Maybe George Lucas was on to something with this whole Force thing.
I’m not sure, but my world is certainly a brighter place for discovering whatever this newer, happier, stronger self has tapped into. Ultimately, I have to blame my family, friends and simply having an opportunity to embrace who I am by writing nearly every day.
And it is more than my current family and friends supporting my endeavor to create fictional adventures. The new me includes the best of the people who I have lost along the way.
I know that sounds weird, but hang in there a minute.
This doesn’t mean my grandfather appears to me in robes, surrounded by a blue energy glow. Although it would be cool. Cooler than Yoda in Star Wars or Bob Newhart returning to haunt Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory.
It would be cool because my Grandfather was funnier than the amazingly talented Bob Newhart. My grandfather was supremely light-hearted, kind, loving and had a huge infectious laugh that altered mundane moments into joy. When he departed for greener pastures, or a mythical blue energy field of the Force, we can’t be sure just yet — I became stronger.
Just as Obi-Wan Kenobi warned Darth Vader would happen.
I became stronger because I gained the gift of my grandfather’s mirth. His love of life and the want to make others smile. A gift I had to some degree, but lost my way a while. It took the loss of such a happy human to remind me if I can be half as joyous as him, life will be better.
My grandmother was a vastly unique person. When she left the world, she gifted me her strength. An Irish grandmother who had an extremely tough existence was the toughest human I ever met. Trust me, I spent six years in the Marine Corps and I never met anyone she couldn’t take. If she had a sense of fear, I never saw it, not even when she was ill. When she left, I became stronger, and much tougher than ever before.
Never mix your metaphors, but we need a little Star Trek to help with the next one. My father was one with the ultimate logic string. He could run circles around Leonard Nimoy’s awesome portrayal of Spock in the original series of that show. If I ever tried to make a decision or convince my dad of anything, I best be packing a logical presentation or it would get shot down in a hurry. His gift was one of pure logic. And as Star Trek taught us, logic can’t fix everything, but it does offer a level headed approach to difficult problems and level off the emotion when calm serves best. He is gone, and yet I am stronger.
My uncle, a Vietnam War vet was a fierce patriot yet, with one discerning eye on the government he served. Love your country, yet question authority. He helped make a better me. My other Irish grandparents — loving people who held a focus on the very simple joys such as work hard and play hard. And don’t overthink it. I don’t complicate every detail of life anymore now either.
Ultimately, it would be a blast to see any member of my family show up at my door in Jedi robes goofing around with their light sabers, but they have already helped me more than any Jedi-in-training I know. I am grateful, and I love allowing the best of each of them shine through me.
Take that Dark Side.
The Force is very strong in this one.