5 years ago, today; in loving memory of Ryan Lanza

Today, 5 years ago, my younger brother Ryan, who was 5 years younger than I, died, tragically young. He was 29 years old. It was the worst day of my life and it probably still is and it reframed everything for me and likely still continues to.

Ryan John Lanza. He had been a healthy, extremely athletic, happy, caring child and young adult. The year and a half before he died he had been through a successful brain surgery, and chemo, and radiation. He didn’t complain. He didn’t lose hope. We all actually, really, truly, thought he’d be one of the few to overcome brain cancer, because he was so young and healthy. Even his Drs did. They encouraged him to proceed with his plans to build a house with his fiance. They told him it was ok to go back to work, to live as a normal young man would. And it was briefly , blissfully ok. Until it very suddenly wasn’t again.

There were no surgeries the second time. There was just an endless stream of friends and colleagues in a hospital room. The mintues went slowly there, sometimes- when he was in obvious pain, or when he was occasionally upset or angry, which was so out of character for him, but so, so very understandable in the circumstances.

Moments went slow, at times, but the last bout of time in the hospital went fast, in a delicate delirious blur of raw emotions and sleep deprivation and a shattered inner peace.

I was with him the night he died, in the middle of the late night. I had sent my parents home, I knew they needed rest. I had flown in from California a few nights earlier, and for some reason I had adamantly said “I’ll stay with Ryan Thursday night”. And, I did stay that night, and it was his last night, and when I realized this, maybe a little later than a few of the hospital staff that were around, or maybe before them, I started crying. I was trying to keep him calm and tell him I loved him and I couldn’t not cry, at some point. And his last words to me were “Suzy, don’t cry. Why are you crying?” I mentally memory add him saying “it’ll be ok”, because that’s what he would usually have said, but I don’t know if he actually said that or if it’s a trauma memory and after that it became hectic with nurses running and then he also knew he needed help and so many machines beeping and me begging them to not let him go yet and please let my parents get here and I still don’t know if I did the right thing and I still don’t know if there’s ever a right thing.

And I know that memory emotion experience lives on in my cells. I can recall smells and sounds and the sight of torn open emergency medicine on the floor, after the chaos. I can recall waking up for months afterwards in a PTSD panic and being transported back to this moment.

My parents did arrive, and his young fiance and his young friends and I hated that they needed to experience this so early in life.

And it snowed the day of the funeral and we still don’t know who shoveled the church parking lot so early in the day but we were grateful.

And that day ended and it was surreal and there were many moments when you just forget how to breathe or how to stand up or what to say when someone says something comforting. And those moments lessened but were still a part of life, for a long time.

And life went on, in fits and starts. His death brought the gift of truly not caring about the small things that people complain about or get caught up in. It brought the gift of not letting myself complain if things were momentarily imperfect. He continues to inspire me to this day. 5 years later. Everything is somewhat changed but the important things stay the same.

Love your people. Hold them close. Don’t hold back in your telling of why they’re important to it. These things never fail to sound trite until it’s happening to you, but one day it will be too late.

I love you for reading this and I hope you have peace in your heart. I’m constantly rebuilding my life and emotional stability, and my main focus is finding an inner, resilient peace that can’t be taken away. Writing this helped, so thank you for reading and remembering my wonderful brother with me.

πŸ’“

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~consciousnesstimeline~

http://www.enlightenment.com/media/essays/consciousnesstimeline.html

Via the mystic wonder Rob Bresney:::

Sometimes we get so bound up fretting about the damage that

fundamentalist religions wreak on the world that we forget about a

countervailing development: the explosion of wisdom about spirituality

and consciousness that has happened in the last 140 years.

Here’s one person’s timeline about how this unprecedented series of

breakthroughs has unfolded: http://www.enlightenment.com/media/essays/consciousnesstimeline.html

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~3650 days {2009/2019}

2009 to 2019

Was this the best and very worst decade of my little life? Probably .
This decade helped me understand we are bigger than we believe and also smaller than we think.

