This is a difficult post to write. But I need to do it, nonetheless. Honna would say it is in the category of "preventive worrying."
When I was 15 and my father was 49, he died very suddenly of a heart attack. For the next 25 years, I honestly believed that I, too, would die when I was 49. There was no sense to this belief; it was some sort of negative magical thinking. My better judgment told me that to be true. But I could not let go of that belief. I lived a very busy life, trying to cram in as much as I could in the time I had.
The night before my fiftieth birthday, I went to bed believing that I would not wake in the morning. When I did, my very first thought was the trite, "This is the first day of the rest of your life." There are days when I remember that morning, and think, "This is a bonus day! You didn't expect to have today!"
Not quite a year ago, at the time of our fortieth anniversary, I wrote this post where I referenced the fact that my older sister's fortieth wedding anniversary had been their last. Both she and I married at 22. Both of us married tall, handsome redheads. She and Bob had 40 years together.
In the past six weeks, since Joe had the heart attack, the negative magical thinking has kicked in once again. I wake in the middle of the night, harkening back to that night at the emergency room, and the knowledge that Bonnie's 40th anniversary was the last takes over my mind. I tell myself I am being silly. I didn't have to do what my father did; and, what happened to Bonnie and Bob will not have to happen to Joe and me. When this comes to me in the daylight, most of the time I am able to put it aside, to recognize it as negative magical thinking. Most of the time. But not always. And not very often at all in the night.
There are two weeks by the calendar until our forty-first anniversary.
The ER doctors said, "What you had is what we call the widow maker."
Julian writes, "All shall be well and all shall be well."
Lord God, sustain me through these two weeks. For I am foolish and I am frightened.