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So tonight I was reminded again about how scary life was, and how funny life can be now sometimes. After a presentation across town tonight, I got in the car and drove home, by myself, looking for some talk radio to listen to while for the next 40 minutes. The traffic was light, and I quickly settled into my drive/think mode that happens when I know I will be in the car for a while.
My mind drifted a bit, yet I felt tense; I had just completed a nice presentation, I had Caribou hot chocolate today, I saw a friend that I missed a lot, and I had lunch with a bunch of St. Paul Gang cops today. What could possibly be making me tense?
Then I remembered – driving the Crosstown, at night, no traffic.
27 Miles to get home.
I haven’t traveled this road much since Frank has been home from the hospital. I vowed to never do it again, but it really is the best choice some times. Tonight, in the dark, that stress and fear welled up without me even realizing the why.
Ghosts of memories still linger. I know that they are there, I just choose to let them be, to not give them attention or energy. But I do notice that sometimes, when I am tired, the ghosts come back to visit me. Tonight, driving on that road, the road I know every crack, bump, turn and corner, the ghosts came to visit for just a little while.
I let them float in for a little bit, to test their strength, their power, and to see what they wanted from me. As I let those memories float in, I realized that there wasn’t strength behind them any longer, just a bit of lingering sadness, and some recollection of the huge weight of fear that lived with me for so long. That fear, although remembered, does not hold any power for me any longer. It exists like all memories do, in a place that is important to visit, but one that you cannot live in – the past.
As we move closer to Frank’s testing date, calmness seems to be coming in. Back up plans are in place, the path seems to be a little clearer up ahead, and opportunities continue to arise. Each day is a chance to breathe in new life, and find something great for the day. Although I am feeling slightly less focused lately, there is this great things called dawn – and with it arrives another chance to try again at finding the place to settle in, the opportunity to meet someone new, and the grace to accept that life is an amazing thing, if you can remember that each moment is precious.
And moments sometimes are the things that need to have the focus. Although I will not write down the moment I am giggling about right now, I can tell you that “once a man, always a man.” Brain injury or not, there are just some things that guys do that make you sit back and laugh.
And Frank Mackall is the KING of making me laugh these days. Humor truly is a precious thing, and those moments are worth visiting.