Grandpa’s dead but I still talk to him is probably a poor choice for a headline but an accurate one. Four years gone but never far from my mind I sometimes speak to him about the things that trouble me. I close my eyes and look inward and tell him about whatever it is that is bothering me. And though there is nothing but silence in response I sometimes find the answer anyway.
Fragments of conversations float through the mist and amongst the flotsam and jetsam I pick out little pieces of driftwood upon which are written some of his favorite expressions. I hear his voice counseling me not to allow my temper to get the best of me and I smile.
It is something that I speak about with my children. We talk about how anger can be a tool and that if you channel that energy properly it can be very useful. And we talk about how tools can be used for good or to damage and destroy.
The children have heard me tell them more than once how important it is to learn how to deal with anger appropriately. But I have also been careful to let them know that we are only human so there are times where we are going to fail and that it is ok. It is a bit of a tightrope that I am trying to teach them to walk.
I don’t want them to feel like losing their temper is the end of the world but I don’t want them to forget that there is a price to pay for all of our actions. I tell them that their daddy has paid that price more than once and my job is to try and teach them not to make the same mistakes I have made.
The discussions are good and I think that they are learning which makes me happy. But that doesn’t help me with this situation. There is no mitigating factor or shelter from the storm that brews within. It is rare that I feel this fire. Very few have the keys to the places in my head and heart. Very few have the ability to reach in squeeze that which shouldn’t be touched in this manner.
But it happened today and hours later I am still burning. In part it is my own fault. When it happened I refused to acknowledge it. They wanted a reaction and I was determined not to give it to them. In this instance that was a mistake. It didn’t make the pain go away nor did the passage of time make me forget what had happened.
It is a funny thing but not in a humorous sense. My determination not to give a reaction was also supposed to prevent a fight. Due to circumstances I didn’t think that we could have a discussion that didn’t turn into something…else.
So in effect I set myself up and am partially responsible for the bonfire that burns in my belly. Yet another example of good intentions gone bad. Moments like this make me hate being a responsible adult. It would feel good to run amok and scream, but it wouldn’t fix anything.
And in the end I don’t want a temporary bandage for this wound. I want it stitched up so that it heals properly. Don’t care if there is a scar as I already have more than a few of those.
So I talk to grandpa and I tell him why I am angry. I fill him in on everything and ask if at all possible for him to help me in some way or another. I don’t really believe that he is able to reach from beyond the veil. Don’t really expect anything, but figure that there is nothing to lose. No one but me and the few people that read this will ever know and I don’t really care if you approve or disapprove.
All I know is that the fire burns as brightly as it ever has.