My father, like myself, enjoyed a good joke – even if we were the only one realizing that it happened. Sometimes just smiling and laughing to yourself is even more fun.
An example of this was how his high school senior yearbook quote was: ‘Where ever you go, there you are…’. As a child growing up, I’d flip thru that black and white book of high school kids from what seemed forever ago – crew cuts, horn-rimmed glasses, hippies – think that his quote was soooo deep. I couldn’t wait to grow up and be so intellectual as him and see the world from that vantage point.
Some time later, I asked him about why he chose that and why it meant so much to him. He just chuckled and said something to the effect of: “I had to put something better than ‘F*ck you Mr. Jones. Math class sucked.’ , and I had read that quote somewhere else recently and it sounded good.”
He did qualify it though, and said that now that he looks back it does have some decent truth to it, and he probably used it b/c he agreed with it subconsciously.
So, how is this relevant to anything? Well, yesterday I got some rather upsetting news. I won’t go into detail right now for a number of reasons, but the short version is that there is almost a 100% chance that my father died prematurely and preventably.
Talk about something punching you in the gut. I was a pretty shell shocked yesterday when I found that out.
It’s really weird to think that someone could have had more time on earth, especially when they are taken suddenly. You start going thru all of the events that happened since that day…starting WITH that day…and imagining him being a part of it. What decisions would I have made different, and how would that impact my path? Would I have moved to CA? Would we have had another child sooner?
As much as I miss my father, and would give anything for just 1 more day with him, I have completed the long hard path of coming to terms with his death, and my life continuing. I know that I’ll never get that ‘1 more day’, just like the fact that I will never win the lottery, so what’s the point in playing?
Sometimes you just need to look around you and realize that ‘where ever you go, there you are’, as goofy as that may sound.
As hard as these past few years have been, I am stronger b/c of it. I have an amazing life, family, friends, house, job, existence, etc, and I make sure to remind myself of that each day. I know how lucky I am, and that I can’t (and shouldn’t) complain – short of a little lack of sleep, the kids being what you’d expect from a 6 and 8 year old, and the financial vein that insists on staying open and bleeding me dry.
He gave me a great toolset to go through life with though, and now it’s up to me to use it, b/c ‘here I am’.