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Papa

Posted in Inspiration, Life, Loss, Love, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Dear Papa,

Is that you in the back of my head? Are you still here? I keep looking for signs, maybe I’m looking too hard. It doesn’t seem real that you are gone. I’m writing this in hopes that it reaches you somehow, wherever you are now. I hope it’s an amazing place that delivers you from everything cold and hard in this world.

Your laugh fills my memories, and still brings me joy. I know the years of suffering made you more somber as of late, but you never lost that sense of humor. That beautiful sense of humor. But what I’ll miss most and what I really feel like I’m losing is your energy. So healing, soothing, peaceful, and serene. I don’t think I ever told you, but you had an amazing presence and it never failed to inspire me. I’m not sure if I decided to pursue art because of you, but you certainly made me want to stick to it. The last time I saw you, you told me if you could do it all over again you would have committed more time to art, so the way I see it I’m creating for both of us. I’m so happy that you lived long enough to see me pursuing a life of writing, I know it makes you proud.

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Having you in my life so much as a child shaped me, and helped me to become the person that I am today. Thank you. I do wish you could have stayed just a little bit longer, but I guess we always feel that way about the ones we love. You suffered later in life, but I never lost hope that you would overcome the pain and finally get back to being that person I’ve known for most of my life. My spring break is coming up soon, I didn’t know what to do and I was really thinking about coming to see you. It’s selfish of me to think that you should have waited that long to see me again, but I still wish it could have been that way. I would have loved to see you one more time before you left. I would have loved to say goodbye.

We share a depth, and a darkness. I know I got this from you. I often think of you in my blackest hours, when I think nobody else would understand my mind there’s always that thought “Papa would understand.” I hope part of your spirit will stick around, and help to shepherd me through inevitable dark times to come. I can’t be sure, but something tells me you will.

There is a tattoo on my chest of a raven. I had no idea you were inches away from leaving us when I got it, and luckily you didn’t. You told my mom that if you were to ever die you would come back as an animal, and when my mom asked what kind of animal you said a raven. When I reminded you of that story and what it meant to me, you took the picture below. In my mind that raven is you, resurrected on my chest and above my heart forever. Right where you belong.

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Photo by Joe Polaschek

Forever Your Grandson and Greatest Admirer,

Patrick Joseph Roe

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Why Did I Get On That Fucking Plane

Posted in Love, Thoughts, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2013 by Patrick Roe

We aren’t born stupid, smart, with grudges, or predetermined preferences.  There’s a lot of debate over what we are born with, whether it’s sexual preferences or the hardwiring of a killer. One thing I think we all can agree on is that it isn’t a whole lot. We come into a world, and it shapes us regardless of how we start out. We are born a blank slate, with nothing but potential.

I was born into parents who didn’t love each other anymore, but that’s just the story of my generation right? Broken families, broken homes, and broken souls that have a hard time believing the love we see in movies is real, or ever was. We are bombarded by images of white picket fences and nuclear families, so starkly  contrasted by the fake smiles and circus acts that surround us. There’s something different about my story though. My parents may have no longer loved each other, but they both still loved me. Maybe that’s the reason I never gave up on love, and still haven’t to this day.

Some people call me a hopeless romantic, and why not?  They have every reason. A week and a half ago I was kissing my girlfriend under the Eifel Tower, and then fighting back tears over my impending departure right as the tower erupted into a spectacular light show. The following picture was captured in that exact moment.

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It doesn’t get much more cliche than that. But you, reader, have my word that the moment was as real as they come.  Some people say there’s no truth in fiction, but if this wasn’t a scene right out of a movie then I’ll be your dead uncle. There was even a freshly married couple passing by my puddle of painful tears, as if placed there by the director to tease me with my own dreams for the future.

If you knew what I was missing, you would have cried too. This picture was taken by me about a week before the last one.

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She’s going to hate me when she sees that I put this picture up, but I can’t help it. It’s my new favorite, because something about the combination of her look, the setting, and the composition sums up everything that I love about her. I’m sure a stranger looking at it wouldn’t be able to get all of that, I don’t even think my girlfriend would be able to see. But when I look into this picture, I’m home.

I’d be lying to you if I told you it’s easy to look at this picture, and I mean really look at it. You reader, can’t tell by just reading but I had to have a good cry and a cigarette after writing that last paragraph whilst looking at that photograph. And I suppose that brings me to the title of this post. Why did I get on that fucking plane?

The answer to that question is still haunting me, because the answer is I don’t know. I fought every natural instinct, every emotion, every single thought in my head. Some people who read this may understand what I’m talking about, and I’m sure it will be lost on others. For those of you not in the know, let me be the first to tell you that NOTHING is harder than having to say goodbye to your one and true love. For those of you who know what I’m talking about, this next little side note is for you: I hope that you have not grown disillusioned or numb to the pain of saying goodbye to someone that you love with all of your heart. I hope that you are 125 and on your death bed and you still haven’t lost the capacity to love, nor the will to miss someone that you love the most. Because as hard as this is for me, and as stupid as I feel for getting on that fucking plane, at least I feel truly alive

This was my ride to the airport.

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Alone. Like the universe wanted to mirror the way I felt as I left. I don’t have a picture, but even the only seat next to me on the airplane was vacated due to a broken tray table. Alone. And damn it all if loneliness isn’t the worst feeling known to man. If we’re getting deep into it, being alone is one of my greatest fears. Not alone in the sense that nobody is around, because I have many people in my life whom I adore and as a writer I really do appreciate time to myself. I’m talking about the kind of loneliness that comes when you don’t have someone there who really touches your soul. Someone who warms you straight to the bone with just a look. I am lucky enough to have found that feeling. My love warms me in that way. And right now she is nine time zones, one ocean, and 5,641 miles away.

I’m not sure where to end this post, or if there even is a proper place to end it. I’m sure this won’t be the last you read of the distance between me and the girl that I love. Just know that I’m trying to be strong through it, and see what lessons the pain can teach me about life.

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.” – The Notebook