I learned about my inner fortitude. About manifesting. About being careful what you wish for, and, that the sky’s really the limit.

Moved from NYC to the Chesapeake bay (veryyy briefly, oops false start at country living!) to SF, to Atlanta, to SF, to PDX, and finally to my cottage in the Gorge outside of Portland. I traveled inward, I traveled near and far. I went to ~25 countries. I fell in love with many cultures, and questioned the U.S’s ways of doing things more and more. Went to my first burning man, followed by 7 more. I incorporated many of those principles into my every day life, but I decided I didn’t need to attend every single year.

I made so SO many soul friends that I’ve seemingly known forever, for lifetimes, maintained countless beautiful east coast friendships, had many loving romantic relationships that taught me a great deal about myself. I lost loves, both friends who left this plane, and failed love affairs, but they all left me with lessons.

&…

Very very tragically, I lost my immediate family during the last 4 years of this decade. First my younger brother, followed by my amazing father and just recently my angelic mother. To say I’m spun out and off kilter from this is an understatement, but, I believe everyone’s souls return to source and that I’ll somehow know them again. I still talk with them, and feel their presence in my life.

I try to remain grateful I was the recipient of so much love and joy as a child, instead of focusing on the pain. It’s easy to forget but it’s been the ultimate practice in mindfulness. And gratitude. And inner perseverance. *We’re bigger than we think; we can overcome obstacles and tragedies. We’re also smaller than we think; we don’t have all the answers nor do we control the cosmos.*

This lead me to understand my inner work is more triumph than my outer missions. I started the decade working with a public policy think tank. I was still actively art modeling. I almost opened a modern art gallery in a beautiful space in SF. I worked in the intersection of high tech and plant medicine right as cannabis was becoming legal in this country. I had my own tiny rosin company. I spent a few years working almost nonstop, and years where I barely ever opened a laptop.

I’m now focused on healing, thusly am outwardly ‘working’ less, and instead making art and doing research for an angel investor who is making this world a better place, with a few of my own cool personal projects mixed in.

After all these years of attempts & near misses, I’ve created the balance of living in nature most days of the month, and having a cozy homebase in the center of the city for when I need it.

I feed monks on Tuesday morning and attend dharma talks that evening. I have internalized healthy mantras that finally lovingly stick and help my brain deal with this chaotic world. I have an amazingsupportiveloveing partner, &, in many ways my life is better than I ever could have imagined. In certain ways it is far sadder, but, I hope these are simply limitations as viewed by a human mind.

I hope most days I can encompass the wisdom that life isn’t what we *think it should be*.

Instead, it is what it is. And if I can learn to love it as such, I will be happier.

Or perhaps I’ll climb the elusive mountain to equanimity.

May 2020 be perfect visions of balanced actions of right living with just the right dash of fun decadent whimsy mixed in. I trust many of the days to come with be fantastic for us all, even if there are difficulties along the way.

Don’t forget: you are amazing. You are enough. And, you are here to love. Into 2020 and beyond. 🀍


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India journal, May/June 2019

India journal,

May/June 2019
983 76 41
11:45a, platform 2

^ life suddenly becomes filled with tiny numbers that can make or break my reality for the next hour– or, next few days. Gate 37. Platform 9. Section A. Airline X. Remembering the date, time, country you’re in (and subsequently timezone), and what month it is all prove to be important as well.

Trip begins with a drive from Spokane Washington to the airport in Vancouver British Columbia.
Check in was totally problematic (centered around the fact that A) I was flying China Eastern Airlines and customer service isn’t exactly their main draw and B) I hadn’t yet booked my return trip from India, and depending on how one read the Visa requirements it could be said that was necessary) but I was like 4 hours early (bc the flight took off at an odd time late late night/early in the morning), so it was ultimately mostly ok since I had tons of extra time, but it reminded me how fraught with issues travel can be (& often is!).

