So some cowards want me to be afraid. But I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to take up their fear. I’m going to keep loving people. I’m going to keep loving strangers even. Just because some idiots want me to be afraid, doesn’t mean that I have to. If fear is contagious, then so is kindness and hope. Sometimes hope is a harder mountain to climb, but I like a challenge.
I know it’s natural to catch the contagion of fear. It’s human. I may feel the fear but I won’t let it poison me.
I’ve been here before. After 9/11, I felt the collective fear. At that time, I’d wake in the morning and wonder if it was all a bad dream. Or I’d lay there and just wish that years would pass quickly so that the tragedy would be only a mild ache instead of a a pervasive pain.
And yesterday, I felt that poisoning pain again.
Still. I’m not buying fear. Instead, I’m buying the instinctive hope of the people who rushed to help. I’m buying the hugs and calls of loved ones checking in on each other.
I will always remember the line, blocks and blocks long, of people who wanted to donate blood to Red Cross after 9/11. Millions more people wanted to help than hurt one another.
Healing, like creating, is hard work. It takes a minute to destroy and years to rebuild. Still, I’d rather be in the business of rebuilding: lives, loves, hope.
Living with someone who’s chronically ill, I live with fear and worry. Parkinson’s Disease has challenged my husband, affected his posture, his walking and more. But I’m not going to let Parkinson’s win either. I’m not going to let a fairly inevitable trajectory of decline ruin my hope for him or for my family. Not today. I have hope today that from the ashes come some sort of new life and some inevitable spring.
I am going to hug my darlings close, write, teach, try to make my small corner of the world a little better than I found it. That’s what I’m doing today. And then tomorrow, I’m going to get up and do it all over again.
Because fear doesn’t win. Love wins.
In times of stress, I know I have to:
- Connect with friends and family more
- Work out more
- Do more self care
- Eat and sleep well
How do you cope?