June 22, 1985. It is one of the two times in my life that I can honestly say that I had a spiritual moment. It was the day my father died. I had just turned 14 a month prior and I spent the previous 8 months or so watching my hero wither down to a 125 lb skeleton before he died of cancer at the age of 44. The whole day is a complete blur. Early afternoon, I recall having my Mom sit me down and tell me that today was going to be the day. His body had given up and basically he was going to be gone any time. I was escorted up my parents’ bedroom where he was in bed, literally gasping his last breaths. I will never forget the sound.
I remember him squeezing my hand. I don’t remember if we said anything. Nothing was needed to be said. I was then invited to go with a friend of mine to his baseball game. I went. What else was I supposed to do? I remember being at the game and sitting on the field. It was a typical, warm sunny June day in the suburbs of Chicago. I remember little if anything of the game. I do remember a blue sky with big white clouds. I also remember a cool breeze that blew through me while I was sitting there in the grass. The way that breeze felt as though it passed straight through me, I believe to this day that it was my father moving through me, saying his last goodbye.
That moment changed my life. I’ve never been the same since. I’ve reached the point where I’ve stopped wishing it different. I am who I am in more ways than I can begin to explain because of that moment in time. The anger that drove me to run my way through University. The fear of bestowing the same fate upon my own children. The swiss cheese of a memory I have of my life before about 16 years old.
I have a restless soul. It is who I am. There’s a part of me over the past year that has started figuring out that this isn’t a bad thing. I’ve spent a huge part of my life looking over my shoulder. Waiting for some looming cloud to swallow me. I often thought that it was the running (figurative) that kept me ahead of everything. It is such a huge part of me that it’s hard to let it go. I don’t want to lose the edge it feels as though that restlessness brings me. But, I also feel as though I need to let it go. I need to figure out how to channel that energy differently.
My thoughts have been quite heavy on this lately. It seemed to start on Father’s Day, and it is coming to a head today. There’s things happening and it feels as though something is going to break…in a good way.
The other spiritual moment I have had was an upbeat moment. Another life changing experience, but in a way that may come to roost sooner than later. I will be sure to share that more uplifting story when the time comes.