For it only takes a moment
for it all to change.

I can’t get this phrase out of my head; it’s running and running and I can’t even figure out where it came from. But it’s there and it perfectly sums up, well, everything. A moment. The breadth of a second. One sharp inhale. The tap of a finger against the table. The tick of a clock. The splash of a drop from the faucet. Each only small, indefinable moments. But with them, can come the passing of more. Much more.

Today would have been his birthday. But I forgot how old he’d be. When I do the math in my head I come up with 56. But I could be wrong. And I hate that. I can’t stand that I have to remember how old he was when he died and then count the years since simply to figure out his would-be age. That’s not right.

I went to the store to buy 56 candles, so I hope I’m right. Buying 56 candles makes a person think you’re celebrating a big day. But I’m not. I’m sure I’ll eventually get there. But I’m not there now nor will I pretend to be. Death sucks. Straight up sucks. Leaves you beaten and trampled on, trying so hard to keep the pieces together. But the pieces that once fit so well together no longer fit the way they once did, so some re-configuring needs to happen. But how do you reconfigure something you can’t imagine? How do you know how the pieces are supposed to go?

Let me make it easy for you and give you the answer: you don’t. I still don’t know how the pieces are supposed to fit. But I’ve found that they do. There isn’t a science to it or an algorithm that makes sense of it. It’s the puzzle of all puzzles. And the puzzle masters worst nightmare. But somehow, someway, there they are…each piece that has found its place. Sometimes the pieces move. But they still have their place. Sometimes the pieces break in two. But they still have their place.

A place. A place to be remembered. A place to belong. A place to be felt. A place that tells a story. And I told one of those stories about him the other day. It wasn’t a glamorous or perfect or nice story. But it was a real story. A story that, for a moment, made him real to me again. Those are the only moments I have to make him real anymore, in the sharing of a piece that has its place within me. To remove it from its place, display it for another human being to see, and then to neatly and safely tuck it back into its place, until the next time.

Sharing those moments don’t come lightly. There’s a vulnerability in exposing those moments, those memories. They’re all I have. The way his head would fall back in laughter when something was really funny. The intense, burning glare when something made him mad (and of which quickly put me in my place). His tenderness that would reveal itself the second a tear appeared.

And more. So much more. What makes a person stay real when they no longer are real on this earth? I find myself thinking of that sometimes, letting my thoughts linger on the reality that once was, rather than what is. He’s real in the memories, in the way my head also tilts back in laughter when I find something really funny, in the way one look of mine can also silence another.

There is no magic word or path to grief. It’s never ending but ever-changing. And my path isn’t another’s path. Birthdays, holidays, the d-day…the days you’re forced to remember. I try to turn these days into something productive, which is usually me pondering the complexities of life and then writing about it.

Because someone out there needs to hear it. Needs to remember their own stories. Needs to revisit their own places stored within their mind. Needs to be reminded that it might not be okay right now, but that it will be. And that even when it is okay, there will still be moments where it won’t be.

For it only takes a moment
for it all to change.

2 thoughts on “moments

    1. Your Dad was real special and I know he thought the world of you and Zack. He would be so pleased to see the godly young woman that you have become
      . Keep your eyes and heart on the Father who can never leave us or forsake us. He has all the answers to all the questions, but sometimes He asks us to trust Him in the silence.


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