my dad, the dreamer | 5/31/11

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And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer: let it be.

My parents are two very different people. My mom is all logic, all practicality, all focus. My brother sort of ended up an extreme version of that. Very science-y, fact-y. I’m again, as I mentioned before, pretty happy partially existing in that realm of thinking as well.

My dad however, was a total dreamer. If you ask anybody that knew him, he was very, very particular in the way he did things, and the had a clear cut method and was stubborn. But, that was only 10% of who he was. He spent a lot of time in his own head.

A lot of it has to do with what he did – he was an illustrator. He cultivated ideas and brought them to life. Real things and fantastical things. He would spend hours, days, weeks, months figuring out how things worked, and where they came from, and why they existed so that when he finally created something, it was as real as it could possibly be. He would make up characters and worlds and languages. He would find inspiration in anything and everywhere. On vacations he would go out at the break of dawn and take hundreds photos; he would see the perfect lighting and just watch it fade and then remember it until he could paint it. There was so much more he wanted to do that he didn’t get to, and dreamed of that he didn’t get to show us.

Most of who I am is completely because of my dad. I do thrive off of logic, but I could live happily in my dreams forever as well. We’re particular, stubborn, snobby, “organized” (as in, we have our own way of organizing things), picky, indulgent and happy in the same ways. Don’t get me wrong, I picked up a lot of things I love from my mom and we share almost everything now, but my dad and I reveled in the same things.

The rest of this post is not going to be a floofy post about how amazing he was because I don’t need to explain that to people, and I constantly am remembering that. His memory is well preserved – there are a lot of people that loved him. Any other day of the year in fact, I would be writing that post. But not today, even though it seems like I should. There just seems to only really be one day a year that I can put these other feelings down, and well, it’s always on the day of his death. Besides, I’d be lying to you all if I wrote some falsely happy post. Today it hurts.

I didn’t realize to what extent my heart broke when he died, more so than any other person or event has broken me before. I suddenly lost the person that I could just sit with and create universes with. There is nobody else that I discuss and admire potential possibilities with. Everything was a possibility with him, and suddenly it was gone. The dreams stopped.

It took almost two years and I still don’t have a grasp on it. There is something every day that’s a cruel reminder of what I don’t have anymore. And it’s not fair. For a good while I clung to the idea that “it wasn’t fair,” and that I guess I wanted something out of it. Some sort of compensation. Now I’ve just accepted it and moved on from fairness and have for now, settled with the fact that I’m angry about it. I’ll always be angry about it.

There are people in my life that completely take for granted who and what they have in their life, and it 100% pisses me off. On a daily basis. People I know very well and people I don’t know all that well. If I had the choice to have my dad back, I would give anything in the world for it. When people don’t try and relish what they have, when people complain about relatively meaningless events, when people expect that everything should be easy for them, it 100% pisses me off. People who don’t work for who and what they have, 100% pisses me off.

But anyways, I can’t have him back. It is what it is. And it took a while for me to actually say that and mean it.

I wish it could be different. I wish I could feel differently – somehow less settled on it. It’s completely shifted how I feel about other people’s situations. I’m sort of thankful for it though, in a sad way. I’m thankful for the thicker skin it’s given me. I’m thankful for the perspective it’s given me. I could have easily been one of the people that I find completely abhorrent, but one of the last lessons my dad taught me with his death was to not be that way.

I’ve spent the three years since his death being numb, then angry. Through that I’ve realized that I have to do what makes me happy, or else the anger will start to tear everything apart. I’ll always be angry and hurt, but I can focus it in to something else. This personal project I’ve been working on, doing things for me and nobody else, has and will be a long process. But since I started doing it, the dreams have come back.

Today starts the beginning of the fourth year. The fourth year since his death. I can only hope in this fourth year that the direction I’m moving in is the right one. It feels right, as far as I can tell.

I just miss him more than anything else. My dad was everything. I miss him and it hurts.

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