In Vicki Ableson’s second 30 Day Writing Challenge, we are supposed to write about what scares us.  This is going to be an interesting 30 days.  I wonder if I need to put Dr. Kay back on speed-dial?


Write about what scares us?  What we are afraid of?  Well, that’s no fun.  How about we write about what makes us happy?  No?  Geez… I’d rather write about my sex life than what scares me.  Hey, I could do that!  Be a lot of CAPS and !!!!  And ‘sweary’ words!  I could write about this thing Tina that does… or maybe my first experience… with Amanda… out on the island?

No?  Gotta be what scares us, huh?  Well, all right then… *sighs*

So, what scares me?  Not a lot.  After the ordeal I went through and the aftermath… the aftershocks of which I feel to this day… the scars fade but never really go away… yeah, not a lot I am afraid of.  Afraid of drowning, but I keep swimming.  Not really afraid of spiders… the little fucks freak me out but I don’t really fear them.  Not afraid of dying… all part of the journey… no, I don’t fear my own mortality.

No, not really anything that does scare me…

“Nothing, Veronica? Really?”

Damn! I hate that voice!

Yeah, okay… okay… you want to know what scares me?

My father… the thought of losing him.  That scares the fuck out of me.  Most of the demons from my past are quiet now… as quiet as they are going to be… and I don’t lose a lot of sleep over them.  No, what wakes me now in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, heart thudding in my chest, is the thought of losing my father… again.

I know… the rational part of me knows this… that children lose their parents.  That is just the order of things.  These mortal coils… these fragile cocoons that we occupy… are only good for so long.  They were designed for our time here in this plane of existence.

Time is a fire in which we all burn and eventually the heat of that fire burns through and we pass from this plane to the next.  Rationally, I know this… as a person gets older, their time passes and they draw closer to their end.  The people in our lives who are older will leave us one day.  We will mourn… we will miss them… we will continue our journey until one day, we too will leave loved ones behind, to continue their journey without us.

Children outlive their parents.  It’s a rule and in the grand scale of things, there are few exceptions.

So, I know that one day Papa will be gone.  I have accepted that, at least as much as any child accepts that at some point in time, death is going to cross their path and take a loved one from them.

My father left my mother and me when I was ten.  It would be fifteen years before I saw him again.  Fifteen years… most of which was spent trying to accept that he was gone and that I would never see him again.  I got good at it.

And when I had finally given up all hope and my mother was now two years gone – having bravely fought, but losing, her battle with breast cancer – my father came back into my life.

I don’t think there was ever one single day, or even a single moment, when I hated my father for leaving us.  Ten years old is too young to hate and by the time I was old enough to fully appreciate that emotion, the pain of his absence had faded.  I didn’t hate him.  And… I had learned not to miss him.

Until he came back into my life.  Then I hated him.  The heat of my hate would have turned forests to ash.  But… the heat of my hate was too hot to sustain.

And so, for the last three years, my father and I have worked on reconciliation.  We have, for the most part, put the past behind us.  We have a lot of time to make up for.

I can’t lose him now… I can’t!

But I know I will.

And that scares the fuck out of me.

So… that is what I will write about for the next 30 days.

The things that scare me.

And maybe at the end of those 30 days… I won’t be as scared.


Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw

10 April 2013

(Writing under a large mushroom, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest)