Thursday, February 17, 2011


My father called me this morning with panic in his voice.  "What's wrong?" I inquired.  Last week when I asked my mother the same question I learned he had fallen down a few steps and fractured his arm, the one he depends on for driving, eating and painting.  "Two tourists were shot and killed on a boat in Vietnam.  I don't want to have to miss you," he said holding back tears.  I asked for details, what caused the incident, where did it occur.  He didn't know, but he expressed his acute worry about my safety.  I reassured him I'd be fine on my upcoming trip to the region, although he would have preferred for me to say I was canceling my vacation.  A Google search -- tourists, boat, Vietnam -- provided me with the accurate details.  A tourist boat on Ha Long Bay mysteriously sunk, twelve of the twenty nine on board drowned.  Of course, a junk on Ha Long Bay is part of my rough itinerary.   I immediately thought of the kids at the park this weekend swinging from monkey bars suspended high over the sand, and skidding down bumps of the slide.  Peril looms at every corner of the playground, every corner of the globe, but parents must silence their fears and allow their children to navigate life's sharp edges with confidence.  Standing on the sidelines, riddled with anxiety, protecting myself from "what if" isn't how I live my life.  I know my father's alarm for my well being is an expression of love, but as a result I have to reassure him and myself that I will be fine.

1 comment: