“We’ve got nothing to fear but fear itself”
Not pain? Not failure? Not fatal tragedy?
Not the faulty units in this mad machinery–
Not the broken contacts in emotional chemistry–
~Neil Peart

Fear. It strikes at inopportune times. Worry is the shadow that steals its way into my brain. It is late at night and I’m trying to sleep and wondering, is that a pain in my shoulder?

My paternal grandmother had a heart attack at the age of 45. I’ve been told that she was lucky to live through it. Today is my 45th birthday.

Fear has my head in a vice grip as I consider what the beginnings of a stroke might feel like… is that a headache or just my imagination?ย  After more minutes of worry, I get up and take an aspirin — just in case.

Fortified with reassurance that my lifeblood is now going to be flowing more easily, the shadow of worry slips away, defeated. I look out the window at the stars and realize that sleep will have to wait. I have to write.

I didn’t know my paternal grandmother very well. She lived on the complete opposite end of the country from me when I was growing up. In fact, I only remember one visit when I was about the age of ten. She was full of love and laughter and stories of the cousins I didn’t know, and more importantly, stories of my father’s childhood.ย  I didn’t know her very well at all, but I loved her.

I have precious few photographs of my grandmother; I also have a packet of her writings. She wrote prose and poetry. If she were 45 years old today, I suspect she would be blogging.

And now this stream of consciousness brings me to a place of peace, for I have moved from fear (quite reasonable fear, as we share more than a love of writing — we share genes and body type) to warm memories. I hear the ticking of the clock, but it no longer sounds like the ticking of a time bomb.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
~Psalm 23:4

My husband is retiring this summer. He is going to become my personal chef and trainer, and together we are going to accomplish what I have been unable to accomplish on my own: successful weight loss, increased health and fitness. He might even blog it.


14 responses to “45

  1. Happy birthday, Karen. Remember God knit you together in your mother’s womb and knew you and loved you before you were ever conceived. He has a plan for your life and it isn’t the same plan he had for your grandmother.

  2. Happy Happy Birthday! Having a personal chef and trainer (especially one who lives in and doesn’t require a salary) seems like a happy new year is in the bag.


  3. ((((Karen)))) It’s hard not to worry about these things isn’t it? But try to remember that this doesn’t mean it’s going to happen to you. It is so cool that your husband is going to help you with this…a personl chef and trainer is pretty darn cool!

    Happy Birthday Karen…I hope your day is spectacular just like you are. (((Karen)))) Hugs and love going your way. XX

  4. Happy Birthdayyyyy!!!

  5. Hau’oli La Hanau my friend. I hope you have a wonderful Birthday. Crap my blog would be down but I’ll make sure I do mention this ๐Ÿ™‚ You know you gotta live your life for today. Life is way to short to worry about what might happen. Positive thoughts keep them from happening if you ask me. Besides how many of us get a personal chef and trainer. Have a great day ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Reasonable fears and an aspirin won’t hurt anything. I am a bit jealous that you will have a personal chef and trainer, so please encourage him to blog about it for the rest of us ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I hope you have a wonderful relaxed Happy Birthday!

  7. Happy Birthday my friend ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that he’s going to be your trainer!

  8. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday, K! Enjoy a fear-free day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. It sounds like an interesting plan and I wish you well on it. I know what you mean about worry–my mother had her first heart attack at 40 and then had several more before dying of cancer at 61. I’ve made it to 46 (almost 47) with a healthy ticker–I hope it stays that way.

    Happy Birthday!

  10. Happy Birthday, Karen.
    My black hour is around 4 AM when I seem to be able to worry about precisely everything under the sun… I think about my dream vacation to get away from that black hole…
    I bet you and Hubby are counting the days!

  11. Happy Birthday! Conditions back then were different and life expectancy shorter. With your husband as your chef and trainer, sounds to me as if you will be having a long and happy life!

  12. Happy Birthday! Regarding your grandmother, whoah, 45 is so young. I’m older than you by a few years and it never crosses my brain that I could have heart trouble. I know it’s a reality out there and I imagine it has been scary for you, this shadow. Good luck with your “get healthy” plans!

  13. Hey – my husband retired last year – it is a big adjustment for all of us. Especially the whole home-all-the-time thing. He is fortunate to have a full time job, but no more “trips”. And fairly regular hours. After 20 years of military life, that takes some getting used to.

  14. Happy Birthday Friend! I hope it was a great day.