May 28, 2010 at 5:18 am
The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one minute to the next. Jennifer Burdette spelled out the word courage with the magnets that were on my refrigerator one day when she was here and I looked at it over and over until I finally took the magnets down. Courage is something I really never thought I had in me, I pretty much felt like a coward in most situations, especially emotional ones. Stone faced approach to business, friends, and the outside world kept me from getting hurt in the outside circle and kept my bitch label shiny and new. Building that rock wall doesn’t take courage though. It is a cowardice act on my part, an act that kept my courage hiding in my shoes and protected my heart from breakage. If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a kind word of encouragement, or attempts to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen. I know this because we felt it from April 6th to around May 23rd. Those are also the days that my courage started to emerge. At first it was confusion, disbelief and pain that overwhelmed me. But it also took a little bit of courage to sit up, stand up and generally just have my eyes open and take care of arrangements. It took courage to open the door, answer the phone, go to counseling, talk to family, go to the memorial service, and to basically realize what was going on. Well, courage is exhausting. I am currently putting my courage away and just letting things happen as they may. What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. I don’t want to move on, plain and simple. Fred took his life less than 2 months ago. 6 weeks will turn into 12 weeks, then 29 weeks, then one year, then 2 years…..5 years, 10 years. But Fred will always be 24 years old. I will continue to age and everyone will change in appearance but Fred will not, he will not continue to grow and change. I just want to stop time, or even go back if I could. If I can’t save him I just want to stop right now and not change anything or anyone. How do you begin to deal with this and accept it as it is and try to move along with that? I don’t know the answer, I don’t really think anyone really knows the answer to that. I would imagine that people that survive through something like this compartmentalize their thoughts and feelings. Kind of like dresser drawers in your head, labeled, opening and closing continuously with that one drawer full of pain that really never gets opened unless it is late at night and you are all alone……..or god forbid, the drawer falls open unexpectedly and spills all over the floor. But really for the most part, people who successfully work through this pain probably are not as successful at it as they look. I am caught in between two tragedies in my life, trying to figure out how to move from both at the same time and not knowing where one leaves off and the other begins. My father has been given time. Time to reflect and remember the pain and heartbreak he caused. Time to sort through all the feelings and emotions he has collected over the years. In this “time”, he will sort through the collection — and sort out the innocence he stole and the mess of broken promises he stuffed in the bottom of his baggage. Visions of faces and events will startle him awake at night, and rob him of his peace. Nightmares will transfer to his mind while healing begins for those who have been tortured. His sentence of a few years of punishment behind bars will never erase the life sentence he put on me or his other victims. But the “time” for him will make him face his wrong, I hope. So while I have tried to begin healing from one lifelong tragedy, my son took his life and I am thrown into this current tragedy. It doesn’t make sense, someone that I dreamed about dying and having out of my life gets to live, someone bad to the core, lives on and breathes……….while someone so good like Fred is gone. Someone so precious to me, so positive in my life and someone I loved so much — it makes no sense. So my courage is tucked away…………or was it ever courage that really emerged? Maybe it was just the burning desire to be loved.