For years and years, this was an empty tube of toothpaste. There was no doubt that I would use it and dispose of it without even giving it a second thought. I would grab it, use it, toss it in the drawer until the next time needed. It simply served a daily purpose for me, nothing more, nothing less.
Then it changed, honestly, it all changed. The simple things no longer seemed simple, without meaning. I didn't want it, but I got it. I never asked for it, but the new perspective on life was placed within me, around me, through me.
It didn't go away when I slept, when I moved from point to point or after completely stripping myself of every single thing beyond my skin. For years the task was simple, something I didn't give a second thought. Grabbing the tube was instinct, without thought, like breathing.
To you, this may be a well squeezed tube of toothpaste. Maybe it signifies that whomever used it is frugal, a miser, someone who feels they should use every last drop before they pop the top on another.
On December 27th of 2005, I woke to a sunrise like no other. To you, it was simply another sunrise. To me, I was going to bury my son. I didn't want the sun to rise, but it did. I didn't want the minutes to pass, but they did.
I stood, in front of a mirror looking at the man I didn't know holding this tube. I realized as I gazed into the sunken face, my hand gripping this tube that it would never be the same.
I realized that the day would come that even this, this simple tube of toothpaste would be gone. I would have to buy another, the minutes passed. Church, cemetery, another sunrise, another squeeze of the tube. Slowly, the drops became smaller and smaller. I squeezed it until I could squeeze it no more. I had to let go.
Sounds silly to most. Prior to Blake's death, I would have called you a freak, move on, let it go, be strong, he's in a better place you know. Now I know it's not that simple, everything changed when I experienced his death. I have a different perspective. Not a perspective of death, but a new perspective on life.
I don't want your sympathy. I don't want to inspire. I simply want you to know that things can change in an instant, without cause, without reason. This wasn't a trick question. It was simply a lesson in perspective. Only I can see the world from where I stand, the path I've walked, the steps I take forward.
If you're in the mist of crisis, simply understand that it's different, right down to the toothpaste. If you know someone who is in crisis, sit down and tell them you will work to "understand that you don't understand." That you will listen and try to learn.
Be safe and well friends. Be yourself, it lead me to a home I never dreamed I would get to live. The home within.