And So You Grow…

It’s Been One Year Already?

I visited my mom’s grave a few days ago. It’s hard to believe a year has passed since her death. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do, or think, when I got there because I hadn’t really planned it out that far. But I figured it was a good way to pay respect to the woman she was on this anniversary.

After spending some time reliving the memories of my mother, I decided I would drive around town. I drove past the place where I would get custard ice cream after most grade school basketball games; it took all my effort to not stop and get a waffle cone. Then I passed the place where my wife and I first met; which no longer is in business, nor is the place we were supposed to meet that same day. Driving down roads that I have driven down thousands of times before, I realized a lot had changed. It still had a familiar feel to it, but it felt more like a foggy memory that just needed to be blown away with a good puff of air.

I Never Realized…

The thing I wasn’t prepared for, however, was how small everything seemed. Especially my old neighborhood. It felt HUGE when I was a kid! I remember trying to bike up the hill at the end of Wilbur Dr. and thinking it was impossibly steep. I remember thinking it took forever to drive home when I entered my neighborhood past curfew. And I remember getting off the bus from kindergarten, 4 stops early, because I wanted to try and race the bus home. I knew the bus had to take 5 turns and 3 different roads, and that if I ran as fast as I could the whole way I could beat, or sometimes tie, the bus to my stop. The feeling of exhaustion as I reached the finish line is still fresh in my mind. I recall thinking that I must have run a mile, because it all seemed so far.

My Childhood Home

But today it felt like I was at my childhood house in no time at all. I barely had time to get my phone out as I tried to inconspicuously grab a picture. The current owner was outside doing yard work and I didn’t want to look like a weirdo.

Why Now?

The weirdest thing about this is I have been back to this area many times since my parents moved. Never once did it occur to me how discordant my memories were with my new understanding of reality.

You know it’s interesting… A long time ago, I heard when a parent dies you are forced to grow up in a way that you hadn’t prior to their death. Once they pass, you don’t have the ability to ask them all the mundane, important, and everything-in-between questions anymore. You have to figure out the answers on your own. And so you grow. Sometimes the growth is painful, and sometimes it’s joyous. But it’s almost always harder than you ever expected it to be. So it’s only fitting that all this growth would cause the way you view the world to change as well.

And so you grow…

Dan was born and raised in New Berlin, WI. He is married to the most amazing woman, Dawn, and has two children, Joe (born September 2014) and Nora (born April 2017). Dan has a background in Psychology (BA from UW-La Crosse) and Nursing (BSN from UW-Oshkosh). He is currently staying at home full-time. He enjoys cooking, biking, running, and yoga. He is also an avid coffee aficionado and hopes to one day be able to roast his own coffee beans.


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