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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tracks of my tears

This morning on my way to work I decided to change out some of the CD’s in my CD player. One I chose was a Motown/Golden Oldies mix that I put together years ago with artists like Smoky Robinson, The Supremes, Otis Redding, The 4 Tops, etc. Not sure why I chose that one, other than it must have been my unconscious trying to work some things out.

You see, we used to vacation in Kerrville every summer at our family’s one room cabin with no a/c, no TV, no phone, etc. All we had was a radio that was always tuned to the oldies station- my dad loved oldies and especially when we were at the cabin. I think it reminded him of his own childhood summers spent there. Immediately when my CD came on I was taken back to when I was about 8 years old. The sound of oldies on the radio slipping through the screen door while me and my brother climbed trees, or played tag, or explored the woods around the cabin. This was the place where my father taught us to find arrowheads, and make flint rocks spark (in the unlikely event that we ever get lost in the woods and needed to build a fire), roasted marshmallows on the open fire pit, and hiked nature trails with us. It was like a time warp- we did all the things that he and his brothers did when they explored those same woods and hills when they were kids.

So this morning I was taken back to this place in my mind and I realized that in just over a month, my father will have been gone for 15 years. Half of my life. I was struck by the eerie similarities of losing him and losing Andie. They both died unexpectedly of heart conditions that were unknown to all of us at the time. They both were taken way too soon, leaving a wife and two children behind. They both could have been saved if medical intervention had gone the way it should have. And then, there’s Kerrville-the place my father loved the most and I practically grew up, the place where Andie’s parents grew up and graduated high school, the place we were vacationing when Andie died.

Now, as an adult, looking back through my not-so-rose-colored glasses, that place has lost its charm for me. There isn’t a sense of nostalgia when I think of Kerrville-there is a sense of dread. It makes me think of the two most important men in my life, both of whom are gone and never to return.

I picture it like a black hole on map- something to be avoided for fear of what could happen next. Like the Bermuda Triangle smack dab in the middle of Texas- there are warning signs, “Do Not Pass Through- Go Around!” It makes me abundantly sad to think that a place that used to hold so many happy memories is now something I want to avoid thinking about. I feel like the universe is trying to teach me a lesson, as if it is saying, “You didn’t get it the first time around, do you get it now?” I'm still not sure I do...I'm continually trying to find meaning in all of this.

Now as I type this, I find myself humming a song that got stuck in my head this morning...

“So take a good look at my face/

you'll see my smile looks out of place/

if you look closer, it's easy to trace the tracks of my tears"

- Smoky Robinson & The Miracles

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