Those words have never resonated with me, until recently. I fell in love with the phrase. It's a good reminder that everything is temporary, good and bad. As much as I post about how happy I am here in Nashville, which I am incredibly so, there have also been times of sadness sprinkled in. Life just... happens. I normally would start off by saying "Happy Friday ya'll!", but not today. Today is an emotional day. A day of mourning.
As I walked into a local coffee shop this morning to meet with Skylar, a new friend and hopefully prospect producer, I received the news that my grandfather had just passed away. He was 93 and just had surgery for a blocked valve in his intestines. He was recovering well, but today something happened internally and with the blink of an eye everything changed. I didn't know what to do. I began to weep, but quickly realized where I was as people started to stare so I stopped myself (barely). I then see Skylar and of course the cordial greeting was, "Hey! How are you?" I was almost speechless, but managed to carry on the conversation being upfront about it all. At that moment, I was just glad I had someone to talk to and he's continued to show that he is a caring person, on all fronts. So, thanks Skylar.
The weeping happened as soon as I got to my car. Oh, it all came out. Flashes of memories with him were racing through my mind, especially the more recent ones of when I visited him in February of this year. Overall, it was a very foreign feeling to me. I've never reacted to death like this. I couldn't help but wonder, why? My grandma and other relatives passed away years ago when I was younger, naive and maybe didn't realize the importance of life or what death can do to someone's emotional state. I felt guilty. That I didn't feel for theirs like I did today. That I didn't weep like I did today. My heart never ached like it is now. What does that mean? Was I just heartless then? I hated myself for even remembering my lack of emotion then compared to now. The saying, "You were just too young to understand" just doesn't cut it for me. I wasn't that young, I had a brain, I knew how emotions worked, or so I thought. I was sad but nothing like the reaction I had today. All of these realizations and thoughts crossed my mind within seconds.
Growth. Maturity. Life. These are the answers to a lot of my unanswered questions that I've come to accept, realize and embrace. These are the words that my parents probably used when trying to explain things to me growing up that probably went in one ear and out the other. I've grown so much in just the last year experiencing pain, heartache, companionship, opportunity, success, independence and most importantly, clarity.
Clarity: "the quality of being certain or definite."
I've never been more certain of where I need to be. I've never been more certain of the reasons why I feel the way I do today. I'm certainly not going make the same mistakes twice. And I definitely know that this pain too, shall pass. Grandpa, may you finally rest in peace with Norma. You are a true hero. To all of us. <3
Paul Teator 1924-2017
WWII-101st Airborne, Korea-7th Infantry Division, IBM-World Trade, Retired 1984