Archive | 1:40 pm

A Piece of Me

2 Jul

How about I share a section from my upcoming memoirs, “And the Blind Shall See?”

They all did the best they could with an impossible situation.  We are all wired differently.  One size does not fit all with human beings, and that’s just the real of it.  It took me decades to come to that realization, and another decade after that to forgive myself and accept the fact that the same rules apply to me. I did the best I could with an impossible situation.  There are no qualifiers with that statement, no buts or howevers.  I did the best I could.

No talent there . . . or is there?

I don’t know how others view their parents.  I suspect my impressions are shared by many.  When we are young, our parents are all-knowing, all-wise, and all-loving.  There is no fault within them. They understand the world; we do not; it’s as simple as that.  We assume their decisions are based upon some warehouse of knowledge we are not privy to as children, but it turns out our parents are just skin and bone, marrow and muscle, indecision and concern, nightmares and fear, just as we all are.  Just as I had no “Adulthood for Dummies” book to reference, the same can be said for my parents, my sister, and all my other relatives.  My mother was pregnant and married at fifteen, divorced at sixteen, and barely functioning at forty-seven.  My sister Darlys lived her own “hell on earth” life as a child, married and pregnant at seventeen, and was trapped in unhappiness at thirty-one.  My dad worked hard, played hard, and fought hard, constantly trying to outrun beatings as a child, and horrors of war no man should ever see, and he was dead at forty-nine.

How wise were any of them?  How all-knowing?  Or any of us?

The truth of the matter is this: we are all moving forward blindly, uncertain of our next steps, constantly concerned that our decisions are incorrect.  We buoy ourselves up with bravado and an air of confidence, both of which have the consistency of an under-baked meringue, but then we chastise ourselves when we make poor decisions when in fact the odds were against us from the very beginning.

“Trial and error” isn’t just a catchy three-word toss-away.  It is, in fact, how we all learn the most valuable lessons in life, and that’s scary as hell . . . and yet, necessary.  It seems to me, in the year 2019, parents spend far too much time protecting their children.  It’s natural to do so, for sure, but I also see it as harmful.  Children need to occasionally fail, and children need to occasionally feel pain, and they need to understand that neither are the end of their world.  Failing a test is not the worst thing that can, and will, happen to you.  Breaking a neighbor’s window while play ball is certainly not a joyful experience, but it also is not the worst fuck-up we will do and, in fact, on the “fuck-up” scale it barely registers.  Losing a girlfriend to a rival sucks, but life goes forward, and losing a loved one to heart disease can be crippling, but even those with walking impediments learn to be mobile.

Philosophical discussions, like this one, are enjoyable and, at times, enlightening at the age of seventy.  At the age of twenty, having just lost my Rock of Gibraltar, my father, philosophy was just a four-syllable word.

I was scared shitless and determined to never show it.