Art, Childhood, Depression, Experience, Facebook, Forgiveness, Friends, Friendship, Growth, Healing, High sc, Invisible, Journey, life, Life Lessons, Memories, Memory, Nostalgia, Progress, Reflection, Reflections, Regret, School, Teachers
I admit it. I search for people all the time who aren’t my friends on Facebook. Usually, this happens during bouts of nostalgia when I find myself thinking about the people with whom I grew-up and wondering where they are, what they are doing, what they look like and how happy they appear.
I want to compare where I am, what I’m doing, what I look like and how happy I am with my childhood friends. I am always relieved and slightly joyous when I see that there has been weight gain, wrinkles, weariness…good. It’s not just me.
There are many people with whom I wish I had kept more regular contact. People with whom I am no longer “friends” – not even on Facebook. Sometimes I creep these people to see what life is like for them. I did this yesterday and spent a considerable amount of time looking at a few childhood friends and I was genuinely glad to see how happy they appeared. I was pleased that they had experienced adventures, travel, fun, love and beauty.
I considered sending a few friend requests, but got lost in thoughts of how it would be perceived by these people. I suffered from depression for most of my time in high school. This was before depression was really understood, talked about or treated. But, the biggest casualty of my depression was my social life. I withdrew from all of my friends and lost most of those relationships. One of the biggest hangers-on of this time period is embarrassment. I feel embarrassed all the time about how I was and I assume that people remember me in a negative light.
I was moody, judgmental, shy, confused, lonely and lost.
During these years my FB posts would have be the kind that you just get tired of seeing so you block the person so you don’t get the constant drone of negative status updates in your feed.
When I think about these years I am always overwhelmed with sadness for the many memories I have about stupid things I did as a result of my state of mind. I’ve been working on forgiving myself, and giving that girl a chance to heal and find acceptance; strangely, creeping on Facebook kind of helps with this. I’ve managed to ‘rekindle’ a few of these lost relationships and they have been extremely meaningful to me. Every time I send a request to a long, lost, friend and then we message back and forth a bit, and eventually just start to share life through the regular news feed, it helps normalize what feels like an extremely polarizing time for me.
I wish I could sit down with all of my old friends and have an open discussion about those years, explain what was going on in my world, express my regret for how I may have treated them, share my sorrow for all the lost time and then make-up for some of that time and move-forward as friends again.
My mind is full of many happy memories with them. I remember hours and hours of time spent together, laughing, talking about boys, playing stupid games, sleepovers, doing makeup, playing sports, passing notes in school…I see snapshots in my mind of us together on hammocks, acting cool at school dances, playing flag football, flirting and silly things like stuffing our shirts with balloons. The memories are full and rich.
But, then there are years where the memories are filled with pictures of school dances, football games, pep rallies and lunches filled with all these faces growing and enjoying life—but mine is not with them. These memories haunt me like shadows. Life was happening all around me, but I wasn’t in it.
So, I creep on facebook. I try to fill-in some of the gaps. I reach-out. I rekindle. I make progress.
I am so thankful for those friends with whom I’ve managed to reconnect because, the truth is, the folks with whom I grew-up really do mean a lot to me. They were the people that helped shape me into who I am today. They were my original cheerleaders, challengers and role-models. They were my squad, my family, my community. They exist in my memory as a deep and vast resource of life, joy, sorrow, lessons-learned, new experiences, comfort and friendship and I am so thankful for the ability to creep into their lives now and get a little piece of what once was.
She climbed-up the hay bale with little difficulty and perched on top of it. She looked-out over the farm and realized that she loved this place with every fiber of her being. The farm had been an anchor to her tumultuous life and had provided stability and safety to her from the moment she had arrived.
Let us also not forget about adventure.
Since arriving on the farm she had lived a wondrous life full of new experiences, challenges, growth and adventure.
She conducted her first funeral on this farm when she found an old, male, cat dead in a field and determined that he deserved a more fitting departure than just rotting alone in a field.
It was a gloomy spring day and the ground was still partially frozen. She had been out wandering around, listening to the “Counting Crows” and reflecting on how perfectly the music suited the colours in the sky when she had come-upon the cat carcass.
It seemed sad to her that something that once had life in it, that moved, hunted, ate, played, slept and felt, was now just lying there lifeless and, if she hadn’t found it, forgotten.
