Monday Musings: 2 A.M. Drive

Today is the one-year anniversary of the last time I saw my dad alive. Weeks before Christmas last year, I had a hysterectomy. I wasn’t up to coming out to my parents’ house on Christmas. My husband, sons, and I went two days later on December 27, 2020. Even though I wanted to spend time with my parents, sisters, and nieces on Christmas, I wasn’t worried because I believed we would get to spend all the holidays together in 2021. If only I knew that would not happen.

Educator Barnes’ Dad, James A. Stockton, on December 27, 2020

I never knew how much glue my dad was to hold us all together until he died. His death for my family was like a mirror shattering. You can try to put the pieces back together but the mirror will never be the same. During any given day, I can run through the gamut of emotions of being angry, sad, frustrated, and disappointed that he is not here.

I feel the pressure of everyone expecting me to step in and do what he did no matter the consequences to my own family or my mental health. At 2 a.m. on Sunday, I drove across Indianapolis to clear my mind. I hate driving in the dark but something about driving early in the morning when there are few vehicles out on the road clears your mind.

I have found out no matter what I do, I am going to feel sad and angry about my dad’s death. I have found that no matter how I try to create boundaries and a healthy mental and physical life, someone will be mad. During that drive, I decided that it was okay. If you can’t please everyone, why even try?

In 2022, I am committed to being the best me and pursuing my goals. I hope people will support me, but if they don’t I will draw upon the strength that my dad passed down to me and press on.

Stay tuned in January to learn more about my goals!

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