Tuesday, September 26, 2006 posted by Henri
Having a child makes you face mortality. More than a near death experience, more than religion, more than peyote, more than eating 50 hardboiled eggs. We are faced with an unyielding truth that the one thing that we love more than life itself will one day pass on. And for most people, this truth will never be accepted. Similar to the stages of grief, denial will always be the hardest to overcome. The moment I laid eyes on my son I felt the crushing weight of this understanding. By having a child, I open myself up to the possibility of grief all encompassing. It is incomprehensible and tragically unfair that my child could ever possibly pass away. I can accept the death of every other person on this planet, but I cannot accept the thought of my son not being here. Each passing day is a lesson in this acceptance and in a way each passing day is actually a gift. We are not entitled to the time that we spend with our loved ones, we are gifted by them. And in the end the question that helps me deal with the grief of knowing that my days with my cherished son are limited is a simple one. What is a life worth living? What are the moments in life that on their own are enough to have made everything worthwhile and beautiful?
The day I saw my wife waiting for a bus and walking up to her to ask her to dinner.
Being drunk on Sunset Blvd with a busted heart and having that girl smile as she walked by.
Eating carne asada tacos at twilight on a picnic table with my boys about to get into a fistfight.
Being a teenager watching Jane's Addiction at the John Ansen Ford theater.
Racing on the 110 freeway when your 16.
Reading Bukowski on a Greyhound Bus in the middle of the night.
The smell of fireworks in the air when you're 9 years old.
Walking through downtown LA 2am on a date with an entourage of 7 bums and growing as I hire each panhandler one at a time to be our bodyguards.
Sitting on the beach in Santa Monica late at night, watching the Ferris wheel on the pier with a girl you're saying goodbye to.
The very existence of Pillbugs.
And finally my son. Just one day, that first day I spent with you, that was enough to make any amount of grief worthwhile. I will trade it all for just that one moment when I first saw you. This is a life worth living and I'll try to stop being so greedy. Every moment since has been a gift and every moment forward will be a blessing.