Panic Stations

I'm a natural born worrier when it comes to my Dad, I can't help it. It's under my skin and in my core and it makes me antsy. I've always been the sort of get into a bit of a twizz but recently it's getting worse.

My Dad spent 36 years at sea and is one of the most independent and capable men I know. My stepmum is also a force to be reckoned with and yet I can't help but panic about them. Especially when they get themselves muddled up in accidents and natural disasters.

"Of course!" you're saying to yourself, "It's natural to worry when things like that happen you silly billy" but the worry I feel is all encompassing outright sense of dread that I'm going to lose another parent. I mean to lose one is bad enough but to lose two is downright careless.

Sorry. That was probably really tasteless but sometimes I can't help but make death jokes. I remember when people used to say "I'm sorry for your loss", I'd snort and reply "Loss? She's not down the back of the sofa, she's dead!" Horrific isn't it.

I think the worry has been getting worse as I'm fast approaching the age where it will become more reasonable to expect to lose a parent. At 16 when I lost Mum the big thing was people saying I was too young for it to happen but here I am, staring down turning 30 and supposedly a grown up and entering the zone where it won't be so shocking to be bereaved.

It scares me more than you could imagine. Dad's only been around full time since 1998 when Mum died and he stopped going to sea and with all the trauma that then followed I feel like I've only had him properly for a few years and dammit that's not enough. So when I heard earlier that there had been an earthquake in Lorca, Spain which is approximately 45 miles from where they are currently based I went into catastrophe mode.

I couldn't help but imagine Dad staggering through the streets with torn clothes and bleeding from the head with my Stepmum limping along behind. In reality they'll be at their apartment, probably tucked up in bed safe and sound having sweet dreams, maybe having lost a few roof tiles. But still I panic and still I imagine their apartment ripped in half and reduced to rubble.

The flipside is that if they're okay and are tucked up in bed, could they not let me know? I appreciate that in this situation the phone networks will be under intense pressure and so there are mitigating circumstances however in the past in situations like this it hasn't crossed their mind that I'd be worrying. That's because it is slightly ridiculous to fret SO much and it's something that I don't think you can really truly understand until you've gone through the pain of losing a parent but at the same time I wish they could have some consideration for the nerves of the neurotic Ally and get in touch.

So I'll have a sleepless night trying to stop myself going into total panicked overdrive with tears pricking my eyes at the thought of more loss and then tomorrow when the sunshine comes again they'll drop me a text that will say "darling, all fine, watched Eastenders with some vino. God bless" and I'll breathe a massive fucking sigh of relief before I put my emotion levels back down to Defcon 4* and call myself an idiot.

* Let's face it, I'm not the sort of person who could ever be at Defcon 5.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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2 thoughts on “Panic Stations

  1. Firstly, totally not the same as I haven't lost a parent so I have no idea other than the constant nightmares when I was younger (and still now) of how that feels… but I get the 'suitable age' thing. Recently, with my second sister being pregnant so my parents are about to be grandparents for the second time, I've really taken in that they are not actually invincible and it has been scaring me, to the point of anxiety attacks, that they might not be around very long. Long enough to see me get married, or have my first baby – my sisters are older so they have/will. It's a bit morbid to think like that but I can't help it and in some ways it makes me appreciate them even more and want to spend as much time as possible with them, but also to look out for them health wise too, which I find a bit exhausting (old people get stuck in their ways). Life is way too short (and therefore probably too short to be worrying about it) but parents know best and they don't seem too bothered ;)Hope you hear some news soon – am sure they are just off having way too much fun to think of home xxxxxx

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