Category: Real Life
7/09/2018: Our Time Here.
I don't have much in regards to family. I know I'm not the only one and I know it could be worse - what I go through. But there are things on this earth I believe worth discovering and that's your heritage. In the end, every one of us leaves some sort of legacy if you will. Some kind of memory be it good or bad. We make friends, enemies. We find love, we have a family of our own and the cycle continues - right? But what about the ones that don't get that chance? Their life on this earth, it's so short and taken in a moments notice. If that was 'God's' will, why such a seemingly... fickle time?
I'd learned later in my years that I had an aunt. She was nine when she passed. The way she went, it's... insane to sit here and think about. A few factors could be the beginning and end of your journey. A chance encounter that would have otherwise never occurred hadn't, say... you spilled that coffee into that stranger's lap because you were rushing to head to work and tripped over those new, clunky shoes social pressure encouraged you to buy. Love at first tight, if you believe in it. A year later, married. A year after that, a child.
Now... by some chance, the child is sick. Her father had to get a part from the mechanic store because just days before, he'd wrecked his motorcycle. Obviously, he couldn't leave the nine-year-old home alone. So he takes her with him because there's no one else to watch her. Just as they're turning into that shop, a semi-truck runs over the vehicle and just like that, a life is gone.
When I think about my aunt's passing, I can't help but feel... terrible. I had to meet her. I drove an hour away and spent thirty minutes walking along gravestones to find the flat one lost within the waves of them. Covered by grass from lack of upkeep, I spotted the name, crouched down and tore away the weeds. The first thing that came to mind was, "This is her." The second, "I'm older than my aunt." I'd ushered my mother over who crouched with me. A sad smile tugged at her usual frown and she said, "Hi Laura." Her next words, they shocked me. "I'm sorry I haven't been back. It's been, what.... 45 years?" The expression she dawned herself made it clear she was taken back as well by the realization no one had been here in decades.
Is that what happens when we pass? Our family, do they just move on? Do they stop coming by? To them, are we nothing more than a rotting corpse buried six feet beneath the dirt? Is that what... all this comes down to? I found myself thinking, "It's no wonder people turn to 'faith'. With an outcome as grim as that, it doesn't surprise me people would believe in a 'God' or an afterlife. The idea that we'll never see the people we've loved again because there's nothing after this, that... would drive anyone mad."
7/10/2018: No Regrets & Love.
The next stop on my little endeavor to find myself and a lack of purpose in a seemingly dull world brought me an hour and a half south-west of my little hometown. My mother, she'd been through it in life. Had met people, fallen in love, had multiple children from various men all for every marriage to fall through. She's the kind of woman that's incredibly negative and childish. I believe that's where I got it from though as the years have passed, I've gotten exponentially better. Nowhere near as negative, though I have my moments. I digress. I feel as though her life was stripped from her. All too young she made the choice to hook up with a man and have these children, starting a neverending succession of raising children and going through abusive relationships.
She'd come across a man who albeit addicted to drugs - was madly in love with her and treated her right. Treated us all right. One mistake leads to a huge fall out between the two - my mother, a recovering druggy, didn't want us or her around that and although she loved him dearly, she kicked him out. Years later, she's married again to who she believes to be 'Mr. Right', but as I lived with her, I could see the life draining from her around him. She was more his slave than his wife. Soon he became as she and it was apparent that their lack of understanding in themselves caused misguided rage and belittlement of my mother to the point where she herself felt like an empty husk.
Although I'd usually never admit to it, it was clear how they raised me had a huge impact on who I'd become and the mindset I'd develop. I'm still trying to undo it. My mother gets a call from this man, her ex. He's laughing but sounds sick. She asks what's wrong and he says, "Liz, I'm dying." My mother laughed, disregarding his words to be nothing more than a dramatization of perhaps just feeling under the weather. When she continued to chat with him for the days to come, she realized he wasn't being over the top. His body, it was shutting down on him. Organ by organ, he was fading and fast.
Whilst on the phone with her, his current lover came in after fetching him coffee - this man who can't walk. Upon hearing my mother's voice, she didn't ask questions - just tossed the scolding liquids in his face. My mom was furious, listening to him drop the phone and cry out in pain. How someone could be so cruel to someone, a dying person at that is completely beyond me. It was clear very quickly that this woman sincerely didn't care about him.
Before my mother knew it, she was standing at his open casket. She expressed wanting to go up and talk to him, kiss him goodbye but her spouse's words rang in her head telling her that crying made you weak. Mind over matter. I know this to be true because, for years, that'd been drilled into my head as well.
Today, I sat there with my mother at his grave and watched her cry for the first time in years. It was rare and heartbreaking. She curled up by his tombstone and apologized. Wishing she could take the time back and tell him how she felt. It haunts her how she can't talk to him now. I find her listening to his last voicemail to her often and it breaks me a little more inside.
See, this world, it's wrong. You're lead to believe that loving makes you weak. It makes you vulnerable. You're even called crazy because it's hard to let them go. If you could just get the upper hand, you'd never get hurt. No one could have that power over you and you'd be safe.
But is that what you want? Do you want to live a safe life? You want to live in between the lines, following the traffic or do you want to veer off and discover the road less traveled. Sure, it's a dirt road and sure, maybe you'll need to take is slower but I've found that those kinds of roads have the best scenery. I caught deep feelings myself, months ago for the most unlikely of people. I let the fear of striking out cost me the game, in a manner of speaking. Among... other things, but I walked away. However, sitting here today with my mother makes me question so much.
Obviously, the feelings are lurking for some unbeknownst reason to me and although I know there's no going back, I wonder if this isn't one of those forks in the roads. Maybe not with him. But in situations like this, am I expected to just... give up? Or should I do what my mother never did and fight for it? Am I going to lead a life where I'm afraid to get hurt or am I going to hold onto the things I find to be irreplaceable, important? That begs the question in itself though. When do you know it's time to give up and let go? My mother, she told him she didn't love him anymore. She lied. What is the truth anymore, even?