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Do you ever have those days when it seems like the universe is trying to tell you something? As a not particularly religious person, I don’t know what to make of those times. For example, yesterday. After a particularly rough patch last week surrounding my feelings about my dad’s birthday, I woke yesterday morning feeling much better. We’re on vacation in Blowing Rock, NC, so I was all set for a day of exploring the local shops, drinking my favorite chai in all the land (from Bald Guy Brewing), taking lots of photos, soaking in the jacuzzi that overlooks the river below, and binge watching HGTV. Everything got off to a good start and we headed into town and started perusing the quaint little stores in Blowing Rock itself. In the first art gallery we went into, a song was playing that reminds me of my dad, so I got a little teary, but nothing major and I was able to brush it off and enjoy the art. Then, since I actually get a signal in town, I checked my email on my phone and got a message from a friend who was listening to my dad’s CD. She wrote, “Listening to Nick play and reading his words on the CD insert. I am feeing thankful for this little piece of him sealed in time.” So sweet of her to send that to me. SO sweet. But having had it just follow the song I’d heard in the gallery, it got me a little teary again, though mostly in a good way. About 30 minutes later, we were in another store and someone had made a little sign reading, “I love you a bushel and a peck” which are lyrics from a song I sing with my dad every time I visit. And that was the final straw. Constant reminders of him are too much right now. I lost it, right there in the store. Sobfest ’15 commenced. Here I was, trying to step away from the things weighing on me for a couple days, allowing myself to be okay and not have a nonstop grief-fest, and it was like the universe was wagging its finger at me, saying, “Not so fast!”

But I can’t imagine that I’m supposed to be sad all the time. Packing up those feelings for a few days is healthy, necessary. So what’s the message I should be picking up? It’s not like I was in danger of forgetting my dad. I wasn’t in a phase where I needed comfort and reminders that he’s still here.

Sometimes I wish I had a decoder ring that would tell me what I’m supposed to be learning when it seems like the world is bitch slapping me with love and pain. If someone could get me one for Christmas, you’d be my new best friend. Kpleaseandthankyou.