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.


27 Responses to “A Piece of Me”

  1. Janine Huldie July 2, 2019 at 1:43 pm #

    Loved getting a glimpse and sneak peek into your newest novel. So, thanks for sharing that here and Happy Tuesday once again now, my friend!! 🙂

  2. Billybuc July 2, 2019 at 5:16 pm #

    Thanks so much, Janine. I always appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

  3. manatita July 2, 2019 at 6:29 pm #

    Pretty graphic piece and done so well!!
    You show an excellent grasp of life. You are loved and one of the reasons is that you do not blame. Commendable.

    • Billybuc July 2, 2019 at 9:40 pm #

      Why blame,Manatita? It’s been a good life, my friend.

  4. explorereikiworld July 2, 2019 at 6:58 pm #

    Thank you for sharing a snippet from your memoir. Good luck in finishing it.

    • Billybuc July 2, 2019 at 9:41 pm #

      Thank you Ruchira! I’ll finish it, provided I live long enough. 🙂

  5. Andrea Stephenson July 2, 2019 at 7:12 pm #

    I’ll look forward to reading more Bill, I think your memoir will be fascinating.

    • Billybuc July 2, 2019 at 9:41 pm #

      I appreciate that, Andrea! Thank you very much.

  6. ericdierker July 2, 2019 at 7:21 pm #

    For obvious reasons this had me thinking of nature vs. Nurture and if they are so different.
    It also reminded me of what my physician father told me about “practicing” medicine. “It is just a big experiment of trial and error”.
    Great stuff Bill, thanks.

    • Billybuc July 2, 2019 at 9:42 pm #

      Just one big crapshoot, Eric,and it’s a blast as a bonus. Thanks buddy!

  7. Jo Miller July 2, 2019 at 10:25 pm #

    Thanks so much, Bill, for sharing a piece of your heart. I decided long ago that most people most of the time are doing the best they can under the circumstances. That makes forgiving easier.

    • Billybuc July 3, 2019 at 1:37 pm #

      Thank you, Jo! Pointing fingers at others is a lesson in hubris, I think. We are all just doing the best we can with the hand we’ve been dealt.

  8. Sageleaf July 3, 2019 at 12:44 pm #

    Wow. See? Non-ficition writing like that gets me every time. I’m hooked!!
    As for the content. I particularly love and identify with the line, “We buoy ourselves up with bravado and an air of confidence..then we chastise ourselves when we make poor decisions…” Isn’t that the truth!? I was a “different” kind of teenager: I didn’t go through the “my parents know nothing” (haha) until I went to college. I was a late bloomer like that, but it had everything to do with wanting to be a good kid, not fall into trouble, and then feeling the resentment (at least for awhile) of not being able to go to my choice of college (due to finances) and having to live at home. So, I did what any kid like me might do: I sped my way through college, graduated in 3.5 years, and moved out within 6 days. 😂
    In my adult life, I’ve sought refuge in surrogate parents of personal development books, some (and now a growing list of) philosophy books, spiritual texts and would inspire me. In the last couple years, while I’ve still read many of these types of texts, I’ve realized it’s like another line you mentioned, “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 we all are. No exceptions.Furthermore, what they say is basically the same, just rehashed in a slightly different way.
    In all my inner work, I’m realizing I have just as much knowledge as anyone else, and to draw from my own intuition to apply to my circumstances – instead of always looking to books – is an idea calling to me more and more. (Though, for the record, I’m still enthralled by them, and can’t wait for yours to come out.) There once was this student who went to study with a monk (so the story goes) who was captivated by knowledge. The monk told him that he had to stop reading and learning for one year. When I first read that, I thought “how tortuous,” but now I see the wisdom behind those words.
    In closing, you, my friend, are a wise soul. I can’t wait to read your words of wisdom. 🙂

    • Billybuc July 3, 2019 at 1:34 pm #

      Lil Sis, you and I are cut from the same cloth. The pattern might be different, but we both have the same thread count and we both have the same strength of fiber….and ain’t that cool?

      Thanks for sharing yet another part of you. You are appreciated more than you probably will ever know…by little old me!

  9. Lori Colbo July 3, 2019 at 8:28 pm #

    Love this Bill. I eagerly await for its publishing. I like how you don’t just tell the facts and experiences that you and your family have had, but you also talk about the deep issues behind them and share your perspective now. It looks like you’ve had a lot of forgiving to do and what a relief that is isn’t it. Blessings, Lori

    • Billybuc July 4, 2019 at 1:42 pm #

      I’m taken my own sweet time reaching forgiveness, but I finally made it, Lori! It’s a nice place to be.

  10. marlenebertrand July 5, 2019 at 1:20 am #

    Your life has given you much to talk about and share. I’m looking forward to reading your memoir when it is published.

