Over the summer, I’d log onto Facebook and the timeline of photos greeted me like a sucker punch to the gut. Picture after picture of happy families on summer vacations. at the beach. camping in the woods. on car trips. Everyone was so happy, sometimes even down to the family pet, and it all made me yearn for the past in a way I’d never had before. I know I can’t go back in time and that we tend to romanticize our childhood, but suddenly, it was as if every summer trip was flooding through my mind like a kaleidoscope of memories. I could almost feel them. It was certainly a lot of emotion to take in at one time.
No one ever wants to believe that the life we’re living now is finite, that there will be a time when everything is just a memory, that no matter how much we fight or rage against the changing of the tide, things will change. Nothing lasts forever, and that can be a very hard pill to swallow.
Then a few months ago, I had a dream about my father. A lot of my other dreams have been about having one last day with him or discovering that he was leading a double life and had another family — all very psychologically telling, I know. Anyway, in this new dream, he came back and I actually felt sorry for him. I was so happy to see him. I hugged him, and surprisingly, I felt zero anger toward him. It was actually a freeing feeling, to be able to look at him and to genuinely start missing him.
I woke up and realized just how much I really do miss that. We all have armloads of baggage and a laundry list of things we wish we’d done differently, and if we’re not careful, we start to forget the weight of all that. Before we know it, we’re carrying it around with us every single day. I don’t want that anger to be the legacy I carry. I don’t want that to be my definition of finality… xoxo
[Photo of my father on vacation in Virginia]