There is an old adage that God will never give you more than you can handle. Over the last week, I discovered he either trusts me too much or has a seriously warped sense of humor. Over the span of eight days, I had to deal with three different days where I wish he didn't have so much faith in me.
The first was June 13th. That was the eight month anniversary of Peyton's death from suicide. In a way, it is strange that I still measure his passing in months. In a way, I feel like a new parent when you measure your child's age by months until they hit a year. I did the same thing with Peyton and Emmy, once they hit a year, I began to tell people they were a year, or just over a year, or almost two. I stopped counting off months. I wonder if I will do the same thing in October when the once year anniversary of his passing arrives. There really is no telling. Right now, with the wound so raw, I still count months. The day itself matched my mood. It was gray and dreary with rain off and on. I did my usual posting on Facebook and Twitter, but aside from that, I did nothing all day. In a lot of ways, it is still hard to believe that he is gone. I look at pictures and videos of him, and it is like he is still with us. The the realization will hit that he is never coming back, and that drops me deep down into depression. I hate that people are able to go on with their lives while I struggle with the day to day never knowing what will trigger the next breakdown, the next stream of tears.
Three days later, June 16th, was supposed to be Peyton's 14th birthday. Instead, based on what I have seen others do on various suicide based Facebook pages, I started calling it Payton's First "Forever 13" Birthday. It still sounds strange, but it seemed to fit the occasion. I knew I had to do something to recognize it, so I asked for suggestions from people that have traveled the same long road as me, and they suggested every thing from a balloon release to a grave side memorial. Because we had Peyton cremated and his ashes are sitting on my dresser (I'm not ready to let go), I decided to go with a balloon release. I posted the event on Facebook and Twitter and received a good reaction. Yes, there were those that were against it because of possible damage to the environment, and I understand, but I needed to do something, so that is what I went with. I ordered the balloons and encouraged others to come and join us. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had different plans, and they showed up in the the form of Tropical Storm Bill. Now the local news teams in the Houston area would have had you believing that it was the Apocalypse, and after the storms of Memorial Day weekend, no one wanted more rain. Fortunately, Bill turned out to be nothing more than a popcorn fart for most of the area. Yes, it was cloudy with intermittent rain, but not the gather the animals of the world by twos kind of weather we were told to prepare for. About 40 people braved the rain and warnings to show up for the release. As we all stood out in the field across the street, a cold rain began to fall, and upon release, many of the balloons headed straight to the ground where they popped unceremoniously. Yes, a few brave and hearty balloons made it, but they were the exception rather than the rule.
The biggest trail was yesterday, June 21st, Father's Day. Father's Day is perhaps the most ignored "Holiday" there is. Whereas Mother's Day is during the school year when kids make decorative cards and gifts, and husbands are forced to look for the Holy Grail of gifts because the asshole Bob down the street went all out in an effort to make the rest of us look like fools, and none of us want to be the douche bag that went cheap on his wife. No, Father's Day is usually a day when Dad is left alone to watch the US Open in peace, and the kids go out and do all the yard work poorly, thus creating more work for dear old Dad next weekend. For me, it was yet another reminder that Peyton was gone. I woke up and went out to the living room to sit on the coach and read. I liked the idea of silence, and enjoyed the time to myself. soon enough my wife and daughter were awake, and the day went on like another with the glaring exception of the missing boy that would have bitched and complained that he didn't want to watch golf all damn day. Instead, I let loose with the occasional stream of tears and self pity that goes along with being a suicide survivor.
Now that stretch is over. June 22nd is here, and my focus has shifted. I am trying to get the College Park High School branch of The Locker (www.thelocker.info) off the ground. I am bound and determined to get this going at CP knowing that it will benefit students as well as help carry on the goodwill that Peyton would have wanted.
Trust me God. I have this.