Monday, June 1, 2009

A moment of silence

This last week has been quite difficult for me, more than I thought, exactly. In fact, it has been so mentally draining, I fear that I have made myself sick.

Is there anything that horrible that can make a person sick by their own accord?


I'm proof.

I didn't know that I would feel so sad about the situation, I was positive that I would feel a sense of closure when it happened, but alas, I did not. So what was distressing? They sold my grandparent's house. Not a huge deal, really. At least, I didn't think it would be, but it hit me harder than I thought.

It began about two weeks ago, when I started having dreams. Every night, I would be in their house, I would see them. In some capacity, their house, my old street, appeared in my dreams. It was enough to drive a person mad.

Last week they sold the house.

Last week, I had to face reality. There was no going back. It was over. My childhood was officially over, locked up in a cardboard box with scraps of paper and bent photographs.

Sitting this weekend, along my feelings, I thought long and hard about my grandmother. I remembered I still had the last birthday card she gave me, two weeks before she passed. I remembered my grandfather smoking more and more, as if trying to get to her faster. I remembered the suitcase full of dreams my grandmother stored away in the shop, in an effort to pale them away. To allow them to rot away, without anyone noticing.

But I noticed.

I also noticed that their lives were cut short by smoking. I noticed how they grew more and more decrepit with each passing year, begging them at Christmas to give me one gift: give up smoking. I tried to get my grandmother out walking, but it would last a day or two, and then it would be 'too hot' or she was 'too busy.' There was always something.

Though my grandparents are gone, they did leave me something very valuable. No, it wasn't some rare antique, or a nice sum of cash. Those wouldn't have mattered anyway. No, what they left me was much more precious and priceless. They left me the appreciation of health and the zest for life.

They gave me the knowledge that I didn't want to live as they did. If anything, they taught by example.

So even though I've been sick with sadness, I was reminded of a few things during this time that I needed to hear.

I thought back to the suitcase, and remembered that dreams are worth pursuing, despite what anyone has to say. If it's your dream, seek it. Seek it until you obtain it.

I thought back to the grapevine in their backyard, the one I feared may be removed, and remembered, life takes patience before the grapes can be picked. It takes years for a vine to grow to a point where the grapes are ready for picking. The vine in their yard was thick and lively, producing so many grapes that we could never pick them fast enough. Opportunities, much like grapevines, will produce when you give them room to grow and when they are allowed to grow, they produce more than you could ever conceive.

I thought back to the cartons of cigarettes I have seen my grandparents smoke over the years, and I remembered, it was their choice. It was their choice to smoke, their choice not to quit. No matter what I said or did, I can't change anyone, I can only help when they are ready to change. I had placed too much importance on me changing them, and didn't realize their actions actually changed me.

I thought back to my grandmother's funeral, how she held my hand in her hospital bed. She was so frail and sick, and I was so alive. Yet there was nothing I could do. She decided it was time to go, time to resign herself to the path she choose. I resigned myself too. I resigned myself to doing everything I ever wanted, no matter how crazy or absurd or preposterous. I didn't want to leave this place knowing I hadn't done something because I was afraid to change.

I thought back over all these things, and realized that this sad path had led me right to where I needed to be. Concentrating on who I am, where I'm going, and how I treat myself. I may have just started on the path that will get me to my true self, but at least I'm on it. There is always time to change, because, everyday, in every way, I am getting better and better.

In the darkness of my self-evaluation, I heard a voice that calmed me. A thought deep within speaking to me and only to me. I heard my grandmother's voice saying that she was proud that I had learned so much from her mistakes. That's when I knew, I was right where I needed to be.

I knew that my recent re-interest in health and fitness, spurned by the passing of my grandfather two months ago, and my own health issues was where everyone and everything was guiding me. While it was not a comfortable journey, it was one I needed to take, and still take. There's still more I need to work on, but through exercise and self-evaluation, I shall cross that road too, and come out on the other side better for it.

Many don't think of exercise in this capacity, but while exercise is great for dieting, it is also the best way to alleviate anxiety, stress, and emotional turmoil.

Sometime exercise can be the best therapy out there.

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