Upon deciding that she would give the cat a proper burial, she trudged back to the house to fetch a shovel, a Bible and a hymn book. Having collected these items, she bundled herself up, gathered a couple of dogs to sit with her to pay homage and headed back to the spot where the cat carcass lay.
As she dug a hole in the frozen ground, she had to teach the dogs that the carcass wasn’t a play-toy. Once she had convinced them all to just sit still beside her quietly, she commenced the memorial service.
She opened: “Friends, we have gathered here today to say goodbye to…” and she realized that she didn’t know the cat’s name.
“Tom.” The name suited him nicely, she thought.
“Life is short and for poor, ‘Tom’, it was too short. I will miss him.” She stopped here and cried a little bit. It’s not that she was particularly close to ‘Tom’ or knew him well, death itself was sad and she couldn’t help but be touched by its presence.
“We think about all those who knew him and loved him most”, she continued. “We pray that they will find comfort at this time.”
And, looking at the dogs who were known to, sometimes, terrorize the cats, she added “And you must all do your part to help them at this time. Be nice to the cats, it’s a tough day for them.”
Sammy, the dominant male Samoyed looked up at her with, what seemed to be, a guilty but resigned look of agreement.
“Now, I will read Psalm 23…”
As she read, she paused dramatically to give all those in attendance time to reflect on the words and how they pertained to the life of dear, old, ‘Tom’.
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures…” She stopped reading again to observe all that existed around her. Taking a deep breath of the farm fresh air her eyes settled on the cattle which were slowly moving around the field to the right of her.
It is grey and dreary right now, life seems to be moving in slow motion, but soon these fields will be green and teeming with life.
She realized she had wandered-off to her own thoughts and that the dogs were sitting there, patiently, waiting for the Psalm to continue.
She went on.
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” and now she was sobbing.
The shadow of death. It sounds so cold and lonely. I hate to think that ‘Tom’ was afraid and alone, passing through the shadows. What a terrible way to be. I hope that I never have to experience that kind of fear. People do every day. Lord, how horribly sad.
And now, she came to notice that a couple of the more compassionate dogs had snuggled in closer to her, aware that she had been crying. Belle, the most gentle Old English Sheepdog that you could ever meet, had come up and rested her head in the young girl’s lap.
“I’m sorry, everyone” she stated. And giving them each a hug she added: “I will never let you die alone.”
She finished reading the song and then declared: “Now, as I lower the body into the ground, join with me in singing ‘Amazing Grace’.”
When she had finished the song she picked up a handful of dust and scattered it over the cat carcass proclaiming: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Enjoy your final resting place, ‘Tom’. We love you.” And with that, she covered him up with the earth.
She took several steps backwards and sat down. She was exhausted.
Death is tiring.
She turned her Walkman on again and exhausted, she lay back onto the frozen ground, staring into the sky and felt her body became heavy as she drifted into dreamland.
“When I think of heaven
Deliver me in a black-winged bird
I think of dying
Lay me down in a field of flame and heather
Render up my body into the burning heart of God
In the belly of a black-winged bird” (“Rain King”-Counting Crows)
Art- it’s exciting when a piece of art surprises you by impacting you in a way you never thought it would.
My husband and I took a half vacation day to explore the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario). We had wanted to do this on Leap Day (Feb. 29, 2016) but it fell on a Monday and the Gallery is not open on Mondays.
So, we decided to do it yesterday.
We took the elevator to the top floor and found a volunteer leading a tour who invited us to join. Usually, I would want to just explore these things on my own, but today I was feeling like I could use a little extra input into what it was we were going to be seeing, so we joined in.
I’m so glad we did.
The very first installation we saw was one created by Micah Lexier. It was “a work of art in the form of a quantity of coins equal to the number of months of the statistical life expectancy of a child born January 6, 1995.”
Normally, I would look at something like this and think: “Huh…ok. Kind of interesting, I guess.” And not give it very much thought beyond that.
But, as we looked at it our volunteer tour guide said:
“Notice how the coins in the first box are neatly ordered and purposefully placed. This is the expectation of what life will bring-the hopes. This is how we all start out. Now look at the coins in the second box. It always reminds me of a line of a famous John Lennon song: ‘life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’.”
And then the tears came.
First of all, the installation reflected things I’ve been having about my own life for some time. For years now I have been trying to teach myself how to be present in the moment and realize that this is life.
