Waking Up At Night

By Joseph J. Mazzella • June 20, 2022

Until I was 11 years old my Mom, Dad, two brothers and I lived with my Nana in her 70 year old, ramshackle wooden house. Then one fateful night a fire burned it to the ground. We all escaped with our lives but we lost everything we owned. Thankfully, our loving, caring community helped us and soon my Dad was able to get us a low-income house. My Nana, however, didn’t join us. Instead she bought a small 2 bedroom trailer a few miles away. I missed seeing her everyday but soon enjoyed my visits to her new home and the delicious meals she made me there. Plus, she had a luxury in her home I had never seen before, cable television.

I can remember the first time I stayed overnight with her. I watched TV until long after she went to bed. Then when I turned it off a strange feeling came over me. This was the first time I had ever stayed up later than my Mom, Dad, or Nana. And suddenly the world seemed a dark, scary, and lonely place. I quietly walked to my Nana’s room and watched her snore peacefully until the feeling passed and I felt I could sleep.

I will tell you a secret, though. Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night now 44 years later I still get that feeling. I am still not used to being the oldest generation alive in my family. I still miss Mom, Dad, and Nana every single day. And at times this world still feels like a cold, dark, lonely, and scary place.

In truth no matter how old we get a part of us is still a child. A part of us still needs a parent’s love. A part of us still needs to be held and comforted. That is why when I wake up at night in the dark I say a little prayer to our Heavenly Father. It is not to ask for anything but to just reconnect with His Love and Light. And that Love is always there waiting for me when I do. Always remember then that you are LOVED, even when you feel alone and scared.


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