"Je pense, donc je suis."
I worry more than needed.
Rene Descartes, the French Philosopher, thought, "Je pense, donc Je suis." (I think; therefore, I am.)
As for me it is, "I worry; therefore, I am."
When I was young, I would check my heartbeat during various parts of the day. I would sit in the back of the family car and suddenly panic. Was my heart beating? Was I still alive? My hand would land on my heart. I would search for the feel of a heartbeat beneath the car conversation or music. Obviously my heart rate would increase, since a sense of panic invaded my body.
It is my panic state that reassured me that I was still alive. Secretly, I would gulp with relief and try to keep up with the adult conversation
As I grew older, worry became a companion. Oh, I worried about things that did not even or would never even occur.
I know this will put off some people, but I have to share. I am by no means someone who tries to impose my religious views on others. I have had and still have my religious inner conflicts.
As I have become older, I have encountered some challenging situations. During my mid-thirties after my challenging marriage and inevitable separation then divorce, I found God in places I never expected. At that time, I did not consider myself religious.
I know it may some cliche, but it is grand: God has blessed me in ways that has left me speechless.
When I took a leap of faith and moved with my toddler son to earn my Masters in Teaching, God provided:
*a full scholarship in the Masters program
*a friend now deceased who informed me about an available apartment for rent
*when the daycare became too expensive, a distant cousin willing to add an extra child to her care-taking responsibilities. I need to give her a call to say hello.
*reliables buses and train and
*a temporary angel
When I first moved to Boston, I did not have a car or even a license for that matter. My son and I would push the carriage to the supermarket. On the way back, there would be cabs waiting. This is pre-Uber days. Sometimes, I walked back, and my son, toddler, would hold onto the carriage while I pushed the groceries home.
Other times, I would get lazy and take a cab. There were all these private or what we call in New York gypsy cabs lined up near the supermarket.
The first time, I took a cab, the driver offered to carry the grocery bags to the second floor, so I could help my toddler son up the stairs. I was skeptical but also tired, so I said thank you.
The driver (at that point I did not know his name) put the bags on the top of the stairs. I paid him and added a generous tip. Till this day I always tip generously. Even if a person hands me a napkin, I tip them generously. For the next 7-9 months, this driver for a fee would drive us home from the grocery store.
When I started night classes, I could call him to pick my son and me from the sitter late at night. At one point, he started charging me weekly instead of per ride. Since I was in graduate school, my financial situation was precarious, so to be able to get the ride home and then pay at the end of the week was unimaginable.
The whole ride I would keep repeating, "I will pay you on Friday." And R. would answer, "No problema". I specifically remember the way he would answer his cell phone. Tired from work and school, I would slump in the back of the cab, fasten my son's seatbelt and take a breather. Other times, I would make small talk in Spanish, asking him about his family in Puerto Rico, or his day. His English was limited, and I had 8 years of Spanish studies to carry me through a basic conversation.
Oftentimes, his cell phone would ring, and he would say, "Digame" or "Tell me." The imperative form.
The Last Time
The last time I saw our angel driver was the day of my Masters graduation. My family had come for the ceremony. We all squeezed into his car. I explained to my mom who sat in the front that R. had been our angel. My mom thanked him profusely. He mentioned that he was leaving for Puerto Rico that very week.
We never saw him again.
Did I know when I moved that all this help would come my way? A safe driver who just appeared and magically disappeared in our lives, a full scholarship for my Masters in Teaching, a safe and nurturing babysitter for my son.
"Digame," God has said to me through angels that have crossed paths with my son and me.
I do not expect immediate service or dreams fulfilled, but it is good to know that someone wants to hear about my challenges. "Digame."
So in my life, I can now adopt the following motto, "I believe (in something greater than what I see); therefore, I am."