Friday, August 8, 2008

beach trip breeds irrational fears

Wait. These two things are not supposed to go together. The beach is usually a source of relaxation and rejuvenation for me, what the hell? How could the beach trigger irrational fears? We'll chalk it up to poor timing and a subconsciousness entirely too adept at putting two and two together.

I spent the last week of July at the beach with my husband, son and my husband's sister and her family. It was the longest stay at the beach I've been able to enjoy since '99, the summer before my first husband died. Enter, subconscious deductive reasoning, followed quickly by an irrational fear that my current husband's death must be imminent.

My conscious self, not being nearly as clever as its subconscious other, didn't catch on at first. I came home from the beach, suddenly trapped in this whirlpool of morbid thoughts regarding my husband. During the day, while he was at work, I kept waiting for the phone to ring, a strange voice on the other end of the line informing me of his death. When night came, I caught myself listening to his snoring, growing alarmed if it altered the slightest bit, and jumping up to make sure he was breathing if it actually stopped.

Alarm bells went off in my head, warning me that this was not normal behavior.

I was a bit antsy about his health when we first began dating. Not long before we got married, he twice made the comment that he was certain he would die young and was promptly sent to the doctor for a complete physical. I was sure to remind him that I had already spent one marriage with a husband who insisted on reminding me of his belief he would die young and oh yea, hey jackass, he DID die! Don't ever say that to me again.

He hasn't. He is in relatively good health other than recurrent kidney stones. So why was I suddenly so afraid he was going to drop dead any minute?

Suddenly I was on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and was stumped so I used a life-line and phoned a friend, who promptly began laying out the facts of the case.

Fact: The only other time during my adult life that I have been to the beach for a week was with my first husband and our son - during the last week of July. What a coincidence. He died the following May. We had been married for five years.

Fact: Come September, my husband and I will have been together for four years and we will begin working on our fifth year.

Needless to say, within a few minutes the answer was clear. Duh! Sometimes I think I'm a complete idiot, especially when it comes to grasping the obvious.

My logical consciousness tells my subconscious self to shut the hell up and relax, all the while keeping a wary eye on the calendar, ticking off the days until we reach the comfort of June.


  1. The mind works in strange ways. You never mentioned, were you able to enjoy yourself at least a little? I hope so!

  2. Oh yes, it wasn't until I got hoe that the fear really set in. It's always great to do nothing but lay on the beach and play in the water! Very enjoyable, thank you!

  3. My Da died when he was 41. I honestly believed that I would die at 41 too. Instead, my daughter was born.

  4. Well, thank goodness for your clever friend. I don't know if I would have deduced it correctly.