There was a period of time when I felt I was constantly waiting for my life to begin. And then, all of a sudden, I looked and I saw a box, much like this chaotic box of coins, and I realized that this was my life. Life was here in all this mess, disorganisation and the many unplanned events and bends in the road.
I had been expecting to look at my life and see it as the first box: Ordered, dreams fulfilled, everything in its place, looking exactly as I had imagined it would. But, I have recently come to realize and accept my life as being beautiful, despite the fact that it looks so different to what I had originally envisioned.
Just as the neatly organized coins have their beauty, so do the scattered. And, as I looked at the 2 boxes the one thing remained the same, despite how the coins were placed, they were all in “my box”. And, that’s really what is important. Whether the coins are neat, or scattered, they are mine. They are my memories, experiences, struggles, victories, joys, sorrow – my life. And that’s beautiful.
Secondly, I sing that song to my son all the time. And, as I looked at these coins, I saw my neatly organized hopes and dreams for what his life will be in the first box and the reality of what it will actually be in the 2nd. I realized that his life, just like mine, is going to be what it’s going to be. I can’t control it and I won’t be able to keep it neatly organized for him. He’s going to experience pain, sorrow, frustration, disappointment, confusion and chaos. But, there will also be joy, love, freedom, hope, comfort and adventure.
There will come a time when the 2 coins that are currently in his box will be at the bottom of this heap of messy coins, almost forgotten. Except, the image of how they are now in their near perfection, will always remain in my heart. At some point, there will have to be a letting-go.
As I stood there contemplating all of this I made a promise to myself to help teach my son how to not miss life because he’s trying to keep his coins in order. I want to teach him to embrace the chaos that is life and to see the beauty in it while it is happening.
Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait
To see you come of age
But I guess we’ll bot just have to be patient
‘Cause it’s a long way to go
A hard row to hoe
Yes, it’s a long way to go
But in the meantime
When I was a little girl, I truly lived in a wonderland that was my brain.
When I close my eyes and picture myself in my bedroom, a million stories and memories wash-over me and I am instantly nostalgic for the wondrous worlds in which I once lived.
I can see myself:
– 16 years old, with window wide-open on a cold, winter’s day, room temperature lingering somewhere around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, listening to a Mark Pinkus album (piano music) on my cassette player, room extremely organized and tidy, lying on my bed writing.
– 12 years old, cuddled-up on an old arm chair I had in my room for a time, eating a concoction of microwaved marshmallows, chocolate chips and butter while watching “Fievel Goes West” or “WKRP in Cincinnati”
– 13 years old, trying to clean and organize a messy, disastrous, room while listening to the “Reality Bites” soundtrack, rewinding “Stay” by Lisa Loeb over and over and over again while singing at the top of my lungs. Eventually, I give-up on cleaning and go-about creating interesting outfits from my wardrobe. I pluck-out a floral peasant dress, leggings, black Doc. Martens and a jean jacket, sit at my desk and start to sketch different fashion ideas and outfits. Maybe I’ll be a fashion designer one day.
– 11 years old, NKOTB posters plastering my walls, wearing lots of neon, a bucket full of empty peanut shells before me as I continue to shell and eat peanut after peanut while listening to “How to Eat Fried Worms” on book tape.
– 10 years old, watching “The Sound of Music” while I cleaned the giant china cabinet that my Mom had brought with us when we moved-in with my Stepdad, and had been stored in my room, pretending that I was a cleaning lady working at the house of some wealthy, handsome, romantic man.
– 15 years old, baritone in lap, music stand in front of me, practicing scales, arpeggios, exercises, and songs until my lips began to tingle. Dreaming of being a famous musician and picturing myself as an older lady, still playing the baritone, and extremely fulfilled with my life.
– 18 years old, crying. Sad. Alone. Depressed. Lying on my bed in a dimly lit room, writing even darker poetry in my journals while listening to “At This Point in My Life” by Tracy Chapman on repeat.
– 8 years old , lying on the floor with my Children’s Worldbook Encyclopedias strewn-out on the floor in front of me as I researched the solar system and geology and created little ‘homework projects’ and assignments for myself. Eager to learn, to soak-up information, create work of which I could be proud, and trying to achieve a goal of doing a project about every subject contained therein.
