So, with this being the "Random Babble" section, I thought I would randomly babble in this space.
It was the night before my 18th birthday. I had woken up in a cold sweat at 10pm. I was momentarily without breath. For lack of a better wording, it felt like a disturbance in the force or something -- something just felt wrong. I thought to myself, this is weird, messed up before eventually going back to sleep.
During 4th period in Mr. Burgess' class our vice principal came in to make an announcement. "Last night, Matthew Kellner passed away". I remember glaring at him with this look of malice, as if he was the reason Matt was gone.
During 8th period, as I sat in my chair blankly looking at the empty chair Matt should have occupied in front of me, I began asking the selfish questions we all ask. He lived only a few houses down from me. How could I have been so close and not helped him? How could I have not noticed? What did I miss?
The family later disclosed to close friends that Matt passed away at 10:03 pm from a self inflicted gun-wound. Actually, initially they said Matt was playing Russian roulette and it was an accident, but as most things, facts came to light later on.
I knew Matt since the 2nd grade and while we weren't best friends, we were always able to talk as if we spoke frequently. He was a good person. Always read the comics, was very faith driven and always making people laugh.
Since Matt passed away, I have paid more attention to the cold sweat, the feeling of the walls closing in, the hard time breathing and to remedy this I would go for long car rides. I would drive aimlessly allowing my mind to just be "free". As I would drive, I would wonder, how is Nick doing? How is Jim doing in Iraq? How is mom? How is grandma? Grandpa, my brothers, my uncle with AIDS, etc on an on as I drove. Who should I contact to maybe help them see there is hope for tomorrow an what am I missing?
When this happens, I am afraid to fall asleep because of the news I may receive the following day.
The drives turned into walks in my early-mid 20's and I would call mom, who seemed to spend more time in a hospital than a nurse.
One of the last calls I remember.
K: Hey mom, how are you?
M: What's wrong?
K: What? Nothing.
M: Stop it, --- tell me what is wrong.
K: I just wanted to talk to you, --- see how you are doing.
M: You drive here to give me a birthday card
M: You drive here to tell me happy mothers day
M: So yeah when my son who doesn't make phone calls, calls me at 1:20 am ... I know something is wrong!
I had no idea that I had been walking for that long. I had left the house around 9pm and thought I'd been out maybe an hour tops when I called.
This made me realize I am not hiding this as well as I thought I was. Here's the thing though, just talking to mom ... it gave me this inspiration, this feeling that I could run through a brick wall and nothing could stop me.
She would congratulate me the small things as if they were massive. Things like how proud she was that I didn't smoke, do drugs or go around beating people up. If you met me, you'd realize how comical that last comment is. Don't read that wrong. I had a good childhood. And while from age six to 12 I had some bad neighborhoods, it wasn't life threatening.
Grandma and Grandpa from my mothers side were similar. Although they were not superfluous with their words. When I started my profession I remember them riding me hard saying "just because you are earning more money, doesn't mean you spend more money!" ...
You know something really shitty about me? There were years I wouldn't visit them because I felt I was a disappointment to them. That I failed their expectations. I always heard how smart I was. How much potential I had. And when they would ask me what I did for work and I didn't have anything to say, or I had to tell them of a new job I was doing ... I could feel the disappointment.
It wasn't until I went back to school, got my degree that I realized it wasn't what I did that made them proud, it was who
I am. They didn't look at me differently because I put myself through college. They were absolutely proud of me and my God did that feel great, but they didn't think MORE of me. To them, I was still the little boy who told grandpa "hold your horses" when told to get my PJ's on and the little boy who said "damn" and consequently got a bar of soap in his mouth.
I would visit them consistently and not only when I needed that boost, but to see them.
When mom passed away in 2008, I thought OK, this wall closing in feeling and trouble breathing thinking something bad is happening going to go away.
My focus then turned to my grandparents.
June 2nd, 2013 I was going to visit them but thought, I'll go next weekend when I have Keiana. My grandpa died June 3rd of a heart attack next to his Harley.
I buried mom's ashes October 4th, 2013 in the lot next to her father who passed away in '74.
The headstone was placed November 4th, 2013.
Three weeks after that, my grandma passed away.
One of my best friends - Nick, Grandpa and Grandma ... all gone in 2013, the same year that brought me my youngest, Scarlett.
So '98 was the start and eventually I found an outlet for it by going on long drives, or long walks or talking to mom or visiting grandparents. Simply just knowing I could talk to mom or visit grandparents would ease that unsettling feeling I had. I'm missing that outlet.
People on this site have (probably unwittingly) helped me. Shawn, Wayne, Wade, and Nick (vikesrule) to name a few quickly. The comments they would say to me helped ground me. It helped the walls from closing in even if it was fractional, it was noticeable to me.
This ended up being longer ramble than I thought, but I'll cut it off here for now. I suppose if there's a 'message' to this, we are all going through things.
Empathy. We should all try it.
Updated by user Thursday, June 7, 2018 2:21:11 PM(UTC)
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