Today was a bad day. It started with nightmares about losing Alice on the A train. It continued with my mom spending the day in the basement of the American Embassy in Kabul, trying to stay safe during the attacks.
I did not handle this news with grace or dignity. In fact, I cried. Gross, ugly, mildly embarrassing cries. To date, I think I've been able to ignore the realities of where my mom is working, pretending that she is safe and sound, acting as the Peace Corps Director in some new and unexplored part of the world. Instead she's in the middle of a war zone.
My mom is safe tonight, and I am so grateful. There are so many other people in this country facing the same reality - loved ones far away, sometimes safe, sometimes in harms way. I can never know enough to keep her safe and protected. I can't love her enough to keep her alive. And I think today's brush - however brief - with mortality was more than I wanted from the day.
The truth is that we all face dangers every day, right? Today I drove on highways and flew in a plane and took a taxi and lived in New York. There are risks with each of those decisions. But somehow the distance, or the uncertainty, or the boldness of living in Afghanistan... It makes me scared. Proud. And scared.