When I was little my father would always take us on Sunday drives. The whole family would pile into my mother’s car, his truck, or our motorhome and just take off.
Sometimes we wouldn’t go that far but other times we would drive for what seemed like hours and eventually stop and eat or find something to do.
My favorite Sunday drives would be when we would go somewhere that had an arcade. My father would give my sisters and I each a handful of quarters and let us go wild until we ran out of money. He always stuck to his guns too and never gave us more when we ran out no matter how bad we begged him. And then he hated having to wait for us to turn in tickets for lame prizes.
One Sunday he took us to a beach. It wasn’t a beach that we normally would go to or the time of year where the water was warm enough to go swimming. But we ran around on the sand and make sandcastles until the wind picked up.
It came out of nowhere and before we could return to the safety of our vehicle it began raining sand. I had never and to this day have never again experienced anything like what happened that day.
The sand whipped around us, getting in our eyes and mouths. My family huddled together on the beach. I was petrified and helpless. The only thing I could do was look at my family and yell, “This is going to be the end of us!”
I don’t even know if I was old enough to know what death was. All I knew is that our story was about to be over. It was going to end and it wasn’t going to be pretty.
But then the winds calmed and everything was back to normal. We were alive and ran back to the safety of our vehicle where everyone had a good laugh about what I had said.
It might not have been the end of us but it was the end of me thinking that I would just go on living happily ever after.
From that point on I feared my life coming to a tragic end. I flipped the fuck out if I was trapped outside in a thunder and lightning storm and hated walking my dog at night.
I was a scaredy cat and I stayed that way for years until I finally realized that we are all going to die and there is nothing I can do about it.