All of these moments, and so many more, come to life in my mind when I think of them. I was so consumed in whatever I was doing at the time. I don’t know if it’s the nostalgia or just how my imagination works, but these seemingly normal moments in my life all hold massive amounts of emotion, thought, feeling, and emotional pull to them.
I have recently watched the movie “Inside Out” and I wonder if the reason that these memories have such a strong place in my memory and bring with them all the things mentioned above is because, for whatever reason, these are “core memories”. I have always pictured my brain as a large filing room full of shelves, cabinets, boxes, safes and file folders. When I have to remember something, my mind actually has a whole system of locating where the information was stored and, depending on which part of storage area it is in, a different way it is kept, retrieved and opened. So, I really dug the “Inside Out” perspective.
For some reason, these memories of me in my old bedroom, all had a deep impact on my development. I think-back to each of these moments as ‘special moments in time’. There is a file in my brain that ‘pings’ every time I pull one of these memory files from the archives.
I refer to a few of these memories at times I need to “go to my happy place”. I will close my eyes, feel the cold breeze coming through my window, the smell of fresh, winter air, the sound of piano music in the background, the organization and cleanliness of a bright room and the soft, warm, blankets on my bed and feel instantly relaxed.
Or, I will close my eyes, hear “My Sharona” playing in the background, see a flutter of creative outfit ideas and designs around my room, experience the thrill of originality once again, and come out of it inspired and energized.
I guess I still have moments like this when I’m in my room. They happen less often as I am married, so share the space, have a child, and often don’t spend much time in there when not sleeping or cleaning.
But, I still have those moments when I feel totally present in the moment and I wonder if I will be looking-back on these moments in 20 years and feeling the same way I do now about the things that happened in my room.
It’s such a confusing, difficult and complicated term to me.
Where is my home? Is it where I am? Where my family is? If so, are we talking my immediate or extended family?
Is it where I feel most comfortable? Most relaxed?
Is it where I was born and raised or where I lived for the longest period of time?
Where is my home?
Our society puts such an incredible value on this idea or concept of home. But, I don’t really know what that is to me and so, I often feel lost.
They say that “home is where the heart is”. If that’s so, my home truly does exist in a great multitude of places, for my heart is always at many places at once.
At any moment of the day you can find me yearning for one of my ‘homes’. I long to be in New Zealand, driving along the stunning shoreline, and laughing with my friends and family who live there. I long to be back on the farm where I spent my childhood going on adventures and exploring the wilderness around me. I want to be in the homes where my parents live, and sitting with them over dinner, laughing and chatting about the funny stories, old and new. I desire to be in the residence where I am living now, playing and giggling with my son while I stream some great, new, tunes on Google Play.
There are days I am desperate to move back to NZ – and other days I am yearning to return to my hometown. And then, of course, there are those days when I can’t imagine living anywhere different to where I am now.
Being pulled in all these directions all the time is exhausting. I feel like I am constantly betraying someone. If we’re here, we’re disappointing both sides of the family because we are close to neither. If we lived in one of those places, the other side of the family would be hurt because we had not chosen to live by them.
I have been challenging myself lately to really seek what is best for my little family of three. What is best for my husband, for me, and for our son.
This is a difficult question to tackle when you feel guilty for not “being there” for the people who have stood by your side for your entire life.
But, what is being a parent if not preparing your child to mature, venture out, and embrace his/her own life, doing what is best for him/her and will make him/her the happiest that he/she can, possibly, be?
I have been seeking to turn our residence into a “home” ever since we moved here over a year ago. And, I have little moments- pockets of time- here and there when the sun is shining in on our lounge, my son is lying on the floor playing with this trucks and my husband is standing in the kitchen, humming to himself, when a deep breath finds its way out of the depths of my heart and exhales a contended sigh – “I’m home”.
But, I’ve also had this feeling when opening the door to my office on a weekday morning, and I’m greeted by my plants on the window sill, the desk where I spend a good portion of my life, and my awesome “Zootopia” mug out of which I enjoy a great amount of homemade mochas during the week.
I have also experienced the welcoming feeling of being home when I have looked-out on the city in which I live-when I see the lights of the familiar buildings, hear the sound of streetcars rushing along the tracks, and breathe-in the odd, but familiar scent that rises-up from the subway.
Does that mean that “home” really is wherever I am?
Do I bring “home” with me wherever I go?
