Sunday Post 154: Feeling Again

The other day Michelle and Stephanie decided they were going to organize the cabinet in the living room where I’d crammed our hundreds of CDs. Their work gave me motivation to pull out some of the old tunes –

A little Chicago:

Everybody needs a little time away, I heard her say, from each other… even lovers need a holiday, far away from the one that I love…

As I was heading out for a three-hour drive to Charlotte last week I grabbed a handful of nostalgia and began listening – and singing – hadn’t forgotten a single word.

I do well with my grief now. I’m not wallowing in it. I seldom cry about my loss. I’ve done a pretty good job, nearing the four-year anniversary, of putting my life back together.  My counselor told me it would take that long.

But sometimes, I just need to miss her.

As I cruised down I-85, one song socked me in the gut. It was about desperately loving someone.

I could tell from the onset that listening to it was going to be emotional. I knew if I listened to it I was going to fall apart. Not slightly tear up, no, this was going to be significant.

Oddly, I played the song all the way through. And I cried. And I missed her. And I played it through again, and again, and again.

When, on occasion, I go to that place, I generally swallow hard – fight it back. But on that day, something inside me said go ahead… miss her. It’s OK. Get it out.

It didn’t ruin my day, nor my week. I didn’t get stuck there. I’m still moving on. I’m still really happy.

I just temporarily needed to feel, to feel that sad again.

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Sunday Post 90: Scared to Death

Before 2010, I didn’t spend a great deal of time thinking about dying.  I think in my younger years I was scared to death of death, I just didn’t think about it that often.

I’ve always believed in heaven, but I’ve got enough “Doubting Thomas” in me that anything not tangible is, at times, difficult for me to digest.

But before Lisa died, it just wasn’t on my mind.  Plus, I thought I was immune to tragedy – sort of felt like I was a “chosen one”.  I felt for others who had experienced bad things, but it really didn’t cross my mind that I, the Danny Tanner, would ever be stricken with a significant loss.  In fact, I was so sure that nothing would happen to Lisa that I sometimes joked about it.

“If something happens to Lisa, I’m taking a date to her funeral.  I can’t so this by myself.”

Not so funny now, huh?

It wasn’t happening to us, soo I just didn’t spend much time worrying about my demise.

Today is a bit different.

In the past two weeks, I’ve had business trips to both Akron and Boston.  And now I get a bit freaked out when I leave the kids to travel – especially on a plane.

I know that’s ridiculous.  It is much more likely that I’ll die in a car wreck on the way to work than to drop out of the sky over Hoboken, New Jersey.  And yet, I just can’t seem to avoid my wandering mind.

My maturity and spiritual growth has taken much of my fear of dying away.  I think Heaven is a wonderful place and the older I get, I know more and more folks who are there.  Can you imagine having the opportunity to reconnect with all the people you loved so deeply who have gone before us?

No, it’s not my fear of dying that stresses me out.  It’s actually the thought of my girls without me.

I’m sure they’d be alright.  They have a ton of people here on earth who love them and who would care for them.  But I just can’t help but to envision their shock and sadness if I didn’t come back home.  The thought takes me back to that cold day in February 2010.  I remember Michelle burrowed under my arm on the front row of our church as we sang familiar hymns to honor Lisa’s memory.

And then, I picture the same venue – only I’m in a jar on a table at the altar.

The thought of them enduring that service alone is a vision I’ll not soon be able to shake.  How much loss could they handle?

As a parent, it seems that often my fears are the same as they were when I was younger.  However, the motivation behind my anxieties has changed greatly.

In 1985 I was afraid to die, but it’s because I wasn’t sure what was beyond.  Today my thoughts are not sadness for me, but the burden for them.

Kids change you.  Kids change your perspective.  For me, kids instilled selflessness – something I desperately needed fifteen years ago.

Near the end of her life, Lisa said, “I’m not that upset that the girls won’t have me as a mother.  It just makes me sad that they won’t have a mother at all.”

I think I now understand what she meant.

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