Feb 202016
 

  
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. 

  
He was alive, and then he wasn’t. 

 In his element: manning the grill during the copious cookouts and pool parties we had every summer. 

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.   

  4 Responses to “Twenty: 2/20/96”

  1. I wish I could have known him. It’s so evident how much he loved you in every picture of you together. Much love to Christy and Lisa for being true blues! I’m so glad you have them <3

    • I wish you could have too! He was a really a great man, and honestly the only fair person I had in my life back then. There were many times when I felt like I had no one on my side in my own house, but I always had him. <3

  2. See how in every picture he’s smiling down at you. I guess that is what love must look like. The real kind.

    “I spent the rest of the night filling my Composition book with orange-inked screams, denouncing God and making promises to the devil.”

    You paint your pain so beautifully.

    “He was sitting on his Reserved For John spot on the couch, talking to someone on the phone about business as usual.”

    I love that there existed a Reserved For John spot on that couch.

    “He was alive, and then he wasn’t.”

    Simple, beautiful. The writing, not his death.

    “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.”

    I love this so much, for its truth and its imagery. He was alive and then he wasn’t, and then the house crumbled and was sold and that was the end of that. No wonder you think of him every day.

    Your Pappap posts are my very most favorites.

Choose Your Words Carefully