, mostly inconsequential to anyone but myself. I question more and more as I get older.
I also don’t hate, judge, or question others in their beliefs. In fact I’m a little bit jealous of their faithfulness and dedication. Unless you’re the faithful for appearance’s sake, but not in your heart.
But I can without a doubt admit that there have been a handful of times I have prayed to God or thrown a thought or hope into the universe and even (lard people don’t come for me) prayed to my mom.
Here in good old temperamental Kentucky (the earth lately tbh) it’s been raining cats and dogs and cows and ducks for days now, resulting in dangerous flash flooding and water in the roads.
I drive a little old (literally old) 2007 Chevy Cobalt. Me and that old girl have been through some schtuff, so I ain’t trying to throw hate. But she be light and if you’re not careful and you hit a centimeter of water in the road the wrong way she will fly off into outer space.
Tonight on the way home from work, the pouring rain reduced visibility to darn near nil, and there was a conservative estimate of an inch or so of water in the road a lot of the way (I might have caused a tidal wave to hit Japan in some places). Needless to say, I was SKURT. It didn’t help that my ARCH NEMISIS THE BIG SANDY RIVER was to my right for 75% of my drive (that’s another blog post).
The point I’m so wordily trying to make here is that I may or may not have verbally dictated a request for leniency in the matter of life or death unto an entity that may or may not be God and/or my mom.
The basis of said request entailed my desire to live for the love of my life: my daughter. Also included was a not-promise-but-an-acknowledgment of my own responsibility in keeping myself alive. I’ve made promises of “I’ll be a better person” or “I’ll pray more” or “I’ll dance naked under the pale moonlight” before and I’m no good at keeping promises. Or dancing. Or nudity. Gross.
But on that long, slow, mentally taxing drive home I kept telling myself and who/whatever was listening that I just wanted to see her face. I mean my husband is cool and all but he knows she’s number one. “Please let me see her face. I need to be alive for her” was my goal.
Now, I know normal people wouldn’t have been afraid for their lives, but I’m not normal, clearly. I also have anxieties and fears that are irrational and I accept them and we’ve bonded. Not really they just won’t leave me alone.
“As I’m writing this it’s still pouring rain AND THERE ARE WEIRD SOUNDS OUTSIDE so, anxiety, clearly here to stay.”Me, suffering silently 2020-?
As I was saying, I have irrational fears, not excluding the fear of dying in some way related to my car. I said we’ve been through a lot and there’s still more to come.
So I drive home, slowly, and tightly gripping the steering wheel, wanting nothing more to make it home alive to my sweet child. I cannot help but “tell” myself and this mystery audience that I suppose only my heart knows is there, “if you help me make it home safely, I will try to keep my end of the bargain, and continue to live.”
That doesn’t mean I wanted to die, nay. I fear death, heavily. I just wasn’t trying really hard to not die.
I Did Live
Unless I’m writing this in limbo, I clearly made it home to my daughter, whose first words upon seeing me were, “did you bring me something.” I did baby. I did.
When I pulled into the driveway and put the Old ‘Balt (that’s a thing I call my car sometimes) in park. I took a deep breath as I waited for the rain to lighten up before I got out. It didn’t.
By now, hours later, the rain has indeed lightened up, I can barely hear it now, and my tiredness is getting to me. I’ve not stayed up this late in a very long time. But I need to get this all off my chest before I go to sleep. I need to document what happened today, so there’s a least some written record of it.
I WILL Live. Period
I won’t be afraid of my heart exploding, or a heart attack, because I will try in earnest to stop drinking caffeine, my only drug of choice. And I will be able to climb stairs without feeling like death (except for that fear or stairs-you guessed it, another post). I will lose weight, even if I don’t want the flappy skin side affect.
And I will be happier, because I will either find a better job or get back into teaching.
Oh and I will also try to document my “journey” right here. So, y’all get to deal with my bonkers self ALL. OVER. AGAIN. Maybe WEEKLY even!
Thanks for reading!
My kid asked me to tell her about her brain and heart before going to sleep tonight. And she said something about “the little thing in my brain and what it does.” Has she been chipped and is self-aware?