How Quickly Things Can Change

Nine days ago my grandfather died, the only grandfather I’ve ever known. (My dad’s dad died from a brain tumor when I was two years old.) I’ve spent the last nine days adjusting to this new life that the Lord has given me, and let me tell you, it’s not easy, and I don’t like it. Not one bit.

My sister told me three days ago, “We were just his granddaughters. Imagine what mom and granny feel.”

This was the man that picked me up from pre-school along with my grandmother everyday and took me out to lunch, letting me play in the Burger King playground while my grandmother was getting the food. This was the man that taught me that we can survive the present, and that means it will be the past one day. This was the man that fought in World War II, came home, and started working on the railroad again, where he continued for forty-four years. This was the man that lived for God and wanted nothing other than his family to do the same.

This was the boy that was abused by his parents. This was the boy that lived through The Great Depression. This is the boy that had a seventh grade education, yet was the smartest man I’ve ever met.

This was the grandfather that said things like, “Go to school and learn everything you can,” every time he saw me. This was the grandfather that slowly lost his appetite, his strength, and weight that he needed. This is the man that said he wouldn’t plant but a few crops in the garden this year and had more than ever. This was the man that had the best birthday ever on January 18, 2016, his ninety-fourth. This was that man.

“It’s funny how quickly we go from saying “is” to “was,”” my mom said the night of the funeral.

I miss him. Oh, do I miss him. My heart hurts every minute of every day because I realize that it’s more real today than it was yesterday. Sometimes I still forget to breathe. Sometimes I hear the screaming of my mom, my aunt, my grandmother. I’m living in those little moments of sorrow and the memories that make me smile.

I know where he’s at; I know he’s in Heaven. (If that conflicts with your own personal beliefs, I’m not sorry because they’re mine.) However, that doesn’t make it easier, I’m finding out. Every day is a struggle and some are better than others, but I’m sure of one thing: Eventually everything will be okay again. Not today, not tomorrow, but eventually.

And that’s how it’s supposed to be.

“6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:6-7 KJV

A Poem for the Empathetic Soul

I live in a human body,
And what I feel is not fair.
When you hurt,
I hurt.
When you cry,
I cry.
And I don’t even know you.

My empathy is a blessing.
My empathy is a curse.
I love it,
I hate it.
It makes me who I am.

I feel so many things,
And I can’t do anything about them.
I can’t mend his heart,
I can’t heal her mind.
I’m helpless to the hopeless.
I’m a companion to the lost.

If I could change the world,
I would make no one suffer.
I would make no one cry.
I would heal the body
And the brain.

Alas,
I live in a human body,
And what I feel is not fair.
When you hurt,
I hurt.
When you cry,
I cry.
It is who I am.

Seeing the World

imageI wish everyone had enthusiasm for life like three year olds do.

I wish being sung Happy Birthday to was as exciting for everyone in the world as it is for three year olds.
I wish waking up every morning was a new adventure, something to be embraced not dreaded.
I wish people could see life through a three year olds eyes even as life slowly chipped away at them.
I wish seeing the same people over and over again was never taken for granted.
I wish everyone could live life with the enthusiasm of a three year old.

In the Desert

I’m tired of the leaving.
Everyone leaves.
You were supposed to stay.
You were my constant,
Always there.
Then you left.
You decided I wasn’t enough.
Just like everyone else.
Now I’m grabbing for memories,
Laughs,
Smiles.
They’ll fade over time.
But I’ve learned a lot
About myself,
And my feelings for you are forever.
I’m sorry.
I’m stranded.
I’m stuck.
I’m you-less.
And I’m sorry.

Rediscovering Old Writing

Feelings are tough. They’ll tell you when you’re lost, sad, or elated. But what we really notice is when they make us feel like a nail drawn to a magnet. And that magnet is normally another human being. Then sometimes that person doesn’t feel the same, or maybe they’re just shy like you are. It’s a confusing time, for sure, but one thing’s certain:
You want to be around them, talk to them, think of them, day dream about them every second of every day.

In my life, I have written more than I can keep up with. That includes little paragraphs here and there that get lost forever in the whim. Today I came across the paragraph above, and I realized that this is still very relevant to myself today. Whatever I was going through back then, I’m going through again.

While it’s sad to me that I’m back in this place, and I’m finding that the past does repeat itself, I also find this fact every important: I survived it back then, and I can survive it again.

Yesterday’s News: Today’s Reality

Yesterday I got some shocking news, and while it isn’t directly related to my writing, it is related to me, the author. I’d like to share this news with you.

A couple of week ago, my leg started hurting. I thought it was from where I had my feet up on the seat in front of me at the movies, but when it didn’t go away, I started complaining. I finally made an appointment to go to the doctor’s about it, thinking that they were just going to write me off as a pulled muscle. To my utter dismay, they didn’t do that. They rushed me to radiology where I went through an ultrasound, and that’s where they found it.

I have a blood clot in the calf of my right leg, something that I never would have dreamed. It’s called a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), and while it’s not in an artery, it’s still very dangerous. A piece could break off at any time and end up in my lung or heart or in a major artery.

But the point of this – me writing this post – isn’t for attention or sympathy.

I’m writing this because everything seems so little in the grand scheme of things now. I’m 18 years old today, I have a low-risk, life-threatening clot, and I’ve never been more calm about my future and the people in it. Whatever is supposed to happen is going to happen, and there’s no way that I can stop it.

17 Things I Learned During my 17th Year

  1. Five cups of coffee in one day is a bad idea.
  2. The dog on the side of the road is not more important than the traffic in front of you.
  3. Real friends always find their way back to one another.
  4. Cousins are your best friends.
  5. Be excited over the little things; these make life worth living.
  6. Parents only want you to be happy.
  7. Moms understand, and they want to help.
  8. There is no such thing as “too many books.”
  9. Teachers are the people that can change lives.
  10. Staying in touch with people from pre-school with can be one of the best decisions ever made.
  11. There is a great big world out there that no one has seen yet; explore it.
  12. Love doesn’t care about feelings; it will crush you. Repeatedly.
  13. Time doesn’t care if you’re ready; it’s going to keep marching on.
  14. If you find something you love to do, hold onto it and keep doing it.
  15. Sometimes life gets to the point where getting in your car, driving, and letting out a blood curling scream is the only way to keep from going crazy.
  16. High school isn’t an enemy.
  17. The future is horrifying; embrace the terror you feel.