I know I haven’t written in a while. Truth is…things are pretty screwed up down here right now.
It’s been a pretty extravagant example of the age old addage “It could always be worse…”. We all get it now. Believe me.
We have political unrest. A divided country (it’s always been divided I know, but a LOT more people are defnitely open about where they stand). We have rogue police murdering citizens in broad daylight (still). We have a pandemic that has killed over 400,000 people WW (and more to come for sure). And just to add a bit more horror to the mix, we have murder hornets. Yeah…as if hornets weren’t bad enough without having the word Murder in front of it.
I hear you laughing in my head right now because you know just as well as I how much this has all taken a toll on me. I miss your steadying hand and stern reassurance. Perspective that I learned to rely on so much. That reassurance that no matter how bad it got, there was only so much I could do, and to focus on the things that I COULD do, versus the things I could not.
Your voice is still there. You’re still with me in that sense, and I am so grateful for that.
“You feel too much Ryan…but that’s also why I love you.”
It’s been 3 years since I last held your hand.
3 years since I kissed your forehead as you left us.
3 years since that morning where I felt like a bomb had just gone off in my brain and soul leaving a lot of scorched earth and a huge hole where my presumptive life and future once was.
It’s a strange thing to look at how this feeling has changed over the years. I now grieve more for what YOU are missing than for you not being here with us. I’ve accepted you’re gone from our reach and out of our sight. I’ve accepted it wholly.
Now it’s the bittersweet feeling of seeing our daughter starting to accelerate into womanhood with the same vigor and energy that you assaulted your goals with.
And you not being here to reassure her and cheer her fierceness in person.
She has your fire and drive. 100%. She wants to badly to make a difference in the world. She wants to help others. Her new goal is to be a Child Psychologist and specialize in trauma and grief counseling. Not because she feels it and wallows in it, but because she can empathize and help others who may go through what she has.
I think this goal is the one that’s going to stick. Oh…and she wants to go to Stanford. Yeah I know…not only does my bank account cringe at that thought…but the SJSU Spartan in me cringes as well.
I can’t tell you how often I sit in awe of her. Her ability to take everything in stride and move on. But then again, she’s your daughter, and I always had the same sense with you as well. How you took all of the bumps and loss and scary test results and simply said
“Ok…what exactly are my options now?”.
With grace. With strength. Without fear. Without an ounce of self-pity.
Just sheer force of nature “let’s get this done” attitude.
I try every day to live with that example you set for us. I struggle…badly. But I keep at it. I hope you see that. I hope you know I’m doing the best I can to fill as much as I can in your absence.
Your daughter wants to make you proud. More than anything else in her world. She is driven by that goal. I’m going to do my best to keep her on that path. I know you are proud of her. I hear your voice in hers more and more every day.
Everytime she has one of those moments where she sounds just like you…it strangely calms my anxiety and let’s me think…
“Yeah..she’s going to be just fine…”
That’s a gift.
We miss you.
I’ll try to write more here. But you know how it is…(and I am…)…
Things are pretty screwed up down here. But we will press on and do our best to live the life that you wanted for us.
As best we can.