After we leave this world there remains only our artifacts. The dusty items that filled our lives, now in boxes and shelves. Scratched on paper and wood, the finger print of us. Tucked away and forgotten waiting for someone else to discover and evaluate.
For the last ten or so years, my family (my kids, my wife, my mom, my dad, my sister and aunts, uncles and cousins) have been going to this little island on the border of North Carolina and South Carolina; Sunset Beach. A few years ago there was a rip within the family. It was no small rip, but it could have been mended. Instead it grew, till the fabric was severed.
And this is how the end begins, a small amount of change at a time. A quiet unraveling. A soft and steady suffocation. And then it's hard to breath. Things come unbound. An empty well that draws no water. You look back as you move forward, and there it all lies, telling the story of now and how you're here and ahead is dark, but you keep moving.
Holidays are ripe with memories, nostalgia, sentimentalism, strife (or contempt), and occassionally calm and relaxation (but I have three kids, so that's merely a situation that other people lie about). As I grow older — and successively see my past fade away into nothingness — I can't help but preoccupy myself with thoughts of what (my life) is and what (my life) will be.
It starts off the same. It's starts off with excitement and enthusiasm and wide open horizons. A little optimism and naivety about things being different, or better. A swift pace toward a simple goal. There's no desire for a slow decline, that stumbling forward and paused caution, for quiet dispondency. And before we're aware of how it happened, we've stopped; out of breath, tired and worn out.
I don't know what "ok" is. Ok is only a thing in comparison to other things. Insurmountable or manageable. It's all about your perspective.
So this is how Christmas will be from now on. Not forever mind you. Little by little, year after year. Things are taken away. The pattern we grow up with, of what Christmas is and means; the joys and excitement, the traditions, gets replaced.
Freedom is a big deal. Conceptually it seems simple enough. Unbridled options. Untethered dreams. Limitless options. That is until you realize each one of us is governed by our own history. Our own bodies, realities and rules. We're stuck. While we're not stuck with our lives in all cases — you can change careers, homes, cars, even spouses. You're still stuck.
There's the Law of Thermodynamics, Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation even Murphy's Law, but over the last 11 years I've learned that there are intrinstic and unavoidable laws governing the parental universe. Laws which by merely defining them, make them obsolete; like trying to see yourself in the mirror with your eyes closed. They are elusive and wholly disparaging, but knowing, as they say, is half the battle.
The fact that I have to check the toilets more than once a day for clogs is somewhat disconcerting. But only somewhat. And that is something I never thought of when I envisioned parenthood that decade or so ago when I knew it was on the cusp of being a reality. Parenting is (sometimes) the worst thing ever.
Being older has its advantages. Driving. Staying up late. Watching Rated R movies. Alcohol (the libation created specifically for family gatherings). The ability to say "no". Sadly I believe I've let the disadvantages ruin the joy that still remains in life.
I'm not entirely sure what to say about what has transpired in the last 10 days in my life. What do I do? What can I do? Is there any hope? Can I ever feel complete again?
Families are built through generations and generations, but a family can be destroyed in a single day. By a single act, that turns into an avalanche and buries everyone. The truth is not always what you see or hear or get, but somewhere hidden between, and when broken people hide themselves from their own truth those cracks find a way out.
I've started, restarted, typed and retyped, I've mulled and pondered all the various things I could or should say to accurately summarize the year that pasted and I'm left finding it hard to find words. Not because its hard to...
This past weekend I was afforded the luxury of being able to spend a solitary weekend with my father in Kansas City, Missouri. I lived in K.C. (Overland Park to be exact) for about 5 of my formative years (7th grade through 11th grade). One of our Sunday traditions was for dad and I to go to K.C. Chiefs games. My dad and I are not always a lot alike, but I as I grow older (and throw off my youthful individualism for "mature" appreciation) I have noticed more similarities -- and one way we bond is through sports.
That's what I've been telling myself. Why needlessly ramble on when I have very little to say? Its not because nothing is happening, but its not as if something is happening either. "Something" has the usual ingredients of the mundane...
1. You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Do you understand?
2. Anything you do say may be used against you in a court of law. Do you understand?
Yes; I understand, and I understood this at...