I’m joining the 5 minute Fridays community over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s place. Today’s topic: afraid.
Last August in my Thursday night discussion group, the question was, “What are your biggest fears?” When it got to me, I said I thought I was a fairly fearless person — not afraid of the A or B or C of common fears — but that one of my biggies was that someone I love would die without knowing how much they meant to me, in the very specific ways that each person is meaningful.
The next morning I got a call telling me a friend had died in a car wreck the night before.
After the crazy egocentric nanosecond of “Oh, no, I expressed a fear and it came true, it’s my fault!” I thought of our last conversation, where he needed some information I didn’t have and I gave him the number of someone who would instead of finding it myself.
And then to a time a few months earlier when we got crossways, and we worked it out, and he told me, “We won’t speak of this again.”
That wasn’t a threat. It was a benediction, an absolution, a human-wrapped example of the way our maker forgives. And forgets.
I’m not afraid of losing my job, or my home burning, or going out in public without my pants. They would be bad but I could handle them. [And here the rereading editor wants to change “could handle” to “would survive,” and the analytical mind is spinning over the differences, what they say and what they don’t say.] I am afraid that the friendship I most recently damaged is too fractured to heal. Despite the evidence from previously fractured friendships, which are now stronger in the broken places. I am afraid that, when it was my words that did the damage, “use your words” is the last thing that is going to make this better.
And the 5-minute timer went off just when I was creeping up on touching the thing that doesn’t want to be touched. And not even anywhere close to the afraid that I am too afraid even to mention out loud in a place like this, though it also involves love and potential loss, and shadows everything.