Moving forward? OR 2 km/h
Project Sky ... that was the title of Ben's second trilogy he had started. Five chapters into the first book in the series ... then permanent silence. Like the title, the sky is forever changing, forever evolving, never quite the same. Sometimes simple, sometimes serene, sometimes a beautiful work of art, other times ominous, looming disaster and other times pure chaos and destruction. The sky doesn't dictate our feelings always but it can certainly be compare to our lives. It's ever-changing image can describe our days, our sentiments and our lives.
Though Project Sky was just getting started it reflects the way Ben's life ended; abrupt, unfinished, unresolved and tragic. But what was left was beautiful, vibrant and inspiring. I constantly recall various parts of Ben's life and the things he did but mostly his attitude towards life. He always had a positive outlook no matter how dark things got. Even a simple misunderstanding between two people, he would come in with his positive twist on everything. You couldn't help but feel his energy, his outlook that things will work out. His calming nature, filled with humour and compassion was always there, not just for his family but for anyone that felt down, confused or in need of a hug.
A new year begins and time marches forward. No matter how I drag my feet, either on purpose or subconsciously, I cannot stay with the time when Ben with with me. There's no possible way to stay put and freeze time. There's no way to go back or reverse everything. Time is linear. Memory only holds blinks of time from our past and the more we blink the more the picture fades. It's just like an image you have in your mind, the more you look away and back at the image, the more the colours fade until things are distorted and you can barely make them out. The emotions last longer. They are not tangible and they are hard-wired into our being.
The holidays were as expected; difficult. Much emptiness. Everything is not the same anymore. That fleeting glimpse of having a family, sitting around a table, and laughing and sharing stories felt like a brief flash, then it was cut off. Reminds me of when you fly in a plane and you take off in cold, rainy, gloomy weather and then you pierce the clouds. Suddenly everything is sunny and then you return to the dark ominous clouds again except in my case, it felt like the sunny part lasted 3 seconds.
I know all this is sounding so sad and tragic. It feels that way. When I push myself to "have fun", it feels like it's happening to someone else and I'm watching from far away. All I want to do is share new things and try new jokes and finish each other's sentences with Ben, like we used to. It's just so sad for him. Being so alive and fun-loving to having all that stripped away within 30 days. Seeing that person you once held in your arms trying to put him to sleep at night, deteriorate is something I would wish on no one. Reading the same bedtime story to him because he wanted to hear it over and over, is a special memory. I still read it from time to time but it's just too sad now.
The other day I looked up artists that are specialists in drawing what kids would look like when they are adult. I'm just wondering what he would look like now. What he would be doing? Would he be with someone? Would he still be playing his video games? I try to capture every aspect of you he was before he left us. He would probably be finishing up his university studies soon. Where would he be working? Would I still have that bond I had with him? Would we be going snowboarding or sailing or biking together? Yes, many people would say, time to move on, and in a way, they are right. I have my life to live as well but when my life was so much better with him in it, I can't help but look back. I know my life will never be the same but it hasn't gotten any brighter. I know Ben would be here pulling me out of this cave of despair if he could. maybe I should listen to him and try and be like he was, forever the caring optimist.
Strange how every time I start a new paragraph, I try to start it on the positive side but then end up falling into the "self-pity" spiral.
A Dad who's had to deal with the struggle and death, from cancer, of both his parents and his amazing son.