Halloween and Fear

Halloween, sadly, is over. It’s by far my favorite holiday because I love dressing up (I was a jaguar), and love dressing up my daughter even more (she was an elephant). I do not, however, like scary stuff.

It all got me thinking about the f-word, fear. And coincidentally we watched the Modern Family season 1 episode about fear this weekend. At the end of it Claire talks about how everyone has their fears, big and small, and you can overcome them, but you can never overcome your fears/worries for your children. Pretty profound for a comedy, no?

But it’s true – I’m scared of all things icky (mice, bugs, the ground, etc) and I used to have a horrible fear of driving, but I’ve had to overcome many of those fears to take care of my child, especially the driving fear. Overall though, those fears are nothing when compared to the fears I have about my child. There’s the immediate, when she’s sick and I’m scared for her and the adreneline kicks in; then there’s the long-term fears about wanting her to grow up healthy and happy and have a good life. Tied in to that, in a corner of my brain, is the fear that I won’t be able to care for her properly because of my own health. It’s tucked away and mostly stays quiet, but it’s always there. Stupid Crohn’s.

This past Saturday I spent in New York City with my sister and two of her friends, for a nice little lunch. One of them, who I’ve known for many years and who is possibly one of the sweetest people I know, confided to me that she’s been going through a tough diagnosis time. They still aren’t sure what’s wrong. There is so much fear in that. It’s the fear of the unknown coupled with the fact that once you do know, the fact is still that you’re sick. Unfortunately the ultimate answer for diagnosis is rarely “actually, you’re totally fine.” I understand completely what she’s going through. But there’s the other side of fear too, and that’s bravery. She is so brave, facing what is going on with her health and not backing down when doctor after doctor tells her they don’t know what’s wrong. She’s fighting – fighting fear, fighting the unknown. And that fight is going to do her well when she’s finally diagnosed because then she’ll know who the enemy is, and be able to defeat it.

When all is said and done, that’s it, right? Find your fear, beat your fear. Beat the everliving daylights out of it. Screw you, Crohn’s. You’re scarier than a spider teamed up with a mouse forcing me to drive a car, but you know what, I’ve beat you and will do it again and again.

To my sister’s friend, my friend – you have the strength. You will find what it is and you will beat it. Never fear.

And to my sister: thank you for the awesome cupcakes, and for all the time we got to spend this weekend. I needed that.

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