It has been four years since the day that altered my being to the core.
Many things have happened since then.
It was three years ago that she began to gently mend my shattered heart.
It was a little more than two years ago that I “officially” stepped from the shadow of anonymity into the light, yet admittedly keeping some parts of me in the shadow.
It’s been little less than a year that I started what I consider to be my most ambitious project to date.
It happens as we live and as we learn.
It’s a lie that “time heals all wounds”. Instead what time affords us is the lessons we need to better handle and manipulate the grief. It doesn’t become easier to smile, we just become better at controlling the corners of our mouth. Last year, I stopped posting about DJ every 21st of the month. I don’t grieve any less nor does one day go by when I don’t think about him, I just became better at controlling the keys my fingers would strike.
Priorities change. Things that perhaps once I cared about so passionately, now not so much. Things that perhaps once would have angered me, now not so much. I try to keep in mind that while these things don’t matter to me as much, to others they are very important. Most of the time that keeps me in check… but there are sometimes when I do slip and proverbially shake people wondering why they care about the small stuff, because when it comes to family everything else is just that… small stuff.
Some things change, but some things don’t.
The love and support I have gotten from my blogging friends has never faltered. It has often carried me during the day in one way or another. They say once it’s on the internet, you can never take it back… and believe me I am more than okay with that because there’s a whole lotta love out there. Of this, I assure you.
Still some things haven’t changed. While I no longer run to the burning building, I still walk to it. While I no longer rush through the streets, I still drive through them destined for something that death, pain, and misery will have a hand in. Perhaps I am more acutely aware of my own mortality, but still lacking a normal sense of self-preservation that I continue to do what I know how to do the best way I know how.
To admittedly “borrow” a term from another blogger… I am a grief mop for those who are overcome at the moment. Of course what good is a mop that hasn’t been wrung? It seems no matter how many times I came back here to wring myself out, I’d just get soaked up again. At times it feels like futile effort.
I still wonder if I had done everything I could to prevent this, and if not what should I have done instead? I still wonder if I had done something different, would the outcome have been different or was it that whole concept of fate running its course? I still wonder, for today as opposed to four years ago, what would he have to say or want to do? What would he want to be? And therein lies my problem, because I still torture myself with the ”What ifs?” In doing so am I repeating my past mistakes?
These are questions I will never get the definitive answer to nor do I expect one. It’s just the things that can keep me awake at night… doubts that creep into my being and set me on tilt. It’s my inquisitive side run rampant.
However, there is one question that I have no doubt what the answer would be…
He is a boxer man.
I miss you and love you DJ.
We all do.
Even the cats who spend an inordinate amount of time looking at your photo, and especially all those who have borne witness to me wringing myself out.
Anyone who knows me knows I really am not big into birthday celebrations, especially my own. I have a theory about birthdays that I may or may not have already shared, but I will today:
- • When your born it’s a big deal because you are not not only a consumer of oxygen but officially a tax deduction
• When you turn 1 years old it’s a big deal because the chances of you not surviving from SIDS reduces dramatically
• When you turn 7 years old it’s a big deal because 7 is a luck number
• When you turn 10 years old it’s a big deal because you are finally a decade old and into double digits
• When you turn 13 years old it’s a big deal because you are officially a teenager and therefore, by default, rotten
• When you turn 16 years old it’s a big deal because your parents make it a big deal and everyone expects you to suddenly go from rotten to sweet
• When you turn 18 years old it’s a big deal because you’re now allowed to vote and can be drafted to die for your country, even though you can’t drink
• When you turn 20 years old you’re no longer a teenager and therefore you are suddenly mature
• When you turn 21 years old it’s a big deal because you’re now able to drink and demonstrate just how immature you can really be
After that, there are two milestones left…
- • When you turn 25 years old it’s a big deal because you finally come out of the assigned risk category for car insurance
• When you turn 65 years old it’s a big deal because you can now finally collect Social Security… at least for now
Today I observe one of those milestones on his behalf because a milestone is still a milestone… and today he’d be 10.
Happy birthday buddy.
We all miss you.
We all love you.
So three years ago today I went to see Cloverfield with a “friend” (who at the time was codenamed Buttery). It was a good movie, although I’m still waiting for the sequel or at least that slushi Japanese product that was linked to it to come to market.
Of course, the REAL story didn’t end after the credits were done and the lights came on…
… and my life has been richer for it.
For all those things that other people want medals… she deserves a monument for putting up with me for 3 FRIGGIN’ YEARS!!!
Happy anniversary Poppy!
