Saturday, December 21, 2013

Holding My Breath

I didn’t realize I was holding my breath until they got  here all safe and sound, but I was.

It’s one year ago this evening my mother was in a serious and life-threatening car accident.

Last night my son and friend Laura pulled in with Mom safely ensconced in the back seat – over an hour later than I thought they’d be, even though Ben had called to say they got a late start and even though I could figure they would have stopped a couple of times and even though the roads were clear and dry this year, unlike the ice-covered slick the mountain roads presented my Mom last year.

The ringing of the phone turned out to be a friend calling to wish Merry Christmas early, but the sound of the ringing filled me with dread and even after the call, my heart beat too fast for comfort – even though my head knew the call was a good news rather than bad thing, my heart took a bit longer to catch up.

Even though all these things were true, it is also true that my imaginings get held captive, especially with such an anniversary reminder.

There are no guarantees beyond the immediate moment we inhabit and yet we (or at least I) continue to live into the expectancy that the next moment and the next will be as it should be, even though I know better.

I know to inhabit this moment fully, with all it brings.

I know not to worry about that which I cannot control.

I know that life is a fraught thing.

And still I get gobbled up in expectancy every now and then.

Sometimes my unmet expectations fill me with sadness or frustration or anger.

But sometimes my unmet expectations fill me with joy – like a day when I worry that those I love have been harmed and I wait cringing at every sound of the telephone.

This was that kind of a day – a day when the failure to meet my expectations was a good thing.

For that, I am grateful.


  1. I am so happy your family arrived safely. I would have had the same anticipation you had, especially with the anniversary time period of a car accident. I hope you have a wonderful visit with your family.

  2. Thanks! It's been a great visit. Peace to you.