I have been thinking a lot about fear lately. It seems to me that grief and fear truly walk hand in hand. Fear has been a best friend (eyeroll) of mine for the last 6 years or so. When my parents were home, it was fear of them falling. Of them wandering off. Of them getting lost. Of them overmedicating. Of them burning down the house after making their daily pizza for lunch. Fear of them falling on ice because they were too stubborn to not take their daily walks around their property, even when it was freezing. Fear when their neighbors would call me. So. Much. Fear.
Fear is still my constant companion but intensified by a million percent. Fear of losing him. Fear of losing her. Fear of who I become when they aren’t here anymore. Fear of them falling. Fear of them not knowing me. Fear of them lashing out at me. Fear of forgetting the moments with them that hold my heart. Fear of missing THE call. Fear of my phone dying. Fear that the ringer gets accidentally turned off and someone at the home is trying to reach me. Fear of them being alone and sad. Fear of them having a lucid moment and me missing it.
Fear turns into a real jerk when the name of the facility pops up on my phone now. Like my blood runs ice cold through my veins and I have to force myself to breathe and answer.
When I was a little girl, the biggest thing I remember being afraid of was thunder and lightning. My dad was the one who was my safe place. I can still hear his voice saying, “Joni, there is no fear in the perfect love of God.” I’m not a super religious person, spiritual, yes. But I would pay all the money in the world for him to say this to me right now. I hope what he’s feeling is God’s perfect love for him. And no fear.