Of all things I know, I know for sure that life is an eventual and an inevitable process. Life happens. Things begin and also, things end at a time when we least expect them to. Life is always changing. This happens every day, even when we don’t want it to. Life is unavoidable. Trust me on this because sometimes we learn this lesson the hard way.
There are things we know will happen. As parents, we know our children will eventually grow and move and create their own life. There are times when we know that we have to say goodbye; however, when the time comes, we just don’t have the words to say.
There are times when we need to clear the air. There are times when the heart needs to be delivered, but yet, there is something within us that prevents the words from being said properly. And life, well, life just keeps moving. The window of opportunity to tell someone, “I love you,” or, “I’m sorry” can vanish in the blink of an eye. And then one day, the opportunity to speak or deliver a message is gone. Either that, or essentially, the sentiment you give may still have an address, but the message comes back, “Return to sender.”
I am a writer. At least, I hope I am. There are times when I cannot say my words very well. Therefore, I write them with impact. I write them to relay my heart in ways that I feel the spoken word will fall short.
I am a man, broken at times and yet stronger just the same. I have faults. I have defects. I have characteristics that have held me back in my life and damaged relationships. I admit this openly without shame because I would rather be humble now, here, with you. I would rather be humble here because out of all the places I know, this place between us needs to be kept clear. If anywhere, this should be where I lay it all out and be me, without decoration, and without the need to hide behind excuses. This does not work if I am not honest here, — so then let me begin here by saying this honestly with all of my heart. I love you.
I once wrote to you, explaining the meaning of the words humility and modesty. Humility is simply being honest. And modesty is just the absence of pride. Therefore, let me write plainly. Let me be humble, and modest. If I am to reach you then let me reach you like this, as me, not as anyone else, and with my heart in my hand, let me say again, I love you.
There are times when words escape our mouths. And we say things we wish we never said. There are times when incidents and accidents grow out of control. There are times when arguments become more about being right than being fair. And we yell to be heard. We yell to prove our point. We shout and scream to prove that we are valid.
But then what?
After the argument comes the rubble. After the words we used comes the aftermath, otherwise known as collateral damage, which is why it is true to say there are no winners in a fight. The fact that I fought means that I lacked the ability and the finesse to express myself properly without allowing insecurity to get in the way.
There are times when we say things —and we could apologize a thousand times, and still, the damage is done.
There are times we can look back and give an honest assessment as to why we behaved as we did. We can wholeheartedly admit to our wrongs, owning them, without blaming anyone else, and the outcome is still the same: unchangeable. There are times when arguments happen, and suddenly, this is the last straw we wished we never used to break the camel’s back.
I have learned that age does not make someone right or wrong. Age does not make someone mature or aware. Life happens at any age. And sometimes life has the ability to blind us. Sometimes we forget about humility and modesty.
Sometimes we are just shouting to be heard, but to what avail? Sometimes we try so hard to prove our point and validate our position that we forget that time is limited. The window of opportunity to enjoy the moment is gone. And it’s gone forever. Then we turn around one day and come to realize, we wasted so much effort on being “Valid” that we forgot to have fun.
I am thinking now about a time in a playground. You were little then. We were running to a little make-believe school bus, running away from an imaginary bear, and then when we climbed upon the little pretend bus on the playground, and we said, “The bear can’t get me up here.” I remember this. It was late June, 2006. I had a diaper bag with me. I had some snacks. God, I was so afraid of so many things which I allowed to intercept me from the moment.
I wish I didn’t. I wish I wasn’t afraid. I wish I knew I already had the job and that I didn’t need to prove myself to anyone (Except me).
It is amazing how fast time moves. I mean, if we think about it; I know there are times when the clock feels like it drags on purpose. It seems like the day will never end. But it does end. Time moves pretty fast. Sometimes, it is hard to keep up. And sometimes, we look back at the last few years and realize what was missing. I realize what is missing.
I see life as an ongoing project, in which, sometimes, we have to backtrack and look back at where we were. I see where I was. I see why I thought as I did and where I wished I had spoken differently. I see there were times when I was guilty of things I accused others of doing. I had to learn to stop this. I had to learned that it is better to be humble, modest and happy than it is to be right or validated.
I learned above all that our children are only loaned to us for a short time. Eventually, they leave the nest and move on with their life. Everyone knows this. It is eventual and inevitable. Yet, no one is prepared for it. I guess I’m just saying I wish I could be back at that playground, running around and climbing up on top of a little make-believe bus while running away from a make-believe bear and saying, “The bear can’t get me up here.”
By the way, I thought about the show Bear and the Big Blue house. We used to watch this together. I remember. I hope you do too.
Hope to see you soon (I know . . .)
Wonderfully said with humility and honesty.