I was driving home today, and I thought of a moment in my life that has always, horrowingly, stayed with me.
Back when I was a sophomore in high school, my dad died. I don't really ever talk about this very much for the obvious reasons: at the forefront, it really sucked. But, life moves on.
One of my memories around this time is that I refused to take any real time away from school. He died on a Monday morning, and Wednesday I returned to my "normal" life at school...and unfortunately, before some of my teachers knew what had happened. So, I had to tell them.
A growing experience.
The moment that sticks out in my mind is when I told my English teacher, Mrs. N. She was a bit of an odd ball, and there were rumors that she didn't wear underwear to school and that she hooked up with male students. This only adds to the memory.
Anyway, I was a pretty glib, young kid (glad to see that changed), and had a strong relationship with a majority of my instructors. I joked around with them, and they joked around with me.
When I returned to school, a mere two days after my dad died, Ms. N, at the end of class, asked me where I had been. I told her:
My dad died
It really hurt to say that.
She responded, incredulously, You were absent for two days because your CAT died?
And then I repeated it, and it all seemed more real:
No, my dad. My dad died.
Her face said what she couldn't, and what I usually don't.
And that is the moment that has always stuck to me, like adhesive to a fresh wound.
Regardless, it would have been his birthday this week. And I still celebrate it in a way since my nephew was born on the same day.
We're going to Legoland.
It all seems so fitting.