Once again, what I had hoped to write about takes a back seat to a further discussion of something that sits top of mind because today is the third anniversary of something odd that happened in my life. I suppose you could say I have the attention span of a cat at times.
Today is the anniversary of when I got hospitalized for an accidental medication overdose. My Primary Care doc had ramped me up on the drug too quick, and it caused my brain to overload and shut down. I’ve examined and re-examined it from every angle, and there are certain truths that remain.
The primary truth is peace.
I think instead that I’d want to focus on the fact that three years later…I’m OK. I think of everything that’s changed in the last three years since “the incident” and it leaves me a little stunned. Apparently Mom raised a boy a little stronger than what he thought he was.
I’ve grown into my role as a father. There are two shining little beacons in my life, and every single time I ever see them, it’s the greatest moment I’ve ever had. I’ve changed jobs…twice, which has resulted in me actually having a profession. A real, honest-to-goodness career doing something I legitimately enjoy.
I’ve repaired wounds I never thought would heal.
I’ve grown closer to God than ever I thought possible. I may still be one of his more misanthropic sons from time to time, so I’m still working on it, but we’ve got a better agreement.
And while I still miss my mom every single day of my life without exception, sometimes to the point where I’m overcome, I’m more at peace with having to wait to see her again. It’s not about me anymore. I understand now, so much better, that it’s not just about me.
And while there is truth and there is peace, and I work every day to be the positive man I know I want to be, I carry with me a sadness at the mistakes I’ve made. Every mistake that led to someone being hurt or disappointed, every moment I put myself ahead of someone else. I’m still learning.
I could dole out cheap false wisdom about learning from those mistakes, but I’m not a prophet and I’m not a perfect man. I will always struggle with the way two people can look at the same facts and still reach remarkably different conclusions. Just because I might have gotten a glimpse of something greater than myself doesn’t mean I’m not praying for help just like everyone else.
What I’ll Never Forget
There are some things that will always come to mind first for me about that day, and the day after that.
My mother’s voice, telling me to wake up. That sticks with you. It’s very hard to shake that one.
My brother, at the foot of my hospital bed, with that unmistakable look he gets when he can’t fix something. It’s always spinning up in that brain of his how he can be somehow super-brother and act as substitute parent, always mentor and dear friend while making sure I never fall. He’s the kindest, most wonderful older brother any guy could want. He’s shared things with me that no other human on the planet will ever know, that still cause us as grown men to occasionally giggle at the worst times as we have the same thought at the exact same moment.
Mike, who’s going to get a special blog of his own tomorrow for his birthday, sacrificed his time three years ago simply to be at my side, like he always has been. His support then, and today, is at the core of my own ability to function as a person.
Of course, Stacey. So much that could be said, that we have said and that we don’t say. So many things we don’t need to say anymore. The only thing I can say to her is that I wish we had always found a way to be this good at being us.
And while Mia was but a nascent self suspended in amniotic fluid then, my children. Someday, I’ll be able to tell them that the greatest gift I ever received was the opportunity to be their Daddy. I will always be the best I can be for them.
I know that parts of this are redundant to what I’ve said before, but let’s be honest. The whole point of an anniversary is to remember those things that got you where you are, take stock and see if you did things as rightly as they could be done. To give thanks for getting this far.
And I do. I always will.