Feels like the first time in a while where I’ve been able to sit down and concentrate on a thought, much less write it down in any organized fashion. It feels refreshing; although now that I’m here I’m not 100% certain where to even start. Have you ever been there yourself?
Life sure can make or break us at times; the inevitable ups and downs that none of us can escape either bend us till we break or they can force us to dig deeper than we’ve ever thought possible.
I feel like I have been through a marathon over the past six months; our family took a big loss when my dad passed away in March; I had an appendicitis and was also down for the count with a terrible flu within that same month – and oh, did I mention that within all of this I was committed to Flin Flon’s huge production of Les Miserables? #NoPressure !
The words fit concisely into one sentence but truth be told there were times I literally felt like a dear caught in the headlights; struck with shock, frozen from movement. I didn’t know which way to go or weather to let the traffic hit me, for the inability to control the uncontrollable.
Sitting here and reflecting now I can only break it down like this:
I miss my dad. Life goes on as the cliché states, but there is not a single hour in the day I don’t end up seeing his face, thinking about his life and feeling a tormenting void. It’s a gross and unfamiliar feeling… I would give anything I own to hear his voice and despite being out there, smiling in the community and getting on stage, make no mistake; he’s in my thoughts even though I don’t talk about it. I’m grateful for the time I was afforded with him and my family throughout the past years; and his memory will be what inspires me to move forward most. Mark my word and count on that.
I’m grateful for my family; who as I get older I realize I love and need more than I ever could have anticipated in my uninformed youth. I know where I want to be at this particular point in my life, and that’s here, where I can see and talk to them; where I can see for myself how the years age their faces and they can hopefully get to know who I am and what my purpose is. My mother is my greatest tenderness; my stepdad a loyal and reliable force; my sisters and brother my eminent connection to the past; my niece and nephews my hope and appreciation for the future. It’s important that as I move forward in my next chapter, that I remain connected to them and more so, show my devotion to them.
I’m grateful for the constant support of Alain; my partner and bestest friend. As the song goes, “He’s the rock that I lean on; he’s the sunshine of my day”. He’s been there through the thick and thin of it all and like my dedication to my family, I also move forward in my life with the motivation to give him the best. He deserves it. When he smiles my heart is full, of love, as Marius Pontmercy says.
Being a part of the Flin Flon Community’s production of Les Miserables also saved me in many ways; from falling too quickly into my tendency to retreat and hide away in the face of challenge. There were times I was literally too sick and physically weak to go to the required rehearsals over the past six months. There were other times I simply didn’t have the ‘mojo’; and of course with that came a lot of guilt compounded by my grief and exhaustion. It wasn’t pretty nor did I understand it all the time. Nevertheless the community didn’t turn me away, nor did they leave me in the dark during this time. In fact, I felt more love and support from the Flin Flon community in and around this period, than I’ve ever experienced before in my life.
The outpour of cards, flowers, messages and food upon my dad’s passing (and my stint in the hospital) overwhelmed me in the most profound way. I wasn’t expecting anything; but what it did was reinforce the understanding that my dad was an honorable man whose memory would live on through his children. And it was undeniable to me in that time, that my family was and is loved by the community as a whole. It occurred to me that had I not returned here three years ago to work and try to support my siblings with my dad’s health – I never would have known this great love existed.
I humbly thank everyone who rallied around us at that time; and appreciate those who encouraged me to stay connected to my role as Marius within the plethora of talents involved with this production. I felt a brother/sisterhood with the cast, stage production and just everyone from start to finish. I may have entered the community hall on some days, with a heavy heart and feeling of loneliness – but I would always find myself leaving uplifted, encouraged and certain that I was where I needed to be.
In close, here’s to the future – wherever its path takes us. I remain open-hearted and open-minded about where I’m headed, even though I’m certain I will find myself tripping or falling again. Regardless of that direction and how many times I shall fall – I will always strive to get back up. The memory of my dad and the love of my family and community will always be cherished. I will draw from that.
Onward and upward.
***I took some photos up at my dad’s place today; double click on them for a closer peek. It was up on these very rocks that I experienced a childhood of a great and pure love.