Am I at home when I am on the streetcar, on the farm, on the beach at Lyall Bay, in my office, in my living room, and on the street where I am walking?
I have said this before, memories are tricky, unreliable things.
I believe that most, if not all, of our memories consist of factual truth, embellishments of emotion, imagination and external influences (such as seeing a picture, news article, or hearing someone else’s account).
While they may not be 100% fact, memories, especially those from childhood, can tell us a lot about how we were feeling at the time. They should not be judged. They should not be criticized. And, there’s often no real need for them to be “set straight”. They exist for a reason.
They are called “Autobiographical Memory”.
Our memories help shape us and, in turn, our lives. I grew up as the baby of the family. I am used to having everyone else tell me how “things were” or at least, how they remember them.
I also have grown-up constantly trying to keep the peace and protect everyone around me. This has meant that, time and time and time again I have never shared what I remembered, how I have felt about things and the memories that have been my experiences through life.
Even now, as I started this blog, I have had to constantly battle the urge to edit or not write because I didn’t want to upset anyone. I have held my own memories, recollections, feelings, thoughts, and stories close to my heart, where they could be safe, long enough. I want to share them. I want to share this world that I grew-up in. As I remember it.
I know that my memories are never going to be 100% truth. Sometimes, they may not even be more than 20% truth. But, they are mine.This is how it was to me. And, as part of who I am, they don’t need to be corrected, just accepted as part of me, my story, my substance. I know that they are not, necessarily, perfectly accurate and I know that there are other people involved who have their own versions of the stories, their own memories, their own feelings. I do not write to take that away from that. We all experienced things through our own lenses. This is my space to share through mine.
Fear, loneliness, trauma, anger, shame, embarrassment, love, uncertainty, humor, imagination, sadness-they will all be a part of why I recall things the way I do. And that’s important.
This is what my world was. These are the experiences, memories and feelings, both fact and fiction, that all led-up to this point. Right here. Me.
Here in all my strengths, weaknesses, victories, failures-the love, the hate, the fear the bravery. Everything I am comes from these memories.
It may not be 100% factual truth-but, it is 100% me.
As I sat there staring at the dead body on the floor in front of me, I began to think that maybe, just maybe, life and death weren’t really that important after all.
It was a bright blue, sunny, yet cold, Sunday afternoon when the pastor of the church I was attending approached me saying that she needed me to go to a woman’s house who had just lost her father and was very upset. I was a young, uneducated, untrained 24 year old, but I loved people and was always willing to help when needed.
As I drove to the woman’s house, gazing up occasionally at the clear, blue sky, I thought about how to best support someone who was grieving.
In my mind I pictured cups of tea and a lot of listening.
But, no amount of self talk on the way over was going to prepare me for what happened next.
When I arrived at the apartment building I found that the front door hadn’t been closed properly and I let myself in.
I walked up a few steps and about halfway down a bland hallway when I found the number I had been given.
I knocked on the door and as a woman opened it, the first thing that gripped me was the pungent smell of a place that had not been cleaned for several years.
The second thing I noticed was the clutter. This woman was a hoarder which was, clearly, why the place smelled like rotting food.
As my eyes quickly scanned the contents of the room, what I observed next would take my breath away and send my head into a spin.
There, in the middle of the living room floor, lay a body.
Lifeless. Cold. Face up. Dead.
Running around the body was a young girl, 8 years old, hair in pig-tails, playing with her dolls and occasionally jumping over Grandpa as if it was a normal day at home.
I spent the next 4 hours just sitting there, keeping a sort of vigil, over his dead body.
About an hour in I almost vomited as I watched a cockroach crawl up the left ear of the man, circle as if it was contemplating entering his lobe, eventually deciding to give-up, crawl straight over his cheeks, onto his nose and down the other side of his head.
I didn’t draw attention to it hoping that the man’s daughter hadn’t noticed. I felt embarrassed that it had happened and ashamed that I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t want to highlight the fact that I was in shock, terrified and had no idea what the hell I was doing. I just wanted it to go away. Far, far away.
After I had been there for 2 hours, the Police arrived and suggested that the woman find a sheet with which to cover Grandpa. The woman, thankfully, obliged.
After the police left it would be another 2 hours before the coroner would come.
While I sat there I began to feel like it was all normal and there was nothing unusual about the situation. Maybe it was. After all, what, apart from birth, is more normal than death? It is one thing we all, eventually, experience.
