It feels nice to be writing again. I guess I didn’t realize how much I missed it.
And actually, I missed a lot of things.
Like smiling, or laughing – real, honest-to-God laughing.
Working out in the gym every morning.
Wanting to have sex with my wife.
Sleeping through the night.
Enjoying the little things. Being happy.
And now I finally have some of that back.
I know I said I missed writing. And I did. I really did. But I think I’m kind of glad I stopped for a while. It would have been so painful to be able to go back and see just how miserable I was.
I almost can’t believe how bad things got. How much I was hurting everyone I love. I guess I didn’t realize it at the time… Or didn’t care. And I know that makes me sound like a total dick. Maybe I am one. Or was one. But I’m trying so hard not to be anymore.
Mama was the one who did it. Everyone else tried and tried to convince me, but Mama… God, you should have seen her face when she was talking to me. You should have heard the things she said. I’ve always known she had problems when I was younger, and I knew the gist of what had happened to her when she was a kid. But I never realized how bad it was, or how much it still haunts her, even now. Almost fifty years later.
I didn’t want that to be me.
So I decided not to let it.
But it sure as hell hasn’t been easy.
Quitting the drinking wasn’t so bad, I guess. I didn’t have any kind of withdrawal or anything. I don’t even think I was ever really addicted to it. Not physically. So putting down the bottle was the easy part.
Learning how to deal with the pain’s a hell of a lot harder.
At first I was so embarrassed about seeing Dr. Neumann. I mean, it wasn’t my first time dealing with a therapist. I try not to think about what happened between me and Lettie all those years ago, but I can’t pretend it didn’t happen. But that felt so different. My wife and I were in it together. Helping each other.
This time I’m on my own, and that makes it so much worse.
It took a while to really get ‘into’ it, I guess. But once I did, it really helped. So much. Dr. Neumann… She’s a genius. I think I’m finally starting to see what she’s been trying to tell me these past few months.
I spent all this time waiting and wondering when I’d feel whole again. When I’d finally get back that part of me that’s missing now, y’know? And then I started to realize that I never will. That was scary as hell. I couldn’t deal with it, and I handled that fear in the worst way imaginable.
But now I think I get it. It’s not about getting back what I’ve lost. Because it’s true – I never will. Lucas is gone. He’s never coming back. And for the rest of my life, there will always be a part of me that’s missing. I’ll never be the same again. None of us will be.
And that’s okay.
I just need to move forward with who I am now and what I have left. And Dr. Neumann helped me realize that what I have left is pretty amazing.
I have my parents and my siblings – even Stefan, half a world away. He’s still there for me, any time I need to talk.
I have my beautiful Lettie. And when we have bad days, we lift each other up now. I don’t make her do all the heavy lifting anymore.
I have my sweet little niece and nephew, and a new niece on the way next month too. A beautiful new life to look forward to.
I have my amazing grandkids. Jocelyne’s adorable little girls, adjusting so wonderfully to their new life here with us. And my poor little Zayne, soldiering on through the pain. I’m so proud of him. We all are.
I’m proud of Gus too. Working on his law degree, getting married this summer… He’s growing up so fast. He’s a man now, and I’m so lucky to call him my son.
My life is so much better now that she’s back here with us. It really is. And I’m so happy she’s forgiven me for what a complete asshole I was all those years ago.
But I can’t lie. I still worry about her. She’s been trying so hard to be strong for everyone else, just like she always has… But she’s still fighting her own demons. I can feel it.
Though I guess mine haven’t completely vanished either.
I still see it sometimes. I don’t think I can ever completely shake it. That thing I saw under the sheet… It will probably stay with me forever.
But you know what?
That thing was not my son.
Physically, of course it was. I’m not an idiot. I know that used to be him.
But Lucas was so much more than the body on that table.
And I can still feel him sometimes, when I’m lying in bed at night. Not as often as I used to, but every once in a while, I swear to God, it’s like he’s there. But it feels more comforting now than it used to. Maybe it always was?
I love Lucas. I will never stop loving him, and I will miss him every day, until the day I die.
But my life can’t stop just because he’s gone. I see that now. So I’m going to move forward, and I’m going to keep living.
For Lucas. For my family.
And you know what?
For myself too.
And, barring any unforeseen change in my plans, we bid goodbye to another heir 😦 This will be the last Tobi journal. He’ll still be around of course, like Mari. But we’ve heard from the man himself for the last time.
Goodbye, you sexy, loveable idiot. It’s been a wild ride ever since that night at summercamp when you met your future wife. Sorry for putting you through all this. I’m so glad you found peace, and I’ll miss you. ❤