October 13, 2012 by vlittle528
My heart is heaving, my mind is racing, and my anxiety is in overdrive. I am having a hard time absorbing all that is happening in the Jessica Ridgeway case. All the things that are inferred but not said. All the accusations and questions that are being put out there. All the fear involving a mere three blocks worth of space. Wondering if “intact” means that an animal possibly got the the as-of-yet-unnamed body or if the absolutely unthinkable occurred.
I went over the key talking points with my children tonight. We also lit a candle and said a prayer for Jessica and her family. My son asked me why we lit a candle. I couldn’t immediately think of the actual reason, so I said the first thing that came to my mind. That we light a candle so that if the body is Jessica’s, she can see it from Heaven. And she (or whoever it may be if not) will know we are praying for her. My daughter is still only 3, so her comprehension of what is happening is much less than my son’s. Her prayer as simple…yet very poetic at the same time. She simply asked God to “find the dead little girl and bring her home”. As morbid as it may sound, this is the best we can hope for if she is gone.
I am supposed to be leaving for a meetup soon. I have been anxious already, but now I am struggling even more. At the core of my anxiety is always the statement that reverberates in my mind and heart “you can’t change your mind once it happens.” You can’t say a final goodbye twice. You can’t decide not to get in the car and drive after the accident happens. You just can’t take it back. It is done. And you never saw it coming. You will never know when it will happen. I used to worry that something would happen to my kids. Now that I have done all that I can to ensure their safety (although I know it is still possible that they fall in the tub or fall off a chair or break a leg or get kidnapped at the school function…I think I would literally have a breakdown if I let my mind include all these), I worry about me. What if something happens to me? Who will talk to them about lighting a candle and how to keep safe. Who will teach them things only mom can? Who will love them with the fierceness that I do? Will they think of me when they go on their first date?
My friend’s daughter said something fairly profound today. They were talking about Jessica when the teen said “I’m not having kids!” While that never was even a though in my head…the thought of “what am I bringing my children into?” was. I felt a bit selfish, knowing that the world is only getting worse and so many horrible things can happen. But I still knew I was incomplete without them.
This rambling is all I can really get out at the time. I could probably save it and edit it later to be more fluid and polished, but this is what I am feeling. Right at this moment, these are the thoughts going through my mind and the order in which they are coming. Tragedies like the shootings, kidnappings, fires, accidents etc. are life-changing. And they can paralyze you if you allow them to. I think the real challenge is to not allow “them” to win. The challenge is to focus on the happiness and love in your life at each moment. So that if it does happen to you, you can live without regrets.