I’ve purposefully been quiet over here. I’ve purposefully played loud, jazzy, Christmas music on repeat as trumpets blare and my heart screams. For in the intersection of what should be joy and this anxious waiting for a King is a writhe of emotions that don’t let me settle…
I’ve missed hopping on here to share the many “beholdings” that were bringing joy before a storm that would steal every last ounce…
Beholding our move-in day and phases 2-7.
Beholding our family vacation to Hilton Head.
Beholding our family visiting.
Beholding my business’ growth.
Beholding my dad.
Beholding his death.
and it’s like suddenly I forgot what it’s like to behold. Because, Jesus– I miss my dad.
There are still moments when I wake up at 3 am wondering if I heard him call me to help him back in to bed. There are moments when I want to rush home to make him his peanut butter sandwich. There are moments when I want to go back and relive every day of my teenage years to take in his wisdom and grace and love. I want to behold his laugh. I long to behold his voice and all it’s dignity.
and it all caught up to me… so I sit here.. working.. in a practical state of psychosis because oh yeah, November + December = a photographers most prosperous season.
3 years ago, right after meeting Trey, I was hospitalized after my anxiety won. 4 nights ago, it happened again; and as I laid in bed, I just cried out for my dad. My God- does this pain and void ever stop? Will it ever go away?
I struggled to breathe, I kept reliving the image of him taking his last breath. The gasps, the silence. The last feeling of my hand wrapped into his and my fingers wrapped around his pinkie. And I couldn’t escape my head. Hell, I couldn’t escape my heart.
And I can’t focus.
And my God, do I feel so broken without him.
I’m searching for peace– this whole “Peace on earth” theme circling our every space. And I just can’t find it. It’s patronizing.
The regret I have for not spending more time with him, it jolts the pain deeper into my side.
There’s so much we did right these last few months, but so much I didn’t in the years before that. And the anxiety doesn’t let up. In my effort of silence is his noise. And it’s not all bad.
The laughter that I replay on my phone; his slow and steady voice.
I got a sympathy card (I got a lot of them actually– and if that was you, thank you). But this one in particular, from a friend who I don’t talk to nearly enough or even in depth, she said something that I’ve revisited everyday since, “I lost both my parents in my thirties and it has largely shaped who I’ve become.”
I thought he already shaped me though. And it’s like I don’t know who I am anymore without him here with me. I don’t know my life without him. The last “real” conversation I had with one of my brothers was the night he died when he assured me that I’ll get through “this” because I’m a Paullin. Somewhere in that proud-bearing title, is strength. Somewhere. But I think I drew it from my dad… so there’s that.
And somewhere in that name is a sense of stoic. And there I was twisting out of my skin in agony, beckoning for my daddy. And the doctor said, “No more.”
and it’s time for me.
As I thumbed through the posts from what seem like forever ago– I laughed at my one word: ME. I laughed at how in God’s “glorious” plan of calling my dad, the selfish me came back to “me.” And how now it all just seems so wrong.
Beholding, me. A broken Paullin. A “silent” Paullin. Me. And this process of reshaping ME.