Spring has often been the season of change. The winter snow melts off the ground, and the first sign of green appears. Even the common aphorisms like, “Hope springs eternal,” center around the season. The school year winds down and a look toward summer becomes true. I always liked Spring’s unpredictability. Warm sun is quickly followed by snowfall and slush. Spring in Cleveland has always meant “hope” as the days grow, ever slightly, longer. Perhaps it’s climate change or just me, but summer seems to have replaced my spring.
Christmas time, “my season of perpetual hope,” is gone. It’s forever tarnished with the last time I saw my son. It’s now soured in anguish. I feel the short, cold days. It’s visceral. Christmas Day, while facing the inevitable, Jacob showered those he loved with love. A twenty-year-old man, with kid-like enthusiasm, gave his best to those around him. The final count of visitors is unknown. We have more than 100 of his closest family and friends sit with him. They loved on him. The talk wasn’t about death. The talk was about living.
Some of my writings are done in one sitting. Many people would argue they are written in one continuous sentence, void of technique. I love ee Cummings. I took a break while writing and went to therapy. My focus has changed. My reflections are always centered around seasons. Winter=Christmas=Hope. Spring=Light=Change. Summer=Heat=Comfort. Fall=Leaves=Smells. This is an all-encompassing standard void of organic rhythm.
Back to change. Ben moves away in less than 5 days. This is change for which I am not happily anticipating. Our friendship is one-sided. This has been a source of worry for me. He offers me friendship, support, leadership, and mentorship. I give him some crazy-ass stories of my insanity that makes for some fucked-up, hilarious fodder with his mates. Yes, I once paid our friend’s little sister 25 bucks to feed me dinner while we were all at Princeton for the weekend. Just. Because. Ben has been in Cleveland for the past 6ish years. I remember thinking I would lose 150 lbs. when he moved back. Why not? I have a built-in trainer.
Perhaps this change will come without fanfare. We will have a “Good Will Hunting” moment, and I will show up only to see an empty house and a ton of regret. Ben moved to Cleveland just when my life was becoming better. Business was good. Jacob, Ana, and Naomi were doing well. I was big but had hope. It was late summer if memory serves me. The leaves hadn’t yet become victims of gravity. This was the best “change” in some time. Now, his exodus to warmer climates fills me with personal regret. I failed.
This isn’t completely true. I sheltered (assisted Naomi) my family through tumult. I continue to honor Jacob in many ways. I recognize this while also understanding the only thing he truly cared about was our collective happiness. Watching me continue to live life the way I want hurts isn’t honorable. Regret is a cement-filled cloak.
Here comes hope. I have the power to make my moment better. I no longer need to rely on a seasonal approach to happiness. Ben and I had a chat while working out this morning. I told him about my difficulties on Father’s Day. “Why did you decide to have a bad day?” He asked me with an incredulous tone. I let him know that my sadness was not planned. It was organic and lasting. He brings up an interesting point. Personal feelings are organic. We often plan how we will “feel,” but won’t plan the actions.
Just do it. Thanks Phil Knight. If Ben leaves me without one last hug out, I will walk to Santa Barbara and kick his ass. Shit, don’t give him ideas.