I finally convinced them I would book a return flight on my really really super extra long layover in Shanghai, before I even arrived in India. An overly tired manager got sick of my persistence and reluctantly gave me an “ok, fine I guess that’s ok” and I was given the first of 2 boarding passes and they withheld the one I needed to get on the plane to India– and for now that was that.

Slept some. Eastern China airlines is a budget-y airline and last time I traveled overseas it was first class with Cathay, so, this feels *especially* no-frills. Still, since it’s an international flight, the food was interesting and almost edible and it’s fun to interact with airline employees who speak limited English- it expresses itself in cute ways (like the stewardess saying “please” when she put any drink or food down). And “open sunshine, thank you” when they wanted us to open the window shades during landing. Gah. So cute πŸ™‚

Had a row of 2 to myself bc someone wanted my seat to sit with his travel partner, so that helped me get maybe 6 hours of sleep? Woke up before sunrise and got to see it peek over the horizon, somewhere past Russia and near North Korea.

I’m watching what I’m pretty sure is a Tanya Harding biopic via the person sitting to the right in front of me. With Chinese subtitles, of course. I still think I get the drift. It’s darker and funnier than I expected.

Next:
Long long long layover in Shanghai. 20 hours. Leaving the airport was quite the ordeal and I literally had to say to an airport employee “um, you can’t not let me leave this airport Sir” (& I held my tongue when I wanted to add “even tho this *is* China…). I finally got out. I didn’t explore much further than an amazing hotel with a 1970s inspired round bed. And a life changing shower.

Now getting ready to board to India. An Indian man is taking up most of an entire row if seats sleeping in the waiting terminal. He’s laying across many seats and has his shoes off. Doesn’t give AF! Maybe this is my first taste of international travel al la India?

Another thing I love about international travel:: FASHION!
Young Asian woman: Red plaid scarf, Leopard shirt, Black and white vertically striped pants.
Men in turbans *and* hoodies.
I see lots of red lipstick.
Fashion! In ways that are new to me. It’s a slice of heaven.

Now a long flight.
Finally I arrive.
Airport is only somewhat insane and my friend meets me in an Uber.

Now it’s 3 days Delhi. So much happens. It’s hot hot hot, and just as crowded. I met up with an old friend who I met traveling when I was in New Zealand. He shows us around. He speaks the language so that helps a lot. We do so many sites in one day and eventually I feel heatstroke-y and call it a day. I quickly realize I can’t do full days and nights out here and I’m ok with it. Days seem to be the choice, dictated by the direction of my jetlag and the amount of things to see during the day.

We saw temples big and small and old forts and city walls and everything feels somewhat ancient except for the intermixed surprisingly modern cafes but then we turn the current and find steep steep steps into wells where they kept the water for the town. We see monkeys and cows and motorbikes and absolutely endless crowds of humans. We see very, very few white people and learn that it’s the absolute hottest time of the year and that is why. Ha! We eat better food than we can find most places in the States and it costs $3. Gah! We walk over ten miles most days and I fall asleep suddenly when I get home and wake at weird hours and forget where I am. I wander into the living room and in my jetlag I ask my friends if “someone put on a wildlife soundtrack?” bc I hear exotic birds and monkey calls and they say “you’re in India, honey”.

It feels much later in the journey, but it’s only a few days later. We head to Agra, to the Taj Mahal. Missed two trains but easily find a taxi then we have a homestay with Col Sharma’s and his wife, an intriguing and loving older couple who began Airbnbing bc they missed having a full house after their kids moved out. Aw. He was high up in the army, had tens of thousands of people reporting to him. She has 4 masters degrees and a PhD in psychology.

Her take on manifestation:
Be so precise in your desire that all the other energies in the world joins forces with your desire and supports your vision πŸ’—

*
Agra was the first intense poverty I saw. Streams of trash, overwhelming smells, people everywhere, even more than parts of Delhi if that’s even possible. We saw 6 boys on one motorcycle!!

