I've been contemplating over and over whether or not I would want to write a blog post about this certain topic, but after much deliberation, why not? I think it's because of the fact that I am weird and I will be uncomfortable with either outcome – if no one reads it, I feel like I'll have written it for no reason and then it's like almost turning the subject vain, yet if everyone reads it, well… everyone's going to read it. Nawmean? Also, I don't like that this content is juxtaposed to other silly things that I write in this blog, sigh. But I guess it just shows that I'm multifaceted? I don't know. Damn, I can really talk myself into doing anything. Sigh.
It's interesting what time can do to you; you can go to your high school a few months after you've graduated and it feels super foreign, huh? Or you can come home from college after a few years, with that certain 68 degree weather that's sunny and slightly wind, making your trees shake in your front lawn at 5pm, and it just seems familiar. It's weird going away and coming home, but it will always feel familiar whether you like it or not.
I'm sleeping in my bed; it's probably around 1am. I sleep with my door open, and my sister sleeps in the casita because she wants her own private space, and my parents' room is on the other side of the house. Did I see the lights go on and the garage door open and close? Not sure, but I'm half asleep and don't really care to figure out what is happening.
The next morning, I wake up and wash my face in my bathroom, when I hear a small knock on my door. My sister pokes her head into my room, and has trouble quietly spilling out the words that our dad passed away last night.
Back to washing my face I go.
I splash cold water on my face and look up into the mirror, as cliche as it can get. Sigh. Well this isn't going to be a very good day.
I turn around to wipe my face with my towel and realize that I can't seem to dry my face, because my tears keep dampening my cheeks. Against the wall, face buried into my towel, I don't know what the fuck is going on with my life, and why this is happening.
Who loses her dad right after her 18th birthday?
His birthday was next month… I don't understand.
He wasn't even 50 yet.
What is my mom going to do?
It was 5 years ago on Tuesday, and my mom woke me up and asked me to drive her to the cemetery. Normally, I make up some stupid excuse and try to avoid it; I have problems. I can never force myself to go to the cemetery and see him. It makes everything too real, you know? Granted, the absence of his presence in my life is a very real thing, but like I said, I have problems. Driving an hour and a half to clean out the old flowers and put in new flowers, to do the Korean thing and pay respects to him by bowing on our knees twice, to lay there and look into the sky and the sun; it's just not my thing. I don't like it.
I'm always on that road to grow and improve consistently, so this year, I didn't put up a fight with my mom and said, "Sure let's leave in like twenty."
I'm living at home right now, so I got up and went to the bathroom. I began to wash my face and looked up into the mirror, and let out a sigh. I wiped my face with my towel, a few pats here and there because that was all it took to dry my face this time around.
I walk into my mom's room, and she's lying in bed. I tell her that I'm going to school, and she says not to. I tell her I have to go, that I have something or other to turn in. I just want to focus on something normal, something real, rather than this fantasy that my father had passed away. She doesn't try to stop me, and she says to just go to school.
As we finally got ready to go, I walked outside, and the weather outside was.. the weather. I live in Palm Springs, so February is nice. Not too hot, not too cold, nice and sunny with a little breeze. It felt exactly how it did 5 years ago.
I go to school and don't say a thing, but my teachers already knew that my pops was in the hospital for a while, so when my first teacher asks me how he is doing, I break down right in front of him. My best friend runs to me and holds on to me tightly, and my teacher says I can stay in his classroom all day if I want to, as he goes into his office to call all of my other teachers and let them know.
My friends and I sit in the ASB room for the rest of the day. My friends' parents send over food to the school, and I get texts from people telling me that they are sorry for my loss and they are there for me.
There was no traffic because it was a Tuesday, so I got to the cemetary v quickly. We changed the old flowers and put in new ones, we set out a blanket, and we did our bows. My mom and I lied there for a bit. It was a gorgeous day; the sun was shining but it was a good 65 degrees or so, and the sky was super super blue. My dad's grave is on a top of this mountain/hill thing, so we're super high up and it's incredibly tranquil.
I'm lying on my back just staring at the sky and trying to block the sun from my face because, if you know me, you know I hate getting my face tan, when all of a sudden I hear my mom mumble something. "What?" She replies, "We'll be able to get up right now when we want to leave, you know, like just get up from lying down. But your dad can't."
The day ends. Everyone was very sensitive and sentimental. I realize at this point how amazing my group of friends and teachers are. Who else can say that her whole faculty and principal was sensitive to her current state, sensitive enough to even excuse all of her friends from class all day?
But I don't want people asking if I am ok.
If there is anything they could do.
The answer would be no. I'm not ok. And no, there isn't anything you can do.
It's not your fault, but you're asking me these questions that I just want to give you answers for truthfully. So instead, could you just ask me if I did the homework? Or ask me if I was excited for competition next weekend? Or ask me if I had gotten any acceptances into college yet?
At least I could give you a real answer.
My mom said that we should go; she had an appointment in Torrance at 2pm, and we had just been chillin' there for a while. So with that, we said our goodbyes and said that we would be back soon.
It's hard for me to talk about this, I'm not sure why. Well of course I'm sure why, I mean who wants to talk about the fact that her father has passed away? Surely, that's not exactly some light dinner conversation. And usually, I have something insightful to say, or a lesson that I've figured out from these life events, but for me, it's been difficult with this situation.
I've learned that my father didn't even know what schools I got accepted into. He wasn't there to see me graduate high school, or even college. He won't be there for me if/when I get married to walk me down the aisle or to give me the traditional father/daughter dance. He won't be able to see any grandkids (I'm assuming from my sister because I hate children, but still).
I've learned that I don't like when people see me vulnerable. Don't ask me if I'm okay, if there's anything you can do for me. Don't tell me it'll be okay, because I have no idea how to respond but with an awkward, "Thank you," and an attempt to segue into a joke to lighten the mood. I can't stand when people see me cry.
I guess the lesson that I've figured out from this life event is that, if anything, I'm selfish.
And sure, I can tag on a few cliches to this post:
Treat every day like it's your last. You don't know what will happen to you or to anyone around you.
Always tell your loved ones that you love them.
Hang out with your dad more often and appreciate him.
But in the end, it's just like… I don't know. I guess I think it's annoying that things have to happen to people in order for them to act better, you know? Why do you have to lose someone to start acting nicer to the other people in your life? It may be a cynical thing to say, but I just don't get it. It's like why do you have to wait until Thanksgiving to tell someone you're thankful for them? I don't like that type of logic. At all.
We got home around 10pm because we stopped and did other things while we were in LA, and as we parked back in Palm Springs, my mom goes, "Wow, 5 years. What have we been doing for 5 years? What did you do in these 5 years?"
I graduated high school, I missed my pops, I missed my mom because she wasn't in LA, I danced, I had weird relationships, I grew up (kind of, still happening), I tried to become a better person each day, I dyed my hair, I volunteered for camp, I interned in Korea, I graduated, I got into grad school, and here I am, just kind of living and shit.
Life goes on. I know everyone says that, but it's true. You cry a little less, you breathe a little more. Your eyes stop looking down at the floor and are able to meet others' once again. You can eat again. You can talk again. You can laugh again. You can open up to people again.
You can keep on living, especially knowing that other people just don't have that chance anymore.
Alright, that's enough vulnerability for now. I'm over it.