Stop This Train - for Danny.
Freshman year, you had me start listening to John Mayer. I really got into his music, and now I have all of his albums. And you told me to learn this song, and every time I’d get out my acoustic, you’d insist that I play it. You’d get all excited, and rock back and forth, even if you were standing in place in the hall, and you’d sing along to all your favorite parts. And in those last hours, when we all gathered around you and they let us play you music from your iPod, this is the song I picked out for you.
Sometimes it’s just downright weird.
Every time I go to send a mass text to all my close friends, like, “Hey guys, we’re going to be watching this movie, blah blah,” and I’ll go through my contacts, checking off the people I’d like to see there. I ALWAYS hover over Danny. Like, it’s still habit to include him in everything. But I don’t know what the deal with his phone is. I don’t know if his parents have it, or if they ever check it to see if any of his friends still text him. I wonder if anyone does.
But today, I was checking my calendar for a vacation my parents invited me and K to go on, and it’s in the middle of the summer. On the last day, on my calendar, I still have marked, “Danny and C get married”. I put it down the day they announced it, and never went to delete it. I still didn’t delete it today, when I realized. But that’s weird too.
I don’t know how to feel about all of that, either. C seems to have totally moved on. She told me MONTHS ago that she was into this other guy, and asked me what I thought of it. I didn’t know what to think of it, because that’s a type of rebound effect that I’m not qualified to talk about. Now she’s dating yet another guy. The weird thing about that is that he’s named Danny, and he’s pre-med too, but no, he’s nothing like my Danny; he doesn’t look or act similar at all. It’s just a strange coincidence. But she’s not telling our friend Danny’s parents or family about it, because “they don’t really need to know”. I don’t know. I’ve always thought that if you couldn’t tell people that you were in a relationship with someone, maybe you should evaluate whether or not you should even be in that relationship. But, it’s her life, it’s her choice, and she can do whatever she wants. It’s just weird.
I’d say I’m envious, but honestly, I’m glad I can’t move on that quickly. I don’t really ever intend to. I’m not going to let there be some sort of dysfunction in my life as a result of this loss; I will survive. But I will break down, probably regularly, when I stop to think about Danny. I will think of him every time I achieve something he would have been proud of. I’ll miss him when I do something I’d have liked him to be there for, which is just about everything. I’ll miss him when I keep traditions he started in our freshman year.
I miss you, Danny.
The thing that sucks is that I feel like there’s nothing I can do, nowhere I can go, especially because I’m home instead of on campus. I can’t visit K, and if I text anyone about the shit that’s bothering me, it could upset them as well, which is not my goal. I don’t want to ruin anybody’s day.
It just gets to me. Thinking about Danny, and hearing everyone talk about the tragedy in Connecticut; going to my sister’s graduation and thinking about how I’ll be walking that same exact stage in five months, thinking about what will happen in life after that. Then I went to church (because my folks require it when I’m living here, and I am NOT getting up in the morning until I’m good and ready) which made me more upset.
Religion has not really been my thing, for some time. Faith is fine, but when I have it, it’s mine, and I keep it to myself. Outward displays of religion, especially Christianity, make me uneasy. Living in the Midwest, I don’t see a ton of public displays of faith by Hindus or Muslims or others, but the Christians are always in your face. Sometimes church gatherings start to feel like Who’s-The-Best-Christian?! competitions, and I’m not even trying to win. I don’t like it.
I miss Danny. I hate thinking about it.
Rain on the roof overhead
Snow on a chimney
Sunlight beaming through a window onto a bed
A pillow light enough to float a heavier head
Seems to be more of a silent promise
Than anything better left unsaid
Seems to me, a doubting Thomas,
That anything is subject to change.
When BAM! followed by a sprinkling of glass
Or a sinking feeling for a friend;
When all anybody ever could have wanted
Was an open road on a sunny day
And a freedom that “Faster!” taunted
Now every time you drive nearby you’re haunted
By the smell of the flowers April had saved for May
Wondering if you could have said goodbye,
Or if you even would have, had you only known
And if it would really make a difference
In the way you’re feeling right now
Because life is fragile
And at your most peaceful moments
Safety is more of a mother’s last, lying reassurance
Than an unspoken understanding
I don’t understand how I wrote this before Danny passed.
I really miss you, Danny.
I wish I could go back in time and change everything.
After the death of a loved one, everyone talks about the lessons they learned. They realize they should learn from this person’s example, and live life like the deceased did, because he or she was loved by all. Or they realize that life is short, and it should be appreciated at every moment.
I think that’s quite fucking selfish. I’m glad for you all, finding that silver lining, and being thankful and grateful and finding peace. Good for you.
But did your loved one really have to die for you to learn that? You can view your life, your world, like a narrative; characters have to die in order to develop other characters. But you’re not the only protagonist on this Earth, and I think your attitude is a conceited one.
Danny’s accident occurred when we were canoeing. I still have the shirt he was wearing. The washer and dryer couldn’t get all of the river mud off of it. it’s cut down the back because the paramedics needed to remove it without moving him. It’s actually a BodyBuilding.com shirt, saying “MISC” with…
I’m on a How I Met Your Mother binge recently, watching old episodes during breakfast and whenever I want to waste some time. This morning I watched Season 6, Episode 13, “Bad News”. In the very end, as Marshall is about to celebrate his good news from the clinic with his father, his wife shows up to tell him about his father’s heart attack. Marshall’s father has died. All Marshall says is, “I’m not ready for this.”
Call me a baby if you like, but I broke down the first time I saw this episode, and I broke down this morning seeing it again. I believe the first time I watched it was shortly after both of my dad’s parents had recently passed away, and I broke down at the thought of going through what my own father was going through at that time.
Today, I broke down again, because I know exactly the emotion being portrayed on screen. Danny isn’t my father, or anything like that, but I looked up to him a lot, and there are certain things that I’d want to celebrate with him. I think the toughest part of missing someone who has passed comes every time you’d like them to be there for a big change in your life, or to celebrate an accomplishment.
I like the line, “I’m not ready for this.” I don’t know if it’s something someone would say in real life, but it’s completely true. We were never ready for Danny to go.
I’m not ready for this.
I miss Danny like hell.