My son knows, I do not like to drive at night. I do not like the limitations on what and how much I am able to see due to lack of illumination. There is also the fact that the headlights of oncoming vehicles, or those behind, can most probably be seen from the international space station. I will admit that it does help that my son found a pair of those yellow tinted glasses left behind in a trade in vehicle. Though they are not enough to change my thoughts on night driving. Be all that as it may, of course his flight in from Texas had me driving to the airport, during rush hour, in the dark. I think he did that on purpose. I don’t blame him really. He left here on the earliest flight and left there on the latest flight. What better way to get the most time with friends? But, dark driving.
I have heard something along the lines of the proof of courage is not to never be afraid, but to charge ahead in spite of the fear. Praying a lot helps as well.
Last night added another notch to the post of, I was terrified but did it anyway. I will admit to being so overly and unnecessarily stressed over the mission, that my chest hurt to the point of fearing something worse than a panic attack. I still did it, because my son needed a way home.
I prepared a meal so my son would have something to eat once he got home. When time came to leave, I got my German Shepherd, Bella and headed for the airport. I was not about to drive the interstate, so I had to take lesser roads to the route that would take me to the airport. The roads were not too busy, though I did move off the road once to allow the vehicle that appeared to be trying to play tag my jeep’s back bumper. They were that close. Once those cars were gone, I didn’t have any other close behind me drivers, all the way to the airport.
Once there, I found the cell phone parking lot and made my way inside. I parked facing away from the road through the airport. I could still see how busy that road was and I seriously dreaded the thought of joining that throng. I was well over thirty minutes early but I was there. Bella was anxious, whining at times. I wasn’t sure whether it was due to knowing my son, her buddy, was coming in or picking up on my anxiety. Finally he called to let me know he was ready, and where I would find him in the arrival area. After a deep breath, I started the Jeep and headed for his location.
What a madhouse. What an absolute mess. It appeared that in the very least, half of Charlotte was in the arrival area. Vehicles were parked oddly, vehicles were stopped just where ever. Vehicles were trying to move but trapped. People were attempting to get into vehicles when doors were apparently locked. Masses of people were using the crosswalk area to head for their own vehicles parked in an area away from this madness. If I were safely home watching a video of that it would have been humorous. Yet, I wasn’t. In all of that I was simply trying to make my way through to where my son waited. I finally saw him waving me down. Once there he tossed his bag into the back seat and asked a relatively silly question, “Wanna switch?” He didn’t get all the words out as I was removing myself from the driver’s seat. He took my place and did battle with the mayhem.
Once we were out of the airport it was much easier. We discussed his trip from the flight out to the flight back. I know he didn’t tell me everything, but I didn’t expect that from him. This was a guy’s trip. This was a time for him to get away, hang with guy friends, doing guy stuff. Away from work, away from the every day mundane, frustrating stuff. Away from the people who always seemed to need something.
I told him of the rescued and rehomed kitten and the new job I have, bomb squad, explosives expert. At his expected confusion I explained. My brother had used a spray of some sort to loosen the locks on doors in my parent’s house. He left the can, just in case. My dad read the back of the can and saw two words, “may explode”. None of the other words mattered. I had to go down and carefully remove said can from the house and carefully place it in an outside building-out of the sunlight- so to calm his concerns. I did stop short of looking for yellow caution tape to encircle the building to keep anyone away until my brother can come and remove this can from the area. Nothing I or my mother told him had him understanding the can was not dangerous under normal circumstances. Aging can be a horrible thief. In the past he would have never had these worries. Currently he does. I have to face the fact that growing older has taken a lot from my parents and I have to be there for them. No matter what needs doing, I have to find a way to make sure it is done. That too, takes courage.
The point of all this, we do what we must. We do what is necessary, even when we are afraid. We do what has to be done, even when it means we have to do what we usually avoid. We go, in spite of the hazards, the difficulties, the anxiety levels that feel more like a heart attack. We do it, and we prove to ourselves that we are stronger, braver, more able than we first thought. We face the dragon of fear, and we defeat it once again. With each time we do this, our strength, courage and abilities grow stronger and the fears less. My son is home, because I did the uncomfortable. I feel more empowered, because I faced my fears, ignored my anxiety, and did what had to be done. I share all this not to bring glory to me, but to show others that yes, it can be done. No matter how afraid you may be, no matter how bad the anxiety and discomfort, you can step up, show up and overcome.