"At some point, it becomes bearable. It turns into something that you can crawl out from under and... carry around like a brick in your pocket." - Nat (Dianne Wiest) Rabbit Hole - 2010
I need to start this by saying I have not see the movie Rabbit Hole. Don't get me wrong I'm sure it's a great film, but when I get around to seeing a movie (which is not as often as you may think.) I want to be taken out of whatever is going on in the real world and just veg. So knowing the subject matter of Rabbit Hole I decided to pass on the depression filled cry-fest and enjoy the likes of True Grit (the only other movie that came out in December that I actually saw).
Now the only reason I know this quote is because a friend of mine discussed in one of her Facebook posts of having her feelings or memories in her pocket like a rock. She had done something that day that brought a flood of emotion that she described as her "rock in her pocket" or "boulder". This concept intrigued me so I asked how she came up with it. She explained how the idea came from Rabbit Hole and what the actual quote was. So your asking yourself "What does all this mean? Does he have a point?" Yes, here comes the point.
Before my father passed away he was living in an assisted living facility. For the past week and a half I've been writing down how he got there with the intent of showing how he ended up feeling betrayed and how in the end I was. I've decided to save that for another blog and keep this focused on some good memories.
While dad was living in this facility (health permitting) he would go on walks. Occasionally he would walk to his doctor's office, Walgreens, or the cemetery to visit mom's grave. Most days, because of the heat he would just do laps around the building or block if he was feeling up to it. He didn't feel like he belonged there so he didn't socialize much. In the beginning he would go to the activities but towards the end he just walked and talked to people in passing. Because of this everyone knew dad because he was almost always walking by.
One of the things he liked to do when he walked was to pick up rocks. He had always liked rocks. I remember being on vacation as a kid and he would pick up rocks he thought were unique or different. But now they were just landscaping rocks but rocks never the less. He always found something different or special about them even if they were just from the courtyard or grounds. Dad would take them back to his room, sit in front of his t.v. and polish his rocks. No fancy set up or cleaner just Armor-all and an old rag. I don't think it did much to them but he did. He would show them off to anyone who would visit, some were so pretty he carried them with him so he could show them off.
After dad past away, my brother, his son and I were going threw his apartment. We made piles of things he wanted, things I wanted, things that would get donated, and things that would just get tossed. We came across pictures, old x-rays, old paperwork (taxes, medical, and mail), clothes, junk (an I.V. stand, a broken desk chair, extension cords, ect...), and keepsakes ( the toy planes he collected, the weird pictures he drew, the walking stick he brought down from Alaska, ect...)
As we were adding to the piles we came across a box of rocks, then another, and then another. They were small because they would be easier to move that way, but still three boxes of rocks? And once again just regular landscaping rocks nothing special. We did find an old "lava" rock for one of our vacations and the few rocks that him and mom picked up because they had cross patterns on them but they were separate from the three boxes. My brother was going to have my nephew throw them out, but I told him to put them in my pile. I figured I would put a few on display at his service, put one in his casket, and the rest I wan't sure.
I brought the rest home and went threw them. Like I said before I didn't see the appeal and then one caught my eye. It was small, smooth, and black. There were a couple others like it, but not as nice. The rest of the rocks I placed in a neat pile outside to the left of our front door. Most of it blends in and you would never know the significance unless you knew. As for the small, smooth, black rock it is in my left pocket. No matter what I'm wearing or where I'm going, it is always in my left pocket. If I can't find it because it fell out while on the end of the bed, I can't leave the house. And if you see me with my left hand in my pocket there is a pretty good chance I'm holding on to the one thing that reminds me most of my dad.