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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Back in Time

Well, we got through it; three days have passed since 26th July, the darkest square on my calendar. Last Wednesday marked twain years since our extended family flock lost its second-youngest lamb.

As I mentioned to my brother, quite a while ago now, go back in time to that terrible night. After all the neighbors and the cops and the medics and the chaplain and Charlie had gone away, he and I stood in the driveway and looked ahead at a long road that disappeared into murky blackness.

Didn't know how long it was. Didn't know where it would take us. But we were on it, all right, going full-tilt boogie with no headlights, no GPS, no speedometer, no seatbelts.

Now, quite the opposite. We rolled through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. We fear no evil. The road hasn't ended yet... I suspect our muscle-car era vehicles will break down before it ever does. Whatever.

We can look back now, in the light of day, and see the route we traveled. Some rough terrain, to be sure.


But nobody can live that way forever.


Although it takes quite a bit of (s)training, we've got to do it. We Hellers have got to stop ticking the time away from Charlie's tragic death as the starting point, as the Big Bang to our universe.

What we have become is who we are, yep, I get that. Still, we didn't teleport here. Nobody beamed us up.

It's both effortless, and not - letting your mind return to those easier, less painful times. Forgetting what you know. It is both helpful, and not. I don't just mean this thing. I mean everything, everyone.

Charlie's passing on July 26th, 2015 and all that has followed was our family's private 9/11. September 11th, 2001 was America's 9/11. Lost are the loved ones.

As described here, we have been engaged in a personal conflict ever since 7/26. America has been engaged in a global conflict since 9/11. What was lost cannot be found.

The road is closed.

But remember what it was like on September 10th of that year? It was a really nice day. Kids were settling into their school routines. The summer warmth had slacked off but the leaves were nowhere near turning color.

The night was capped off by Monday Night Football. It was Ed McCaffrey's last game. The Denver Broncos' wide receiver broke his leg. Falling asleep on pain killers that night, he probably figured his life had changed forever.

The next morning, it all came crashing down, out of a clear blue sky.

That is not where America's road began. But we treated it that way, and now look where we are: Billions of miles away from where we were, no end in sight (unless you mean that cliff up ahead).


That's not gonna to happen to us, Charlie. I will not remember you merely as my nephew who died, but as that spirited little boy who lived for 12 years, who made my sister happier than anything else in her life ever had.

That doesn't go away, kid... Not on my watch.

pH 7.29.17


1 comment:

  1. Well said - Charlie would be proud of his family - HELLER STRONG!
    (most of the time - but there are bumps in the road sometimes - not as many as before and the potholes are not as deep.) :) Y'just never know about roller coasters!


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