And then, just outside of this, we arrive at the Taj Mahal. It’s glorious and it’s just before 6 a.m. So it’s serene and majestic. I’ve never seen anything quite like this before.

The next day we wake early and take a quick $12 flight to Rajasthan.
The capital of Jaipur amazes me- it’s gorgeous old organized civilized. Felt regal so many millennia later, this royal desert city. We stayed at an Airbnb of someone who was really genuinely kind and ambitious in the right directions. His villa apt completely blew our minds. He then invited us his farm house venue an hour outside of the city to have dinner with his extended family. It was a truly beautiful night.

Awake at 4 a.m. again. More small airports. Now onto–

Dharamsala, McCloud Ganj, Darmkot, Dalai Lama’s hometown!
Monks everywhere. Himalayas. Giant trees. Clean air. Too many cars for the endlessly winding roads but even those are full of grace. One town up in this mountain village called Darmkot feel like a misplaced Venice Beach California, between the reiki and the sound healing and the green smoothie bowls and the yoga gals Skyping loudly about missing their connecting flight from Delhi. I see earrings for sale for 150 rupees that I’ve seen for sale in San Francisco for $60 USD. Orders of magnitude of mark-up. And, then, the next town over is full of monks and absent of yoga chakra healers in training and it’s like a little Tibet and there are literally signs all over town proclaiming “KINDNESS” as the secular ethic to aim for. And and and… It kind of just keeps rabbitholing into these beautiful dimensions falling into one another, where it’s hard to tell where one ends and one begins and how I got here in the first place. Via love, I guess? I suppose that’s the every only answer at this point.

A cute kind couple both from places I’ve lived (Atlanta, London) ask if they can share my table as I’m eating Momos and watching the sunset in Naddi and I find out the Dalia Lama is giving a teaching in 2 days and we can register tomorrow and I’m so excited and tell Alex as soon as I get home and we register first thing the next day and adjust our plans to stay within walking distance of the His Holiness’ temple the night before and we get the radio we need to hear the translator and and and… After so many days of heat and pollution and being on anyone else’s schedule for the first time in a great great while, I get ill all night the night before the lecture.
😦 Food poisoning? My psyche not allowing me to hear a living Saint teach? Wahhhh. Who knows. But I retch all night, into the day. Alex rushes to find a pharmacy before the teaching but nothing opens at regular hours here. I sleep fitfully and get the scoop when Alex returns. In short: H.H.D.L. is extremely philosophical and still somewhat irrelevant. Funny and inclusive and smart. Pushes for all religions to be accepted and stresses that Buddhism is a lifestyle and way of thinking, not a dogmatic theology. So, that’s nice, even though I couldn’t make it. A cosmic lesson on non attachment, it is.

And then we get a glimpse of monsoon season to the point where electricity goes out and umbrellas are breaking and then it starts actually freaking *hailing* and

Now that I can keep water down, a few hours later, it’s an overnight bus (through insane roads and a thunderstorm complete with lightening) to…

Rishikesh!
We’re checked into Osho Vision Ashram. Im still not fully well and they kindly let me sleep on a mat somewhere or other until our room is ready.

Hours later- after getting to the room, I am still a bit ill. I need water from the common area and I opted out of the group mediation so I figure I won’t run into anyone and I go down many flights of stairs, sweaty in my harem pants/pjs/what’s passing as my outfit these days. I feel as if I’m in a fever dream as I go down marble staircase after staircase, hearing chanting from certain floors and children crying on others- the only constants, like in much of India, are that it’s oppressively hot, I’m disoriented yet somewhat bemused for some reason, and I feel safe even tho I’m on the verge of collapse. Now if I could just remember which giant poster of Osho or some Baba signifies the correct floor to my room…

