Spring is most definitely in the air. Warm weather means a great deal of things for me. It means Monroe and I can take journeys to the dog park, or to the field behind Woodland Elementary School. It means that the sun will be out for more than just a day at a time. It means cookouts, camping and bonfires. It means laughs with friends, and random adventures with my sister. The warm weather holds so much promise. Yet, it also holds sadness. A sadness that I didn't really think ever existed. Not until Sunday, when I got the real first taste of summer's touch.
I woke up Sunday morning, to the sun touching my face through the side of my blinds. As I opened my eyes, I could hear the faint sound of an engine running in the garage. I knew the sound all too well. It was a sound that a kid like me could never forget or mistake growing up. It was a sound that I'd often hear during the summer months. One of my favorite sounds ever. It was a motorcycle.I almost felt like a kid again. I literally jumped out of my bed so fast, put my contacts on, threw on a sweatshirt, and ran outside to the garage. This time, though, there was someone different standing next to the bike. It was my sister. I watched her roll the bike out into the driveway, and helped her check the tire pressure. She started the bike and sort of coasted to the street, revving the engine along the way. Just like that, she took off. And I just kind of stood there watching.
Just like I did with my Dad when I was a kid.
Now, if you're friends with me on Snapchat, this would have been about the time I added the snap of Stephanie driving away to my story with a comment that read something like:
I wish I could do cool things, but I guess I'll just do lame Alex things like read a dumb Harvard Business Review. Because I suck. And Fail.
Not really sure if that's what I said verbatim---but it's pretty close, and pretty much along the lines of what I might have said at that time. So, after I had my small soap box moment. I proceeded to sit on the concrete apron of the garage, with my sister's dog. And cry. Like a child. It wasn't really an ugly cry, just tears. I sat there for awhile, until my Mom came outside. She asked me a question, and I answered it, and she could tell I was crying....so she asked what was wrong. Queue ugly crying.
A lot of what I explained to her, I'm sure, made absolutely no sense. I basically told her that I was sad, because I couldn't go with her. I can't ride, and my legs are too short, and I failed my class back in the day. And now, because of that, I can't enjoy the things she can enjoy, and it's a piece of my Dad, and he's never going to see me ride a motorcycle, etc., etc., etc.
You get the gist, right?
I felt bad, because I unloaded a whole bunch of shit on her. And I don't think this will end here. Summer was important to my Dad. He loved fishing and camping, and sitting in the garage watching the people go by, all the while listening to KHITS on the radio (which occasionally picks up Waukegan Airport air traffic control haha). Now, the chair is empty, and the garage is quiet. It's so eerie, and so sad.
Someone recently told me that I'm going to have these kinds moments. I understand this. I'm not new to grief. I know what it's like, and how I've dealt with it in the past. It's different this time around, just because I feel like a physical piece of me is gone. The saddest part about losing someone, is all of the things they will 'miss', and how much it hurts that they'll miss those things. Dad has been gone for almost two months now, and the time that has been passing feels both long and short at the same time. Sometimes I feel like he's been gone for 100 years. Other times, I feel like I talked to him just yesterday.
There's so much that comes with loss. The struggle that has found me----is appreciating and accepting the balance. When someone dies, there are so many people there for you. Just to generally make sure you're still alive. In my experience, that's when I wanted to talk to people the least. Now, almost two months later, it's like dead quiet. Once the service is over, everyone goes radio silent. It's nice, and it's also sort of sad at the same time. There's so much I feel on a day to day basis---so I try to just sort of weed through what's worth telling people and what to keep to myself. I've had many tell me it's not healthy to keep it in. Nevertheless, I am so used to that behavior, that it's just easier than depressing people with my inner thoughts. I'm rational, yet very irrational. Over the last month I've had this sudden urge to figure shit out pronto. I've gone from nearly applying to school to get a master's, to heavy budgeting, to thinking about obscene places to venture to. It's been difficult to get back into the swing of things. I've been going through the motions all too regularly, without much thought or care at all. It's just been whatever. And I've just sort of been okay with that. But not okay at the same time. Hoping that something more, something happier will find its way to me.
More than anything, I've been both surrounded but also very alone in this grieving process. Alone, is what I feel more than anything. Most people know that it's painful to lose someone. But I don't want to bring anyone down with the constant thoughts and memories that cross my mind each and every day. And while the rest of the world goes on with their lives, I'm just sort of starting to run with the pack again. All the while mustering up some kind of smile. Meanwhile on the inside, I just feel plain sad. Now, don't get all concerned. This feeling doesn't follow me around all of the time. It's just kind of always hanging on, almost like a little annoying pimple that won't go away.
I will always carry a piece of my Dad with me, no matter what. I think that the things he loved will always hold a special place in my heart, and I truly believe the weekend of motorcycle activities, or lack thereof is what really set my feels off. I know, that if I put my mind to it, I can learn to ride, and I can pass the test. I think I am afraid of failing, of letting him down. I'm also sad that he won't be there to celebrate victory with me. Just like he won't be at the finish line for each of my Spartan Races this year. Despite all of these feelings, I must keep going, because I just can't stop living. And I can't keep everything in. If people don't want to hear my inner thoughts, then, well, they'll just have to tell me. Because everything is not fine, all of the time. And that's the way life works.
So here's to just figuring life out---even though a piece of it's missing.