Large clumps of hair fell from my head and beard but I barely noticed them because I was thinking about how this was supposed to feel like a symbolic moment.
One of those first moments during that first year of mourning, a time during which we mourners start to walk back towards being part of society.
Not that we weren’t before, but this is a moment where I get/got to acknowledge that I looked ragged and worn and that perhaps I didn’t have to.
Before I was given some time to live inside my grief and not worry about appearances, but now is different.
Different because I am a position in which I am more aware of life moving on or so some people say.
Except I never didn’t notice that life kept moving.
The people that checked in with me every day to make sure I was ok are all doing their thing again and though the phone still rings and buzzes the frequency is different.
This isn’t me complaining or subtly asking for attention, it is nothing but an observation. Besides there is a very short list of people who can ask me to tell them what bothers me and get an answer.
You’re Another Broken Person
Instead of going to the gym I walked four miles under the Texas night sky.
Wandered around my neighborhood and wondered how the hell I ended up here of all places, not that it is so hard to figure out.
Came damn close to renting a house in different part of town because multiple people said to send the kids to Heritage for high school.
But that is too simple an answer to a bigger question that delves deeper than asking how I ended up in Texas and though I could tell you it is fate I am not going into those parts or places here.
I could tell you I spoke with dad about it all but some stories aren’t for public consumption no matter how unfiltered I may be.
Not because of stupid attorneys who go sniffing around where they don’t belong because they haven’t figured out they are likely to fall into boar pits but because some stories can’t be shared with those who haven’t the capacity to understand.
During an online debate a guy tried to slam me by saying “you’re another broken person.”
I didn’t bother to respond because I didn’t know what the hell that meant nor did I really care. Maybe it is true, maybe I am broken but again, I don’t know what that means.
Does it refer to arthritis in the index finger I dislocated or to heartbreak?
Are they trying to say I am incapable of dealing with the harder and more challenging topics? Maybe that is it.
A few people have come at me with that and again, I never respond to that. I am very familiar with death and not just because dad just died.
I have watched friends die of terminal illness. I have had conversations about what death is like and thought through it in my twenties, thirties and forties.
Thanks to the Great Recession/Depression of 2008 I have been through tremendous financial distress, the kind that could easily break you.
It is possible I have PTSD from that and or some of the other crap I have been through but the one thing I have never not been able to do is keep going.
I can talk about it. I can tell you what it feels like to have it hit and to feel like you were dropped into Antarctica and have no one but the snow men to keep you company.
And I can tell you how I kept going.
None of this is said to tell you how tough I am. It is only here so that in the years to come when my kids encounter the hard stuff they’ll know dear old dad dealt with some crap and made it.
They’ll know they can too.
Am I another broken person?
If you love me you won’t care about that and if it bothers you, well then neither one of us need each other so I won’t lose any sleep over your not being here either.
Life is too short.
I really don’t think of myself as being middle aged and I plan on being around for a long time. But if I am wrong, if I only have another 25 years than I really don’t have time for bullshit now do I.
You know what I like about that quote above from Brother Pablo?
It has depth.
It recognizes the complexity of people and inexplicable chemical connection that exists between some of us.
There are people who pass through our lives like a flaming comet and others who are nothing but a fog that disappears in the morning light.
Some are there to accompany us on whatever adventures we may encounter sailing through the calm seas and the stormy.
Brother Pablo understood that.
He got the idea that sometimes we find a person or persons who light up our night simply by being present.
Just hearing them breathe is enough to provide comfort.
Cue Music Break
Main Theme | Star Trek Into Darkness – Michael Giacchino
Binary Sunset (Star Wars a new hope O.S.T.)-John Williams
Enterprising Young Men-Michael Giacchino
Adagio For Strings– Samuel Barber
The Dark Knight Medley– Hans Zimmer
Breaking The Chains
I looked in the mirror and stared at my reflection trying to decide if I saw any noteworthy changes but couldn’t come up with any.
Many hours later when I had finished a series of meetings I thought about all I had accomplished during an average yet big day and tried to figure out if emotion was why I felt so damn exhausted.
I put more weight up with less effort the night before than I have done in years.
Got lots of signs that suggest I ought not to feel like I am chained to a 747 and dragging it behind me yet I still had to take a 45 minute nap.
For a short while I worried about whether this was a bad sign and wondered if the doc will have bad news for me.
Yet if I take a deep breath, close my eyes and look around the answers to my questions are different.
There is progress and even if I am chained to the plow it is clear that I am moving forward, half step at a time or whatever it may be.
There is no stopping. No giving up and no quarter.
You either get after life or it gets after you.