When you are feeling anxious, remember that you are still you. You are not your anxiety. “ (Deanne Reich)
What happens when a close family relationship disappears amid risk-filled rebellion in today’s turbulent political times? In this fictional story, an anticipated reunion of a progressive minded son with his old-fashioned father leads to a surprisingly positive result.
Ronald realized how nervous he would be in finally facing his elderly father whose strong embrace of ultra conservative values in Georgia would undoubtedly remain unchanged. Yet it seemed that this was no time to act as a passive bystander in delaying this encounter because of his anxiety filled fears. For pride in his chosen destiny to travel around the world to embrace the “Bernie Movement”, “Black Lives Matter,” and “ Go Green Environmentalism” now called upon this left wing activist son to visit him before the demons of time cast his father’s mortal body away to ashes.
Deep questions of uncertainty now arose in his mind as he planned this momentous encounter. How would a father that he knew before as a deeply Christian man, deeply set in his conservative ways react to meeting his son again after his AWOL disappearance from going home in the past five years? Would he angrily reject his son’s presence wondering why he had escaped his moral responsibilities to his loving wife and needy children? How could Ronald as well justify to him why he had abandoned a promising career as an accountant which to his father represented as the best shot for his son to attain the “American Dream”? Would he even understand his son’s emotional fervor of joining a revolutionary youth movement advocating radical agitation and risk of arrest to achieve equality for all?
So Ronald thought it best to show himself to him anew in person by way of a casual encounter during his expected ritual of attending early mass at the cathedral that Sunday. For amid these sacred religious surroundings, he envisioned a way to soften the blow to his father’s testy ego upon being seen by him again in this unexpected return. So when the hammer struck ten as the service began, Ronald would wait for the expected sounds of joyful choral singing inside. He would then enter the interior unnoticed and hope for the best that he would not endure his father’s loud cursings.
So as Ronald warily showed up for church that morning to ‘own up” to his abandonment of family, his father’s no-show that day from service then took him by surprise. For so many worshippers then would express praise to Ronald that his seventy five year “young” father would serve as a missionary of the church and volunteer on his own time to serve humans of desperate need now in downtrodden countries abroad. It seemed then like a parakeet finding new freedom from being released from the cage, his father in his absence today had just taught Ronald this inspiring lesson. There’s no time in life to waste sitting around. So go ahead and pursue your life’s calling as a “do good”, global activist while you can. Are you in?
http://www.anxietypanichealth.com, “Adult Separation Anxiety Disorder”, 2016