The trill of my phone woke me up.
Fumbling without the benefit of my glasses, I managed to answer the call.
“I’ve been in an accident,” I heard my husband’s voice say. “I was driving 75 on the interstate and someone slammed into the back of me and drove off.”
“Are you okay?” I implore, my heart already seeking shelter in my stomach.
That phone call, or one like it, is my fear every time he travels the roads for work. And last night, that fear became reality.
In my first marriage, I had a persistent fear of losing my husband. It was a low-level hum of anxiety that periodically (spurred by some situation or another) would spike into almost-panic. Sometimes, I would follow my thoughts down a mental rabbit hole, even picturing receiving the news and the aftermath that followed.
And then ten years ago, that fear became real.
What used to be my nightmare became my life.
That happens sometimes – our fears becoming real. And the way I see it is that, after the dust settles, we ultimately have two choices, two conclusions that we can reach.
My fears became real. Therefore, I should always listen to and believe my fears.
My fears became real. And I survived. Maybe even discovered that the reality wasn’t as bad as what the imagination had conjured. Therefore, I should learn to trust in myself and my ability to handle whatever life throws at me.
Last night was rough. The accident happened in Alabama, almost three hours away from the house. My husband was experiencing neck pain just above where he had cervical fusion last year. And he wasn’t sure if the car was drivable. It was a rough few hours while he made it back and I sat helplessly worrying.
But he made it home just after midnight. And today, the doctor cleared the neck and the car is in the hands of the body shop. It could have been a tragic night. Instead, it’s now in the realm of an expense and a nuisance.
My heart is back where it belongs.