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What a gift.

This past Friday was my brother’s birthday. Although my brother died nearly 14 years ago, it wasn’t until last year that I realized how difficult the end of October is for me. I didn’t do so well on his birthday last year. I tried to be positive, but, yo, I kind of lost it. Five days later on Halloween, I found myself in the emergency room only to learn that a case of Shingles took advantage of my wavering, stress-worn immune system. It was jarring for me to realize I wasn’t as OK with losing my brother as I thought.

As October started to go by faster and faster this year, I think in the back of my mind I was aware that my brother’s birthday was coming up; however, I pushed all that far away so I could pretend like I’m an invincible Xena robot, as I’m likely to do. But Monday, I had really intense, emotional day. The next morning I felt pretty sick. I left work early, which was painful for me since I’ve only been there one month. Much too soon for a sick day. One glace in my planner before I left the office reminder me that Friday was Scott’s birthday. I started freaking out. What if I fell apart again? What if I can’t keep it together at work? What if I lose it in front of client? What if I can’t even leave the house that day?

I spent Wednesday and Thursday panicking intermittently about Friday. While I was getting ready for work that morning, I felt the sadness creep up my throat and I choked it back as quickly as I could. After I got to work, I kept waiting for something to set me off, like last year. But nothing happened. Well, nothing horrible happened. Instead, I got to see a beautiful example of human resiliency unfold during the work day. I helped co-teach my first women’s self-defense seminar with two of my judo buddies. I had a series of silly G-Chat sessions with one of my favorite buddies. I went to bed humbled, hopeful, and content.

I know part of the reason I felt so lost last year on Scott’s birthday is that I felt disconnected  from my dad. He’s one of the few people that really knows what that day can be like. But this year, although we didn’t have a flat out discussion about it, something felt different. We’ve both been trying hard the last couple of years to be honest with ourselves and each other. I think this is why now, at least for me, I feel more comfortable with my dad than I ever did. We hung out tonight, and the simplicity of our time together, how calm it feels, just floors me. All my dad and I did was go eat some Vietnamese food and then chill out on my little pseudo-balcony. He smoked a cigar and flipped through a photo book of Cuba. We talked about books, history, student loans, and David Lynch movies. That was it. But what a gift.

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Categories: Life Tags: , , ,
  1. October 27, 2012 at 22:04

    what a beautiful gift indeed. simple love makes a big splash completely unnecessary – and in fact, it gets in the way sometimes – like a big spotlight blocks out the twinkling stars. Sending hugs your way Lorelei.

  2. October 28, 2012 at 21:50

    Beautiful to hear about you and your dad, Lori dear. Also, I am so proud of the important work you do. xo

  3. October 31, 2012 at 20:47

    your blogs almost get my teary eyed, but in a good way! 🙂
    happy halloween

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