Though this entire year has been difficult, the month of August has hit me really hard. One of my biggest battles of the month was turning twenty-six; Yes, I am leading myself into mid/late twenties. I found that my birthday and the weeks/days/hour leading to it were just as hard as Grant’s birthday in July. I found myself so fearful of getting older without him. I am supposed to be two years older than Grant and all I can remember him as is twenty-three… forever young. I thought about how I’m going to someday look different… older, and I don’t know how he would have aged. Would he look more and more like my mom? Would he loose his hair? Would he go gray? Would he be just as handsome as an older man? But I will forever picture him as a baby to twenty-three… only twenty-three. Although my birthday has passed and I am one year older according to the calendar, I am having a very difficult time getting beyond the numbers — hours, days, months, and years. I don’t think my fears and emotion will ever change as I get older, but I can pass the tough time honoring and remembering him with his past thoughtful gifts, big hugs, and memory of his sweet phone calls.
Up until December 3rd I had never lost someone close to me… I had never considered the heartache and the pain nor expected it be someone even younger than myself; much less someone I would give my own life for. I was so young and nieve to the pain, sadness and constant strives to achieve happiness once again. Over the past 8 months I have learned more than my twenty-five years on Earth. I had no idea what it felt like to put on a face when I was having a hard day nor know if it is OK to laugh or cry at any given moment. I had no idea that one could go a week without eating, lay in bed for 5 days straight, or need a big glass of wine to help sleep hard through the night. I did not know what a real nightmare felt like. I had no idea that one’s body actual runs out of tears and can find themselves sobbing without anything falling from their eyes. Over the past months I have seen more than myself loose someone so young and significant. This past week I lost an acquaintance to a car accident; a man only 32 years old and so much more to live for. I heard the sobs of sadness at his funeral as I sat facing a wall just staring at a bouquet of fall sunflowers with a card from a drywall company. I could hear the laughter as memories poured the room or as he was carried out to Salt & Pepper’s “Shoop” as his good friends and family saluted him with beanies, caps, and newsboy hats. This was a really difficult moment for me not only because a young known life was lost, but because I somehow could relate to the people closest to him. I know (yet don’t know AT ALL) what his parents, siblings, and close friends are going through. I know the feeling of strong support holding me up and I wanted so badly to be a hand holding them stronger. RIP Jesse Peterson; may your legacy live on and your family stay strong.
As my mind has gone full force lately in so many different directions, I have been thinking hard about how I can do things for Grant. Not only in the help and support of Grant’s Place, but to those who suffer from addiction. I want to do what I can in helping those who struggle as Grant struggled. Our loss was a tragic accident that Grant would never have wanted. He never would have left us in this emptiness short of a brother/son/friend. He didn’t know that a relapse would take his life and break our hearts as it has. With all this on my mind it got me thinking about the difference I want to make. Then yesterday Grant’s friend, Jacinda, contacted me about doing the MN Teen Challenge Walk for Hope and about forming a group to walk in honor of Grant. I was beyond thrilled that she not only thought of him, but wants to honor him. The walk raises money for addicts gaining faith-based recovery and prevention programs for middle and high school children. I am HONORED and PROUD to walk in Grant’s honor on October 7th. I remembered just a few week before my last hugs Grant and I made plans for go to the MN Teen Challenge Christmas concert… I remember the excitement in his voice when I told him I bought tickets for Dan, him, and I to go…. I love you Grant. If I can make a difference in your name I would walk a million miles.
–With Tears, Karmin–