Trembling Like a Butterfly’s Wings

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It’s hard to believe that it’s already June. This year seems to be flying by and moving in slow motion at the same time. Does that make any sense?

June is the gateway to summer as they say and I guess that would have been exciting 15 years ago, knowing that summer was coming. That was a random number but thinking about it- fifteen years ago, I was 18. I would have just graduated high school.

That was a rocky summer now that I think about it. One of my co-workers from the grocery store had passed away. It wasn’t particularly sudden but it was really my first real experience with death. I mean, I had lost my grandmother on my dad’s side and my grandfather on my mom’s but it didn’t feel the same.

I don’t know if that’s a terrible thing to say but as I’m sitting here thinking about it all, I have to be real. Despite having lost two family members in the past, this one felt the most real. And it hurt.

I’m not coming across great right now.

I could delete it.

I’m not.

My grandmother on my dad’s side was not the greatest. She wasn’t mean but she wasn’t exactly the nicest person I had ever met. I have some fond memories of her for sure but my last was of her, sitting in the living room of her trailer, referring to someone as a faggot.

She had been sick for some time before she passed. My dad, in his infinite wisdom, decided to tell me about her passing while on the way to the Valentine’s Day dance my freshman year in high school. Yep, he was dropping me off to spend an evening dancing and having fun with my friends and chose right then and there to inform me that someone had died.

He didn’t let me go to the funeral. I have no idea why that decision was made but I wasn’t allowed to go. Probably for the best. I’ve seen how my family handles grief and I can promise you that it’s not pretty. I do know that there’s alcohol involved.

I did attend my grandfather’s funeral. That was my first.

I hadn’t really been close to him. I feel like I didn’t know him that well to be honest. I’m struggling to think of any memories with him. I’m failing. I’m sure they’re there.

My mom’s mom I have the most memories with of all my grandparents. A big part of that stems from a project I did my senior year in high school. We had to basically write the story of one of our grandparent’s lives for history all while weaving in bits of historical crap that was going on at the same time.

We spent a lot of time together for that.

We talked a lot after that. She wasn’t the greatest human in the world, she had her flaws.  Her death was sudden. Heart failure. On the way to the hospital she told the EMTs that she did not want to be resuscitated. She died on the way to the hospital.

I was on the road at the time, on a stretch that had me bouncing all over. I had just gotten to my hotel in Colorado when my sister called. At the time they didn’t quite know what was going on so I was left paralyzed in my room having no clue what was happening. Then came the call that she was gone.

I, so badly, wanted to come home right then and there but Shannon insisted that would be a stupid idea. Instead I stayed in Colorado for the time I was scheduled to be there. It was tough to be in front of an audience, trying to be positive. Worse, was I have a few jokes I would make about my grandmother. I opted to keep them in. Part of me thinking that, maybe, she was watching and would find them funny.

This would have been my third funeral and it was a shit show. That’s a story for another time perhaps.

This honestly wasn’t where I was even close to planning on going for this post.


I arbitrarily chose 15 years as my time frame, knowing I was still in some kind of school back then it would have been summer. Then I did the math on when that actually would have been and then the above train of thought began.

Now I’m sad?

No, that’s not it.

I don’t know what I am really.

Melancholy? No, that can’t be it. Melancholy, by definition, has no obvious cause. I know what caused my sadness, I just have no idea what spurred the train of thought to get me there.

I do have to pee.


Anyway. June is a weird month now. It used to be a gateway into summer. The beginning of months of freedom before heading back to the halls of academia. Now it’s just another month. I’ll wake up, work, sleep, rinse and repeat.

June also means we are nearing the two-year anniversary of the shootings here in Orlando.

I don’t know what to say now. Mostly because after all that, I said the thing I was dreading saying.

So there’s that.

So hello June.

Be gentle.


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