    • Billybuc July 5, 2019 at 1:42 pm #

      Thank you Marlene! I’m actually enjoying the process of writing this memoir. I didn’t think I would.

  11. phoenix2327 July 8, 2019 at 3:43 pm #

    Bill, why are we as humans, as parents, so embarrassed to admit we don’t have all the answers. I felt this way for the longest time until it occurred to me that if someone is asking me a question, it means they don’t know either. That person didn’t seemed ashamed of not knowing so why should I.

    As my kids were growing up they asked all sorts of questions. I tried to answer to the best of my knowledge and when I couldn’t I would admit I didn’t have the answer but we could find out together. We both learned something knew and it helped develop their investigative skills. It may have backfired. Now, if I ask them a question they respond with ‘Google it, Mum.’ (shrugging shoulders). Kids.

    I am so enjoying the snippets of your memoirs and can’t wait for the final product. I know it will be a long wait as you will publish no book before it’s time and that’s fine. In the meantime, I really should start on those books I got for Christmas.

    Have a lovely day.

    • Billybuc July 8, 2019 at 4:58 pm #

      Zulma, it’s always nice to hear from you. You are correct, of course. I sure could have used a “how to” manual for single parenting, but there were none worth the price. We learn as we go, we fake it till we make it,and we hold on tight for the ride.

      Somehow it all works out. 🙂

      Have a brilliant week, my friend.

  12. Shauna L Bowling July 9, 2019 at 6:58 pm #

    Bill, this must be very hard for you to write. I know a lot about your family through what you’ve posted on HP, but never knew your mother and sister were pregnant at such young ages. I also didn’t know your dad suffered abuse. The fact that they stepped in to adopt a blind baby that had been through nine foster situations at the age of nine months (if I remember correctly) is testament to their strength of character. They defied the odds and moved forward with the determination to learn from their mistakes and make life mean something, not only for themselves, but for others who needed to be loved.

    I once dated a guy who was adopted. He had the gall to tell me that his adoptive parents love him more than my natural parents love me. He has no clue, but I guess I can see where he gets his thinking. I know nothing of his natural parents and I don’t even know if he does. You have recently learned about your natural family and it wasn’t pretty. So, I guess I can get what he was saying. But he had no right to judge or make that very ugly comment. My take is that he’s got lots of questions that need to be answered. However, he didn’t have the balls to seek them out. You did.

    And you learned the best life lessons: love, accountability, strength, understanding, compassion, the ability to see and overcome, and belief in self.

    Power to you, my friend!

    • Billybuc July 10, 2019 at 1:39 pm #

      Rude it was, Sha, and rude it always shall be. My experience was my experience, no better nor worse than anyone else’s. Trying to determine levels of love…that’s a fool’s task for sure.

  13. Shauna L Bowling July 9, 2019 at 7:03 pm #

    Clarification: he said his parents love him more than mine love me because they chose him. Mine did not. However, they chose to be parents.

  14. Sue Dreamwalker July 14, 2019 at 9:34 pm #

    Arrgh Life when growing is a mixture of emotions,none of us are perfect, my parents certainly weren’t. At a tender age one may think we suffer blows, yet it made us who we are today..
    I know how difficult looking back an in our experiences can be.. It’s taught me a lot, as I delved deeper within to review the treatment I felt I was given from my mother.
    It was only a few years ago Bill that I turned my perspective from my side of the coin and viewed what her life, with five children and a volatile marriage of augments and at times violence via both parents to each other and us..
    That I saw how trapped and even depressed she must have been..
    As a child I only saw how me being the eldest I was the one to do everything while she laid in bed in the mornings.. Getting my siblings breakfast, making a fire, and getting them ready for school as well as myself..

    I tried writing the whole thing out to make sense of it all, the guilt I felt… For feeling unworthy of her love..
    We don’t always see what makes our parents Who they are, do we..
    And after all, I chose them to learn from to be my birthing parents didn’t I, and I would not then be who I am today..

    So in the end I learnt to forgive, healing myself in the process along with gratitude, for without their lessons we would not have our personalities today..

    A great insight into your childhood years Bill.. It takes courage to share such details, so I thank you my friend

    Sending well wishes
    Sue 🙂

    • Billybuc July 15, 2019 at 1:36 pm #

      Thank you so much, Sue! I don’t know about courage, but I do find it helpful on a purely selfish note. Hindsight is a wonderful tool, as is the willingness to use that hindsight in a purely objective manner.

      I’ve missed seeing your blogs show up in my reader. I wonder if there is a problem or if you just haven’t been writing?

      Anyways, I wish you a brilliant week ahead.


  15. Shell Vera August 14, 2019 at 10:57 pm #

    I’m looking forward to reading the completed book!!!!

  16. Billybuc August 15, 2019 at 1:56 pm #

    Thanks so much, Shell! I need to get busy on it.

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