I went through today and deleted a couple of old Tumblr blogs that I haven’t used in a long time. I knew that there were a few posts that I would want to save so I copied them over to a google doc. I wrote the post below a little over a month after my dad died (nearly 7 years ago). Reading it now, I’m still overcome with grief but it’s mixed with gratitude for all of the people who were there for us at that time and all of the clarity and direction I feel like God gave me. We were broken but never abandoned. It’s still painful to read this but I’m glad that I have it. The holidays are always a mix bag of emotions. I know that’s true for most everyone. I’m finding peace in remembering, in loving those around me, and pushing towards being the person that I was created to be. Praying for a happy and holy holiday.
No One Was There
First and foremost you need to understand this one thing. I Love Chili’s. This statement has become a running joke for me. Anytime someone mentions Chili’s I say in a very dramatic voice “Oh my gosh I LOOOOOVVVEEE Chili’s!” Everyone laughs and says “man Isaiah, you’re the best!” and we move along with the conversation. That being said Korri and I got a gift card to Chili’s for Christmas and we decided to use it tonight.
Now for Some negatives. The Chili’s that we go to is downtown and was the last place that my whole family (Me, Korri, Micah, Moriah, Mom and Dad) ate at together. We went there because my Dad took us an ESPN Zone restaurant that no longer exists and while trying to decide where to eat instead, I said “Oh my gosh I LOOOOOVVVEEE Chili’s!“ So we went there. The second negative is that this Chili’s is literally one city block from the place where my dad collapsed on the sidewalk and sadly spent his last minutes on this earth.
I planned to avoid that spot at all cost for as long as I could. But tonight I chose to get off the train there and face it. I expected to stare at the area and cry. To be flooded with memories and just lose it for a little bit. I got there, remembered everything, walked around, and touched the iron surrounding the small garden. There was no one there. And more importantly my dad wasn’t there. His memory was but it was a foggy one, not clear like the ones I have of him playing basketball with me or hugging me after I finished a play. He just wasn’t there in the same way I thought he would be. So no tears, no losing it.
Then I went to Chili’s. I got off work early so I waited about 25 minutes for Korri. The hostess sat me in the table right next to the one we all sat at on December 26th. I sat there by myself and stared at the chair that he once sat in. But he wasn’t there. I looked at that empty table where we all sat and laughed for a couple hours, at our last meal. But no one was there.
Then I got home and talked to Micah on the phone for 40 minutes. We talked about how things were going for everyone. We talked about how sad and excited and angry and blessed we are. Micah told me about all the things that he and mom and Moriah are working on. About all the people who are supporting them. About the hope that he feels and the future we’re looking forward to. About the plans we feel God has for our family….. and my dad was there. In that conversation he was there. In my brothers voice and my family’s actions, he’s there. And as I cried on the phone with my brother, my dad was there. Helping me. Loving me.
And that is enough.
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