In some ways, not caring whether I live or die has created some freedoms in my life. For example, I’ve not had the dreaded PAP test or mammogram. I still wear sunscreen but don’t freak out if I accidentally forget to apply it to my skin. Please understand that I’m not telling you to not have tests or take care of yourself; I’m just telling you what I’ve done. When my house caught on fire eleven months after Reg died, the firefighters released asbestos from my ceiling. Asbestos covered one of my favorite blankets. I joked that I was going to rub my face in the blanket. Surely that would take me out, right? Needless to say, I didn’t do that. However, I didn’t worry about walking through my house immediately after the fire, when there was asbestos and smoke all throughout the air. I did nothing to hasten my passing, but I didn’t worry about the exposure.
Similarly, I went for a hike with a group of women in the fall after Reg passed away. A lightning storm was approaching, so most of the women turned around. I, however, wasn’t afraid. In fact, I often joked I couldn’t die if I tried, so I felt confident lightning wouldn’t hit me. I even convinced two of the women to join me because I said there was no way lightning would strike me. In my past, I might have turned around and missed this beautiful hike. But with this new freedom, I wasn’t concerned.
I was in the park one day when another storm happened. I stood under a huge tree with a man who exclaimed this was the worst place to stand and was a death trap. I desired to respond, “Lightning will not strike here. You’re safe with me, as I know I will not die no matter how much I desire to.”
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