Half of Maine has been without power for three days now. The outage may last for a week.

My parents, long divorced, both live alone in Maine. And I’m 3,000 miles away.

Should I worry?

Both have backup generators, essential in a state with October snowstorms and powerlines as ancient as Thomas Edison. Dad’s power was restored yesterday. But phonelines and electricity are still down at mom’s and I can’t reach her.

Do I worry?

Of course. After my most recent caregiving tour of duty, it took three weeks to let go of the gnawing guilt over leaving. This week, worry returned in three minutes, even after learning that mom’s okay and our respite caregiver — also largely incommunicado — is with her.

The first step in recovery is admitting powerlessness. Since my own recovery twenty years ago, I’ve found this extends beyond alcohol to people, places and things, a fact I often forget. This jolt from the Universe is the ultimate ironic reminder.