Yesterday was not an easy day. It’s been over 8 months since Papa has been going, yet it still feels so raw. Mostly because I haven’t allowed myself to process my grief. It’s just easier to look at the unfairness of things, to be snippy at others at their “luck” of having dads still.
My selfishness knows no bounds when it comes to my emotions and thoughts. I buried myself in feeling sad and sorry for myself, yet it hit me as I hiked Hellman Trail yesterday that my father would have hated me this way. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who would try anything to make his loved ones smile. So not was I dishonoring his memory, I upset others with my crappy attitude.
Then a beautiful message from my wife hit me to my core, and I lived yesterday with a new sense of urgency: to not waste time and energy on things I cannot change. Then I also noticed how so many had reached out, and the most I could muster was a lame thank you. It is in times of need that I sometimes truly forget that I am never alone. I just make myself feel that way which only serves the selfish need inside me to dwell rather than take responsibility.
So each day will be a focus on less feeling sorry for myself, and then finding way to be in service to others. It’s what my father would have wanted.
I know the above song is your current favorite, but it truly expresses how I feel about you. You and I have come a long way. It’s hard to believe that ,today, we celebrate our second anniversary. I still remember our first kiss under the stars on New Years Eve outside of Suman‘s house 7 plus years ago. I knew at that moment that I would marry you. You were the first person in my life who I fell in love with unknowingly as we became friends. Our friendship was so unlikely especially the fact that we were in different social circles, and I remembered you at our family parties as the girl with pretty eyes. Sigh. Those green eyes. I got lost in your eyes when we first kissed, and I felt I had met my soul mate. Each time you look at me with those piercing eyes. I fall a bit deeper in love with you. I don’t know what I did right to deserve the right to look at you endlessly, but I am grateful for the chance to see those eyes open first thing in the morning.
You and I have had it rough. The ride has been bumpy, I admit, with all that we have both gone through, but I truly believe that they were intended to teach us how to better with each other. I know that you were ready to take on world for me, and I know what a strong and amazing human being you are. The strength and belief you have in yourself motivates me to be a better person. Not many would be standing with what you have already experienced at your age. Yes, we are opposites in many ways, and we both have a lot of different interests. Yet, somehow they have become complementary for us as we settle into each for the long ride called life.
You and I are different personalities. Yet your kindness, love for my family, and all the people in my life constantly reminds me how lucky I am to be with someone who accepts me for who I am. There aren’t many people who I can share everything with, and there definitely aren’t many people who can put up with my stubbornness on a daily basis. You somehow you have managed to make me the person I imagined to be just by allowing me to be myself with you.
You and I are meant to be together. You and I will always get through the good and the bad times. That much I know.
2 down, and a lifetime to go. I love you, Preeti Sabarwal.
Mom. I just don’t have the words to describe what you mean to me. That’s what I wrote in my scrawl on your birthday card, but here I am going to try. I was going to do a status update on Facebook, but something about that just did not feel complete. I don’t tell you enough I love you. I don’t tell you that you are my friend. I don’t tell you that your opinion means the world to me. I don’t tell you that your love of books is the one bond that makes me feel we are in an exclusive book club. I don’t tell you that my moral center came from you.
So much of me is you that I wonder what I did right to be your son. You have supported (and financed) most of my dreams, and not once complained. I love that you text, and Facebook. I love that you make lunch almost everyday with the expectation that we will come, and call if we don’t come for a few days. Your love for all is abundant, yet you make me feel like the favorite (yes, I know I am). There is not much you don’t know about me, and even then you have accepted me. I have failed numerous times, but not once have you made me like a failure.
I know I am quiet most of the time around you, but I hope you know that you are in my life and heart all the time. I already know that these words are not enough, but you know what, they are a start. You are one of my guides, and I hope that I become like you. Kind, spiritual, loving, thoughtful, intelligent, honest, and accepting. The list has just begun, but really I just wanted you to know that I love you and I am sorry for the late post. Even though this is just a sliver of what I feel for you, it seemed to be right that I shared them. I wanted the words to be just right, and even if they are not, I hope you see how much you mean to me. Love you, Mom.
I will be honest. I only know that 3 have been killed, and 147 injured. I have heard that from NPR, and have actively avoided watching TV. I have briefly glanced at Facebook statuses which either express horror, or underscore people’s own insecurity. Muslim? Then you go on a rant for people to be open-minded and wait for the person to be caught before blaming. White? Silence. Because the reality is if it’s a minority, we will put you in a box. We will launch missiles, but if you are white, we will just call you mental and ask for gun control. These types of events are so loaded that many of us struggle not to say anything that compartmentalized or sounds vaguely racist or xenophobic.And others feel free to spew their vision of the world. But as humans, that’s what we do to survive. It does not make it right, it just is.
