Two years ago today my beloved Poppy-the man who brought my mom up to be the beautiful woman she is today, the man who would share his old recliner with me while we watched The Price is Right, the man whose donald duck voice continues to replay in my mind-said a temporary goodbye to me & my family as we surrounded him in a room in a hospital made up of shapes of blue that have since then seemed to fade.(His eyes were the bluest I've ever seen.) I woke up this morning & I didn't feel empty like i did two years ago. I would be wronging him if i let myself feel empty on this day. He, in all his selflessness, would want us to be happy and healthy, like we know he is now. I drove to school & listened to "Pictures of Success" by Rilo Kiley. When my sister & I drove down I-40 to her dorm room after leaving the hospital that day so that she could get the things she needed for the weekend & for the funeral, we listened to this song, unintentionally relating to the lyrics:
"when you're dead in hospitals & freeways. when you're dead, in dress shirts & neckties"
It was surreal connecting to this song on such an accurate level after listening to it on repeat for months & months before this day, & realize the gravity of the words. I think often about how much losing him taught me, how much i grew in the mere three days following his death. During that time, I got sad & i cried myself to sleep many nights, i cried every time i pulled up to his house, every time i saw his empty recliner & waved goodbye to my grandma as she stood on her porch alone. But I realized the Earth did not get sad. I saw butterflies & happy babies & blue balloons disappear into the clouds, & i learned that even though it was the hardest moment in my sixteen years of life, it would be a disappointment to him, & a shame for me to not let that beauty that he was letting me see in the world come through in my happiness. I'm not saying i don't get melancholy at the thought of him not being around anymore, God knows that is far from true. I miss him every second of everyday, but i cannot mourn. I can thank him & my grandma for creating such a beautiful family, i can blow him kisses to the sky when i leave his house, i can show off his handsome photo to everyone i meet & i can love and live like he'd want for me to. And i will.
Losing a love opened my eyes to aspects of humanity, of the Earth, and of spirituality that I'd always been blind to. I started noticing the way our bodies work, the way our minds process, the connections we make, the way butterflies floated in & out of our sight as we thought of him, the way nature works for each other & i began asking myself, "how can you look at this beautiful little baby & not believe in God? How can you feel the wind on your skin & see it move through the trees the way it does & not believe in God? How can you physically feel love flowing between human beings & not believe in God?"
Tonight, my Mom, Dad, Uncle Tim & I went out to dinner with Grandma & felt Poppy's presence the whole time. She seemed to be in good spirits, which made me happy. I didn't want to make the drive to Little Rock alone & felt like it'd be nice to have my love with me, so I asked Nick if he'd come along. I thought a lot today about how my whole life I've felt like it was necessary for the two most important men in my life(my Daddyo & my Poppy) to approve of whoever i am with. My dad approves of him & i know that even though he isn't around, Poppy would enjoy Nick's company & know that he is wonderful for/to me. That's how i am positive that Nick & i are a good thing. : )
Picture of the day:
This is Poppy-dreaming of Grandma in a cafe in France years ago.