The light has gone out
Friend: Sorry to call. We’re all just worried about you. (pause) Ridiculous question but: How are you?
Me: Drunk and heartbroken. You?
Him: It’s 10AM.
Me: I like to get an early start on things.
Teddy Roosevelt made a few appearances in this blog in the past. The entry I wrote about Xenophen wanting to die with his feet facing home, is one of my favourites and that picture is a statue of Roosevelt.
And I wrote another entry with a quote from him about daring greatly.
Always had an affinity for Teddy, but I’m hoping that it’s not because we will share similar fates.
See, Roosevelt was a New Yorker, like me. He lived walking distance to my pad, not too far from where I went to law school.
He was 25 and in Albany when he heard that his wife Alice gave birth to his daughter. So he rushed home – partly to see his daughter, and partly because his mom was sick.
By the time he got home to 6 West 57th Street, it was too late. His mom had died.
But the sick twist is that his wife died just 11 hours later from a completely unforeseen kidney issue. She was only 22.
Teddy kept a diary where he simply wrote a large black X and a single sentence: The light has gone out of my life.
I remember hearing that story as a kid and it affected me enough that I remembered it. But not so much that I truly appreciated what it must have meant to Teddy.
He couldn’t handle it. He gave his daughter to his sister to raise, put away everything that reminded him of Alice, and moved to North Dakota.
And he never spoke of Alice again and wouldn’t allow those around him to mention her name again. She didn’t even appear in his autobiography.
While that’s a bit much, I understand it.
After seeing my dad, spent the last week putting away as much of her things as possible; donating and tossing what I can. There are pictures and reminders of her everywhere.
They’re like constant papercuts over my shattered self.
Soon, everything will have been put away. And at some point, I’ll have to put Alison away.
Partly because, in the back of my mind, I worry that my other atomic bomb will go off. Mainly because my kid and my dad need me. Won’t be able to function if I don’t and they need me to function.
But, unlike Teddy, I’d never put Alison away completely.
Because, she was the best part of me and I need to give Nate the best of me. So that means keeping her here for him.
I just need a little time.