Oh my God! My boyfriend didn’t post a post about me!
This is true.
I may be the head of the best mafia* in Mafia Wars.
I may be the czar of the corn in Farmville.
I may be the mayor of a truck ton of places on Foursquare.
I may be relatively good at troubleshooting WP 3.0 multi-site issues.
I may be okay at CSS.
However, I suck as a boyfriend.
Happy birthday Popstar!
Now that it is TRULY official… the sucky boyfriend has posted about it.
And while I freely admit that I suck… well… let’s be honest for a moment… I suck pretty damn well.
Birthday sheep! Birthday sheep!
What’s that in your hand?
Is it a crappy non call receiving or maintaining iPhone 4? (Which by the way all these rumors about antennae issues are bogus… we all know the truth is because it’s on AT&T)
I don’t think so…
*not to be confused with nor a part of the Orlando Mafia
A condition that distinguishes active organisms from inorganic matter. The science of biology is the study of these active organisms through their stages of growth. With names like osmosis and homeostasis, biology is able to define the growth process of the physical and organic matter.
Yet, there is more to life than just the generation, replication, and growth of cells. Life is also about ourselves in our collective humanity, how our experiences shape our personalities, and how our growth is affected by those who surround us. The study of philosophy purports to provide scientific answers to this aspect of life, and where it fails then there is theology that is ready to step in.
The one question that there is no definitive answer for is what is the meaning of life?
And if we don’t know the meaning of life, that also means we lack the answer to the meaning of death.
Today is the 3 year mark when my life was drastically changed.
1,096 days have passed since DJ crossed over and out of our lives. In the grand scheme of things, it may not seem like a terribly long time… yet it can sometime feel like an eternity. The proportion of time that has passed often becomes shrouded in a haze. Some days I wake up, look at his photo on the wall, and feel like decades have passed. Then there are some mornings when it all seems like a dream, and the harsh reality runs over me like a freight train all over again. It’s part of the process… trying to determine what meaning life still has for me without him in it or what meaning death might have always held for me considering that it has taken him from me.
Is there a greater meaning to any of it? As a parent, the meaning of life becomes slightly clearer and more focused on the well being of your child. While success at that is up to subjective interpretation, there are definite indicators that can guide you along the way.
But what happens when it ends. What happens when you no longer have those indicators in your life and are forced to look back in your mind’s eye for those? While it’s true that summer camp, college, and eventually married life can separate you from your child there is still the return of those little things. Death is a more permanent separation. I do have to hold some belief that death is not necessarily the definitive end of life. For that matter, the existence of my very job would dictate that under the right circumstances the science of biology can overpower all.
For 13 minutes DJ had a spontaneous return of circulation in the emergency room. He was intubated, on a ventilator, with IV lines running medicine into his veins meant to both aid in the chemical jump start of his heart and to try and regulate it once that happened.
For those 13 minutes that his heart beat on its own, I was in traffic trying to get through summertime rush hour traffic across state lines.
The biological medicine, that I had dedicated 12 years of my life to practicing, wasn’t enough.
I think about those 13 minutes alot. I wonder if it would have made a difference if I had been there. If he would have known that I was there, or if it would have helped to know that I was doing everything I could to be there… which was being a hyper ventilating hysterical mess in the passenger seat while my partner drove.
I wish there would have been something I could have done that would make a difference… but there wasn’t.
So I continue to do the next best thing… try to make a positive difference in the lives of people who either don’t have someone or can’t do something for themselves. There are plenty of days when I feel like I am living the life of a clown… happy and laid back on the outside while deep down inside I am twisted and deeply sad… but I go on. You may ask yourself why?
Because there has to be some sort of meaning to life other than the biological books tell you that I hope will still be revealed to me.
Because whatever meaning there is that death once held for me has disappeared and ultimately I will not allow it to rule my life as it once may have.
Because the smiles (and purrs) are worth those bad mornings.
Because the laughter is worth the waves of sadness.
Because the kisses are worth the second guessing.
Because the hugs are worth the moments of gut wrenching guilt for failure.
And in the end… if there really is no deeper meaning to any of it… if it is all done for no reason other than for something to do… there will always be the memories… and they are worth it all.
This year Dan has once again organized a fund raising walk for The Joseph Salmon Trust, a charity that is doing important work by offering financial support for those who have lost a child. I think the work this charity does is phenomenal, because not everyone has a loving family and the support of the Blogger community as I did. Poppy and I had planned on joining this pilgrimage with a cause, but due to unforseen circumstances we’ll only be able to support the walk from this side of the pond.
Anything you can do is a help.