The next day we go for a long walk to explore and it feels like we’re living on the surface of Mars as it nears noon. A guru gave us the best chai I’ve had here and we compared some yoga tricks and he put an orange streak on our foreheads and showed me sacred signs crafted out of cow dung stuck to the wall. Blessed us with “happy life, happy work, happy, love”. And later, near the Ganges River, there were hundreds of people in a hall of sorts singing to a specific God I think maybe, and a few brave Indian children stared at us for awhile then sat near us and one grandmother type gleefully shook my hand. Did I mention that being a white tourist entails being asked to be in selfies with excited teenager girls, while their parents shake your hand with somewhat more stoicism, until they learn you’re from CA, USA, and then they can’t withhold their enthusiasm and they tell you about their brother who lives in Austin and he was in LA once, and and and…

We later stuck our feet in the Ganges and it was frigid compared to the day and it was holy compared to everyday life and it was also just a place where kids played and gurus without homes bathed and drank. It’s a sacred holy ancient totally here and now portal of limitless everything and it’s also just a river. I know in my heart of hearts I love it here, and the whole of India, and will return.

Oh, after the Ganges we found ice cold coconut water at my new favorite Ayurvedic shop. And A.C. – blessings abound. Jah!

Wanna play a game?
Burning Man or India?
It’s a huge achievement to wash my hair. It immediately gets filled with dust, yet, it’s a project I spend a decent amount of time attempting to accomplish once a week or so.

Dust masks. Serious necessity.

Proper footwear makes or breaks your days.

Finding reliable A.C. is both heavenly, and somehow feels like cheating.

Watch out for bikes and strange small cars.

Having someone’s unexpected kindness ultra change your mental state.

Coconut water may have just saved me from heatstroke.

There’s a parade for no reason. There’s a parade for a reason. Wait, is this a parade or Church?

Travel across town to a thing that’s supposed to happen at a certain time and it’s ultimately not open but you find something more magical just past that.

A Blinky lighted car has large amounts of pop corn to offer you.

Survive by sleeping during the hottest hours.

Peeing by squatting in the dark with your foot against the door bc the lock doesn’t work and realizing halfway through there’s no toliet paper.

Yoga, chanting, reiki, weird wonderful fashion.

Eating one meal a day seems legit. As does the occasional Red Bull for breakfast.

Remembering to refill water bottles in the common area will save your day.

Everything’s rerouted yet everything’s ultimately right on time.

Spotty internet but it’s more telecom connected than it used to be.

πŸ˜‰

 

On a ride during another storm, we laugh at our driver recounting the Things an Indian cab driver Needs:
Good horn
Good brakes
Good luck

*
Giant hail storm, again (!???)
It miraculously ends as soon as we need to go outside.
Train station is full, chock full, of everyone in all corners. The holy men here in Rishikesh aren’t in white. They are sunset sherbet colors. Dreamy hazy creamsicle orange. Blushes of pink. Not the shouting yellow of Delhi but instead a first morning ray of shy just awoken sunshine kiss.

From this train station followed maybe 4 days of overland travel to Nepal. The bumpiest overnight bus I could ever imagine, followed by a very very very delayed train that caused me to make the call to just jump on one going in the direction we needed like hobos. That was fun. More trains, more buses, more bumps, so many twisting roads. And, we make it, with a few days to spare, in Kathmandu.

Border crossing, NepalΒ  & India
Walking “100 meters” (which is 900 of course) in the hot hot sun for exit stamps, entrance paperwork, eating lychees with new friends, & making small talk like old friends for quite a while with friendly govt officials while the parade of big trucks small rickshaws large families and a rainbow of entrepreneurs sell their wares.
Finally in Nepal.

It’s a safe, sweet, Buddhist country. It feels peaceful and it’s a bit tidier and far quieter than India. Shrines and temples are abundant here, in densely urban areas suddenly things slow for people to relight the incense. To ring the bell. To say the entire prayer.

It certainly makes me wonder how different Western culture would be if instead of church in a sanctioned place one morning a week, it instead was interwoven into the daily fabric of our lives. The fruit vendor sitting at the entrance to the one Temple. You buy your mangos, you say your mantras, you keep liberation of all sentient beings at the forefront of your mind- all at once now. The great dance.

