When I was growing up, this saying was something many parents used as a child raising technique. I’ve been thinking about it a lot today, and wondering if mom and dad really understood what it meant:
‘Here is a little gift from me. It’s going to hurt enough to make you cry.’
I don’t think they got that. The point was to shut the child down, thereby making life easier for themselves. Self esteem wasn’t a thing back then. Providing food and clothes, and teaching kids manners and ethics was considered a decent parenting benchmark. But as many of us have discovered, having something to cry about comes to everyone sooner or later.
Today is my husband’s birthday, and I know that since he’s dead, time does not pass the same for him anymore. I believe that he exists on another plane (some call it heaven) because many people have had near death experiences and discovered that our life energy does not die with our bodies. So, wherever you are, honey, I hope you’re doing something special, like a canoe trip. Me, I’d be shaping up to battle the Death Star with Han Solo at my side. But you were never into science fiction. Happy paddling. Say hello to our friend, Charlie Mott for me.
I hope my request for someone to distract you on June 28th and July 3rd was taken seriously. Those were the days I had garage sales for all of your dad’s stuff. Some of yours, too. I’m telling you now, in case you didn’t know. We raised over $3200 between the two sales, and the money went to some good causes. I’m sorry you didn’t get to be there because you would have been shocked by everything your dad had squeezed into those towering piles of junk. It was kind of insane.
And almost like a party. I had three different guys (looking like they were on safari and had just spotted a rare breed of rhinoceros) tell me, ‘This is a man’s garage sale!’ Family and friends helped make it happen. Their kindness gave me something to cry about.
So does your absence, which seems more real now that time has passed. I guess I took you for granted, which is a gift no one understands until it’s gone. When you’re accustomed to having someone at your side, you slide into the comfortable certainly that they will always be there. But your spot is unfillable, and I’m learning how to deal with that.
Sometimes I get angry, and other days I walk around like I’m searching for something. ‘What am I looking for?’ I ask myself out loud. This has been a constant theme in my life. (I should just admit that I’m looking for my brain.) But now I think I’m mostly looking for you. Even though I’ll have to die to see you again. And I have people here, so that’s not currently doable.
However, when that day comes, you’d better be ready for me. I want to see a shoreline, and a canoe ready and waiting, with you at the back, and my home made Rick Hall paddle already in place. I want us to camp somewhere, and I’m taking it for granted there’ll be no mosquitoes. Maybe you could arrange for us to use that first tent we bought. Remember how small it was? We forgot to buy a fly and it collapsed in the rain. But the rest of the time it was so cozy.
Until then, have a wonderful birthday, and please hug our parents for me. I was going to post the Beatles singing the applicable song, but I think I’ll use one that you sang all the time, even though you couldn’t really sing at all. But that never stopped you, and that’s another thing I loved.