When I was a young kid, I worked as a helper in The Old Man’s shop.
I was only a kid at the time. My intentions were elsewhere and my mind was on other things. I had no idea what it meant to work for a living or have a family depend on me.
I was too young to understand and too young to know what it means to endure or why people do it.
What is endurance anyway?
We were a few miles out of Jones Inlet with the sun behind us and the open sea ahead. The hour was closing in on sunset and the horizon took on the shades of orange and purple. There were slight traces of pastel color outlining the clouds and bordering color between Heaven and Earth.
I believe in all fairness, I should follow up with my previous thought about my Mother and tell you a little more about my Father.
Before I begin, those that have followed along and those who’ve know be from before and know me up until now will also know that each time I refer to my Father, I refer to him as The Old Man.
Before going forward, I think it would be best for me to explain where I learned what it means to be a strong woman.
Of course, as a man, my ability to understand what it means to be a woman is extremely limited. However, I can say that I was raised with strong role models. Above all, Mom was the strongest.
Make no mistake, life can change in the blink of an eye and just like that, everything is different. As a young man, I swore The Old Man would always be around. I never expected him to pass or my family’s business to go under.
I never saw my Father’s death coming. I never saw the bankruptcy of his business coming or the theft of all my family’s worth coming.
If you had asked me, I would have sworn this would have been my future. Only, my future was changed two weeks before Christmas in 1989 when The Old Man had his first heart attack.
Hold on to your own enthusiasm folks because rest assured, not everyone shares the same thing and not everyone is interested.
There are all types of different people out there.
Believe me on this one.
Be advised, life comes with options. Even when the options are not what we like or even if the options we have are unfortunate or painful; there will always be options.
Be advised, we do have the right to choose who we spend our time with. We have the right to choose who we share ourselves with and how much we give.
There is no rule which states we have to give it all, especially when we all we feel is that we give and we give, but nothing is ever returned.
As parents or loved ones or even as good friends, we try to find the right words to say when life turns bad for someone we love. However, before going forward, I will take into account my own times of hopelessness, in which, any word was too hard for me to hear. Some words, in fact, were more like an insult instead of encouraging.
When I was young, I swore I would never grow old.
I made a promise to myself that I would never be like them.
I said this with an emphasis on the word, “Them:” to define my contempt.
I never wanted to grow old or forget myself.
I never wanted to be lost in the land of status whores
Or lost to my own contempt or lost to my resentment as a result of my insecurity. I swore, I wanted to be strong, if not stronger.
A note for the kid:
I wrote this a while ago. But the shoe still fits, so . . .
I was around 14 or 15 years-old when a tall, heavy-set teacher, shoved me into the back corner of an empty classroom.
He was out of line but then again, so was I.
Grinding his teeth he said, “Do you wanna know what I’d like to do to you?”
Then he leaned even closer. “I’d kick the living shit out of you right now if I could.”