Prayer wheels are spun, monkeys are seen, stuppas are explored, our time here draws to a close.

Armed security guards at the airport in Katmandu greet me with a genuine “Namaste”. It’s surreal. As is the fact that the majority of the pilots are in the smoking lounge. I guess it’s still 1972ish give or take? They seem happy with it.

And, now. Now I’m in Dubai. The store clerks call me “Madame”. It makes me feel old, famous, privileged, confused, and giggley all at once. They say it like they mean it. It makes me want to turn around to see the person standing behind me that they must actually be addressing. But, no, it’s me. “Madame, please sign here” is in fact referring to the receipt for *my* banana and flat white. Ok. I’ll play along.

Peeing in holes in the ground a few hours prior in rustic Nepal to suddenly being awash in Dubai’s sticky glitzy glamour was head spinning culture shock.
The feeling of the city is something like Vegas on a mega dose of Ayahuasca with David Bowie as the shaman guide. In the year 2080.

After an Uber tour around part of the city, we ended up at the massive mall, a place to see and be scene. Catwalk Run is literally a street there. It’s teeming with beautiful people, many women so unreal looking it almost hurt my brain until I remembered plastic surgery was definitely a thing and this was doubtlessly the fitting demographic. Little and littler black dresses, and taller stilletos than I recalled from NYC, London, Toyko, Paris. It’s eye candy central, my Dutch layover travel friend remarked even the men were so precisely manicured, and, me, well, I’m wearing harem pants, flats, and the shirt that *was* my last clean shirt when I began wearing it 2 days ago. Ha. I’m tempted to apply the brightest red lipstick I can find in Sephora, but instead I decide I’m content to fade into the background of this opulence.

I see more Mazarattis and Bentley’s than I can fit into my peripheral vision. A helicopter ride pops up as an option when requesting an Uber. There’s an actual fossil of a complete dinosaur next to the jewelry souk. I’m in a whirlwind that reaches a different part of my psyche than even anything in India ever did.

And just like that my very long layover nears it’s end and I crash out in the hotel room I’m sharing with my transient Dutch traveler gal pals, catch my shuttle back, make it through the many rounds of security, and… Catch up on films until I’m in NYC again. Home sweet homeland. I stay in Flushing Queens near LaGuardia for the night, a crowded Asian neighborhood. It’s a good transition point to ease me back in.

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Unexpected healings, or: 5d real estate for sale in a lovely neighborhood!

I recently had an unexpected healing with a skillful massage therapist who made bigggg progress in opening my heart chakra, and she also gave me the gift of the most understandable explanation of 5d reality that I’ve heard to date.

She explained 5d as a place of instant manifestation, and said we had to break our ingrained habits of needlessly, mindlessly manifesting our worst fears before we could truly arrive in 5d.

We are all spend increasing amounts of time there, tho, and soon many of us will be there all/most the time. So now is the moment to remind your heart and soul to lead and your mind and ego to follow- not the other way around!

A few days after seeing her, the book “Manifesting 1, 2, 3: and you don’t need #3” came into my life. I’m only part way through, but this is my favorite bit so far, about how our thoughts set things in action:

At the heart of this experience (of manifesting) I knew that thought is real. It is as effective as pushing an elevator button. The elevator starts to move toward you. Sometimes it comes quickly; sometimes it has to move a longer distance to eventually reach you. No matter, it’s coming towards you because you pushed the button.

Back to the in person healing- the therapist also gave me a beautiful example of why to keep a very Open heart chakra:
The more expansive our feild of energy is, the more likely we can prevent a disturbance because we see it coming from miles away. While being closed off, which we think is protecting us, is instead actually limiting our scope of what we can anticipate, and we are more likely to be set off balance. (!!!) I found that so profoundly impactful.

I felt so light, open, and free after my session, and I hope some of this energy is transferred to you by reading this β™‘ remember, all day, that you are worthy of Love, and, Love is greater than Fear.

Xx

This happened in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Here are a few pictures.

