Thursday, May 23, 2013

I worry

This blog has been sorely neglected for the past several months.  Here are some reflections on life since 2012.

I have already recorded the losses of last year, and am usually able to put those behind me.  I'm more careful about going down the stairs.  What if I fell?  When I have an unidentified ache or pain, I'm sure it's a debilitating and terminal illness.   Life is short and uncertain.  I know that more now than ever.  My response?  Eat dessert first.  Enjoy the sweetness while you can.  Who knows how long it will last?

My oldest child, Michael, is about to go to high school.  How is that possible?  Granted, high school starts a little early in New Orleans Catholic schools--8th grade rather than 9th.  But still, next year, he's going to be roaming the halls with 18 year olds.  He's like a little adult in many ways, but...he's never been to Hooters.  And they're going to take him there!  Oh, the agony!  Innocence...bye bye.

And Isabella starts middle school next year--5th grade.  Ten years old, nearly 11, a charming young lady, growing and blooming, not like a weed but like the most beautiful flower in the garden.  People say she's all legs.  It's not really fair--shorts that look normal on other girls look shorter on her.  What's a mom to do?  Her beauty, her love of people, her kind and trusting that a recipe for disaster?  Thank goodness she's got brains to go with all that.  Still, she's a tween.  I worry.

Mostly I worry about losing them.  Not to death but to silence.  They are becoming teenagers, and in eight years, they will both be out of the house.  Sooner than that, they will realize the imperfections of their parents, pass the certain judgment only a teen can pass, and begin to prefer ANYONE else to us.  Will they come back?  It's okay if it's not right away, but one day?

In the midst of this worry, I'm trying to write.  I'm fascinated by my subject, a woman who lived in the fin de siecle, 1848--1930, the wife of a wealthy man who struggled to find her identity, her soul, and eventually her sanity.  The book has taken me from New York City in the 1880s to St. Augustine and Palm Beach in the 1890s, from dance halls to dressmakers, from New York society to Florida crackers, and from seances to asylums.  I could focus on it for hours, days even, and the writing makes me feel alive, worthy, connected to the universe somehow.

And then I remember that I have a family who still need me.  They seem independent, but that doesn't mean I should stop connecting as much as I can.  It is my most important purpose.

I struggle with that balancing act every day.  Today I know that my family may not be around forever. They have to be first right now, or I will most certainly lose them.  I will write when I can.  I will not give up my passion.  With it, I have more to give.  But every moment counts.

My husband's Aunt Doris told us after Katrina, "Worrying's a sin."  It sounded like a joke at first, to announce such a thing to two people who had just lost their house, their city, to unbelievable destruction.  But she was absolutely straight-faced.  God will provide.  God will find a way.  The lilies of the field don't worry, so why should we?

Deep down, I believe her.  Worrying is a waste of time, and worst of all, incessant negative thoughts can only manifest negative outcomes.  Who knows how the universe will intervene?  Who knows what chance happening will change everything?  I think right now, I will go hug my son, who's downstairs playing a computer game.  He will look at me like I'm crazy, but he will know I'm there.

No worries.


  1. Hi Catherine,
    Your Aunt Doris is right. You can run around picking pebbles out of your children's path or watch in admiration as they navigate them. Have faith in the good job you've done....and wait for it to come back.
    Tell more about the book!

  2. I love your musings. I would love to know more about the book too. I am intrigued.
    hugs, A