So before we go balls to the walls on our social media networks announcing what we think, perhaps just for a moment take some time and think about those lost, and perhaps forever maimed mentally. Give a breath and a prayer to the ones who will never get to see another day. These type of tragedies make me realize how truly alone we have become. We only listen to like minds, and have no interest in knowing the Truth. Whatever fits into our narrow scope of thoughts has to be the truth. I realize that past experience forms our present prejudices, but it also allows us not to think anymore. We, as humans, can do better than that. We owe it to ourselves to not let emotion run us all the time. Yes, the person(s) intended to create terror, but their real win will happen when we become less tolerant, and more willing to let others do the thinking and actions for us. We can do better than that.
Clutter. All around I see piles of clutter. First, and always the mental. The master To DO list that never seems to go down. My creativity at adding all my thoughts onto a piece of paper does provide some relief, yet some items just languish there for ages. It’s as if I hope time’s dust will bury them, and I won’t have to do them. There are several I have been avoiding for a long time. I know donating old clothes from my overflowing closet would relieve me, yet I hesitate to go there. I realize that my library needs to be organized, and I need some breathing room in my work space. Currently. I am typing gently so as not to disturb the stacks of the books I have placed all around me so they don’t fall on me. Yeah, the height of irony, me buried under words. Everywhere. I see clutter in my life. Words fill inside me, and I don’t make room for new ones, instead I push them down under more unsaid words and actions.
Behind me, I sense my pacing dog who anxiously, but patiently, waits for me to take her on her daily walk. Back and forth, I heard the skitter of her feet. Each day is a choice of actions. Each day. I can remove or reduce the clutter or I can take care of some other pressing problem. As I type this. I wonder if I should take the garbage cans in first or ensure Bella can get her morning walk in. Each clear moment has become about decisions that make my day. I resist the pathological need to check my Facebook account or the FML website. Each passing minute, I make decisions that create my day for me. And so lies the dust in my life. Some days, the dust seems to far spread that I don’t even feel like trying. Then there are the other days where I begin to pick up something, and the whole weight of what lies ahead feels so suffocating that I rather just aimlessly roam over Spotify and keep creating playlists.
Each moment is a decision, and some days are just spent in whimsical searching of my past. The To Do list glares at me, and it becomes part of the clutter in my life. Each time I glance at it, the enormity of it just gets to me. It has gotten so bad that I have been put taking my meds as part of my life. I am drowning myself in to do items, and it hits me that I have cluttered thinking as well. So the past weeks, I have been doing Morning Pages from The Artist’s Way, and suddenly even the smallest thoughts are written, and I begin to see patterns. Sadness and anger and regret at the thing I needed or wanted them to be. So much regret, so much longing for how I want things to be. So I put the thoughts down on paper, and suddenly I feel a bit lighter. The clutter no longer seems suffocating.
I move the books, and the words are no longer threatening to bury me. One day at a time. One thing at a time.
Lately, I have been on auto-pilot for a lot of things. From drowning in noise on Facebook, to not reaching out to my real friends. I have let others and other things determine my days. I have let too many things to lead me rather than me grabbing life by its throat, and getting things done. This year has started out rough. A few days after my 41st birthday, I suffered a relatively serious illness due to my condition. I have Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome conveniently called APS syndrome (what is it with doctors and their long ass disease names?!). Simply, I have an auto immune disease where my blood thickens and creates clots. It was discovered several years back when I woke and could not talk out of the side of my mouth, and drove myself to my primary who immediately saw the signs of a stroke (surprise, now I am a stroke survivor! Who would have thunk it!), and admitted me into the hospital. So I am sick.
Now I have had two choices. I could either roll around and moan that I am sick, or I could keep moving. Anyone that knows me knows what I picked up. Yet, it hasn’t been easy. I cannot take my days for granted anymore. It is something that I have to remind myself that although I look and mostly feel 100%, I am not. That’s hard to take for me. Each morning, I have to wake up and be reminded that I have to work towards being well. Not just physically, but in my thoughts and actions. There is too much I have allowed to build up. Too many thoughts and feelings towards people and myself that I have left unsaid.
Yet, it is not easy starting over. In fact, it sucks. I hate the fact that I cannot work out or that I tire easily after 6 to 8 hours. I hate that I have to parcel out myself to others because I have a nasty habit of blowing up at inconvenient times. I have to relearn a lot of things. The main thing I have to work on is the word “I.” I am constantly struggling between just focusing on my pain and being there for others. I have failed many recently because I have been too caught up with myself. The word “I” rules my world and while some days it is justified, it does not make it OK to NOT see others and their pain. I know I am better than that. I have to be better than that because there is no point in life if you cannot contribute to others. So each day starts with a TO-DO list. A list of things I need to do, and be. A list of reminders that there is more to the world than just me.
So each day starts with the reminder that I am sick. But each day also starts with “I can be better.” I will be better. There is no middle ground.