To Charlie

I may jest that Kansas is the reason for figuring out teleport. The nausea feeling that takes over me preventing me from writing, reading, or doing pretty much anything except sitting there, all makes Kansas the ideal state for reflection. Alone and consumed with my thoughts before the return journey back home to my people. To lovable chaos and constant company.

Today is my grandpa Charlie’s birthday. As I drove across the prairie I think of life. Of my life. Of how I’ve changed. How I’ve evolved. How much I’ve grown.

I don’t regret things in life. I can’t go back and change them, so you might as well move on. Every experience is a learning lesson. They make me who I am. When I look back at my experiences then and with my grandpa present in my thought, I realize what a catalyst he is for my turn out. How much I learned from his life. From his death. How much I continue to learn from it.

What he’s taught me about judgment. I read Werewolves of Mercy Falls series. One of the main characters advised the broken young man to take his worries, put them in a brain box, and store them. To look at only on occasion. I taped my grandpa up firmly in a box labeled ‘alcoholic’. But part of my recent learning is that we all have demons. We all have struggles we deal with. We are all trying to figure out life. We’re all trying to make the most of our life experience. We’re all trying to deal, to keep our bad thoughts at bay. Sometimes we relapse. Sometimes we fall down. Some days we don’t do our best. But the next day is new. It can be different. We can come out of a binge. Out of the depression.

My grandpa was more than just this box. He was magnetic. He was fearless when it came to being himself. He expressed himself boldly through clothes. Trendsetting and stylish decades ahead of time. He didn’t care what people thought when he showed up to pick me up in metallic Americana Mickey Mouse boxer shorts (pictured here, they were a gift to me).He was not afraid to walk up to someone and say, ‘I’m Charlie Dreher.’ No matter where we were or who the recipient was. He was more than the box. He was happy, singing, humming, cleaning and so much more when sober. When drinking he was battling. Battling for his life and the good Charlie.

After I wrote the letter to myself, I realized I had some things to tell my grandpa:

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for judging you instead of loving you unconditionally. For acting embarrassed, ashamed, or disgusted. For not just letting you be. For boxing you up. For not saying I love you.

Thank you. Thank you for being such a powerful influence in my life. For teaching me. For making me better. For making us all better.

Dr. Dyer said that forgiving his father was key to his change. I realize I don’t have to forgive grandpa. Maybe I should hope that he can forgive me? I need to be thankful and apologize. I need to continue to grow and to learn.

Happy Birthday Grandpa! Grateful and celebrating your life today. Celebrating your spirit that remains. That is in each of us. That is in me. You’re a blessing. I love you unconditionally forever.

BE, Love, Illuminate,

Brittany

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