Throughout most of my adulthood, people asked for my advice. I even published a couple of books filled with it along with a blog called Ronin’s Journey. I was not very good at taking my own advice, though, so after some previous introspection, that was almost too late. Then the world turned upside down. This book is about insecurity, ego, pride, regret, and rebirth.
How it is structured is that most chapters cover one month, starting with the worst day of our lives, the haze immediately following, and up to the seventeen months after. It comes from the grief journal that I kept at the suggestion of a counselor as a logbook of emotions, flashbacks, anxiety attacks, and insights. I hope that the process lets you know that you are not alone; with the techniques I used helping you as they did me.
The Worst Day of My Life
On a Sunday in July, we lost our godson due to an accident in our home. I was in another room when it happened. My wife turned just as it occurred, seeing everything. At the noise and her scream, I bolted from the bathroom as she ran, screaming to his mom’s next door. I found his still form in the corner of the room, scanning for wounds, checking and listening while my mind raced randomly. It was as if two people were in my body, the one I heard moaning “Oh God” repeatedly and the one who grabbed him and the phone and dialed 911. Standing outside, while on the line, I remembered to breathe deeply as a way to calm myself.
I gave him to his mom as we moved towards the road to meet the First Responders who arrived within minutes. Soon, the yard was full of people, sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, and EMTs with a Medevac chopper on the way in. It set down out of sight in the field across from us; the medics took him to it. I started to feel numb as I answered questions and interpreted for my Deaf family. I kept an ear open for the chopper to lift off, my heart sinking when I heard it power down. I knew he was gone then, just did not want to accept it until the flight nurse told us. It is brutal to say to a mother her child is gone. The four of us sobbed in each other’s arms at the news.
The next three days after that, I do not recall much except the paranoia, shock, hiding from the media, and the support. In your lowest moments, you honestly find out who your friends and family are. My little sister was my rock during those days, keeping me preoccupied so I did not overthink. My uncle drove in from hundreds of miles away. I had a two-hour rambling phone call in the rain with my best friend and adopted brother. My wife’s mom dropped everything to fly in, and she took care of us, and most of my wife’s family in Oklahoma drove in. That is where most of my time was spent.
Then there were those family members that valiantly swallowed their emotions and started trying to set the world right, going into the accident scene to clean it up. I do not take that lightly; it had to be hell. The day of his memorial arrived with me present enough in my mind to write again. That is when I began the process that led to the book, starting with the last week of July.