Matt's blog

The story of me, an American in Edinburgh, Scotland finding my place as a musician, a husband, a father and a Christian.


This is a response to AJ's (Andrew's) post on May 24. His comments weren't working, so I decided just to put my reply here. It might be something good for everyone else to read, too.

I've been playing a lot of Sonic the Hedgehog recently, and I couldn't really tell you why. I downloaded it during finals week to burn time and distract myself from the end of the semester, but I think there's more to that game for me than just pure distraction. That game reminds me of our old home. I don't mean the old house, I lived in that house my whole life and it was all I ever knew, but I was glad to finally get out of it. Watching one person die in a house is enough to make it feel less like a home, but watching two die just seals the deal. After our mom died, our dad put away every memory of her and AJ and I learned to do the same, I think. That's a crappy way to deal with the loss of someone you love. I'm not sure if I will ever remember my mom, I did such a good job suppressing memories until Dad died. I spent most of last summer cleaning out our old house. This included going through all of Dad's stuff plus a lot of Mom's old stuff that was stuffed into drawers and closets. Last summer was the hardest time of my life. It's funny, cause in Jr. High and even high school, I felt a lot of emotions and responded to them by really flying off the handle and doing some stupid stuff. Last summer the emotions were a hundred times worse (and keep in mind that I'm not a teenager anymore) but I couldn't freak out, I just had to do what I had to do. That was a hard summer and the school year following it has been a blur.

But I got a little off track there, I was supposed to be talking about our old home. One of my best memories of our father was the way he would dance around the living room singing along to John Hiatt in his best gravelly baritone. Instead of giving up after his stroke, as it seemed like he might for the first week or two after it, he seemed to take on the attitude, "Well, here I am, got disability money coming in, don't need to work, might as well make the best of it." I feel like Dad started to live his last couple of months the way he should have lived his whole life. I don't want my memory of my father to fade away, and I'm so glad that Jeni got a chance to get to know him before he died. It saddens me so much that my children aren't going to know their grandfather, cause our dad would have been a great one.

Cleaning out the house I came across so many old memories. I came across photos Dad had taken in a photography class at Velley College. I came across letters he wrote to my mother before they were married. I came across pictures of all of us as a young family at Calvin Crest, the camp he had worked at as a counselor when he was my age. I started to feel the loss of our mother again and think of what it must have been like for our father. I found a whole life there, and I don't want it to end just because he died. I've come to believe strongly in a family that exists as a single entity from generation to generation. I know there is a lot of our father in both AJ and I. The Price family took a blow and it has suffered greatly from it, but the family will not die.

Sometimes it does feel strange not to have parents anymore. There are times when I feel incredibly alone. Soon Jeni will be a new Mrs. Price, and we will work on building a family again, but till then I often feel like I'm out on my own. It doesn't bother me to see friends my age who still have both parents, but I do get incredibly jealous when I see people who are 40, 50, or 60 who still have both parents alive and well. In a way I feel more experienced than them, even though I am a fraction of their age. I need to fight against the temptation to become calloused and hardened by what I've been through. Most people don't watch their father die. I did. I saw the last campaign of my father's spiritual battle and saw him get called up to his Father as the battle took it's toll on his body. That experience could have made me angry, but instead it made me sure of the reality of the God who loves me, and of the necessity of death to be redeemed from this life. At the same time, I value this life dearly and know that my father was a great gift to me.

Here's my final thought. Sometimes people ask me what my father thinks about this or that, or how he feels about what I'm doing with my life, if he's proud of me and so on and so forth. These of course are people who don't know that he has died and assume, with good reason, that I am an average 23 year old who goes home on holidays to stay with my parents, who calls them to borrow money when I need to and who will eventually slip into shared adulthood with them. I don't tell these people right then and there that my father has passed away. I simply think of what he would say, how he did feel and perhaps how he feels now, and I give them that for their answer.

That's all I've got for now, or at least all I'm going to type. I don't have a way to wrap this up neatly, but there it is. I hope you've gotten something out of it. I love you, AJ, and I'll be there soon.

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