Braving a Thousand Lives

Last week my daughters were playing hair salon, combing my husband’s (shaved) head, when they both shrieked and pointed at his back. I went to investigate what I assumed was a piece of lint or a freckle, but instead I saw that it was a tick. I instantly felt woozy.

My husband, however, calmly walked to a mirror. He couldn’t reach the tick so, logically, he wanted me to remove it for him. And, logically, I wanted to help him. But that would have taken at least a couple hours to talk myself into it and/or many shots of hard vodka.

See, I HATE bugs. Spiders, bees, roaches. I won’t lie, I even freak out when a butterfly lands on me. So there was no way I would be able to still my shaking hands enough to squeeze a pair of tweezers with any kind of accuracy.

Because of my fear, my husband had to drive himself over to his dad’s house for help while I poured myself a glass of wine. Oops. Wife fail. At least we could both laugh about it later.

Bugs aren’t the only things that scare me. Sharks, bears, snakes. Birds, bunnies, (most) dogs. I could go on. I’m not an animal hater, I just prefer to observe them from far away, where they can’t bite or attack me. Better yet, I’ll just admire them in photographs.

I’m too afraid to skydive or get a tattoo. Ride a motorcycle or speak my mind. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love books so much. I can live vicariously through the characters. Experience without the risk.

I can be Ayla from the Earth’s Children series (i.e. The Clan of the Cave Bear), who hunts mammoth, tames a wolf, and is a true survivor. I can be Isabelle in The Nightingale, who joins The Resistance, risking her life over and over, to fight against the Nazis. I can be Dean Koontz’ heroine, Jane Hawk, who will do whatever it takes to find the truth.

Through fiction, I can travel to different states and countries. Solve crimes and chase down bad guys. Be a top lawyer or a famous actress or a mom of 10. Be 21 and carefree again (wouldn’t that be nice!) or be 90 looking back at a lifetime’s worth of memories. I can live a thousand lives.

I can see how different characters handle fear and confrontation and disappointment. I can learn from their mistakes. And I can breath a sigh of relief that they are the ones swimming with sharks or plummeting to the ground at 120 mph. Or maybe even having to remove a tick from their husband’s back. Phew.



4 thoughts on “Braving a Thousand Lives

  1. Leena Heikkila

    What would we do without parents. Remembering back to my childhood, when we were running in woods picking up wild berries and mushrooms and coming home often a tick on us. Mom was expert taking them out. Sweetheart, least you can experience a freedom of fier in your characters. Maybe some day it will come a reality for you. Good luck. Love you my Sweetheart💜 grandma

    Liked by 1 person

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