Two months. One day. If you forget timezones and just focus on days and dates. It’s been two months and one day since we lost you. Just typing that brings a coating of tears over my eyes and in a second, everything’s blurry — like I’m looking through our windshield while driving through the rinse cycle at a carwash.
You are, forever gone. We’ve covered this.
There is absolutely nothing I can do about any of the fights we had, the times we parted angry, the times I decided to do something else instead of spending time with you, the times I didn’t live up to your expectations and knew I wasn’t. These were just moments in the moment. They come at me quickly, sparked by the smallest thing (I wiped my hands with the wrong hand towel and <<THUD>> like a sledgehammer hitting some part of my body, instantly, my heart, my stomach, my knees, I remember one of those moments in a moment.)
It’s going to happen forever. We’ve covered this.
What is really helping is the chiropractic work you’re performing on my life on a daily basis. And that’s what I want you to know the most. Twice a day I stop, I pause, I breathe, I close my eyes, I think of your (always freshly shaven) face and I reset. You snap me back into place. In-between those moments, life happens. Entropy happens. But all of this has made me more deliberate and more active in not allowing my life to trend to disarray. I’m tending to things more actively and deliberately. I still do, say dumb things. But I’m more aware. It’s not half the battle (Duke, Gung-Ho, Scarlet, and Roadblock lied to us when we were growing up). But it’s a part of the battle.
Life can either trend or tend to entropy. Im tending to it and taking care. We’ve covered this.
Something that’s jumped out at me over the past 2 months and 1 day is that I’ve heard a lot of people say things about life; I’m getting lots of advice. And there’s a lot of it that settles in around statements like “have no expectations” or “expect nothing”.
And I tell you, Daddy. I struggle like hell with that. I don’t think it’s the right way to live. I’m feeling a little push to the opposite.
I’m raising my expectations of people. Of every moment in life. Because as we’ve talked about, people most often rise and fall to the expectations you set for them. When you walk through life expecting nothing of people you actually aren’t making the world a better place. You’re simply making it easier for you to accept whatever comes your way.
That’s not good enough. Not anymore. We’ve covered this.
I mean it especially of your grandkids. I’m going to keep expecting the most out of them.
The rub? I’m going to applaud their effort, and make sure none of my happiness is tied to the outcome. The result. Anaiya and I talked about it this morning, actually. And things became really clear.
The world will rise and fall to our expectations. You were right to expect more from me; from all of us; from the whole darned world. Your idealism on right and wrong. Your clarity on the fact that absolute right did exist and absolute wrong could and should be called out, is what we need more of.
I’m not stepping back and expecting less, or nothing, of life and the people who fill it. And I’m not going to expect anything but amazing from your grandkids. But I will promise you, hand to heart, head to food, head to toe … i’ll never be disappointed by outcomes again, only by controllable effort and inputs.
Expect the world of the world. Because … people rise and fall to the expectations you set for them.
Me? I’ve got hiiiiiiiiigh hopes. But we’ve covered this.
Love you, Daddy. Talk soon.
Note: I’ve collected all the posts and thoughts I’ve shared about my Daddy’s death in one place. Some people have found it helpful as they’ve navigated through their own experiences, or, as they’ve had to step in to support others. This is one in a series, and you can find the full list of posts here.