"If they give you ruled paper, write the other way." -Juan Ramon Jiminez

Monday, September 13, 2004

in me you trust

A long-distance phone call changed my day. week. life. Too shocked to move, too stunned to comprehend, I couldn’t think rationally. I don’t think anything’s ever been as traumatizing an experience as this, yet the tone of what I’m saying doesn’t sound that bad. well, it was hell in such a dose, I couldn’t be angry. not enough time to work up any of that before the tears came.

even now, as I write, they keep flowing. I’ve sat and stared out my window for an eternity, trying to understand just what happened. it seems so unreal; one minute he was walking in the park, the next, the wailing and flashing red lights of his escort to the hospital upset the tiny town, half a world away.

I won’t get bitter about the doctors, or the fact that they still can’t pinpoint the exact cause of this. I don’t care about what the hell they diagnose; if it’s not positive, screw it. i don’t care for anything else but his health.

I was never much of a phone person. phones were just a way to get sounds across. but even with the static-y connection and the soft volume that accompanied calling overseas, I couldn’t hold myself any longer. I cried, long and hard, as he told me to respect and love my parents. I cried, bitter and anguished, as he told me to pursue my studies and make him proud. I cried, cried my heart out until I felt him aching in his voice at the sound of mine, as he told me to never give up my love for music, because his love was hearing me play.

I stayed in my room, staring out the window until darkness crept upon this side of the world, and I could no longer distinguish the leaves on the trees. I didn’t know what to think, still don’t know what I’m thinking. my heart is weeping, and it is not only of sadness, but of a bitterness, a longing to see him, a longing that now rests in pain. I have no power over anything over there, but i know that he won’t leave me.

Why? Because I haven’t proved myself yet. he has to stay longer, to watch me win my battles, stand my ground, and succeed in my studies. he has to stay longer, to see me win violin competitions, which will undoubtedly brighten up his wrinkled face. he has to see me get into college, and feel proud because the first grandchild he held made it to the real world. he simply can’t leave, and he knows it too.

I love you, grandfather. I always have, always will. Just watch, this won’t be your time, I won’t allow it – you must still see me prove my worth to you.