Paralysis. I’m so hurt and angry that I just want to scream. Scream from the bottom of my stomach at the top of my lungs. I want to scream until my throat burns and my ears explode. While the rest of the world mourns the death of many, I am still mourning the death of one. Constant sickness. Inexplicable nausea and dizziness. Sometimes I can feel my heart rate sky rocket and my knees get weak. There’s no one to talk to. Who can I talk to about the burning and aching in my chest? How am I to explain to my children that sometimes I have a hard time moving?
I was driving along the highway with y hand draped out of the window. I was fine. I was lost in thought but I was okay. Then in the far right lane, there were two men. Each were riding their own motor cycle. My mind flashed to you. I remembered the last time I saw you with your bike, you were wearing some sort of armor. You were riding safely. These men, however, wore nothing but loose, short sleeve t-shirts, and small bucket helmets. There was no doubt in my mind they would make it to their destination safely nor was there any desire for otherwise.
It did cause me to question everything. The questions rolled into consciousness faster than I could attempt to answer. My head started to spin. I had to pull over. In the blink of an eye, I went from trying to discern the different ways to describe the air I’ve been breathing knowing that I can’t share it with you to trying to discern why some people make it to old age and others do not.
I thought about your funeral. I thought about the many lives you touched and why it was decided in such a short time, your job was done. What did we all learn? I sat on the side of the road and thought for what felt to be a very long time. What did I learn? What did you leave me with? My mind quickly navigated our memories together like fingers through a rolodex or an infinite scroll on someone’s social media website.
My mind streamed and my chest caved. In February, we talked about spending the entire week together because we would have the time. That was what triggered our last disagreement. Before that, I was short on my rent. Or short for my car note. I can’t recall but you came by and gave me what I needed. Before that, you helped me bring boxes upstairs to my friend’s house. I had just moved in. All of these occurrences were great but not life changing.
I started to panic. He wasn’t finished with me so why was he taken so early? So my mind kept sifting. I had an insatiable desire to know what your purpose in my life had been. My mind flashed to the beginning of us. I was thirteen going on fourteen and you were eighteen going on nineteen. I had a boyfriend and I have no idea what you were up to. You were funny and cute as hell. I had fallen in love. I left my boyfriend and we were officially together.
The difference you made in my life transpired long before my adulthood. You were my angel, my caretaker, my light. Around the age of fifteen, I was always getting put out of my mother’s house. And if I wasn’t being kicked out, my mother wasn’t home. Whenever I found myself with nowhere to go, I was welcomed into your home and whenever I found myself home alone without any food or water, you were there to supply it.
There are people that would argue that you were just taking care of the person you were involved with and this may be true but it was you heart that made the difference. It was your desire to see me grow. At fifteen, my life could have gone either way. I could have started taking drugs or become someone’s property. Under your watchful eye, I became neither. You were my home.
At a time in my life where I was the most malleable, you allowed me live and grow in a safe environment. While I know we spoke of our teenage years often, I don’t believe I’ve ever formally thanked you. This is how you touched my world. This is the difference you were here to make in me. For you to make such a significant difference in my life, what did you do for the other people you met?
My heart constricts when I think of the possibilities. The dizziness resumes. The silence is deafening. I’ve entered the state of denial. I’ve concluded that your difference is so great, that your time could not have been concluded so soon. I can recognize the denial but it feels so much better.