Today is the 5th anniversary of the tragic event that changed my life forever, that broke not just my heart, but also broke me. Lack of your presence sent me spiraling into the deepest, darkest, scariest depression I have ever had or even witnessed. If you had not been there with me for that era of my life, your death would not have caused the all encompassing pain, but I would walk through that hell all over again, rather than to have not had the experience, joy, and blessing of knowing you and of spending the entire last year of your life together.
You gave me hope in a hopeless place, you gave me laughter in a somber time, you gave me compassion, during a period of isolation, you gave me comfort, when I was completely unable to find comfort in anyone or anything. You were the only one who could understand what I was going through because you were fighting the same battle. I miss you beating me mercilessly at “Words with Friends” and then sending me sweet messages of love, I miss hearing the phone ring and seeing your name on the screen, I miss hearing your footsteps come up my stairs to bring me homemade Chicken Curry when I was sick, and thereafter, when I was well because it was AMAZING!, I miss leaning back into your body on the couch watching movies. I miss awakening in the morning to your smiling face, and peaceful blue eyes. I miss “Atta girl” when I made you proud. I miss your amazing hugs!! Your hugs are the very best I have ever had! I would melt into you as we hugged, and your long arms felt as if they had wrapped around me twice, and your chest would soften as it invited me into the safest, most serene place I have ever had the privilege of visiting. I miss your stories, Dear God, do I miss your stories, and, in general, just a glimpse of how the world looked through your eyes. Most of all, I miss all of our late night conversations that started in the crappy, small room I rented on 4th street when I was 16. That was the night you introduced me to the hidden symbols on the dollar bill, the Illuminati, the Freemasons, and your real name, that even after we grew up together, and you showed me your ID, I didn’t believe you because I had an ID that stated my name as “Jenny Harris” of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla,. but eventually it became the sweetest name to cross my lips.
For months after you were gone, when I would wake in the morning, only the sign on the wall, and my empty bed would occupy the spot where your smiling face, and brilliant peaceful eyes should have been. I would turn around to share a laugh or look with you, only to find your spot empty. I would hear your footsteps on my stairs, fruitless. I would check “Words” to see if you had taken your turn yet. My phone rang, and I would eagerly check to see if it was you, but it never was again. I listened to your last three voice mails from the night you died, begging me to come “play” with you and your brother on Christmas Eve, but I had my nephews at the house doing Christmas projects, in preparation for Christmas day.
The last real conversation we had was when you convinced me, that you really did love me, and that even if you woke up blind tomorrow, you would still love me because you liked my stories too.. You not only listened to my me, but you valued what I had to say! I miss you, all of you, and I miss how you made me see myself, how you made me feel about myself and the world, like anything was possible. I miss the intensity of your blue eyes and the energy, actual heat, that they exuded; Serenity & Mischief at the same time.
When you died, you took part of me with you. I had began to think perhaps you had taken with you the very best of me, and for all that you gave me, I would have gladly given it to you, I would have gladly given everything I am or ever will be to have gone with you. I still feel guilty sometimes, that I wasn’t with you that night….. .
I hadn’t really grasped how broken I was until I was blessed enough to get a bone tumor this year. Only after having to fight for my life, did I realize that I actually wanted to live it, and that I have been on a self destructive mode of Auto-pilot for 5 years. They say time heals all wounds, but that isn’t true. You do however, develop a tough layer of scar tissue, where an open wound once occupied. Life does eventually become bearable, and you slowly uncurl from the shivering, blubbering fetal position you have taken. The days slowly fill with light again. Eventually, you start to be able to sleep again. And yes, eventually, you even begin to celebrate Christmas again, wrapping presents, and even driving around looking at Christmas lights in all the neighborhoods.
I know I am not the only one who suffered your loss, and I don’t claim to have suffered the most because SO MANY people loved, adored, and cherished you. If it hadn’t been for the unconditional love of your parents being there for me, as if I was there own, and keeping alive the only connection to you that was still available to me, except for in my dreams, I highly doubt I could have made it through this dark tunnel to the beginning of the end, where I can finally see the light! You are so loved by so many, especially me. I miss you Balarama Daniel Ackley. The only thing about us I would ever change, if I could do it all over again would be to find you sooner, and love you longer.
I know this was a long out pouring, and that I just poured my heart out, but I hope through my pain, suffering, sleepless nights, self destruction, grief, and oh so many tears, you will stop and think this Holiday Season about the choices you make and how they will affect you, the ones you love, those who love you, and others.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and my loved ones for dealing with me the last 5 years, as I have struggled with this in every wrong, negative way I could have possibly. I am blessed that in the end, these tragedies, have strengthened, nourished, and fortified my relationship with God. Like the fire baptized the clay vessel to hold water, so do our trials and tribulations baptize and vitrify our souls to hold the Holy Spirit!
God bless you all, and I sincerely, wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and New Year full of prosperity and new happy beginnings!
Please please PLEASE Do NOT drink and drive!