This time of year gets me a little down.1 Today, marks the anniversary of my beloved Coopers’ death. I am not sure how he touched me so deep, but I still long for him. The intensity of his death has diminished but the longing for him is as strong as ever. He barreled into my life like a little dynamo and I was better for it. His absence is felt often but more so this time of year.
Next month also marks the anniversaries for the death of both my father and mother, albeit decades apart. Their anniversaries are less than 2 weeks apart. I’ve mentioned before the memories of my mother have become dull. I still have a funeral card to keep her face alive in my mind; however, the memories themselves tend to blur after so many years. I was 5 when she passed. I’ve always wondered how my life would have turned out had she survived her battle with cancer. I can’t honestly say I knew her well enough to know what she would have thought of me being gay. I like to think she would have come to terms with it. The story of my adoption leads me to believe this. For those of you who have not read my history here, I was abused/neglected as an infant. In a defiant act to my birth father, my birth mother asked her friend, my soon to be Aunt, to adopt me. It was out of the question for various reasons so she brought me to her brother, my soon to be foster dad. The story goes that once my foster mother held me in her arms and saw how terrible I looked, that was it it was decided. So yeah, I like to think, however much it might have pained her, she would have come to terms with it, or at least that is what I tell myself. I do remember my mother was gentle but utterly fearless when confronted. I’ll never know and I’m ok with thinking she would have accepted me.
My father and I were estranged for a long time after my abrupt departure from home. We didn’t speak for many years and even after that it was always strained. We never regained the bond that a father/son normally reach to some degree in adulthood. We did get closure together before his death. I say we because I got a closure I didn’t realize at the time that I needed. I now remember him with sorrow for the relationship we could have had together had he not rejected me at such an early age. I find the pain/trauma of my childhood has taken a backseat to the regret of never having a better relationship with him. I do wonder if I had tried harder to mend fences and be closer after our reconciliation if things would have been different between us. I didn’t feel the onus was on me, but now that he is gone it is one of my regrets nonetheless.
It was several years after the death of my father before I realized my melancholy moods around this time of year had meaning. When I notice the turn of my inner mood I now reach for the memories. There is some joy in it as well. In recent years, my memories of Cooper have tended to blend with my thoughts of the past. I guess with the anniversaries being so close it makes sense. As I’ve aged, I have also found many of the good memories from my childhood sprinkled in amongst all the painful ones. I discovered I find solace in remembering the past. In a weird way I think I look forward to it. I am not one to dwell on the past, but pulling up the memories strengthens me today in the now. I pull the memories up, even some of the painful ones and I remember. I remember what got me here and I remember who I am because of my past.
Be well, my friends.
- As apposed to the madness we are slowly coming out of now in the political world [↩]