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Grief- oh hai there // Here we go again

β™‘

I get new phones.

I forget to download the apps.

I knew WordPress had one. I knew 3 phones ago. Now it’s back on my current handheld all-the-freaking time digital bestie. So maybe more writing will happen?

Time will tell.

///

Grief has been…

Non linear.

Incapacitating.

Strangely, thankfully, occasionally nonexistent.

Educational.

Deepening.

Grief is so many waves of so many things. Somedays it seems like everything’s totally, really, actually fine- like solidly A-ok!, And then moments later you realize you have tears streaming down your face and you’re so very relieved your conference call had ended or you weren’t at the grocery store or whatever.

And sometimes you are in the middle of (insert above situation or others). And you count your breaths and harness your mindfulness and find your center and usually make it thru.

And sometimes that gets exhausting and you don’t leave your house for a few days.

///

Life is relentlessly challenging and it’s generally beautiful and awe inspiring in somewhat equal measures, but it’s uneven, like it’s created by a drunk baker on a jerky ship, so “just one little dash of this right here!” can feel gigantic and overtake it all. And then a pinch of sadness may become the entire piecrust, and it’s in every single bite. But we adapt, us scrappy humans. We’re so good at doing that. So good at finding the juicy strawberries that haven’t touched the crust even a little. (Somedays.)

So I’m just digging around here with my little fork looking for the good bits.

That’s what I’ve been up to lately.

///

I think I’ll keep writing.

It feels real, in a shaky time.

β™‘

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John Daniel Lanza, 9/7/49 – 4/5/18Β // & For the first year in a decade

For the first year in a decade, no one blogged here. In 2017. For the entire year.

It’s 2018 now.

Things are already markedly different in my life. My father just passed away. Like just, just. It makes me wonder what I was doing in 2017. What was I so busy doing. Why couldn’t I have taken a few extra weeks here and there and just been with him?

 

But I know the answer to that. My logical mind does, at least. I visited my parents a few times that year. And it is lovely for a few days. And after a few days, we both want to get back into our own routines, do what we are comfortable doing. He had his way of life. I am beating myself up every other moment thinking “Why didn’t I do a ten day juice fast with my Dad? It would have helped his condition so much!” “Why didn’t I spend my saving on building him a steam room?”

He was in his late 60s and still liked eating cheeseburgers. My parents have food at the house with high fructose corn syrup. When he had a mild heart attack a year ago, and I suggested a few things he could be eating, he made fun of me in his sweet way and said “Suzy, if it were up to you, you’d have me drinking yak milk and eating pea shoots all day.” πŸ™‚ not exactly untrue.

 

He knew my favorite health food stores in the area, and could have gone. He knows I would have talked to him all day about soups and herbs and CBD if he wanted to. I only talked to him about them as much as he wanted to listen, though. To be respectful. To be kind? To keep our relationship nice and easy going and non dramatic. And now I wish I did everything different. Of course.

Now I wish I talked to him every single day in 2017.

Now I wish I had known he was probably my favorite person.

Now I can’t talk to him anymore, on this plane of existence.

But I think whatever comes next is easier. I think he can breathe easier now, for the first time in so so so long. Now I *know* he is done suffering. And I can handle suffering on his behalf. For his memory. For all the love he showed me.

He made me the person I am today. There is no doubt about that.

Dad, I don’t know if you ever read this odd little now and again blog, and I don’t know if your astral plane makes you all-knowing or if it has subpar WiFi or what the exact deal is, but if you are able to know this now, if you didn’t before, know that I love you with my whole entire heart. Know that I can’t think of you without crying. Know that you were an amazing father and just such a very, very cool human. I miss you so much. The world is duller already. The world has lost has a shining light.

I hope you and Ryan and Grandma Bea– and *your* dad!– are having such a fun time up there. Over there. Way yonder. Wherever your soul is now. ❀

dad_suzy_lil

I’m so grateful you were my father.Β  John Daniel Lanza, 9/7/49 – 4/5/18

 

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