Sunday, February 3, 2013

It May Be a Rough Month

I have a feeling this is going to be a rough month. Let me explain.

Three years ago this month, my Dad passed away. That still hurts, a lot. There are moments when I miss him so badly, everything around me just stops. For a brief moment in time the pain of that loss is almost overwhelming. But I suck it up and drive on.

Oddly enough, the last two February's I was more concerned with how my Mom was doing, as the anniversary of Dad's death would approach and then pass. The main difference between the last two February's and this one, is that for the last two I was living in a hotel for four days each week. And on the anniversary of Dad's passing I was actually at the hotel.
Oddly enough (again), I was living in that very same hotel when Dad got sick. As a matter of fact, it was at that hotel that I talked to my Dad for the very last time. In this life. So in a very odd kind of way, that hotel kind of connected me with my Father over the last few weeks of his life.

Back in August I returned to the "home office", as it were. No more staying in a hotel for 4 days out of seven. I could sleep in my own bed. Little did I realize that I would come to actually miss the hotel. Well, not the hotel exactly.

It's the fact that in one of the rooms in that hotel, is the place where I was last able to talk with my Dad on this Earth. That's gone. Seems weird maybe, but this seems to be affecting me, a lot.

And this year, the Missus Herself is traveling (again) out to Cali. Leaving me all by myself on the anniversary of my Dad's passing. (Odd. I keep starting to type the word "death" here, and quickly backspace and type "passing" instead. I typically don't do euphemisms. Here I am, doing just that.

So I'll be dealing with my Dad's passing. Then there's Lex. You know (or maybe you don't), that fellow over there near the top of the sidebar. The first anniversary of his untimely demise approaches. Six days after the anniversary of my Dad's passing. Double whammy.

Lex is the reason I got into blogging. My inspiration. For as I could no longer go to his blog every day for his latest insight/topic/sea story, I felt something missing. Oh, there are other blogs, as I've discovered since I started my own, but it's not the same. And those other bloggers, those who followed Lex, they'll tell you the same. So I started my own blog, to fill that "howling emptiness" and it's also therapeutic (if not absolutely cathartic on some days) and really has become a lot of fun. In many ways.

So there I was. Morale teetering on the brink. Of something.

Yesterday (Saturday, Groundhog Day) I felt the beginnings of an "emptiness" filling my soul. I don't like that feeling. Not at all. So I start to go through my daily "blog slog" (as I call it). When I hit one of the new blogs I've started following recently, I found this. Felt way better I did. FWIW, Way Up North has become one of my daily "must reads".

Another of my daily "must reads" is
The Lexicans. I also post there from time to time so I'm like a part owner over there. Many of those who followed Neptunus Lexnow post at and follow The Lexicans. But the primary reason I go there is because we always have a link to one of Lex's old posts from that calendar day.

When I have time, I'll wander through the archives at Neptunus Lex. I still marvel at the man's talent for writing and his insight into human nature. And the stories of flying, ahhh, I could read those over and over again. But in some ways, going back there can be fraught with peril for those who knew and loved the man. For there are things there which will gut punch you when you're not really ready for it. I had one of those moments this most recent Christmas.

Found a beautiful post Lex had written on a Christmas Eve. It was very touching. It was nearly a gut punch when I first watched it (for it was a slide show, with music). But I enjoyed it for the look it gave at the love Lex had for his family.

For those who must, here it is. (Lexican's beware...)

The gut punch did come. When I noticed the date of the post, Christmas Eve 2011. In other words, the last Christmas Eve Lex's family would have him. The last his many fans would have him. His last on the planet. Gut punch.

But I revisited part of that post today. Not the whole post but the music Lex chose for his little family slide show. The song is "Gabriel's Message", and it's a Basque Christmas folk carol about the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the archangel Gabriel that she would become the mother of Jesus Christ the Son of God. As sung by Sting. (Yes, that one.)

Here are the lyrics:

The angel Gabriel from heaven came
His wings as drifted snow his eyes as flame
"All hail" said he "thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favoured maid," Gloria! 
"For known a blessed mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honor thee,
Thy Son shall be Emanuel, By seers foretold
Most highly favoured maid," Gloria! 
Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head
"To me be as it pleaseth God," she said,
"My soul shall laud and magnify His Holy Name."
Most highly favoured maid Gloria! 
Of her Emanuel, the Christ was born
In Bethlehem all on a Christmas morn
And everyone throughout the world forever saved
Most highly favoured maid Gloria!
And the song itself...

The message is beautiful. It helps me to stay in touch with my faith. Yes, I am one to wallow in sentimentality from time to time. And as this month looks to be hard on the old emotions, blogging may be sporadic from time to time. Or not. We'll see how it goes.

Also, FWIW, I was looking at the header for the blog the other day, felt something was missing. 'Tis missing no more.


