This is not a typical post. Sorry about that.
I found the most beautiful place today. It reminded me of some photos of a very dear friend’s farm he once shared with me. He was so proud of that place, and he had done so much with it despite limited means. I wanted to take my photos of this adorable ReVAMPED release from LaVian there, but as my computer sometimes does, it decided to be difficult, so I opted for a less graphics heavy option.
Ten years ago, I met a man named Mike. He was my mother’s age, and he’d been through so much. I don’t think I’ve ever met a man whose strength I admired more. Mike was dealing with some health issues of his own, and caring for his daughter Alyssa, who had cancer in her brain, and his wife, who had been battling breast cancer on-and-off. I was around Alyssa’s age, and going through a hard time myself. We had just received the news at that point that my Nana had cancer.
Mike listened to me. We ranted to one another on the bad days, and celebrated the good ones together. When Alyssa’s treatments stopped working, Mike, a recovering alcoholic, expressed his fears that “crawling back into the bottle” seemed like an acceptable alternative to reality. I gave him my phone number and cheered him on.
When Alyssa passed, I didn’t know what to say. What words can you give someone when they lose a child? I don’t think there’s really any comfort there, except, perhaps, for the fact that Alyssa’s pain was over. But Mike stayed so strong through everything, even when his wife found it too painful to stay with him. I don’t know how he did it without falling apart. I offered my shoulder as I had in the past and we talked as often as we could.
Mike was like a father to me, which I guess would make more sense if you knew how little involvement my father had in my life, and how that “little” turned to “even less” when my health began to decline. Mike held me up and kept me strong when I wasn’t sure I could stand on my own. When my Nana died shortly after Alyssa, we often talked late into the night about the two of them, how we imagined that they were looking down at us from the stars, and how we took solace in the fact that they weren’t hurting anymore.
Last year, he got sick and had to go into the hospital. I remember commenting on his frustrated Facebook statuses as he went back and forth, saw various doctors, and tried to figure out what he needed to do to get well. And then there was silence. No snarky comments, no funny stories about how much he wanted to throttle the doctors. Nothing. And then, one day, I logged in to a message from his family that he had passed.
See, at first I thought it was some kind of joke. I knew he’d been having some issues, but I didn’t think he was that sick. I got angry. Who would say such things? Would I have to go to Minnesota and kick someone in the teeth? But then the funeral arrangements were mentioned, and I dared to look at his profile page, and it all became so real.
Tomorrow is his birthday. Happy birthday, Mike. I hope wherever you are, you’re kicking butt and taking names. I hope you’re with Alyssa, and you’re both smiling and laughing like you used to. You are missed every single day by so many people. Sometimes, when I’m having a bad time of things, I take a deep breath and imagine what he’d say. Sometimes, he wasn’t always the voice of reason. Sometimes, he’d be right there with me going, “Yeah. That sucks. You should kick someone in the face.” But for me, I think the point was that he was always there for me.
I’m lucky enough to have met so many wonderful people like that in Second Life. People who talk and who listen, people who have “been there” and are willing to offer a shoulder. That’s how I know that everything will be okay. The next couple days is going to be difficult, but I love all of you.
[Skin][^^Swallow^^][Sabry – Peach]
[Hair][:Exile::][Nina – Marone]
[Hands][Slink][Av Enhance Female Hands (Elegant)]
[Nails][ZOZ @ ReVAMPED][GL Summer 2015][Available until 2/20/16]
[Eyes][IKON][Sunrise Eyes – Azure Light]
[Eyeshadow][Madrid Solo][Seductress “Soil Umber”]
[Face][Madrid Solo][“Hustle” Blush, Moles, Freckles]
[Lips][.:JUMO:.][Prestige Lips – Pink]
[Outfit][LaVian @ ReVAMPED][“Get Stupid”][Available until 2/20/16]
[Inspiration Tune][Joey+Rory – When I’m Gone]