Events show worrying is foolish

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My children’s favorite phrase to say to me is, “Don’t worry about it,” because I am a self-proclaimed worrier.

If Emily leaves for Oxford, and I don’t get a text in 4 hours and 30 minutes saying she is safe and sound at her home, then I’m worrying.

Of course, I hate to call or text, because what if she just got delayed in traffic and is driving, and then I distract her?

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Let Matthew tell me that he and his wife are getting on the road late after work, and I worry until I hear from them.

So the latest worry in my life has been my oldest child Holly. She has taken on working out and getting in shape during the last few years. She is working out at a Cross-Fit gym, running, participating in marathons and participating in flag football events; she participated in a 10K in Spain and an event called Tough Mudder last year.

So when she called to say that she was doing the Ochsner Ironman event with two friends, I assumed she was running. Naturally, I was wrong, and she informed me she was doing the swim section, and it was a little over a mile long. Then she mentioned it was in open water. Then she mentioned it was in New Orleans in Lake Pontchartrain. So of course the worrying began. I’ve mentioned alligators, snakes and nutria to her numerous times to no avail.

Monday, I learned a valuable lesson about worrying. It’s useless.

There’s a difference in being prepared, being safe and worrying. I can guarantee you those in charge of the Boston Marathon would have told you Monday morning that they were prepared. They had taken precautions, and there was plenty of police and other first responders on site.

The runners would have told you that they had trained and were ready for the challenge.

And then the scenes from the finish line began to unfold, and the stories began to surface.

An 8-year-old child was killed, a pair of brothers each lost a leg, two others were killed and many more critically injured. And no amount of worrying would have prevented this.

As I watched the story unfold I could think of the many crowded, publicized places my family members have been. How on earth would I not worry when Holly and Parker say they are going to be at a football game in Cowboy Stadium or Matthew says he’s planning on going to a Saints game?

Last night I heard an interview with a runner who had been treated and released, and when asked if this would be the end of marathons for her, especially in large highly visible cities, she shook her head and replied, “Absolutely not, that makes them the winners and not us.”

And just like that, I got a dose of cold reality. I’m the type of person these perpetrators target.

They don’t seek to physically injure me, specifically, but to scare and overwhelm me with worry. They want to keep me home and prevent me from traveling and enjoying our great country.

How foolish it is of me and many others who succumb to this worry.

As you watch the video footage you see countless first responders assisting people and also hundreds of everyday people stopping and taking care of others. They were people who didn’t let fear and worry overtake them but were as prepared for their day as they could be, and then dealt with what unfolded. Unfortunately, the hatred of others is one of those things with which we will have to contend.

So, no more comments from mom about alligators or snakes. I’ll call this Thursday night and wish my daughter good luck and tell her that her time isn’t that important.

What is important is that she, like so many other Americans, continually steps up and says she is not afraid and will continue to live her life and gather together and help her fellow man when others hurt him.

Please take a minute and pray for those injured in Boston, for the first responders who acted so quickly, for the families of the injured and for city itself as it deals with this attack on their beloved marathon.


Christina Hall writes a Style column for The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at