  1. You'll find the strength to make it through this month. That may sound presumptuous of me but I know it to be true for most people. I lost my father about 20 years ago, my mother died when I was 18. The pain, especially that of my mother's death, was overwhelming. The pain faded after a few years, the hole remains and will never be filled. But we manage to keep on keepin' on.

    My best thoughts go out to you and your Mom. Coping with profound loss is HARD.

    1. Not presumptuous at all Buck. I know you've been there. I'll get through this, somehow.


  2. Thanks for the reminder to put our problems right where they belong; at the foot of the cross. Will be praying for you during this time

  3. Prayers for you Sarge. I know how you feel - my dad's passing was 18 years ago last Saturday and what would have been his 82nd birthday was this past Friday. We buried him the day before what would have been his 64th birthday. It sucks, no other way around it.

    We'll be here for you - anytime.

    1. Thanks Kris. I was thinking of you the other day. I really appreciate the sentiment.

  4. Sarge, any thoughts to if the weather might have a bit to do with it as well? February is a cold and often dreary month for some, and that coupled with the memories of the losses you've experienced and your wife being away can exacerbate how rough this month is for you. I have some relatives who can get down a bit when it's rainy, overcast, cold, etc. Season affective disorder tis what it's called. I'm sure the blogging can serve as an outlet, but lights and activity can mitigate it, as well as other kinds of help. Best o' luck.

    1. Oddly enough Tuna, bright sunny days with no snow on the ground in winter depress me. I'm conditioned to see winter in shades of white and gray. I feel alive when the sky is lowering and gray and the smell of snow is in the air. Sunshine is for the day AFTER a snow storm. Just enough to melt the ice on the roads.

      But it HAS been bright and sunny lately. Far too much for my taste. So you may be right, just the opposite of what you'd expect though.

      Last night while watching the Super Bowl I looked outside and saw that it was snowing. Just light stuff mind you, but it brightened my mood considerably. Odd innit?

  5. Sarge feeling the hole a bit much tonight as well. A coworker lost her husband a couple of weeks ago and today was his celebration of life. I think I teared up/cried through the whole thing because it was like picking the scab off of a wound that was healing. Did you see where Christ Kyle was also murdered this weekend? His book American Sniper is worth the read although the language was a bit much at times.

    1. I hear ya jib. Please give your coworker my condolences. I do know what you're going through. Your wounds are much fresher than mine. Crying shame about Chris Kyle. The world is going insane.

  6. A week from today is two years since my Dad passed as well. It's getting easier, but . . . I discussed just this topic with SNO when we spoke last year, just a few months after Lex had passed. I still talk with my Dad, it helps. That saudade article over at The Lexicans was something that spoke to me. I get it. Memories of my Dad bring back the good times we had and I get to relive them again. I see the echoes of my father in me and my children, so he lives still.

    I celebrate the fact that he lived and spent a lot of time with me.

    I miss him, but I'm glad for the time I had with him.



    1. Good words Mark, worth a lot. When I read Mongo's post on Facebook regarding Kat's "Saudade" tweet, it spoke directly to my soul. A number of people I've talked/corresponded with said the same as you. I think me writing that post on "Saudade" was easy compared to what Kat did. She's too young to lose her Dad.


  7. I'm sure someone much smarter than me...

    (Heck of a way to begin a comment. Just about everybody is smarter than me.)

    ... said this first, but I suppose it bears repeating. The biggest problem with getting older is that more and more of those with whom we've shared the journey have gotten off the bus. I lost My Dad 18+ years ago. He stills inhabits my dreams, often.

    No advice, as it would be banal of me to expect I somehow have found the secret cure for melancholia. I'll just tell you that I'm saying a prayer for you, and I hope it is effective.

    1. There may be people more "book smart" than you Suldog, but you understand the human condition. That right there makes you, IMHO, a great writer.

      That's a good one, "have gotten off the bus". I may "borrow" that in the future. (Heh.) We all reach our destination someday, where (I truly believe) we are reunited with those we have missed. I have many who inhabit my dreams, I really get that.

      I thank you for your prayers. Just knowing they're being offered on my behalf is a comfort. I thank you.

  8. I'm sorry about your dad Sarge. The first anniversary of my mother's suicide is coming in May and I'm still not sure I've completely dealt with it so how that's going to go is anyone's guess. Your thoughts about Neptunus Lex ring for me as well. I felt much the same about Ed Rasimus. We've reached that age, where life starts taking more things away than it gives us. All we can do is hang on for the ride I suppose. I'll pray for courage for us both.

    1. Oh man. I had no idea Six, that's gotta be a tough one. And I hear you about Ed Rasimus, I discovered his blog far too late. And this is an odd age. My brain thinks I'm still in my 20's, all other evidence suggests otherwise. Thanks for the prayers Six. You know you guys have mine.


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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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