Conversations with an Empty Chair (3) - Tall
I discovered it only yesterday: I’m taller.
I know, I know, I’m way past the age when I could be getting taller -especially this tall.
Ever since you’ve left, I’ve been…
changing. And I don’t just mean the dry, dark change grief brings. The kind of shriveling, shrinking feeling that I get at nights, when I just lie there missing you and trying to make myself smaller so that the pain will shrink too (actually that’s a myth, by the way, the pain gets bigger, no matter what I do. Always bigger. Anyway. You’ll never feel that kind of pain, at least, not where you are now. I’m thankful for that.)
I’m getting taller.
I’m seeing things from so much more higher than before. I can’t explain it exactly… It’s like I’ve grown up. Matured. In the years that you’ve been gone, I’ve had to grow up abruptly, before my time.
Start seeing things from another perspective. And, oh, how unimportant do things look now, things that used to look important before: striving for success, for money, for happiness. I used to strive for these, too (although I never had any ambition to speak of, except to be like you). But they look smaller now. Not as important. Well, as for hapiness. You took that with you when you left. All hope of it.
Being fatherless forced me to grow up.
Being fatherless forced me to look at things the way you would have looked at them (and then you’d tell me to stop stressing over silly, small stuff. Ha). Now you’re not here, and I have to become you. I have to ‘father’ myself. Not to mention ‘father’ others: there’s so many people you left behind, mom, sister, daughter, son, niece, brothers, wife… people who needed you. Need you. I’ll have to be twice as wise, for them. Three times. A million times.
The thing is, I didn’t realize until now, but I used to like stressing over the small stuff: my job, my relationship, my mood. My health. (Yes, those are small stuff, compared to your absence). It meant I was normal, like everyone else.
It meant I could afford to care about them.
Now, I still care about them, but I’m taller. I see them from a higher perspective, and they look tiny, like child’s play. I see them from your perspective.
I see them and all I can do is fight down here so that one day I’ll get there, to be with you, victorious, when the time is right.