By Rick Fromm
By Rick Fromm

    I’m not a morning person. Never have been. I’m not one to linger in bed, but my favorite moment of the day is not when the alarm goes off. Once I’m up and moving, I shake the fairy dust off with relative ease, but those first few moments can be brutal. In other words: stay away.

The really annoying thing about it is that it’s gotten progressively worse over the years. In my younger days, I was a bit slow out of the blocks, but then how many 19-year-olds do bounce out of the bunk in sheer glee that another day has arrived?

In college, my morning demeanor resembled the charm of a cave troll, and most of my friends knew to steer clear until the look of doom disappeared from my face. It took a while.

Today, at the delightfully “old” age of 67, my morning routine normally consists of a few groans, some creaking of the limbs and a long, slow process of climbing out of bed and into the shower (followed by more groans).

Does it sound like I’m one giant pain in the arse in the a.m.? You’re right, I am. But I more than make up for it as the day wears on (Don’t ask my wife, Sarah, to confirm that, however.).

While my daily feel-sorry-for-myself morning ritual is annoyingly consistent, Tuesday morning was different. I awoke with such a feeling of dread, I could barely function. Perhaps it was total and complete devastation going on in Texas, or the fact our beloved nation seems more divided than at any time in my brief history. Maybe it was, the number of items on my “to-do” list. Make no mistake, a severe case of the morning blahs had overtaken me.

I know it’s just life and I’m supposed to keep a stiff upper lip and press onward through the fog, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. 

To those who never have to experience this type of anxiety, I’m envious. May you live long and prosper. But for the rest of us “worriers,” life can be a major challenge at times. It’s not all sunshine, tulips and butterflies. Sometimes a toad spoils the party.

Ironically, one of the first things I do in the morning is check my email and peruse Facebook for any pertinent information. Then I ran across the following post by Decorah native Laura Beatty Newton, and I was moved to tears. It was so beautifully done … so sincere … I could actually feel her pain.

“Hard things are hard, and while they can someday teach you a lesson or make you a stronger person, they are entirely capable of just beating the everloving s__t out of you and leaving you emotionally dead and physically exhausted.”

-from Nora McInerny’s “You Do Not Have to Be Good”

Today marks one year of life without my dad (Marion Beatty) -- 365 days. A milestone ... if one can call it that. And each day has been filled with memories and joy and sadness and an emptiness that will never be filled. Time absolutely does not heal. In fact, the passage of time only makes the absence more certain. More permanent. And the further I get from the memories of my dad, the harder it gets for me to recall the scent of his skin, the feel of his grizzly chin against my cheeks as he hugged me, the sound of joy in his voice as we FaceTimed each day and he caught a glimpse into our crazy morning as the kids danced around and fought for attention, the look on his face and the sparkle in his eye as he took it all in. Though I have so much joy in my life and abundant love, I miss my dad. miss him. And today is a hard day.

Wow - powerful words that grab at the soul and express true love and genuine emotion. Your dad, Marion, has to be extremely proud of you Laura. How could he not be?

As an aside, Attorney Marion Beatty was one of the most well liked and respected people in this community and the entire area.

A kind, gentle man with a brilliant mind and a quick whit, whenever we encountered each other he treated me with respect and a friendly charm few possess. His legendary battle against cancer served as a testament to his never-give-up character, strength and determination. The man was a rock.

He will be missed – by a lot of people. Does time heal all wounds? Not hardly. Not every wound. Consider what Laura said: In fact, the passage of time only makes the absence more certain. More permanent.

How unfortunate, but true.