So here I am, the baby of the family, and I’ve finally decided to check in (it’s taken a while for my fingers to thaw in this FREEZING weather). After two full months spent in the warmth of my cozy home (and pajamas) I now am back in Boston, finishing up my final semester of my college career and, quite frankly I have no idea how I got back here. But I find it all quite suspicious.
I mean, sure, I guess I was trying to be all brave and telling people “Oh sure, I’ll go back and graduate, make him proud”, but to be quite honest, I’m not sure I had any intention of actually coming back. It felt like this far off thing that I couldn’t possibly have to face anytime soon. And then Christmas, and New Years came and went and the holidays were over. Next thing I know I am on a plane to Boston (a rather nice flight actually, just over 4 hours and no one in the middle seat – plus extra legroom) and here I am. I just finished my first week of my last semester of college.
It’s been a good few weeks, exciting, but busy as I have work from last semester to make up. Harder than that though, has been not being able to pick up the phone and tell my dad about my new classes, projects and teachers. I had an audition last week, for an Emerson Stage show and it was the first audition in my life that I couldn’t call to hear his voice before, urging me on, telling me to “relax and let it fly” and after, hearing the pride in his voice no matter how it went. I’ve wanted to call him every single day, but the ache of that is slightly eased by all the times I have felt his presence this week.
I walked into my first class feeling nervous and all too vulnerable. I immediately was sandwiched in a giant hug between two of my dearest friends in the theater program. Shortly thereafter we were doing introductions in my Humans Rights class; the intro game involved us holding a small globe and saying the following statement:
“If I had the world in my hands and could change one thing it would be….”
The ball was then passed to my friend Brooke, who without knowing any of these details about my father’s last instructions to our family said:
“If I had the world in my hands I would make it so that everyone would focus on the good.”
The ball was passed to me and I said something about ensuring illness and suffering wouldn’t exist. As I said this, my other friend, Becca, gently reached over and took my hand in hers; she gave me a squeeze of encouragement, reminding me of the love and support I have here. At this moment, I looked down at our hands. Her fingernails were painted the most beautiful shade of blue – Dodger blue; the exact color and brand that I had painted on my nails the morning of November 28th while I held my father’s hands in mine as my whole world changed.
I am still scared and I still wake up some mornings thinking I’d really rather not be in Boston and feeling as though I couldn’t possibly get through the day ahead. Thus far, I have been able to combat those feelings because I believe, deep in my heart, that he wants me here. And he has been finding little ways to remind me of that everyday. It’s not brave if you’re not scared – right Dad?
I found out a few days ago that I got cast in the show. I couldn’t be more excited about this production and I know it will be a great experience, but when I called my mom to fill her in we both found ourselves in tears. My Papa Bear would be so unbelievably proud, and I can’t wait to keep making him proud.
This one’s for you, Dad.