When I sat down behind the wheel of my car the sun was bright. The sky was clear for miles and the warmth on my face felt good. I’d gone for a run outside at lunch because it was just one of those days you don’t pass up a few minutes outside, even when you should be in your office!
There was no sense of foreboding. No sirens or alerts to warn anyone. The only warning I had was the phone call that came while I was listening to some music anticipating a different conversation.
The skies hadn’t changed colors, but as I pushed the pedal further into the floor I couldn’t see through the water clouding my vision. While everyone around me was enjoying the same sun that only moments before had felt so great, the day felt like a hurricane bearing down on me. I was dodging things that weren’t there and as my heart raced the world was crumbling behind me. The road surface disappearing in my mirror.
Sitting in the backseat of my father’s SUV racing towards John’s Hopkins Campus, curled up on the tile floor still not able to see anything, trying to eat a bowl of soup my mother later made while I sat not having any words; all just images that appear when I blink. Nothing makes sense, everything about the rest of that evening is lost to me. And I am trapped between feeling grateful my brain is trying to protect itself and angry for the same reason.
730 days have passed since the clouds took over and I haven’t seen the sun the same way. The prism of color that used to exist is now just shades of grey, the world feels like I’m beneath the water’s surface and spinning while trying to find air. A chance to breath without this dullness in my chest that grief and confusion has applied for permanent residence status.
It’s selfish and I make no excuses for my feelings, February 11th, 2014 changed everything in ways that I’m still recovering from. Some times I know I never will and other times I’m afraid that I might.
I’m just a dad who doesn’t know how to stop acting like one…