Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fear

I live with fear.

I say "with fear" as opposed to "in fear" so as not to convey that I am crippled by it, that is consumes me. But it haunts me at times. It sits there on my shoulder as the fabled Devil in a battle between good and evil. Fear is definitely evil.

Fear is what sits like a weight in my stomach when my karate students tell me about the gangs in their schools or the bullies at their bus stops. It's knowing that my boys still have to grow up and go through school. It's the worry that they will know only the angst of a broken heart from a first love, and not from the anticipation of a punch from looking at the wrong someone the wrong way. Fear is hoping I raise my children well enough that they will run with the right crowd, that they will care about making it home by curfew, that they will think to call home to say hi to their mother.

Fear is the chill of uncertainty down my spine as I say the words "I will always be there for you" when I know that someday I won't. And when I'm gone, by some freak accident, illness or old age, will they all know how much I loved them? Will I have done enough so their memories will carry them through lives with joy and hope, confident in who they are as wonderful, smart, funny, beautiful people? Will they know how happy they made me?

I am so happy.

Fear is the little voice inside that says to lock the car doors, lock the garage door, set the alarm and hawk my children in the parking lots and stores. Fear is a freak accident and no time to say goodbye. Fear is losing everything and everyone I love dearly. Fear is being forgotten.

And I am temporary.

We are all temporary.

So I live with fear.

Because I live with love.