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Dad and I

It Doesn’t Get Normal, It Only Gets Less Weird

When you lose a parent, people promise you the world. They promise you they’ll make plans and support you in time of need, but mostly it’s a lot of talk. Amidst all that noise, there was something else I heard. It was the voices of others who had lost their parents at a young age. They said: “It doesn’t get normal, it only gets less weird.”

Five years later I wonder, after all this time is it still not normal? Is it in fact getting less weird?

My history of moodiness leading up to, and following losing my father is well documented. My hero’s death left me both angry and devastated. It left me wanting to spend the rest of my life curled up under a bridge. A moment later I would want to set every single bridge on fire. Five years ago, I was twenty-three years old and my hurt burned my sweetest friend more times than I ever should have let it.

There was no shortage of things I hated as a result of losing my father:

  • The sight of cut grass on my mother’s lawn.
  • Seeing the cane or straw hat Dad only started using after his sickness.
  • Family events where I recognized everyone around me, and still felt as though my family wasn’t there. Broken, with a third of the pieces gone, never to be together again.

Has anything really changed?

Losing Dad meant losing my compass. By now I’ve made so many difficult decisions without him. I’ve built my knowledge, experience, and confidence, sometimes right, but often wrong. One difference in me is that I don’t turn to him for guidance anymore, but I still miss being able to.

Mom tries to step up where she can:

“Adrian, you’re living in a time of angst in your life sweetheart. How you feel is normal. You’re at an age when people’s lives and lifestyles are changing dramatically. Some things are getting settled, some things are just getting started. You’re trying to find all these answers, about where your life is going, when it will all start, when it will all come together, and who you’re going to share it all with. But this is it babe, this is your life. You only get this one, and this is it, and it is coming together. You’re living it. Right now.”

Maybe this is my new normal. Maybe this is my life. I can see why it all looks shiny on paper: Career, house, cute dog, home improvements, motorcycles, big smiling faces, more stuff, upgraded stuff, and an advanced degree in Auto-Adjust and Instagram filters. But if Mom says it’s all coming together, why does it feel like it’s all coming apart?

I can’t accept that this is my new normal.

How could I, when instead of getting less weird, things sometimes seem to get weirder?

Take for example, the age difference between my father and I. When he passed, there were 31 years between us, now there are but 26. How many of the things he advised his 23-year-old son in 2012, would he even still say to that 28-year-old man living in the world of 2017? What new things would he say? Weird is never knowing. Even weirder is knowing that 31-year gap between us will one day be just 21, and so on.

As a kid, it seemed Dad knew and could do everything. But he didn’t do his own oil changes, repair his own appliances or even mail in his mail-in rebates. Weird is the feeling you get when you realize you’re beginning to surpass your father in more ways than you’re mentally ready to, even if they aren’t important things.

Lastly, my sadness for having lost my father decreases slowly over the years, but my sadness for him having to go through that terrible illness, and miss out on all of the beautiful things in life only grows. The more amazing things I see in the world, and the more bad people I still see in it, the more it bothers me that his life was cut short.

“It doesn’t get normal, it only gets less weird.”

To this day, I guess the sentence rings true. “It doesn’t get normal” that’s for damn sure. I refuse to call this life I have now normal. As for “it only gets less weird.” Well, yes, and no. Some parts of not having Dad around get less weird, others are only getting weirder. But like Mom said “this is it babe, this is your life… You’re living it.”

So every now and then I need to remind myself to smile. Well, here’s something to smile about:

In 2012, the year Dad passed away, his favourite soccer team, Juventus, went undefeated for their entire season and won Italy’s Serie A. They would win the championship again the next year, and in fact, have won it for five consecutive years, winning it every year since Dad passed.

I hope they stream Serie A soccer, wherever you are.

I love you Dad.

About Adrian

Adrian is the YouMotorcycle Editor. He never planned on becoming a blogger, but liked the idea of sharing his passion and encouraging others to get out and ride. He believes that anyone thinking about buying a motorcycle should hurry up and buy one, and that everyone who already owns a motorcycles should ride more. He likes V-Twins, scooters, and breaking social norms. He occasionally wears a suit and high-top sneakers when he rides to work. Sometimes he takes out his tools and everything goes from bad to worse. Sometimes everything just falls into his lap. Whatever the case he stays grateful and always tries to learn. If you feel motorcycling is a lifestyle, follow him via social media.