The little girl continued to play, stopping occasionally for a snack or drink. The woman seemed to forget the body was there as she buzzed about, offering me tea and gossiping about a bunch of people in her building that I didn’t know.
‘So, this is what happens when you die’, I thought to myself. ‘Someone has to wait around for hours, police come, sheets are used, bugs climb around, people get bored and eventually your body is dragged off.’
There seemed to be very little dignity or honour for this man who was a father and a grandfather, who once had thoughts, dreams, hopes and fears.
Surely there was more to death than this?
This event that happened, almost 11 years ago to the day, has always been a struggle for me. There is something about the situation that continues to bother me and still picks away at my brain.
Maybe this is why when a woman was run-over by a dump truck right outside my window at work this week, I found myself unable to leave my office until her body had been removed.
I wanted to honour her. To honour life. And, maybe even more importantly, to honour death.
This woman was well-known in our area for being on the streets and I couldn’t help but think that there might be no one who really missed her.
I refused to let her be swept away and forgotten.
And so, like I did many years ago for that old man, I sat there keeping vigil over her dead body. I watched through my office window, staring at that orange tarp, as police and special investigators circled around her doing their work.
As the crime scene photographer took pictures from this angle then that, I thought about her, wondered about her life and mourned for her death.
I watched as the police and coroner walked around trying to figure out the best way to remove her body from beneath the truck.
There can be little dignity or honour in death.
But, shouldn’t it be the most dignified, honourable moment of life?
It is the final act, the last chapter.
Everything we have written across our lives up to that moment will come to a sort of, completion, whether it be glorious or tragic, when we breathe our last breath.
But, is that really where the story ends?
Many years ago that old man had changed my life forever as I sat with him staring my own inadequacies in the face. And this woman, who lay beneath the dump truck on Friday, has also changed me.
Part of their story continues with me.
He who has gone,
so we but cherish his memory,
abides with us, more potent, nay,
more present than the living man.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry-
Memories constantly fool us, much more than I think most people would realize or admit. Memories that we carry with us from childhood are particularly tricky because our brains were less developed and time can drastically change memories.
I have many memories from childhood and each of them I hold onto knowing that what I remember and what the reality was may be two wildly different things.
I recently had a revelation of one such memory that brought-about this approach and encouraged me to never fully trust my recollection of events, or anyone else’s for that matter.
When my parents were splitting-up I remember going to family counselling. I don’t recall how many times we attended, but to me it seemed like once. It may have been more.
As we sat in the room with its professional grey, muted tones, and uncomfortable furniture, there were a lot of words being said and as a child I struggled to fully grasp what was going on.
My world was spiraling out of control and all that I had known was crumbling around me but my little brain was not able to process it all and separate what was happening between my parents from what was happening to me.
During this meeting my Dad said something that, for over 20 years I believed he had said directly to me:
‘I will never love you like I love her.’
What I heard: “I don’t love you anymore.”
In my mind, my Dad just told me that he doesn’t love me. Or, at least, that he loved someone more, which meant I wasn’t good enough-I could never measure up.
This moment in time changed my life forever.
It’s no wonder that my relationship with my Dad has been difficult. I would struggle during our weekends with him because I had these words playing over and over in the back of my mind.
It wasn’t until the past year when I was on the phone with my Mom and she mentioned that time that my Dad had told her that he would never love her like he loved his new partner that it all became clear.
He had never said it to me. It had nothing to do with me. That wasn’t how he felt about me.
I instantly felt such a great sadness for all those years that had been lost because of a misunderstood experience as a child that evolved into a destructive and heartbreaking memory.
As I grew up, I had held onto the memory of being told I was not good enough, not lovable, not important and it has been a memory that has shaped who I am today.
That is time I can never get back.
I often wonder how different my life may have been if someone had been able to set it straight so many years ago.
I always wish I could have that time with my Dad again, to be able to go back and have a relationship with him without that destructive memory getting in the way. To be able to grow up without feeling like I needed to constantly prove myself as being worthy of love or good enough to love and being able to enjoy just being loved.
Because, I know he loves me.
Love exists despite the pain, despite the sadness, despite the sad memories and lost time.
And, from this point forward I will go through life with the words of Marcel Proust forefront in my mind:
“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”
And I will be a little more careful with my memories.