30 Days of Truth, Day 26

Day 26 — Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

Someone close to me committed suicide when I was in high school. David hung out with us and was really close to my ex-husband. He waved goodbye one day as we left for lunch, went home and shot himself. The devastation his absence left was earth-shattering.

You don’t realize how vital you are to another person’s happiness, until you see people grieve a suicide.

Death is natural and we all lose people that are special to us. Loving someone is the ultimate risk because you know in your heart that everything has a beginning and an end. Same goes for the love of your life. They come to an end, too. It just escapes understanding when they choose to leave.

I believe in assisted suicide. I think anyone with a horrible terminal illness deserves to skip the miserable ending and go out like a blaze of glory, on their own terms. I would seek that relief before I made my family watch me suffer.

But.

My mama loves me too much to ever think my problems are so insurmountable that I can’t go on. All those organic vegetables she painstakingly grew and fed to me, that horse I had to have that hated everyone, the many nights I snuck out and she laid awake worrying… yeah… this lady deserves the golden sunset of my maturity.

My children need me to teach them I love them in that same way my mother has. I have vegetables to grow and feed them, new boyfriends to meet, spelling words to practice and a million happy moments, yet to come.

My best friend is one phone call away and even in the height of professional demands, I know I could call her and she would drop her own universe to catch me. I would do the same. When your friendship becomes sisterhood, you have a responsibility to each other to keep yourself safe. I’m her safe place to land, too…

I am so loved, I could never disregard what a lucky girl I am for long enough to take my own life.

and BOY OH BOY have I fucked up a few times in epic fashion. I go big or go home in every aspect of my life and I’ve done some stupid shit that I’m desperately ashamed of. However… water passes under those bridges and time really does heal everything. Regret is a waste of good memories and even the worst ones will be fun to take with me to the nursing home, someday.

I’m human. I cry a lot. I feel everything a little more than I should. I’ve seen darkness in my life and I know it came at a time when I had disappointed myself deeply and had  backed myself into a corner that I didn’t know how to get out of. Waking up to the reality of my life, hurt. My choices, stunk. My life was a mess and I was desperate to get out of it.

So I listened to my mom, who always reminds me that the answers I need are always one short read away.

M- Don’t forget- many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Take a nap and come over for dinner. I love you.

Moms are always right & life is always hard…but it also changes when you need it to the most.

des

 

 

 

30 Days of Truth, Day 22

dadnjen

Day 22 — Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.

It was 2003 and I’d sent my dad a Christmas package with a quilt I’d sewn him. We’d baked cookies, made marshmallows, granola, canned treats from my garden. You name it. It was the overachiever package I’d always wanted to send my deadbeat dad.

He’d sent me a letter telling me he’d love to see my kids and I. We’d been talking on the phone and getting to know each other. My husband urged me to be cautious but I threw myself into being a perfect daughter. I sent the package with signature confirmation. He signed for it.

He said he didn’t get it & he never answered another phone call from me.

I sent him a letter I’ll never completely forgive myself for.

My dad was a beautiful man with buckets of charisma and charm. He skated through school on the hard work of my mother then coasted into financial gain the same way. He cheated on her and let her leave with me and nothing else, when I was a year old. My mother single-handedly raised me with sporadic child support sent only by the second woman to make his life easy: my brilliant step-mother. Incidentally, the second women left holding unsupported children after he tired of being a family man.

I sometimes wonder how many other siblings I actually have because I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few more unaccounted for. There are four of us bound by genetics, daddy issues and a love for each other that makes it all worthwhile. His absence left us vulnerable to the worst life had to offer, but the gift he gave us in each other can’t be undone by his failing as a parent. We’ve forged a bond as siblings in spite of him and it’s given us the small sliver of a dad we can at least refer to when our children ask why they’re short a grandfather.

He didn’t deserve any one of us but since when does anyone really get what they deserve?

I wrote him a letter after he lied to me and let me down for the last time. I told him about how vulnerable he’d left all of us. About the molestation he didn’t protect us from and the rape he didn’t even know about. Other men had given all three of his daughters away on their wedding days. Strangers knew more about his children and I told him in painful detail just how well.

I gave all the hurt and heartache back to him and told him I hoped he’d die alone, like he deserved.

Nearly a decade later… my brother called me as I was getting ready for work one night.

B- Hey. I have bad news. Dad died.

Time really does stand still in those moments. I never had much of a chance to get to know him but when he died, all those chances did too. I grieved the loss of him much harder than the absence. He was under 60 years old but living a hard life. Only my brother ever had a relationship with him, so none of us really knew where he was in the world.

He died alone in some generic apartment in California. He was found by the apartment manager, after a week or so. No next of kin was listed so he sat unclaimed in the morgue until they tracked my brother down.

He died just as I’d told him I hoped he would. Though sad, none of us girls were very excited to have to pay for his remains. My beautiful brother took care of it and spread our dads ashes in Mexico, somewhere he’d always wanted to go.

I regret leaving him with my broken heart and not a loving example of who I really am. I’m sorry that he died feeling hated by me and not knowing that I loved him in spite of all the reasons I shouldn’t. I wish I’d been forgiving instead of vengeful and though he deserved to hear the painful details of the children he harmed, it served no purpose. Sometimes it’s ok to swallow your hurt feelings. Some harsh words aren’t meant to see the light of day because ultimately it never works when you return pain with more pain.

I wish I could have loved him more and wounded him in return, a little less. It’s taught me to choose my words more carefully and say only the things that need to be said. It’s lit a fire under me to be a better person and a more present parent.

I wish I could tell him all the incredible things I am because his absence gave me no other choice.

He deserved to hear the good stuff too.