If a man harbors any sort of fear, it makes him landlord to a ghost. Lloyd Douglas
I’m not sure why, but for the past several weeks I’ve been waking up at around 3:00 or so. Wide awake. Until about 4:30 and have about an hour left till I really need to get up. Then I become very sleepy. I worry – irrationally. I worry about my house being on fire. This is probably because we did have a fire that destroyed most of my family’s house when I was in 3rd grade and because my first husband’s family home burned completely when he was a senior in high school. No one has injured in either of the fires but it has definitely left me with the knowledge that things don’t always happen to someone else and certain paranoia about virtually EVERYTHING! I check and re-check the batteries in our fire alarms. If I feel that I am going to be in an especially deep sleep, I make sure that the doors to the upstairs are left open so that should a fire breakout upstairs, I would be able to hear the alarm. I make sure that the dogs are distributed evenly throughout the first and second floor. Which is ludicrous because except for the chihuahua, I would have to wake Bear and Sebastian to get them to alert the rest of the house. They are very effective guard dogs . . . provided that any break-in or fire occur during their waking hours.
In the middle of the night, I worry about my kids. I feel badly that my son’s coat is a little too small. Not small enough that it is uncomfortable but a little too small. It doesn’t occur to me at night that his winter jacket is a very, very warm, weather resistant jacket that was handed down from his sister and no, it is not pink. I worry that I can’t find any matching gloves or mittens for them to wear for the 2 seconds it takes for them to get on the bus. I need to write myself a note to remind me that we DO have gloves and mittens to keep those little hands warm – they just don’t match which is more than what many, many other people in this world, this country, this state, have. I worry that I haven’t given my older son enough. I feel tremendous guilt that I don’t give him enough. But even in the daytime, I know that although he is a college student, he is my baby and always will be. It is not enough for me to know that he knows that he can always call me, always come home. I just worry that I haven’t given them enough.
In the middle of the night I worry about my animals. I worry that because I don’t have a proper barn that I’m not taking care of them. The fact that they do have shelter and nice cozy places to sleep and get out of the weather doesn’t register in the middle of the night. At 3 a.m. I don’t remember how well I take care of them or that sometimes animals die despite the care we give. I feel guilty that my llama isn’t in a hospital. I feel guilty that I’ve done all that I know to do, have contacted the vet, have been in touch with online experts, and given all prescribed medications and yet Jolly Llama is still lying on the ground unable to walk. I’ve contacted people who have blessed him, who have performed an animal healing spell, I’ve given him herbs, I’ve sung to him, I’ve told him that it is alright to pass on. I worry that I haven’t done enough.
In the middle of the night, I am visited by ghosts. Not the kind of spirits that float in the air and materialize from a mist but ghosts of irrational thoughts, guilts, and worries. My ghosts haunt me with feelings that I’m not good enough,
not good enough,