Seven Years

Seven years or 84 months or 364 weeks or 2,555 days or 61,320 hours or 3,679,200 minutes or 220,752,000 seconds.  However you want to track the passage of time, this is how long it has been since my youngest son Noah was lost to me due to suicide. I’ve written about this before; usually at this time of year when I am forced to relive the events which happened on that day. But this year I want to write something a little different.

It was back in the first part of March I was thinking about Noah and I began to ask myself what day he died on. It took me quite a while to remember, actually having to go back through my Facebook account looking for posts from when it first happened. After figuring it out, I felt like quite a failure as a parent. After all, how could a good parent forget the actual day they lost one of their children? It wasn’t until a few days ago when my bride said something to the fact about today being the seventh anniversary and it had crept up on her, I began to think perhaps we had both turned a corner.

When I say turned a corner, I don’t mean either of us has forgotten the day or Noah, but that we have just traveled farther down the road of life. And the more distance you put between yourself and the horrible things which have happened, the easier it becomes for them to take up less space in your every day thoughts. The passage of time is a good thing.

Something I’ve learned in the past seven years is there are no guarantees in life; things have a way of just happening to people; both good and bad. We try to rationalize it when something horrible happens, but there is no making sense of it. We live in a fallen world, in which bad things happen. Another thing I’ve learned is God never changes; He is the same yesterday, today and forever. I know it sounds trite, but regardless, it is the truth. And when crap hits the fan, you have to hold on to what is true if you ever want to have hope of making it further down the road of life.

For me, today marks another year off the calendar and a few more miles along the path I’ve been forced to walk these past seven years. Would I rather not be on this particular journey? Absolutely. I’d love to have my 20 year old son here with me and my family enjoying the life he should be living, but instead I’m living another reality; the one where he is no longer here with me. It’s not my choice, but I will journey on regardless.

The passage of time is a good thing, believe me when I say it. Though it may not look like it when you are in the middle of whatever you are going through, I promise it will get easier the further away from whatever is challenging you. Just do what my family and I have done for the past seven years; breathe, take a step and repeat. Just keep moving forward.

Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up!

It is 5:16 am and my daughter’s dog is barking as if her life depended on it. This is not the first time I’ve gone to check on her either. She barks incessantly and for no other reason than she wants attention.

Like most puppies, there is this drive to play and need for attention, I know this; it’s one of the reasons I don’t have any pets in my home any more. My daughter loves her dog, this is not in question, my issue now is my daughter is not here and it has fallen to me and my bride to take care of the dog.

Herein lies another reason we don’t have pets, I don’t have the time and attention to give to a pet. Before you say I’m one of those pet haters, I’m not, I really kind of like pets, but I feel it is unfair of me to get one if I’m not willing to take the time to love and nurture it like it would need, ergo, I have no pets.

Now as I sit here in my office, Lord of the Rings music playing to help calm the savage beast stirring in my heart, all I can hear is the dog barking, I feel horrible for not stopping what I’m doing and giving 100% of my attention to this animal.  And here is the other thing having an animal in the house is doing to me; making me feel like a horrible person for not spending my time on this dog.

I don’t wish the dog ill mind you, she’s a cute little puppy when she’s not barking…continuously. Perhaps she’s spoiled and this is much like training your kids when they were young; it’s harder on the parent than the children, and if you’ve been a parent you know what I’m talking about.

I’m ranting this morning and I know it, I had plans of what I was going to do for my thirty minutes of writing today, and it was not to talk about my daughter’s dog, who by they way is still barking and it is now 5:30 am; she has not stopped. Some days I guess we just don’t get what we want, perhaps there is a lesson in there for me today; patience and my obvious need for it. I guess I’ll go check on the puppy and make sure she’s okay. Man now I really want to go to work today, ha!

Now you know what I think, do you think less of me? What do you think?