About my freshman year at college, there were several things that shattered my universe and it all kind of came crashing around me.
My mother and father separated, I started working a job I hated to pay the truck payment. I was trying to do college first shift, work third shift and figure out how to help the family situation. I failed at all three. College, I started smoking cigarettes and pot, family crumbled even worse and I quit my job. Some look at my resume from that time with disgust. I have never effectively communicated that portion of my life. Probably never will. So, without college, one invariably goes to work and figures life out that way. Problem? I could not find another job. I was too proud and too high to get another job.
Solution? drift aimlessly and enjoy life while I could. Good thing too, cuz the next year would bring the death of my father in his sleep. I still remember the very last night he was alive and screaming at me over something my sister did. I remember I told him to F off and went to bed. I kick myself for that regret a lot. The next day brought his death as a total shock. We all knew he wouldn’t live forever but this was different. Supposed to live longer than this. But, I get it. He lived his time he was supposed to. He suffered and God called him home. I don’t blame him for being angry. I have since learned to take it all less personally than I did then. I no longer blame my bad decisions on him and I’ve grown.
I was devastated upon waking that morning. He wouldn’t budge or answer or respond. He just was simply dead. The orange beautiful sunrise I woke up to that morning was a personalized gift from the Lord. Watching his head bounce as EMT’s tried to lift him to their gurney, was probably the worst part of that day. In time, I would mark this as well as something with purpose. Not sure what yet, but something specific.
The funeral home barely had enough room in it to contain the people that my dad’s life had touched. I remember I wrote him a poem and was read by my uncle Butthead. I wrote that thing while watching The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. Wild movie with Andrew Dice Clay in it. Three songs were chosen by him and as of right now, I can only remember two of them. Long Haired Country Boy by Charlie Daniels and Wanted Man by The Four Horsemen. I really need to remember the third one but cannot right now.
I didn’t realize that he had connected with so many people. It kind of gave me the idea that a big funeral matters. It means that you touched people and changed people and probably left this place better than it was before you being here. It means more to have a huge funeral than to have a huge life. All in perspective there I suppose.