Our mother was a worrier. I (Donna) remember one summer day when I was very young she came out of the house to call us in from the yard where we were playing. She called: “Kids come in. It’s nap time. It’s polio season.” Well I as a young child had no idea of the fear and worry that parents across the country were experiencing during that polio epidemic of the 1950s. It was just my mother talking – as she tended to do. We all knew she worried excessively. When I thought about it later the words, “polio season” , became to me a symbol of the needless forecasting of doom.
Guess who’s worrying now? We’re 3 days out. As I pack my bag and complete last minute errands, all these “what ifs” pop into my head.
One was potentially positive: What if this trip turns my life around? But that is actually kind of scary. Would I want my life to turn around? I kind of like it the way it is.
But most are not so much – positive, that is. What if we get bed bugs? What if I have a serious, urgent need to relieve myself while out on the trail and there’s no place to hide? What if I experience sudden onset dementia and get lost? What if I don’t experience dementia, but get lost anyway? What if both of us experience dementia and we can’t find or recognize each other? What if one of us sits down and really doesn’t want to get up? What if one of us falls down and really can’t get up? What if we both fall down and then get dementia and then we have an urgent need to poop? OMG. It’s polio season!
What if one of us sits down and really doesn’t want to get up?