Oh, God

On Monday, a mother and her son were found dead in an apartment about ten blocks from my home. According to the Omaha World-Herald, the mother was lying on the couch with the television on. Her 21-month-old son was on the floor. Due to open cabinets and food items strewn across the floor, police believe the toddler survived his mother for several days and tried to forage for food. No one knows how long ago they died.

Does God answer retroactive prayers?

After my daughter was born, I changed in ways I did not expect. I know that’s a cliche, but it is true. I expected to worry more about the state of the world, and I do, but I did that before she was born. I did not expect a side to my personality to emerge that is more primal and intuitive than my usual self.

An example of this change is the collection of irrational fears that suddenly popped into my mind in the months after the Bean was born. I would be crossing the street with her in a stroller, and all of the sudden I would be terrified that a car would appear and careen into the stroller with me powerless to do anything to stop it.

When the Bean was first born, fears like these would crop up on a daily basis. I called them irrational, but in a primitive sense, they are completely rational. The events I feared are possible. Not likely, but possible. It was like all my parents’ admonitions suddenly manifested in my imagination in an entirely new way. I have always been a safety-conscious person, but with my child that consciousness rose to an entirely new level.

What does this have to do with the woman and her toddler? I think it is fairly easy to connect the dots. One of the few “irrational” fears that continue to haunt me is the fear that something will happen to me, and my daughter will have no one to protect her.

This fear arises almost every time we get into the car. I buckle her into her car seat, then walk around to my door. The thought flashes by: what if I were to get hit by a car now? Would someone see my daughter in the backseat? If so, would they take care of her?

Is it a comfort to know that your worst nightmare isn’t completely irrational, or is it even more horrific to know that it has actually happened to someone?


One Response to “Oh, God”

  1. Dixie Says:

    How really really awe- full. Just one more reason to have a good support network of friends and family around you, nearby and afar. I am working on my nearby friendships and we are starting to depend on one another and support one another. Thank God. I know just what you mean about semi-irrational fears of a parent. It’s like you have a manic-parent living in your mind just to put the what-ifs in your consciousness. Like it’s not hard enough just getting through the everyday “emergencies” of life.

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