I wasn’t sure what direction to take this post or even how to start it and then this song came on and I was inspired.
The funny thing is that I had thought to open with this one instead and had plenty to say but the muse refused to roll that way so it made sense to follow.
My oldest turned 18 today.
He was a little out of sorts and unexpectedly grumpy until I realized what was going on.
This was the first birthday without his grandfather and it hurt. I looked at him and said I miss my dad and that he would be pissed off if his grandson spent his birthday angry at the world.
He smiled at me and I smiled back.
I drove us to the restaurant we were going to hold his birthday celebration at and told him a couple of stories about grandpa and added how hard it was for me yesterday.
Because yesterday I spent more time going through my dad’s stuff and it set me off a bit.
Tried on a bunch of his dress shirts and looked at some suit jackets and discovered that I have become broader and thicket in the shoulders/back than dad was.
Given all of the weightlifting I have been doing it makes sense, but it startled me because who was bigger and broader than my father, certainly not me.
I walked into my son’s room before he woke and stared at the scruffy face and tried to pick out the baby that was. Looked at the boy and shook my head because he is so damn close to me in size now.
It was impossible not to remember my own 18th birthday and how I measured myself against my father, hands, feet and height.
Heard dad call out from the ether and answer unspoken questions including how he wasn’t certain what to say and wished that his father were around because he would know the right words.
It made me smile and I wondered if my grandfather would say his father would know best.
That was when the fifth generation looked up at me and asked why I was standing there because I had broken the cardinal rule of entering without knocking.
I understand this well because it is/was one of mine.
We spoke about many things and I told him to not paint himself into a corner he couldn’t get out of because I knew one day he would want to move from that space.
“Dad, I am not you. I do things differently.”
“Yes, you do, but I know a few things about you and about life. You don’t have to believe or accept it all, but recognize I am not as stupid as it sometimes may appear.
Some scents are burned into our nostrils and memories forever but whether it is chemical, electrical or coincidental I cannot say.
What I know is there are the few that hit me like lightning and that when they do it feels like an old fashioned telephone line we built as children.
One tin can is against my air and the line stretches to another tin can against another ear.
A third party operator isn’t required to make the connection and if one were to get involved it would only cause static on the line.
What was once garbled and unclear becomes the opposite and information flows freely, like a river that was once damned but has now been set free.
Spent a chunk of the evening dealing with a sour stomach and thinking about the boy whose birthday it is and the man who isn’t.
When I visited his final resting place I sat next to the disk that marks his space and filled him in on current events and talked about future plans, dreams and ideas.
The wind became so oppressive it became uncomfortable to sit and I told dad that I would take any more wind as acceptance and or approval of what I have set out to do.
Told him about what I want to end and what I want to start.
Said I had learned enough from him to know how little control we have of it all and that I would do my best to sail my ship clear of the rocks.
Running With The Moon
“I am running with the moon old man. I am shedding all the fetters and restrictions and following my gut. Can’t say if it is into the fire or into the sea, just that I choose not to limit myself to a path that no longer serves a purpose.”
Two days from now I’ll be back in Texas and going to a follow up appointment with one doc and setting up an appointment with a different one.
Been thinking again about the people who are a part of our lives and the places they occupy. Some sit in seats they no longer deserve to hold and others clearly are better candidates.
Some may say there is no rhyme or reason for such decisions because they want to base decisions upon clearly defined metrics but not me.
It is the gut test and nothing more.
“Am I willing to die for you? Are you important enough to me to make me want to give you time? Do I believe you reciprocate or are you one of those people where the rules don’t matter?”
If I have to think hard about the places and spaces you fill they may not long exist because I just know.
The greatest gifts you can receive is to be understood by another, if not others.
It’s a gift that usually but not always includes acceptance and one that sometimes offer something else.
That something else is the reflection of who you are in the eyes of another and it allows you to help see and consider your true self.
There is value and merit in such a thing, scary though it may be.