This phrase from “The Paper Chase” keeps coming to mind – the first years are hard years, much more than you know. And today represents the beginning of a new year, 365 days have passed and I still find somethings hard to know. I wanted to tell a good story about firsts, things that are enjoyable and hopefully that is what people will see.
We celebrate firsts for their beauty and sometimes for their pain. When you’re in a relationship, you find dates that hold some meaning and happily buy flowers because it was the fist time you went to some concert or dinner together. Marking that first kiss while standing in the rain, getting soaked and not caring an ounce. And later, when things fall apart, you find yourself in a Hallmark store buying her a Birthday card you’re never going to send because you can’t help yourself. And you know that sending it might bring her pain that you certainly don’t want.
Yesterday marked a year of absence, today her birthday and I hope that she finds a million reasons to smile today. But that card is going to sit in my drawer, “This is more than your Birthday, it’s a Thank You for being born.” Which brings me to that whole other collection of firsts.
Therapists, friends from my group, told me that preparing for that collection of firsts was going to be hard. They were right. I still feel bad that on the anniversary of my daughter’s passing I sat in a room and cried. I couldn’t help it. I felt pain and anger. Some towards my ex who should have been there to help, but she is on her own path to wherever. My aunt told me I was the father she needed, but was I the one she deserved? February 11th, 2014 hurts to say.
There have been some setbacks with the medical stuff that have brought their own firsts. The trade-off has been the time I gained with Susie, getting to know her, spending time letting her get to know me. It was the first time I have admitted that I’m scared to the core about what the future holds. When Joe Biden was on television talking about his son and how he didn’t think it was very “Presidential” that he was sobbing on national television? That was the most human thing any person can do, admit their pain, their difficulty in dealing with it. A “man” is supposed to be a rock, but I think it’s more important that a man know when he needs help. I absolutely respect that man for saying all of the things I think about my daughter.
When I started writing it was because the conversations I needed to have weren’t happening. The room was empty, the person gone, and I didn’t know how to deal with that. At first, it drove me mad. Grief and fear are powerful things, love might be the only thing that truly does conquer all. Amusing it is the fear of losing that love that causes such grief. When the first person replied to something I wrote, I was confused. Not because I thought my life unique, but because I didn’t know what to say to them in response. Thanks, Sorry, Why are you reading this?
I looked at the likes and it made me go to that dark place. It meant too many people understood my path. My experience was all of our experience. For me, that is everything I try to help others avoid. I’ve been lucky to have loved, been loved, are loved?
My mother got angry last night because she is still upset with how things are turning out. She’s allowed that space. I was surprised with how upset she was when she mentioned the ex’s birthday. It wasn’t anger, but still that heartbreaking loss she feels. For her a first that I wished could be wiped away.
Some would tell me that I shouldn’t care about today. But let me put this out there for the world to consider – Something made me buy the card, does that make me a weak person or a strong one? I hope she has a great day, people around her to celebrate with, feels loved by those people. Maybe this is another first for me, learning that I’m more human than I have admitted.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Storybook Day.”