I am worrying about a situation that I can't do much about. It's not fun when someone means so much to you, but there's absolutely nothing you can do to help and ample scope for your worst fears to come true. I think I am almost beginning to understand the kind of paranoia my mother goes through when she doesn't hear from me for a while and her mind runs riot thinking about all that could happen. There is one incident that I can never forget, during my final year BSc. days. My exam center was about 4 train stations away from home, and it took me less than an hour to get home each day after the paper. My exams weren't going well at all, and I used to return home every day with a long sad face. On the day of the last exam I decided to take the bus home instead of the train, just to clear my head perhaps. The bus took its own sweet time through circuitous routes and traffic jams, that I hadn't even given thought to before getting on it. Of course this was the pre-cell phone era, and I didn't want to get off in the middle to call from a public phone for fear of getting further delayed. When I returned home it was 3 or 4 hours past the time I was expected. My mother was sobbing. I had never seen her that worried or that emotional. I never even got yelled at for my stupidity, but seeing my mother like that was bad enough. I cannot imagine the hell I put her through then.
Even today, when my parents make unreasonable requests about me calling them and keeping them posted when I'm traveling etc. , I start out arguing and then cut it short, and comply silently, because one can never argue against something like this. I don't know why this comes to mind now. I am not even a mother, but the pangs of helpless worry and unease I am going through right now reminded me of all of this. It's at times like these that praying offers some strength. I am not a very religious person, but I am admittedly a selfish believer, I seek faith and strength in some force when things are entirely beyond my control and I still want for them to work, badly. And on several occasions, my prayers have been answered. I hope they work again.