So, here’s the Ugly Real.
I didn’t want to do this. I wondered if I should post it. I didn’t know–I don’t know–how I feel about any of it.
But this is the real: we do things for our children that we never thought we could do. We do things for our children that we don’t want to do. We do things for our children, even when we are scared, even when we are mad, even when we are devastated.
A few weeks ago, I pulled up my daddy’s funeral service to listen to a part that I wanted to hear. I tend to skip all the music (sorry, Hunter…you were more than amazing, and you played even when you didn’t know my daddy…you just knew me…and you did it because I asked and because you are so gracious…and you did it perfectly. You did it so perfectly that it hurts too much) but there are things that Brother Bill said I sometimes need to revisit. Parts of his talk make me want to punch something. Parts make me laugh. Parts of his talk feel different, now, 2 years later. Parts feel exactly the same.
For a specific reason, I went back to try to listen, and I couldn’t. The format the recording was sent to me doesn’t work anymore, and when I realized that, I felt a sense of panic. One day, I want Leelee to listen. But especially, one day, I want Mac to listen. He is still not happy that he wasn’t allowed to attend his Charles’ funeral. I don’t blame him for being mad, but we, as his parents, have to make hard decisions. I don’t regret mine, and he can be mad all he wants. It would have been too much, and he didn’t need to be there. He didn’t need to see his mama, daddy, grandmother, aunts, uncles, and friends of all of the above completely undone. I don’t regret it.
But I would regret not being able to give him the ability to hear everything that was said about his Charles, about him, about the circumstances, about the maybe-whys when he can absorb it. It may help him one day.
So, because I am afraid that I won’t be able to keep up with the ever-changing technology of the world in which we live, I tried to turn the audio into a format that could be kept. I turned it into an Mp4, and I updated that on this blog in the original post that contained his service.
But I also wanted it on Youtube, because for right now, I feel like Youtube may be around for a while. It is where I have privately posted all of the videos I have on my phone of Mac and Leelee so that they can access them. I wanted this on Youtube as well, so they could both access an hour of our lives that may bring comfort or clarity one day.
But I couldn’t upload it as just an audio file. I probably could, but I couldn’t figure out how.
So I did the only thing I knew to do. I made it a video.
It was one of my least favorite things I’ve ever done.
Y’all know this and y’all know why.
I hate looking at pictures of my daddy.
As I have written here before, I hate looking at them because it makes him too familiar. Seeing pictures of him make me feel like he will be walking through my door any second.
And he isn’t.
So, I don’t look at pictures of him, but I had to download and then upload a whole lot of them to make this video. It took its toll. Do you know how hard it is to look at pictures but not look at pictures? It was almost comical to try to train my eye on a blank corner of a photo that is occupying my entire computer screen just so I didn’t have to look at a forehead, a set of eyes, a cheek. It’s hard.
And sometimes, his face came into view, not because I meant for it to, but because there were no blank corners, and my stomach knotted and my heart broke. It broke over and over and over again.
I realize I probably shouldn’t have chosen this, of all weeks, to memorialize Daddy’s funeral service for my children, as it is my least favorite week of all weeks out of the year. But, when I get something in my head, it doesn’t leave. So I felt like I didn’t have a choice. I had to get it done.
And I did. And this is it.
I won’t be watching. I’ve had to see and had to hear bits and pieces too many times this week. But I’m giving it to you, to memorialize in yet another place in our cyber-verse for Mac and Leelee. We do these things for our children.
And, I’m giving it to you because there are things that Brother Bill says that someone needs to hear.
And, at the very least, if you choose to watch and listen, you can hear Hunter Gibson play his heart out. For me. What a gift.
In two days, it will have been 2 years since Daddy left us. I still have all of the same questions. I still sometimes feel physically ill when I realize that this actually happened…that Charles Weems, the one I called The Dad, my daddy, did what he did. It is just as mind-blowing and horrific 2-years-minus-2-days later as it was that day.
I wish I had an inspiring post about how it gets better and it isn’t as hard after a little bit of time goes by. Sorry to disappoint.
It still just sucks.
As Brother Bill says in this video, “It sucks the life out of you. It sucks the breath out of you. It sucks your heart out.”
It still just sucks.
And it may not be June 22 quite yet, but it’s Thursday. And all day long, I’ve felt sucked dry. Despite the heat, despite the errands, despite the ballgame. I’ve done what I do. I ran errands. I went to a ballgame. I cleaned. I needlessly organized.
I did whatever I could do to not think about the fact that it was Thursday, and that 2 years ago on a Thursday, my daddy chose to leave us on purpose.
That never goes away. Somedays are just suckier than others.
Today, tomorrow, and especially Saturday are gonna be sucky because with them comes memories that I hate that evoke emotions that are overwhelming. And I hate feeling overwhelmed. And I hate remembering.
I hate remembering that I didn’t save my daddy.
And I really, really hate remembering every moment that comes with all of these pictures because there is nothing in a single one that shows a man who was capable of doing what he did. Quite the opposite. Should you choose to watch, you will see a happy man who loved his family, friends, and football.
Brother Bill says my daddy was not the Charles of “Thursday.” He wasn’t. But I don’t know who he was because he left us with Thursday and all of the confliction that comes with remembering Thursday, but also remembering all of the Thursdays before.
This Thursday is over, and I’m going to bed.
If you choose to watch, I hope you remember: this is Ugly Real.
It doesn’t make sense. It is likely never going to make sense.
So let it be.
Let it be ugly.
Let it be real.
Let it be what it is.
The words you will hear are what it is.
The pictures you will see are what it was.
It doesn’t make sense.
It never will.