Ever since I was little, I was trained to fear the worst when it comes to the people you love. Someone is always just about to keel over, die in a car crash, or be dead in a ditch and surely, that's why they're not home yet.
My brother was always dead somewhere, until he came home, usually with some lame excuse. The sigh of relief when he showed up couldn't make up for the rampant terror that was in our hearts for the prior three hours, at least not for my Mother and my twelve year old self. The important thing from all my years in training, was that I knew eventually one day it would happen, that eventually he wouldn't come home, after all with drug use since age twelve, by forty-four he didn't have a chance, Finally it happened, just as I knew it would. His girlfriend found him on the floor of their apartment. He had been at the computer, his heart burst, and he fell over onto the floor chair and all. That's what she found when she came home.
I answered the phone when his girlfriend called, expecting the worst because she usually never called. Brad and I were getting ready to leave for a weekend away with our kids and their friends when it came. I answered the phone and she was crying, I didn't even wait for it and said, "Is he dead?" She sobbed and said, "yes." I was more than half tempted to still go on our trip; after all, I had waited 25 years for this call, so couldn't he wait two days for me? He didn't have anything else going on. Besides, it would be at least two days just the make the funeral arrangements. As usual, his timing was impeccable, even in death. It took a lot for me not to go on that vacation. The only good thought I had was that at least the waiting was over.
Sometimes it seems I've had a lifetime of fear, just waiting for "it" to happen. I never know what "it" is, but I'm certain it's going to happen. Some of it's just logical destiny. The impending doom is very difficult to deal with sometimes, but there is one thing I have found in all of this that is a good thing; the end of whatever "it" is, brings peace and freedom from fear. It truly sets you free, but freedom doesn't come cheap.