Four years ago I spent the night in a hotel room in El Paso preparing for a 600 mile haul back to DFW to begin a new life that I hoped would serve as a positive catalyst to fix some huge issues.
Sometimes it is hard to believe it is only four years because it feels like so much more time has passed, probably because so much has happened.
If I close my eyes I can see Dad standing in front of me, bright blue eyes focused on my own.
“You have to go. It would be a mistake to stay. You know that if you don’t go he doesn’t get better and you will be fighting harder than ever to make it.
LA isn’t a good place for you now, go.
Mom and I will miss you, but you need to do this.”
I remember looking at him and hearing him say, “I am going to die some day. We all are and none of us know when. You need to go.”
He was right and I knew it which is why I didn’t argue because I knew sometimes we do what is required.
I could tell you about the excitement I felt when I checked into a beautiful room in the Stockyards and how a couple of hours later a telephone call made me feel like I had been kicked in the balls, punched in the throat and stabbed in kidney.
I suppose I could answer or I could tell you about feeling the muscle in my belly tear or share a few other stories about the scars I carry.
Others have broken more bones and taken a worse beating than I, but I have a few tales of my own and I earned what I have got.
But when I think about writing some of it down I remember a moment after Dad’s chemo when he was so damn depressed he wasn’t speaking.
I bent my head down close to his and told him if he kept shrugging his shoulders at my children I would pull him out of his seat and shake his voice back into him.
“I know this is hard for you, but I won’t have your grandchildren see you give up. You never let me wallow and I will not suffer it here either. So suck it up.”
He sort of listened, sort of didn’t. I am not angry, wasn’t angry then either but time provides perspective.
Sometimes I wonder how hard it must have been and how much it took to keep going. His youngest granddaughter told me again today she never thought of him as being sick.
It made me smile.
Four Years & An Eternity Later
Four years and eternity later the list of changes and evolution is far too long and profound to list upon paper.
And I am not sure I could do it justice even if I wanted to. Not sure I could find the right words and distill the essence of what I want to share upon the page.
The best I could do is share some words and facial expressions but I am not sure how many could follow or understand.
I suppose that bothers me a little bit. I suppose I would want to Johnny Cash it and hope that it is seen because Hurt is so very appropriate and yet not quite right either.
Things are better and moving the right direction even in spite of the pandemic and corrupt president and for that I am very grateful.
The more I see some things the more certain I am about what it is and what isn’t.
More changes are coming, maybe not today, but coming and when they do some of it will be difficult.
But nothing worthwhile comes without a bit of work, now does it.