I am a worrywart.
If you look at me, you will see a wrinkled crevasse in the middle of my forehead.
When I was born they hit me on the bottom, and instead of crying I started fretting. Oh no. They just met me? Why are they hitting me? Do they hate me?
If you show me the least amount of compassion I will worry about you.
I will put your worry in my purse and go through it for you when you are sleep.
You don’t even have to ask me to do this.
I will do it for free.
I come by it honestly.
I come from a tribe of Worry Warts.
Don’t let that cute little accent fool you.
They are depressives.
My grandparents had a saying,
‘Sing before breakfast, you’ll be crying before nightfall.’
Which sounds a tad negative until you go to some parts of Ireland and realize that singing at any time of the day was just tempting fate.
My people were from the south, from the clan of preventative worrying.
We worry ahead of time so that when it happens we are not surprised.
My Dad was Irish but his tribe didn’t believe in worrying. Dad, thought there was no point in worrying because it might not happen.
He was Protestant.
However, my Mom thought the only way he could be so lackadaisical, is because she was worrying on his behalf.
The case in point would be an incident at our cottage on Unger Island.
It really wasn’t an island. It had a causeway so you could drive across it.
Our cottage was five miles from our house. We went up there to get away from things.
We would bike up there 5 miles every night in the summer. My parents didn’t always come with us.
It seems kids didn’t drown in the 60’s.
We were never actually in the cottage because my Dad was the sole breadwinner and had six kids and so he always needed money so he rented it out for extra cash.
But there was an empty lot at the cottage so we camped next to the cottage. All of us in an open lot with a big green tent and an outhouse.
Can you imagine what the tenants that rented the cottage thought?
As they listened to the six kids, swimming and screaming over and over again.
‘Mom, watch this. Mom, are you looking? Mom! Mom.’
Sometimes we’d get so tired, we couldn’t make it home. Yes 5 miles, was all too much for us. So we camped out for the night. And the 8 of us would get in mildew tent with a dog or two and a ubiquitous mosquito buzzing around your head.
One night we were in there and a vicious storm came up.
A frightening cacophony of thunder shook the tents.
Chain lightening zigzagged around all sides of us.
So we had to get out and get into one of my parents vehicles.
On the left side of the tent was my Dad’s van, with no seats in the back. Only tools threatening to behead us.
On the right side of the property was my mother’s station wagon with lots of seats.
So we had two choices where we could take cover.
Mom the Worrier?
Or Dad the Non Worrier?
4 of the lucky ones made it to Dad’s van.
Despite our best efforts, Kevin and I got stuck with Mother.
Apparently they were over in the van having a ball.
Thunder was cracking all around them and Dad’s was saying, ‘That’s okay that is just God moving the piano.’
Meanwhile, in the station wagon we were doing it up Old Testament style, going around the rosary beads like race -car drivers at Nascar.
Every few moments my mother would cry out, ‘Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.’ then when she was done with litany of saints, “Saint Theresa and Elizabeth.’
Which I can tell you, is not reassuring at all.
We were sure we were completely screwed when she got into the Spanish and Romanian saints, ‘Jochaima Sachamero and Miguel Allende.’
The next morning the kids that were in with Dad got out of the van, ‘Wasn’t that fun?’
Kevin and I exited our vehicles like two shell-shocked vets coming back from the Korean War.
Yes, God was never far from our lips, but He never offered us a lick of comfort.
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