11 comments

  1. Well Adrian, you’re right, it never goes away, but time, and only time, makes it more acceptable. As much as having a Big Hole in you, ever gets acceptable. It’s hardest on those of us without siblings too, then, at least you have some person, to share memories of a parent with. What doesn’t help, is those friends of a parents, that you looked up to,almost like Uncles or Aunts, just turning out to be something different. You wonder if they even liked you at all, I know that feeling. I know how it feels Bro. The best thing you have now, is good memories of a loving Dad, and some folks, these days, don’t. There’s nothing I can say, other than you’re not alone in those feelings you have. It never disappears, but you really don’t want it to either, not completely anyway, because you really are, carrying his DNA/Spirit forward, in this Cosmic Scheme of things, and you want to be the man he’d hoped you turn out to be. So do your best, and try not to be hard on yourself, at those times when you dream of him, cherish them, who’s to say they aren’t really there, in another realm. And trust me, in time, it never gets easy, but it will lighten up, and he’ll find a place in your spirit, a place you’ll he accepting of. You’re his Son, do your best, that’s his legacy.

    • Can’t thank you enough for the kind words. Like you, I have no siblings, so I can totally relate to what you’re talking about. Ugh.
      You’re right though. I feel lucky that I had more of a father in twenty three short years than many people get in their entire lives. Keep the shiny side up, Mark. Thank you again.

  2. Hi Adrian. I lost my Dad very suddenly back in 1988. He was just three weeks shy of his 51st birthday, I was 26 and it was two days after my first wedding anniversary to a woman who has been my ex-wife for 26 years. My dad suffered a ruptured blood vessel in his brain, entirely out of the blue.

    Sure, my world fell apart. Within a couple of months, so did my marriage, as my wife couldn’t, or wouldn’t, handle my grief and found somebody else. We lost our business shortly after that also.

    You are right, it just gets less weird, but I guess life is like that anyway. I went on to remarry, I have two daughters, two dogs a thriving career as a Driving Instructor, I’ve also written four books, all of which have been published and of course I own a Harley!

    Of course I still miss my Dad. Yes, it still hurts sometimes, especially when he cannot see the grandchildren he never thought I’d ever give him. He never saw my achievements with the total career change or the books but i KNOW he’d be immensely proud of his son if he was still around. Yes, there are times still, when I feel robbed of my Dad, no matter how life seems great on the surface, but my Dad’s death was something way beyond his or my control and if there is one thing life has taught me since it is that there is absolutely NO point in stressing over things that you cannot possibly have any bearing on. You only ever control what YOU think and what YOU do. One can only accept that such things can and do happen and work with it I guess, as trying to work against it just drives YOU nuts!

    I hope that helps in some way. I feel your pain and your loss, but YOUR life is YOURS and you have got to make the best of it. For your sake and for the sake of your own family.

    Mitch.

    • Mitch, it means a lot that you would share your personal story with me, and it does help. Thanks. You’re right that there’s no point stressing on things beyond our control. Every now and then I just need to look back though, I guess.

      • No harm in looking back occasionally, but remember that hindsight is 20/20 vision and that nostalgia is ALWAYS rose-tinted! The best direction to look in is a forward one and you can take that from someone who has done ALOT of retrospective contemplation in his 55 years on this planet! Trust me, forward is generally better!

  3. Tell you one thing I really did find weird. Being older now than My Dad ever was or ever will be! VERY strange feeling!

  4. hi there. John from down under. Adrian did a little number on my Kymco Venox a couple of month’s back. i lost my Dad when i was 16. i am now 62 and found my way and mostly from the teachings and the goodness of my Dad and Mum. Sure i have made mistakes but on the whole never been out of work, never been in trouble and my kids have never been in trouble with the law, drugs or the like and are kick arse!! . proud of my achievements, love my wife of 40 years,get to ride my bike occassionally and have a 5.4 ltr 260kw ford Falcon that goes like shit!! thanks Dad.

    • Hey John, thanks for that! Glad it all worked out for you. Bike, wife, great kids, good work, even a sweet truck. Good stuff buddy. Thanks again.

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  6. Adrian,
    I remember seeing you at your grandmother’s house when visiting. I also remember speaking to your parents about you with such happiness at family social events. I can somewhat relate to you as I lost my mom when I was 15, she was only 33. For me the difference in years increases as time goes on and I still think of the life that was robbed from my mom. I also reflect on the good that has come from it, the learning for me on a personal level. I have a different level of awareness and appreciation especially now raising a single child- my son. Looking back every now and then helps to focus on the future!
    I just want to thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences with us.

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