Oh diary, dear diary, you might recall that I had the day off on Monday. I didn’t really do much other than go to the dentist (ugh), read more of two books that I was trudging through (they ended up being BACK TO BACK 1 STAR READS), and go on two long walks – once around my ‘hood and then after lunch I went to Jefferson Memorial.
I know most cem-enthusiasts would choose a place like Allegheny Cemetery or Homewood Cemetery as their fave graveyards for the gothic, historic aesthetic. But my favorite is Jefferson Memorial in Pleasant Hills. It has more of a park-feel, and no above ground headstones or crypts. BUT, it is where my birth dad, grandparents, and Aunt Sharon live. It is also where I learned how to drive with my pally Lisa (my parents absolutely refused to teach my ass and I subsequently didn’t get my license until I was nearly NINETEEN because my mom “didn’t trust me.”).
Actually, here is a clip of that amateur drivers ed class because I just found a VHS of high school footage in the attic, which is evidently just a gigantic treasure chest for mementoes and memories.
I tried to “relax” after I was done walking (apparently had five miles under my belt at that point which someone on Instagram commented that I must not be human, walking that much in Vans and I honestly didn’t even notice that I was wearing Vans as opposed to whatever types of tennis shoes are made for walking). Relaxing is extremely hard for me. I sat here for MAYBE five minutes. MAYBE. This is my favorite area of all of the cemetery though.
I thought this was in focus when I took it but now I can see that it clearly was not. Good thing I finally made myself an eye appointment for this Saturday. WOW WHO AM I?? A dentist, eye, and hair appointment all in the span of one week-ish?? Am I an adult now? Me thinks so.
OK, I have to be stupid/sappy/cringey here for a second. While I was clomping around the cem in my Vans, I suddenly felt VERY SAD and lonely. Kind of wistful I guess?? I dunno that I have ever really thought about that sort of feeling but I think I was having it that afternoon: WISTFULNESS. Wow, now I’m imagining myself standing on a windy cliff in Scotland on an overcast day, with a veil blowing in the frigid breeze, staring into the sea.
Let’s not get carried away, Erin.
I realized that the cause of my weird empty-pit feeling was that I wished dumb Henry was there.
In this exact spot in 2001, I was having a Really Bad Day / Borderline Breakdown (it’s near my birth dad’s grave & I was having an identity crisis). For some reason, I called Not-My-Boyfriend-Yet Henry on my NOKIA cell phone, & he came to the cemetery to calm me down. He brought me a bottle of water, which I promptly choked/drowned on. Something about that moment must have made him think, “this girl is a MESS. I’ll stick around, see how this plays out.” Lol. Anyway, we were at the same spot together a few weekends ago so I RECREATED that moment.
Pretty sure I have referenced this moment in here before, but a quick run-down of the full story is that I was still dating my then-boyfriend Jeff. Just that day, I had been reunited with my birth dad’s mom and aunt, having no contact with them at all after my dad died in 1982. I had absolutely no memory of these people, and it was really jarring to sit there and hear good stories about my birth dad when I had spent my whole life up until then either being told about all the horrible things he had done or just flat out or just having everyone act like he never existed, like I didn’t grow up not knowing who my dad was.
So, it was VERY emotional for me that day. I was supposed to have plans that night with Jeff, so I called him from my car on the way back home from this bizarre reunion. I was pretty rattled and cried a little bit while recapping the afternoon for him. His response was something along the lines of, “Well, if you’re going to be all upset and crying, let’s just hang out another time.”
What a sweetheart!
Instead of going home, I stopped at the cemetery. I found my dad’s grave (my mom had showed it to me once when I was a kid and I remembered the general area, but I spent a good while shambling around like a zombie until I finally spotted it) and sat there, just absolutely losing my mind and mourning the loss of a dad I barely knew, for the first time in 20 years.
I had a boyfriend who wanted no parts in supporting me while I tried to process this new family and information, and a co-worker/something more who dropped everything when I called him, told me not to go anywhere, and met me at the cemetery with a bottle of water. Dude, choose the person who cares about your hydration. Choose them every time! Obviously I dumped Jeff very soon after this and then, well, THE REST OF HISTORY *vomit puke barf*
Back to 2022. So I was feeling all “wah wah” without Henry and thought, “Hey. I will call him. That is what cell phones are for.” So I did and he was really short with me and being annoying because he was “WORKING” so then I quickly fell back down to earth and just like that, WISTFULNESS CURED, MOTHERFUCKER.