Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Alright, I'm Listening

The universe wants me to pay attention, apparently.

It's that time of year again... the anniversary of my father's death, several annual memorial events. I try my best to squelch the uncomfortable waves of grief that begin deep down in my core, to calm my latent dread; I wait for that day when it all lifts and I can look at a picture of my dad without the bottom of my stomach dropping out. Without holding my breath.

But reminders are all around at this time of year, even unexpected ones.

Yesterday, I helped Brady with a college class project. He had to produce a live video segment for his Video Production class and my friend Kristin and I were his guests. I interviewed Kristin on - what else? - unschooling, while Brady sat in the control room hoping his crew would cue the lights, cameras, and me at the right times. While we waited for our turn, we struck up a conversation with a young woman who was also waiting to do an interview. She mentioned she's from my town, so I asked her name. I didn't recognize it, but told her my name, including my maiden name, asking her if she knows any Flynns. She paused... "Well, I got the John Flynn scholarship last year, are you that Flynn?"

Wow. Tears welled. I sure am. I wasn't able to attend the scholarship presentation last year, and thus, hadn't met the 2nd year recipient. What amazing serendipity.

When I asked where she was going to school, she told her own tale of woe. She'd taken a year off after two of her closest friends were killed - in separate unrelated accidents - in the same week.

Today, another reminder to pay attention. Scrolling through my Facebook homepage, I spy a photo album posted by someone I don't know titled "John Flynn Memorial Tournament." This past weekend was the basketball tournament named in memory of my father. I took a peek, recognizing a few people, my brother included, when a picture of the trophies and plaque unexpectedly appeared - and on the plaque is a photo of my dad. My heart pounded.

I still have a DVD in my desk drawer - right here, not 6 inches away - of my father giving a presentation to the local Historical Society. A kind neighbor gave it to me shortly after his death, thinking I'd like a copy. It was a sweet gesture, but I can't watch that DVD. Seeing still photos of him is difficult enough. Seeing video of him talking? Breathing? Alive? Can't do it.

I know enough about universal messages to understand that I'm not supposed to be stuffing it all away, pretending it didn't happen, that today is just another day and March is just another month. I can run, but I can't hide.

I'm listening now.

10 comments:

Stephanie said...

Big squeezy hugs to you.
Hugging and listening we are.

Beachbum said...

Hugs, friend. Big ones.

Heart Rockin Mama said...

My dad died 7 months ago. I still haven't looked that in the eye.
I have a message saved on my phone from him when he was in the hospital. I can't listen to it either. We thought he was on the mend when he sent it. But, it's there if I ever do feel ready.

Consider yourself hugged from someone who recognizes your pain. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Zenmomma said...

I'm facing this possibility soon. My thoughts, and hugs, are with you.

Jen said...

Hi Laura!

My Mom has been gone for four years already! So I know what you're going through! I still cry when I hear her voice on a tape or a video! It's hard to lose someone that was so special and close too me! I have pictuers of her ALL over the house!

So I know she's still ALWAYS alive in my heart! No can EVER take that away!

Always cherish the memories you had with your Dad! I know he'd be VERY proud of you! I send you a BIG hug from me to you!

Love,
Jen!

Heather's Moving Castle said...

I think the hardest thing for most of us when we loose a loved one are regrets and feeling cheated. I have lost several loved ones over the past five years. My husband lost both his parents over the past two years. You are not alone. Losing loved ones is very strange and hard at certain times of the year. I hope you can find a way to channel that energy into positive and keep passing on your dad's spirit. From what I can see you are off to a good start. Let the tears flow when needed. And don't stuff it. Glad you shared a bit about your dad here! I'd love to read more about him whenever you want to blog about it.

denise said...

Interesting when the universe whacks you over the head a few times just to say Helloooooooo!!??? Hugs, my friend.

FLO said...

I lost my sister 27 years ago and I still cry like a baby whenever I hear her voice on old tapes, singing to me. The crying really does help, letting it go a little at a time. Maybe someday it'll all be gone but we don't know until we get on that road. Grief certainly is a journey. Big hugs and deep breaths from me to you!!

Chris said...

Oh man, Laura, you had me bustin' a gut while I was reading this! I said "bustin' a gut" because I thought it sounded like a farm-like thing to say. LOL

Chris

Chris said...

OK, this was supposed to be with the farm post. What in the world happpened??! I thought for sure I put it in the right spot...now it looks like I am really insensitive! Sorry!

Chris