One Year Later...


It's been almost a year. Officially, that is. We both know that I lost you long before the earth did. It's amazing how fast a year can drift by you when you aren't anticipating the pass of time or trying to not feel. It blindsides me from time to time how I can not miss you at all, not even remember what your hug feels like, not remember what your voice sounds like, yet think about you almost every day. The distant memories hit me in the face when I least expect it and typically at the most inopportune times. Your idea of a joke, most likely.

The smallest things remind me of you. The smell of a certain Chapstick, the smell of bourbon. The way I love hot sauce. The shape and size of my hands and how my eyes almost shut when I smile, like yours did. The way curse words and sarcasm are my primary language, as second-nature to me as they were to you. Genetics win out over socialization in some cases, I'm afraid.

I wonder a lot of things. Curiosity always takes my mind to places it probably isn't safe to go. I wonder if you remember things the way that I do or did you create your own story in your tormented mind. I wonder if you came to peace with your demons even though the demons won the war in the end. I wonder if you were able to let go of whatever it was that you were holding on to. I wonder if you were able to forgive and I hope with everything in my heart that you were. Were you able to forgive yourself? I wonder if you ever wished that you knew the person I became. I wonder if you'd be proud. I wonder if given the chance to do it all over again, would you do it the same way? Would you choose to live? I wonder if the bottle was worth everything you lost.

I now know a lot of things, too. I know that you can't fight people's battles for them; rather, you have to decide if you want to sit by and be a spectator. I know without a doubt that I made the right decision to not be your witness. I know that you loved me. I also know that you never knew how to show it. I know that it doesn't make me a bad person that I had to let you go in order to not take on your demons as my own. I know you wanted to be a good father. I also know that wanting something doesn't mean a damn thing unless you put the work in. I know that I'm not angry anymore. I know this because even through everything, I'm thankful for you.

I'm thankful for you and what you've taught me. As hard as those lessons were to learn and as much as it hurt to live through them, I am and I'll continue to be a better person because of those lessons. I've learned what love is and what love isn't. I'm thankful that I learned about selflessness and selfishness and the very thin line bordering both.

So, a year later, here I am. I haven't crawled into a corner. That would be too easy.

I just want you to know that I'm good. I want you to know that I'm great.


Rosie said...

So beautifully, passionately, powerful. Sending you love.


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