The last 2 years have been the craziest 2 years of my life. My grandma who I was not very close with but was the last living member that I knew on my dad’s side to passed away in September of 2014. My time with her when I was young was a very happy time, she had such a zest for life that I think she passed down to me. After her passing I started to learn new things about her and everyone said she lived each life to the fullest, she loved doing yoga and was a Tai Chi instructor. Because of her my fiancee and I traveled to Iceland for our first trip, somewhere non of our friends have been but i knew that my grammy loved to travel and she encouraged me to try new things.
Fast forward to October 2015 when my Father lost his long 10 year battle with cancer. Any death is hard on someone, but when they are a local celebrity it was hard to find closure as it seemed almost like a circus. He never wanted it to be like this, he wanted it to be small and intimate but because he touched so many peoples lives, we told him that others needed a chance to grieve as well. I remember that he taught me to try and make my community a better place to live for not only myself but for future generations, to not be a consumer of this world but to be producer, and of course to make a difference in the life of a child (his signature sign off after every news casts on friday’s) He was not there when I was born (adopted father) but I was there when he took his last breath. Let me tell you something, there is no harder, but more honourable feeling in the world but to stand there and watch the strongest man you know take his final breath surrounded by the people he loved most. To me, nothing else compares to that, as it not only breaks you down, but if used properly it can build you back up to be a stronger human being.
January 2016, 2 days before her 57th birthday my mom passed away from a massive heart attack. I got a call from the hospital, I didn't even know she was there and when I arrive I am told I have to make a decision (well basically the decision was already made but non the less), a decision that no son should ever make but as I learned that Death is the only thing that is guaranteed in life, I also new the life that she lived was not easy and that she was done with the suffering. When I arrived to the hospital I already knew that she was gone and that the machines were doing there thing, but I used that few minutes I had to grab her hand, whisper in her ear that I am grateful that she brought me into this world, and that I knew that this life was not easy for her, and that I was sorry that I could not be stronger for her.
People have told me that I did everything, and that it was not my fault but I know how strong I am and I know that I could have done more. Watching her take her final breaths knowing that she was there when I took my first was a feeling that consumed me, it consumes me now as I write this, still struggling to hold back the tears. I am not sure what that feeling is just yet, honour, knowing that I was there to witness that. Anger, as I felt I could have done more to pro long this. Fear, as she did not get to see the academy and be apart of my success, Fear that perhaps she didn't get to see her baby boy evolve from the delinquent I once was to the man I am today. I don't know, and as I continue this journey through life, I hope that I can find those answers.
Watching your parents take their final breaths is an honor, being able to hold their hands, connect with them one final time before they exit this world and continue onto the next is privileged that I will never forget.
In a world filled with so much hate, I hope that I can teach my son that the world is a much better place when you bring joy to others. I tell him to make good choices every day, to make others laugh, to make others feel important, empowered, to never knock someone down unless you plan to help bring them back up. As no matter what you believe in the Bible has a pretty good saying “Slow to anger, and quick to forgive” all the magic aside, thats a pretty good message and I hope notably him but our community will realize that you cannot control others, but you can control how treat others.
Make good choices, as death is only the beginning. Thank you Grammy, Pops, and Mom.
Blogging thoughts from OCRA Team