There's this really delightful movie, circa 1998 or so, one of M. Night Shymalan's first works. Wide Awake tells the story of a 10-year-old boy who goes on a search for God while grieving the loss of his grandfather. It's On Demand right now, and I've watched it at least twice; it's speaking to me on some level...plus it's a really sweet flick.
I woke up Sunday morning with a sense of purpose. I knew I wanted to go check out Hitchcock Woods in downtown Aiken, and didn't see the point of trying to go back to sleep just so I could feel worse...the mattress I was on was lousy (my lower back still hasn't forgiven me), and I'd drunk enough wine the night before to kill a small horse. Had talked to Lil Bro the night before, and what I gleaned from the intense medical jargon of Dad's autopsy (still waiting to read it myself to see if I'm correct or not - Mom, as well as Dad's cardiologist are both in denial about the results at present) was that what set his catastrophic events in motion may have been a garden-variety MI. A heart attack. This may turn out not to be the case, but hearing this woke something inside of me. I'm not even sure what it is yet...it's definitely going to take some mental hashing out. But I went to those woods to walk and began to feel such strength, such clarity. Doesn't even make sense really...we'd always been told a stroke would take him; to have it be his supposedly healthy heart oughta bring nothing but more questions...and it does certainly (though certain parts of it also make sense, like they wouldn't have noticed all the symptoms because the pain that normally travels down one arm as well, would've been on the arm that hasn't been right since 1982, didn't give an accurate BP reading ever since his seizure back then)...that's why I asked Mom for a copy of the autopsy, because my time in the medical field gave me a really decent understanding of their terminology (and Mom and Lil Bro are getting an appointment for translative purposes with Dad's cardiologist, who's also going back to Pathology to make sure those results are accurate).
But maybe my clarity stems from an understanding that knowing the why doesn't help with the closure much at all....it certainly doesn't make him any less dead. Christ, could I be headed for acceptance already? Because in those woods, walking carefully on the soft dirt trail, stepping carefully to avoid the frequent road apples (I didn't see any horse folks, but it's obviously heavily populated by the Aiken horse crowd), I regained my peace and faith. As I was walking, I realized I hadn't grounded in months and suddenly, the earth's energy was flooding up through my legs and arms. It was overcast and muggy out, but almost cool, not more than 70 F. I was surrounded by tall trees, fern banks, and gorgeous groves of greenery. There's a canyon and a sand river...I barely scratched the surface of these woods, can't wait to go back and explore further, and it's a privately owned and funded area only a mile from downtown Aiken. I'd kick myself for not finding it sooner, were it not for how fantastic it's made me feel. I had a good cleansing cry and so totally recharged my batteries; my cup runneth over with how I'm feeling now.
Spent the rest of Sunday knitting, relaxing, and reading and writing in my grief journals. My resolve to lose weight and get healthy has taken on fresh life, because if any of us kids needs to be worried about potential heredity factors from Dad now, with that news, it's certainly me over the others. And that scares the living shit out of me, since I have every intention of living a helluva lot longer than 30 more years. So I joined the Heart Walk in Dad's memory, am eating healthier, and my exercise regimen begins today, in spite of my sore back. I'll take it easy, but I'm not going to lay out. I'll celebrate Lughnassadh tomorrow and the beginnings of my favorite season.