Three years ago today life was thrown off kilter more than I’d imagined it would. Becky and I were wrapping up our morning run when I got the call that Dad had a stroke and was being rushed to hospital.
Of all of the days of my life this is a day I remember more clearly than most. My thoughts have gone to the negative portions of that day only rarely today. Time seemed to crawl by at an excruciatingly slow pace. Just like in the car accidents I’ve been in everything seemed to slow down. I observed all around me in sharper detail than normal. Each detail burning itself into my brain whether I like it or not.
What’s struck me today is just how times my brain went to very positive thoughts and memories with Dad. When I started thinking about three years ago I caught myself remembering with clarity the many joyful moments mixed into that day. Yes, as shitty of a day as it was there were still so many bright spots all around. All I had to do was look for them and focus on them. Conversations with my brother I’ll never forget. Calls from friends and family. So many well wishes via email, text, and Facebook. Hug after hug after hug in the hospital. Becky propping me up so often throughout the day. Even in what may have been one of the darkest days of my life there was love and light.
When I thought back to three years ago I remembered those joyful moments. I smiled. I’ve even laughed at several of them! Very few thoughts have been focused on the pain and heartache of the day. I’m sure I’ll be feeling those on and off again our the next week or so, but for today they weren’t the focus.
What I am most thankful for today are all of the thoughts and memories I’ve had playing in my head. Dad has been at the top of my mind all day long. It may sound crazy, but it feels a lot like I’ve spent the day with him. Just a hunch, but I’m thinking this may continue through tomorrow. Becky and the boys are out of town. I’m home alone and will be working on some projects around the house. Time for me to spend quietly in thought with Dad. I’m sure I’ll feel his presence closer than ever… especially the first time I make a bone headed mistake and I hear him laughing in my heart.
Today’s been different though, almost like a highlight reel playing intermittently throughout the day. I see something I made with Dad and I think of him. I have a conversation with Dominic that reminds me of Dad. At one point I even caught myself looking at myself on Zoom and thinking about how much I was making a facial reaction like Dad. Thoughts of him one after another after another. It’s been awesome!
So I’ve rambled a bit and am probably going to change the title slightly now as a result.
To everyone who filled my heart with love and joy on this day three years ago… thank you so much! Your kindness is so clearly remembered and will never be forgotten. Your actions and words have inspired me to be a better help to others. You each helped me see and focus on the light in the darkest of nights. Thank you!!!
Dad… dude… love you Bud! Looking forward to spending time in spirit, thought, and remembrance with you tomorrow.