Friday, January 07, 2011
For those who read my last blog, thank you for such wonderful support and comments, it was a very raw experience for me. LOGOULD said it best “I think that these are realizations that we will all have to come to grips with in one way or another, kind of like peeling back layers of an onion.”. This has been what has been happening. As I move forward and peel back one layer after another, things come to the surface. Once dealt with, we are stronger, better, and more empowered to become who we were meant to be.
I actually had the courage to sit down with one of the individuals that has caused me the most pain. I am not really big on tippy toeing around when it is a big issue. My usual line is “ I don’t know how to say this so I’m just gonna say it…” I proceeded to tell him what was on my mind. He seemed surprised and told me he didn’t know that this was a big issue for me. As the conversation continued, I basically told him to forgive me for not being man enough to come to him sooner and that I should have valued his friendship more than that. Ten years is a long time to harbor anger and unforgiveness. There was more discussed than that but that is the important part. The best part of all of it is that I have lost the “legal” right to carry it any longer, I felt at peace with it. No more allowed to grumble or harbor bad feelings. We are now close again, he never really “left” but I did, slowly and over time. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing.
Through all of this, however, I have forgotten one of the greatest lessons I learned up close. Life is too short to waste it on pettiness and pointless drama. One of the most painful events in my life was losing my best friend in a hunting accident. I was told by the DNR officer that what I had done is the only reason he ever made it to the operating table. That would be great if he had made it. Fortunately I don’t have to live with being the one who made the error in handling the firearm. Nothing will prepare you for the stress of doing triage, trying to save someone 7 miles out in the bush and from the nearest paved road, then try to get him to safety. That day put everything into perspective, look death in the face and you are never the same. Some things are simply not worth wasting another moment worrying about. It wasn’t more overtime at work, a bigger house, more money, or man toys he was asking for. He was asking for us to get him somewhere where we could get a signal so he could call home. His family and his relationship with God was all that was on his mind. He died the day before Thanksgiving. I had civilian and military first aid training and all I had that day, I gave to him but it wasn’t enough. I seriously considered becoming an EMT with the thought that if this ever happened again, I would be ready and never have to go through that again.
I love you Jason and maybe if I was a little smarter, faster or stronger you might still be here. Know this, I did the best I could, we all did. Four years and it still seems like yesterday. I enjoyed the times our families got together, we had a lot of fun. I never told you that. When you were a kid, you had such a smart mouth, I wanted to pop you one, but you grew up and became a selfless man who loved his family and worked hard. You changed a lot, you are missed. I never got to say goodbye.
Thank you for allowing me to share this. I never talked about this and I think it’s about time. I wish I could post something about some new woo hoo or the latest mileage goal or whatever. Just a man trying to make peace with himself and find a haven. Sometimes it’s good to cry.