Some dates stick with you. This is one of them. September two-seven. Nine-two-seven-one-four.
It has been three years since my grandfather passed away just after midnight on the 27th. I will never forget that date as long as I live.
All the stuff that has transpired in my life since his passing has been not unlike the myth of the Phoenix. That sounds pretentious but you had to be there. You had to see everything in my life fall into disrepair. You had to see all hell break loose. Trust me, I was there.
I stand here, three years on, a better and stronger man. I am like the phoenix that rises from its’ own ashes. A rebirth after plunging into self-immolation. And as I stand here, I recognize that it is as slow a rise up as it was a descent.
This is self-love. This is self-celebration. It is well-deserved.
And yet this is not a permanent state. Hard times will return. Hell, hard times are happening now, if you consider the state of the country and the world. But inside I am fortified. Because I’ve cried through the fire that engulfed me. I feel like a piece of steel, brought to my biggest melting point yet. Hard times will return and heartbreak will occur, but I will persevere.
You will persevere as well. That is my promise to you. Pain and suffering is a giant part of our existence, and yet we persevere. However we get through it, whether we cling to family, or friends, or God, how one may imagine God to be, or any combination thereof. Or whatever gets you through that doesn’t make things worse. Some coping mechanisms can be harmful, you know.
The old saying is “when you’re going through hell, keep going.” I echo that sentiment because otherwise you’re stuck in hell. Besides, you may fly out one day. Not because you’re an angel but because you’re a phoenix.
I miss my grandfather but I think if he could see me now, he would be proud of me. That makes it a little bit easier. I can almost hear him say it. “Proud of you.”