"Can you take me high enough to fly me over yesterday? Can you take me high enough? It's never over. Yesterday's just a memory."
Eleven years ago, this week irreparably changed my life forever. Eleven years ago, I learned exactly what a broken heart feels like. Eleven years ago, I lost one of my best friends. Eleven years ago, I learned the ripple effect of suicide all over again. Eleven years ago, I changed.
Every year, I take inventory of how I feel, how my feelings have changed and where I am at. I'm still angry. I'm still hurt. I'm still confused. The pain, the anger, the anguish...they are still there. Some days I can't tell if they have dissipated or if they have just become easier to live with. Have I healed, or have I just adjusted.
Last semester was hard on me for many reasons. It was an introduction back into the academic community as a student. I had to relearn a balancing skill, this time factoring in my family. It isn't just me this time around. Last semester, memories and feelings that I had shelved and dealt with hit me like a sucker punch. Every inch of this campus is haunted. There isn't a safe zone. It's a constant battle.
Late last night, after leaving my friend's house and before going home, I drove to Carter Park. Carter Park where the water tower is located that can be seen for miles approaching Bowling Green. Carter Park where Patrick drove, alone, and took his own life. Carter Park that I have avoided for over a decade.
I sat in my car cried. I couldn't bring myself to pull into that parking spot or to park at all. I stared at the trees that had been there 11 years ago. I took in the desolation and isolation of the area, hearing the quiet and seeing the lights of the freeway, of cars racing by unaware that there is even a park there. The park is larger now, and the surrounding area more developed. There's apartments and condos, and a disc golf course. More playground equipment and updated ball fields. But that parking area, by those trees...it's the same. The dumpsters are still there. The out buildings. The overwhelming and crushing feeling of sadness came over me again, since the last time I was there.
So many questions remain unanswered and will always be that way. Memories have flooded my heart and mind this week, and I just want to move past these dates, this week and ever this semester. One foot in front of the other, one breath in and one breath out.