Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm Glad You're Alive

Tonight, my parents were late picking me up for pizza night, and because they are never late, I tried calling them, and there was no answer.  Then I heard a siren, and I started having these wild fears that they got in a car accident, and I became deeply worried and sad.  I called my grandma and it turned out they were in a movie.  But that feeling of my parents’ mortality was so heavy that I wanted to cry.  When my parents arrived and picked me up and I told them about my fears, they apologized and then they said, “That’s how it feels to be a parent.”  I’d never really felt that before.  I remember reading somewhere “To be a mother is to always have tears behind your eyes.” 

We had a nice dinner together.  I read them some things I’d been writing and they were genuinely proud, and my dad said, “That’s also how it feels to be a parent.”  To have those joys, right alongside the fear and sorrow.  The older I get, it seems, the more sensitive I become to these things.  My love for family, and for friends, is made more intense by the prospect of loss, of mortality.  It is a strange mixture of love and sadness and joy that I can’t exactly describe, but I felt compelled to try to write it.  Once, when I was going through a really difficult time, I remember my brother gave me a card that simply said, “I’m glad you’re alive.”  That is exactly how I feel about my family.  I’m glad they are alive.  Which is another way of saying…I love them.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog, Jesse -- your parents are so proud of you. Your thoughts remind me of another great thinker, C.S. Lewis: "Many of us do not realize that pain and joy run together ..." and, on the death of his wife Joy,"The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That's the deal."