2022 has been an interesting and challenging year so far. I haven’t written since my dad passed in February. Some of my excuse for not writing has been a lack of time but the majority of my reason for not writing is I simply felt like I had nothing to say.
The year started with another hospitalization for my dad. My daughter and 3-month-old granddaughter were uninjured when the jeep my daughter was driving was struck by someone running a red light at an intersection. Shortly thereafter my dad passed away. My dentist repaired a cracked molar. A friend’s ex-husband attempted suicide.
There were some positives as well. Our daughter announced she is pregnant with our third grandchild and our announced that his wife is pregnant with their first child. We will finish the year with four grandchildren effectively doubling the number of grandchildren.
Some of these things, like the cracked molar, don’t seem like much but with everything else that was going on it was just another stress that was added to the pile. I was diagnosed with “social burnout.”
A friend called and asked me to join him for a night out of bourbon, barbecue, and cigars. Although it sounded like fun, the thought of getting into my car and driving the 30-minute distance to get there proved to be too much. I am grateful for the support system that has been there for me throughout this year.
This week I’ve taken my first week off on vacation. There were other weeks scheduled off but those were for bereavement and thus not restful. I struggled through much of the first few days to find solace in rest instead of believing that I should be busy doing something.
I still find myself feeling overcome with emotion especially when I think about my dad. The shower has been my favorite place to feel these emotions.
The other morning I accompanied my wife to a mass for her mother. I had not entered this church that held the mass since my dad’s funeral. Several times I found myself thinking about the location of his casket during his mass. and silently welling up with tears as I thought about him and what I would say to him if I had one more opportunity. I am grateful for the time we spent together.
This week has been a time of quiet reflection. My normal work week doesn’t offer me much of an opportunity to quietly reflect. I spent Tuesday with my wife and two grandchildren. Chloe is crawling and Chase is growing into a young man of whom I am already proud. His parents took him to a carnival. He played a game of chance and won. He had the option of taking home one big prize or two smaller prizes. He opted for the latter. When he asked why he opted t=for the two smaller prizes, he said, “One for Chloe and one for me.”
The photo below is one I took of Chase when he visited Tuesday. He, as always is lost in thought. I hope he does not allow the world to take this gift of empathy from him as so many of us have.