Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bury my Heart

Things are starting to fall away. It's been a really long couple of months and I'm starting to feel like I or things in my life are being pruned. Things I used to count on aren't what they used to be. My job and my leg - neither one is as dependable as it used to be. I had begun to think my heart was going with them. Through the difficulty of the last several weeks I've felt surprisingly little. Now, I have a tendency to shut down emotionally sometimes, but this has felt different. I think I know the difference between shutting down and breaking altogether. This felt like the latter until a couple of days ago.

I had the opportunity this week to visit the house I grew up in, my family's home. We moved out about five years ago (about a year after my father died) and I felt like I left a lot of myself in that place, at the time it seemed to difficult to continue to carry it with me. The pieces were right where I left them.

I expected to be overwhelmed by anger and sadness over the loss of my father, I was, but I was also overcome with joy at some of the memories made in that place. I stood by the pool where my best friend and I spent so many summers listening to Billy Joel and pounding Mountain Dews. From the screened porch where I spent so many nights watching the rain I could see the neighborhood court where I learned to really play ball. The kitchen where Steak Night was born and the basement where we all made out all the time. The room where I first kissed my wife and the stair I was sitting on when she told me she loved me. It was all still there. So much of who I am was right there in that house. I was unable to take it with me when I left, but I'm thankful for the opportunity to go back and get it. I I feel burdened in a way I haven't felt in years. I feel heavy, but I feel complete. I know now that my heart still works - and I know why.