Alta States 

A year older, but still no wiser


"I was afraid of trying my hardest and not succeeding. But then I realized I was already living my worst-case scenario by not attempting to move forward. Today I decided that fear would no longer rule my life."

- Anonymous, New Mexico


Happy April Fool's Day everyone. Not...

It's already been a year. Hard to believe. And it still strikes me as so ironic - just when the Wet Coast switches to its most endearing behaviour. Blossoms are out in Vancouver, the air smells sweet and the sun is warm again. I should be in full spring spirit.

But like a psychic tsunami hitting an unsuspecting villager, I'm overwhelmed by a wave of helpless sadness each time I let myself think of what happened last April 3rd.

But it's not just sadness. There's lots of anger too. At the fates. At the gods. At the bastard who took my wife's life and left me empty and broken. I'm angry at the police for not solving the crime. Angry at my friends for still having intact families. Angry at myself for being so mad.

Already a year. And so little progress on my part. I read back some of the stuff I wrote last April and I can't believe how little has changed in my heart. I still don't accept what happened to Wend. I still shake my fist at the sky in frustration.

Enough already. I don't want to think about this thing anymore. I don't want to impose my dark moods on my acquaintances and friends. I'd much rather dwell on the positive. On my daughters and their resilience and beauty. On Jenna's smarts and Maya's strength and the wonderful legacy that their mother left them.

But my all-too-human soul refuses to work that way. Just the smell of the earth these days is enough to send me reeling into pathosville...

And it's so often physical. I mean, how do you explain to your dinner hosts that you have to leave before the food is served? "It's just an anxiety attack," I assure them. "It will pass." But I can see the look they throw at each other. Damaged goods, it says. Shouldn't he be over all this by now?

But I'm not. Particularly this week. I mean, the terrible irony in all this is that April was Wendy's favourite time of the year. A passionate gardener, she loved nothing more than dipping her hands into the warm spring soil and setting in motion the magical process that would deliver such serene beauty for weeks and months to come. She couldn't wait to see her little plant surprises springing up all over the yard. Couldn't wait to see how it all came together for her circle of friends and family.

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