The 19 year-old at the gym asked me how I developed my calves, “fifty years of walking.”
My calves, arms and back haven’t succumbed to this aging crap yet or so my very critical eye and opinion holds.
Two miles and three minutes into moving towards mile three I stepped off of the elliptical machine and walked outside to stare a full moon.
My baby finished her second day of her sophomore year and I realized it is not just the firsts that are hard because the seconds are too.
That is because this is the second year I won’t get a call from dad asking me to fill him on whatever questions he didn’t tell mom to ask.
There won’t be any eye rolling on my part because dad could call himself and not complain that I don’t have enough details.
Not that it happened every time because it most certainly didn’t, but it did enough that I remember or at least I think I do.
I didn’t see the man in the moon, shooting stars or anything that I could definitively call a sign but I heard some voices speak to me.
Won’t say what they said but they reminded me sometimes fear will find you and you’ll have to decide whether to stand or run.
Dance In The Fire With Me Or Don’t
It was far harder moving back to Texas than I had expected and I knew it was going to be a challenge.
There were a host of reasons why and there were moments where it felt like doing so meant I had to take a beating.
Can’t tell you how many days I got through by sheer will because I wanted to lay down and just sleep for a decade because I figured a decade would be long enough for some things to be figured out.
But I don’t do that because I don’t know how and I am incapable of not trying to influence certain things, even when I know I have no ability to do so.
A moment sticks out where dad called me out of the blue and we walked through some of it. It was relatively early on, only a couple of months after my surgery when I wasn’t allowed to lift anything heavy.
He told me to lean on him.
The way he said it was different, not sure why.
Maybe it was because I had reached a place in life where he knew I had been a father long enough to relate to certain things or maybe it was something else.
Doesn’t matter because I bought into it.
And I knew he got it.
It all aged me, all of the stuff I won’t mention here as well as that which I have.
I disconnected and let go of so much and reattached and recharged other stuff.
Yesterday I got two minutes into a story with my son and he started laughing and we shared a look and I knew he got it.
It was magic and I am grateful but part of me wishes we could have shared it with dad because he would have followed it too.
I heard him tell me life isn’t fair and nodded my head. It is not.
Sometimes heroes fail and fall. Bad guys win and people who deserve better get less.
I stared at the moon and knew with all my heart that some people still get it and then reminded myself that we do our best and that is all we can do.
I used to hate hearing it and sometimes I still do, but it is the fucking truth.
“Your father is fearless. You have no idea how many times I saw him take people on or how grateful I am for the help he gave me.”
I paraphrased part of that but not the part about dad being fearless because I have a vivid memory of it from dad’s retirement party and his funeral.
That is because the same person said it to be me in both places but I didn’t believe it in the same way the second time.
Not because I thought it was a lie but because I knew my father differently at the end than I did when I was in my early thirties.
I knew him as dad and recognized him as being just a man as well.
Can’t remember if I asked him about what scared him though I can name some of them. What I knew was sometimes waves of fear would hit me and that I alm0st never mentioned to anyone.
It wasn’t rational or logical. It was PTSD crap from life and I knew I had to deal with it as if I was swimming in the ocean.
Spent more than a few minutes in the Pacific and the Mediterranean so I learned to move with the waves and not against them.
Sometimes they feel worse now than they did when I was younger and sometimes they feel easier to manage because I have a perfect record of surviving every bad day I have ever had.
Eventually that record will end, but no reason to worry about that until it happens.
The elliptical is getting easier and I can see the time when I’ll need to make it harder so that I can continue to advance.
The growth and improvement excites me because it leads me to believe that some goals I set may be achievable sooner than later.
It is harder now than it used to be and that frustrates me because the mind remembers what the body has forgotten, but I push on because I don’t know how not to.
And pushing on makes it easy to push my teens to demand the same of themselves. It is a constant and consistent teaching moment that ought to be good for something for them.
My baby is a sophomore, how’d the hell did time move so fast.