Confusion reigns. She is the queen of muddle. She rules all she surveys in the twelve by fourteen foot room that is her empire. To her, there is no distinction between the telephone and the remote, between January and July. Day is night and night no longer exists. Sleep at any point brings a scrap of peace, but then the crazy quilt of time starts again. Hour? Day? Date? Little registers. Except love. She still knows love.
If you have lost a loved one, you know the heartache that follows. If you have lost a loved one through sudden misfortune, then you know that heartache compounded by not having the chance to say goodbye. If the one who left you was taken way too early in life, the tragedy only deepens. All this is to say, be accepting when someone who loves you tells you to be careful, asks you to call when you arrive at your destination, or wants you simply to keep in touch. They are not demanding too much. They are expressing their love and their fear.
A small boy with a large backpack pulls away from his father to get on the school bus by himself. A nineteen-year-old daughter thinks her mother is prying when she wants a text from a faraway Spring Break locale. A husband rolls his eyes when his wife tells him to be careful driving to work. Most people of any age don’t like to be told what to do. It is annoying at best, usually only because they have been told that same thing before. Next time this happens to you, be a bit understanding. The person who is cautioning you – whether parent or spouse or friend – has your best interests at heart. Perhaps they have lost someone. Maybe they only fear losing you. Regardless, turn and smile to let them know it is okay. You will be careful. You will look both ways. You will keep in touch. You love them, too.