I was sitting cross-legged on my bed, talking on the phone to my on-and-off again boyfriend Justin when my mom burst into my room and shrieked the words that would forever rattle in my brain with all the other loose screws. I spent the rest of the night filling my Composition book with orange-inked screams, denouncing God and making promises to the devil.
Teenaged angst mixed with true tragedy is one volatile recipe, guys. Look out.
That one moment in time completely changed the course of my life. I didn’t understand how my Pappap could suddenly be dead when I was just at his house earlier that evening, and he seemed fine. He was sitting on his Reserved For John spot on the couch, talking to someone on the phone about business as usual.
I credit my friends and teachers for helping me get through the aftermath. My friends Lisa and Christy, especially. And I don’t think it’s random that while so many other friends have come and gone, they’re still here. They walked with me through the deepest trauma of my life and made sure I didn’t sink. This day is making me think of so many things and I am so glad that I wasn’t alone then.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, how he was taken from us abruptly, on a fluke, and I certainly don’t miss him any less than I did in 1996. But I think what I miss most about him, is his uncanny, effortless knack to hold our family together, like sane, stable mortar between our crazy, cracked bricks. He was the greatest father figure to me. He was my goddamn hero.