Marvin sufficiently convinced me to join him to a mysterious birthday event written so intriguingly by Ulf, I couldn’t resist. It’s one of the few days I’ve ventured outside my comfort zone called my home. I haven’t left the house in 15 days except for two times and one of those times I met Michelle a blogger friend, I felt so awkward and distant it was painful. I then realized I wasn’t at all ready to face people and talk about my dad. Thankfully Marvin was with me and he kept the conversation for the two station that seemed to take forever to reach. So I went home and stayed home. Until tonight. Ulf had rented a boat to have his 50’th and his sons 10’th birthday party. There were a healthy mixture of people, an eclectic bunch that reflected Ulf and his lovely partner Melodie. My dad wanted to rent a boat next year for his 50’s birthday and make a big celebration, he never thought he would make it to 50
and he was right. That alone made me teary-eyed. The invitation said we’d be in for a treat but we didn’t know until we got there that the party was on a boat.
The fact that his son, Charlie, such beautiful name, has the luxury to celebrate his birthday with his father and the way Ulf put his hand on Charlies head mixing up his hair was the moment I began to venture my emotional roller coaster of the night. Next year I would be half my dads age. He would turn 50 and I would be 25. We would host the party of the century. But it will never come and I felt melancholy standing there in the crowd while listening to Ulf singing, celebrating his son. I felt unprivileged standing there because I will never have that special moment.
At one moment the crowd and small talk became too much for me. Marvin and I sat down at a table consisting of an older couple and Ulf’s father, Anders. Anders is an interesting man that has lead an interesting life. The first thing he asked us was; tell me about a time in your life you came close to death. And I woke up and for the first time I noticed. I looked at his face, noticed his wrinkles, and his eyes. The way he was telling his stories was for one to entertain the crowd. Which he successfully did. The second reason was to share and inspire, so we could wake up and make our own stories. The way he told it was with patience, tale-like, dreamy and funny. During the conversation I started to notice how I’ve changed since my father died. I see people, I don’t look at them. I hear what they say, I don’t listen to them. I don’t feel the need to fill in any gaps of silence with unnecessary noise. If I’m not interested in the conversation I won’t add anything to it. I look into people’s eyes and I notice that some become distant while others opened up more. I noticed that you can see so much in terms of experience in people’s faces and their fundamental state of mind in their eyes.
Anders is 81 years old and a world traveler, experienced absurd things in his life. Some are fortune to live five lives in a lifetime and some don’t get the chance to live at all. It made me happy and sad at the same time.
Today I’m grateful to have ventured outside amongst people in a confined space at sea without me jumping and causing a scene. How selfish wouldn’t that be? I am grateful I learnt something new about myself today.
I have a question for people who have lost someone really close to them. When you now laugh or have a good time do you feel guilty?