These seem to be mere words on a page, but they are something much deeper. They are rare glimpses into my life, my heart. This is where you will find the real me in all my vulnerability—nestled in the raw, unspoken truths of my soul. And I have no explanation for why I lay it bare for you to see, except that I can’t help it. I can’t help but reveal all the words hiding in the silence of my eyes; lest, I lose them in the sea of yours.
It’s not so much that I found words, as they found me. I learned as a child not to draw attention to myself. Everything was safer that way, but it also meant that I became a silent observer of my life, sometimes of life in general. And though I rarely spilled my words, I could taste them like sparks dancing on my tongue. I’d lose myself in books, reveling in the words of others while too afraid to speak my own. The thing about words is that you can’t undo them, and that’s utterly terrifying. But there’s freedom in the release—in the fact that you can breathe life into your thoughts with ink. And whether others love your words or hate them, they are your own to lay bare. It is a cleansing of sorts. It heals.
My godson would have been 33 today. We lost him 4 years ago to an overdose. I was 14 when my uncle and aunt brought him home from the hospital, and he was perfect. He was such a gentle, loving soul and an incredibly talented artist. But like the rest of our family, he wrestled with his demons. Some of us continue the battle; too many others have lost. My head knows the logic of it, but my heart will never understand. I sit here watching the rain, thinking of all the should’ve beens. Grief is hard. I love and miss him so. ❤️
I’m an introvert by nature. And I’ve grown more introspective with age. I think we all do to some degree. I’ve come much further in this life than I ever expected—yet there’s still so much I’ve left to do, to experience, to relish. My regrets, while few, are deep—but there’s no such thing as do-overs in life, right? Only second chances. And by grace, I have been blessed with many. I think I just might get some things right before it’s my time. Maybe redeem myself for the mistakes I’ve made along the way. One thing I know for certain is that I’ll always strive to be better than I was yesterday. Even just a little.
I don’t know
what tugs at
my heart more—
the truth in
your words or
To say I would
would be a lie—
I will always
but I would not
be this me—
the one who
Vulnerable doesn’t look good on me; it never has. I write to make sense of my emotions. I write to heal. While my words come from a place of love, sometimes they’re coupled with frustration, fear, pain. The process isn’t always pretty. I am tired of this weight I carry. But there’s never any rest for the weary, is there? So, I resume my place as the memory keeper—the strong, silent observer who picks up the pieces, fastens them back as well as I can, and holds it all together.
When you grow up in a family of multiple addicts with multiple addictions, you spend your entire life waiting for the call. Because you know it will come; it always comes. It is heart wrenching to watch someone you love self-destruct before your eyes. No matter how much you love them or support them or help them, you can’t change them. You can’t make the choice for them. And until they hit rock bottom, they will continue to take the bottle or the hit or the pills over their family, over their children, over themselves. And you constantly grapple with helping in fear that you are in fact enabling, when all you want is for them to heal their demons instead of succumb to them. So, you love them in the best ways that you can and pray they will find their way out of the abyss. Because each time the call comes, you die a little inside and hope it turns out to be a wake-up call instead.
This is my grandfather with his firstborn circa 1947. He graduated from medical school in 1954 after serving as a Navy medic in WWII. My grandfather was the only father I ever knew, and his presence far surpassed my father’s absence. He loved me without exception and pushed me to exceed my potential. He was absolutely the most influential person in my life. He passed suddenly when I was 21, and I don’t think I will ever get over losing him. He was my rock and my greatest cheerleader. I keep a box of treasured mementos at the top of my closet—his tennis shoes, his stethoscope, his favorite classical CD’s, and a letter I wrote to him on his last Father’s Day on Earth. It was found well-worn in the pocket of his lab coat. I believe there is a blessing that emerges from every tragedy. He was mine. ❤️