I love it when Spring comes back around. I really feel the life returning to my veins and there's a charge in my soul. Makes me feel good - makes me feel alive. Feeling alive is probably the best thing you can feel, especially when you're chronically ill.
It's been a really hard several months for me. Really hard. Probably harder than anyone realizes - including myself. I have a pretty tough exterior - or at least I seem to give off this impression that I either don't care about anything or everything kind of bounces off me. It doesn't. It's been so hard - it's pushed me to the limits of my existience both physically and emotionally.
And it makes me think about that unsavory topic that looms like a shadow over me: dying young. In a way, it could happen to anyone - but for me, I could turn an unexpected corner in a second and all of a sudden - I'm gone. I suppose I could handle it.... I'd be dead. But I would be sad.... sad at everyone I'd leave behind and the things I never got to do. I'd be sad for all the unfufilled dreams in my life - Jordan and I have plans, you know. It's funny; I never had those "grand" plans to take over the world.... for a small time in my life, I would dream about what it might be like to be famous for playing music, or making movies or something.... but now, my greatest dreams are just to be happy and healthy with my wife and family. I just want to live out the rest of my days in modest comfort and happiness - the simple American Dream.
And, so of course, I think about my own mortality - and it makes me think of all the people in my life I've lost along the way. And how much I miss them. Like, at this time of year - it's Lent. I'm not a very religious person at all, but my Grandpa Alexander was a good Catholic man. And I remember, so many times, going to some Lenten Fish Dinner with him, my Grandma and my parents in some church basement. My Grandparents seemed to love those big group Church dinners. We went to a lot of them when I was a kid. I was always intrigued by them, not because the food was ever great (I'm not a big fan of fish or seafood!) but I always loved running around those old, weird Parish basements. There was always other kids, and lots of "old people".... who always just seemed to be chatting on. It was usually a lively event - far from the stuffiness of being dragged to Catholic Mass. And my Grandpa always saw multitudes of people he knew - he seemed to know everyone, and everyone knew him. Someone was always calling out "Bob!" or "Robert!" and my Grandfather would greet them with his giant hands in a friendly handshake.
Sometimes I'd think getting dragged out to those dinners was such a hassle. Now, I'd give anything just to be able to sit down to have a meal like that with my grandparents again. Sigh. That's the thing about getting older.... you really come to appreciate the things you took for granted. It's such a cliche, but it hits my heart so tenderly now - especially when I think of my mortality. I wonder who's going to miss the little moments with me, and I get sad that I might let them down that way.
And it makes me think about how every one of my friends, no matter how intense our friendship, has a litttle moment and place in my heart. And I treasure those places - and I know that out there, there's a lot of people who have a little place for me in their heart. And that makes me incredibly happy - I feel very fufilled in that respect, so if I had to go tomorrow - I'd know I did at least a few things right in this life.
Warren Zevon has a song he recorded for his last album, "The Wind". It's called "Keep Me In Your Heart A While" and it's a really beautiful song about leaving. It makes me cry when I have to listen to it, but it's really worth it.