One of the hardest things for me right now is coming across what I call the “landmines”.
When you’ve entwined your life so much with another person, it’s inevitable that places and things that you shared get tied to that person as well.
There are moments right now where I can have a few minutes of “normal” mode thinking. Just regular “normal mode” thinking without sadness or grief overshadowing everything like the bastards they are.
And then I’ll hit a landmine.
A picture will come across my social media feed, or a “thing” that used to have a much different meaning suddenly has become a “landmine”.
For instance, the framed print of the Great Wave that Mona gave to me when she had her cancer recurrence and what she told me when she gave it to me on that day…
“I know you love this piece so much..I want you to have a real copy of it, not the cheap poster you’ve had for years. I’m sorry we have to go through this again hon…”
She apologized to me.
And then gave me a gift.
For her cancer coming back.
Like she had something to apologize for. But that was Mona. Thinking of others even while she was encased in her stoic shell.
She felt the pain, she just processed it differently, and I wish with all my might that I knew the formula for that right now, but it seems just like Greek Fire that recipe is lost. It was taken the moment she took her last breath.
I look at that wave…one of my favorite pieces of art (which is saying a lot..because I love a lot of art) and now it appears to me as the wave that is crashing over me right now as I go through this. It’s taken on a whole different meaning to me.
It used to just be something that i loved for it’s use of color and motion and balance, and now it has become far far more than that.
It’s both beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Majestic and menacing.
So it’s meaning to me is forever changed…and that’s what this process is. It’s ALL change.
I’m not good at change. Never have been. That compounds how hard this all is for me.
Some people would say “Take that down…it’s causing you pain.”
But taking it down wouldn’t take it out of my heart or mind. It would just remove something that means very much to me from life. Expanding the loss I already feel.
Some people SEEK the environment of change..they CRAVE change and all the excitement and uncertainty. Not me. Never.
I thrive in change if it’s forced on me, but it is an immensely painful process for me due to Anxiety pummeling the crap out of me like a schoolyard bully as I go through it.
This house is loaded with landmines. Reminders of a life I once had, dreams dreamed, plans made….and plans never to come to fruition.
All because Cancer came into the picture. The story that was “supposed” to happen had a shitty plot twist.
Mona and I’s relationship was one we had to fight for for a very long time. We had massive ups and downs…but through it all we always came back to each other. We realized we were meant for each other and doubt was erased as we forged our relationship through those trials.
We truly forgave. And that’s something that is incredibly hard for me.
We weren’t perfect for each other at first, but were perfect for each other in the long run. We found that out…and now there is no long run. It’s been cut off.
And I fortune tell now and try to see the future as that Great Wave hovers over me and I cling to the boat….
The problem with landmines is they do tremendous damage…and often leave their victims permanently changed…almost certainly not for the better.
6 Replies to “The Problem With Landmines”
Amazing. Ryan, you are amazing. Thank you for sharing.
So much Imagery! Beautifully written. Insightful. Thank you!
Ryan you are such an awesome man. I am so proud to be your mother. Your posts bring tears to my eyes but I need to read them. I love you and Miriya with all my heart.
Thanks for sharing, Ryan!
After having lost both my parents, my dad this Jan and my mom 9 years ago this time next month, for me, I can tell you the landmines still exist and the waves still come. Fortunately, they do lose their power as time passes.
I’m so glad to know you and to know you have a HUGE support system.
We’re all here for you and your daughter…just say the word.
So beautiful. ❤️
I see that wave as the tsunami of love between you and Mona. It will always remain strong, moving, changing at this phase, but always powerful, always washing over you and Miri to reiterate Mona’s love for both of you.
Landmines will always be there. While the pain will probably never go away, it will change. You will eventually lean into the pain, learning to live with the damages those landmines cause, and…at some point in the future…remind yourself of what’s behind the pain. Behind the pain are those moments you shared with Mona, and every single one of them is invaluable in a million different ways.