April 27, 2017
Waking life sometimes seems to be the longest part of being human, we all enjoy a good dream and wish for it to never end, but we must wake and live. Today, I woke and fully embraced life. I am prepared, sort of, for whatever this day holds, pain, joy, everything. I often find myself lost in the simplest moment, wanting to just stay there, but something comes a tears me away – back to reality – and I relish in that last moment I found complete solace, then move on into the next moment always trying to proceed with open eyes, so that I don’t miss that next bit of perfection. Slowing down is what I have to do in order to fully be present. I get in such a rush to get to some next huge thing and sometimes pass up the small, simple, joys of life… not today. My oldest son woke up today and smiled at me and said the most beautiful thing, “Dad, I really love you!” That moment set a great tone for today! How is anything else supposed to compare to that, why does anything else need to? In each moment, in each day, find your joy… sometimes it catches you off-guard and makes you stop; sometimes it doesn’t catch up to you until you are a few miles into the day and then it makes you stop and appreciate how wonderful that “little” thing really was. Don’t miss those moments, they happen more often than we will admit, but our tendency is to brush over them and keep moving. Stop. See them for what they are and have a wonderful day! You are surrounded by infinite possibilities for something wonderful, don’t miss them by being too busy.
April 11, 2017
When someone close to you dies there is a huge outpouring of empathy and talking about how wonderful the person was and what a hole they will leave in your life, very little of the talk is of much use in preparing for the impending fallout of a family member’s death. Only one person said something to me after my mother died that I have used in this first year after her death. She said to me, “This first year is going to be hard. It is a year of firsts without that person. Remember, when a new first happens you can fill that hole with the joyful memories of the past and add new memories to them! First doesn’t mean bad, just different.” This has rung true so far. She died one month to the day prior to my birthday, that was a hard one, it’s still very new and “fresh” in your mind and life. I woke on my birthday expecting the simple “Happy Birthday, Christian!” text that she usually sent… and I waited for it… and waited… and then remembered… and then broke down. I told my brother, “Just don’t have anymore birthdays, they are really painful without her simple messages.” This was said through tears, uncontrollable and saltier than usual it seemed. Next comes Thanksgiving and another family get together, minus one. It’s somewhat somber until everyone finds their new flow and realizes that this can still be a joyful occasion, we can still be joyful and happy in each other even without this person’s physical presence. Christmas. She always had a penchant for large parties and planning them, Christmas was… different. And now we come to today, the day before her birthday. My mother and I, up until I turned about 19-20, had a tenuous relationship. It wasn’t horrible, just different from many other relationships between mothers and sons that I have heard about. So, today I wake up and it hits me… I won’t get to tell her “Happy Birthday”, no hugs, no gentle exchanges of the love that had grown in us over the years… just a silence, deafening and huge. Probably filled with a few whimpers and sobs, as well as tears. The firsts are the hardest, but are what I think give me strength after they pass. The lead up to and journey through the firsts is hard, but on the other side of each first is a new day, a new moment, a new chance to live… fully. Firsts this year are hard, but are not the death of me. I’m surprisingly optimistic today and even happy, tomorrow may be different. So, I will put it here:
“Happy Birthday, Mom! I do miss you, but I am going to be fine. I love you!”
April 3, 2017
Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Does it really? For no good reason I woke this morning at 1:09 a.m. and sleep evaded me for the better part of two hours before I resigned to the fact that it just wasn’t coming back. It’s been a long time since I just woke up this early in the morning and decided, “yep, I’m gonna get this day a goin’!” But, that’s what I’m doing today. Waking so early in the morning really makes my mind race. When I first wake it races with full blown confusion: Why am I awake right now? I think I woke up because I need some water? I should be able to fall right back to sleep… wrong. So, after mulling over those simple thoughts for about 30 minutes I start to wonder if there is something more that I am missing, maybe my brain knows something I really don’t?! I’m supposed to be awake right now, because… nope, no real reason. Now that I’ve gotten through that first hour of simple questions with no real answers, I move on to the more dire and pressing issues in my life. In the dark of an early morning room my mind tends to exaggerate every small little thought and worry into some gigantic and impossible dragon that I’m supposed to defeat, armed only with a stick and my wits. I worry, about my kids, my family, my day and pretty much anything else that I could possibly come up with to worry about. I start to work myself into such a frenzy that I realize, there is no possible way I will ever make it back to sleep this morning, I may as well just get the hell up and get busy, at least that will help to dull this grating noise caused by all these worries. And so, I do and I clean the house, quietly, so as to not wake anyone else that isn’t suffering my same early morning affliction. Then I sit and I write, no real purpose in the writing just writing to keep myself company I guess. Sometimes words, as they are escaping from my head and down through my fingertips, have a life all their own – going back and re-reading them often allows me to hear the multiple sounds they make and it is somewhat soothing. So, I guess this morning these words are just for me, just to keep me company as I stare out the window into the waning darkness of early morning and think to myself, “Today is gonna be great! Why the hell else would I be up so damn early?” I hope you all enjoy your day today!