It’s been a rough few weeks for me.
I miss Mona tremendously. It hasn’t got any better…in fact it’s amplified. The loss has somehow become “larger” as the numbness of the loss wears off and life moves on.
I started several posts but was unable to finish most as they just kinda meandered and went nowhere. And while that might be therapeutic in a way, it just seems like just a venting of random things, not meaningful, and not really worth the time to put into a written form.
So it’s been quiet here. Not because of lack of thought, just because I haven’t been able to sort things out in my head to put things in writing.
Right now I’m in the middle of the “writing season” for me. Where I get to feed my artistic side and somewhat recharge my battery (while simultaneously depleting it…it’s complicated…maybe I’ll explain it sometime) through creation.
And it struck me…
I wouldn’t be doing any of this if it wasn’t for Mona.
She dragged me (LITERALLY) to a marching band practice almost 20 years ago now to just come hang out with her and watch her teach the colorguard and Independence High School.
Fast forward a few years and I was running the box and working with some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life.
I got to flex my creative side and learn how to write drill and then eventually staging for guard and have been exposed to so many amazing perfomers and fellow instructors, judges, and truly fine human beings through this thing.
And it was because she saw and KNEW it was something that I would truly love. She saw the passion there.
And now she’s gone.
It feels unfair to me. Like she bought the lottery ticket but somehow I’m the one that gets to keep the money after winning.
It’s been a very hard challenge for me this season because I second guess EVERYTHING I write, and marching band is HARD because you have to temper the ability level and keep things POSSIBLE for the performers with your creativity.
Everything is measured and weighted.
Mona used to be my second set of eyes reassuring me that things would work. That a certain moment was really cool and had lots of potential…or wouldn’t work because of an equipment change….or reminding me of some idea I had casually mentioned to her on a car ride 2 years ago and she was actually listening to me babble…
“Remember that idea you had? I think that would work in this part don’t you?”
A true partner who had my back. And made me feel like I could actually DO this thing and not screw it up for everyone.
I miss that extra voice being constantly there. Being able to call over to the other room and have her roll her eyes and say…
“YES RYAN, it’s FINE..it looks GREAT….”
Or when I really got something right…
“Wow hon that’s really cool.”
I miss it very very much. It highlights the loss of Mona in yet another way that I wasn’t expecting.
And then I realize that this is just a small sliver of how she did that for me in everyday life. How her words of encouragement extended far beyond just pageantry, but to me as a dad, as a caregiver, as a man.
I feel I might have taken that for granted. And it crushes me to think of that.
Did she know how much I appreciate that?
Did she know that she gave me that gift of confidence?
I like to think she did.
I’m pretty sure she did.
I’d give anything to be able to hug her and tell her “thank you” for that gift right this moment.
So I try to sit here in silence and visualize Mona telling me these things. I don’t know if it’s healthy. I don’t care.
I’ll take anything that does at this point.