Tragedy, Privacy, and a Broken Smile

(I am really sad today, and this is a less-than-happy post. You have been warned.)

Tragedy is a funny word. Not funny “ha ha”. Funny in that it is so often misused. So often people say, it casually. It is not a casual word.

It is not a tragedy when the purse you want isn’t on sale.

It is not a tragedy when someone embarrasses you at school.

A tragedy is losing both of your parents before you’re 37. A tragedy is my kids growing up not knowing their grandparents. A tragedy is those grandparents never knowing my kids. A tragedy is losing a parent just as you are finally getting to know them. Having them finally move close to you (after 16 years of asking) and then you find out they have cancer, and then they die a year later.

THAT is a tragedy.

A tragedy is devastating.

I lost my father when I was 18. He died of a heart-attack. He’d had one before, and my parents kept it a secret from me. I came home from school one day, and he was dead. I sat with him for what felt like hours, crying and begging God to save him. To wake him up. To please not take my daddy from me. Did He hear me? Probably. Did He fix it? No. My dad died. I was devastated. That was a tragedy. I didn’t get over it. I still think of him all the time. I still hurt. I still feel his loss. His loss, to me, to my family, is still and will always be a tragedy.

Privacy is not lying.

Not telling someone everything about yourself is not lying. It’s keeping the private things private. That’s a big deal to some people. So, if someone doesn’t share every single thing, or every milestone, or every sadness, they’re not deceiving you, they’re being private. Private is, for some, a necessary thing. Not everyone looks at privacy as secrecy. Privacy is safety. It’s a way to not remember the parts of themselves that are broken or hurt. It’s a away to keep those parts safe. To allow them to heal. To help the pieces learn to function again.

I don’t talk about my dad’s death, because part of me is still broken. I still protect that part. I’m very private about that part of my life. Especially that day, and the days surrounding it.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I don’t talk about my birthday. I don’t tell people the date. I will not be celebrating it at all. In fact, I’ve been given an opportunity to work. I will be at a health fair all day, promoting my company.

I would like the day to just go by. I would like it to be unnoticed.

My family will do something because they cannot do nothing. Otherwise, I hope to just live in peace tomorrow without any fuss.

I’ve always hated birthdays…that might be explained at another time. That is a private thing because of the pain that is associated with my past birthdays.

I was going to try to leave it up on Facebook this year. I was going to try to leave it there, so that if someone wanted to acknowledge it, they could. But I couldn’t do it. I made it private at the beginning of this month. I don’t think I will put it back on my Facebook page. That way it’s not an issue.

It might seem trivial to most people. Maybe it is. It’s not to me. If no one ever noticed another of my birthdays, it would be just fine with me.

I’m really sad today, and I’m probably not making sense.

It hit me this morning that this birthday will be the first of the rest without any parents. No phone call at 6:32pm (Mountain Time) from my mom telling me the story of my birth. How she got a speeding ticket on the way to the hospital from Officer Lamb. How he wouldn’t let her off with a warning. How he made her get out of the car and stand on the side of the road while she was having contractions in the summer heat of Arizona, waiting for him to finish writing the ticket so she could get to the hospital to have me “come into this world and make it brighter”. How my daddy wanted a girl so badly, and how he cried when he found out.

As many times as I rolled my eyes hearing that story, I’m devastated to know I will never hear it again. That is a tragedy.

Facebook status for today:

Tragedy: An event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress.
It is not missing a sale. It is not feeling embarrassed. It is pain. It is incredible suffering. It is a loss that cuts so deep, that you may never get over it. It is, more often than not, a word wasted on meaningless, trivial things. It is a loneliness that grips your heart and threatens to tear it out of you. It is falling and never stopping.

I am sad today.

I am sad because I have known tragedy.

I am sad because I have not recovered from it.


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