I was driving one day through a beautiful woody area in the Santa Cruz mountains. It was cool, shaded and you can smell the salt in the ocean air. For much of the ride I felt like the road was mine. The turns, dips and curves came at me, but like second nature I didn’t even have to think but just reacted. I didn’t have any music going but allowed the sounds of the trees to be my guide. I had no idea what was coming but trusted I would be ok. A fork was approaching and I began to panic! The unknown and confusion of what was unseen took my mind off of the beauty and guidance that has gotten me this far. I couldn’t take my foot off the gas because fear was now in control. A tight grip on the wheel, cold sweat running down my cheeks was now merging with the tears that had begun to fall. I could see moments of my life that had become pilars of strength, but the future was empty. The fork in the road was upon me and I decided to close my eyes, well I don’t think it was a choice but a reflex. There is no way to change what is coming. I can not feel my legs anymore, it is getting colder and colder by the second. The sounds of the wind rustling through the leaves are bringing such a clam to me. I feel like I need a nap. I just want to close my eyes for a minute. I have been driving all morning. I can feel the cold dripping down my cheeks. I don’t know why I was so afraid, but now I don’t have to worry. I gave up on life instead of making a choice. I can’t hear the beauty around me anymore, but I can see where the road meets the hills before me. A faded view of nature is passing and like driving through a tunnel it is moving away like I can see it in my rear view mirror. The rhythm in my chest has long gone and with a wink a say good night and good bye.
There is often times my eyes do not see
No matter how bright the light ahead may be
Holding my hand will only lead the way
It is my heart that must change and make the choice to stay
Telling me how and never letting me learn
I have come to a dark place now I burn
You can not baby or cottle no matter how bad you may feel
A bump a bruise will only teach rather then kill
Make a choice to let go and fly away to the sea
There is ofter times my eyes do not see
Sticks and stones
May break my bones
But names will never hurt me…
This is one of the biggest loads of crap you can fill your child up with. Words can damage you far more then what any doctor can possibly fix. Some are short term, but then a few will carry on your whole life and torment you when you think about them. I know bringing up the bible can push some away but in proverbs 18:21 it says the tongue has the power of life and death. What we speak can affect others in a positive or negative way. As a parent this is sad to think about because looking back I know I was not perfect but some of the things I said still kill me inside. I grew up with my dad because my parents divorced at an early age and I decided to go with him. It was my dad, older brother and myself living where ever we could because I had an alcoholic father that found it hard to find a steady job. It was never an easy time growing up when I think about it but my dad always did what he could to keep us taken care of with shelter and food. Even when it was an actual shelter like our runs at Agnews hospital because we were homeless. I remember being dropped off in the mornings at my moms to get ready to go to school because we had to be out of the hospital first thing in the morning and had to be back by night time or we couldn’t get in. Well look at those times I can see how hard we had it and how much my dad really tried. Well back to the storyline sometime within my high school years we were living in another motel in a bad part of the downtown area but I was used to it. It was a single room for me and my dad because my brother had moved on a longtime ago and had begun his life and family. Well I would get ready and leave for most of the day to hang with friends and go to school. I was always trying to get out and stay away so I found girls to hang with and get close too. I was seeing this one girl and spent a lot of time with her but I was always embarrassed to bring her to see where I lived. I was getting ready one day and it was nothing special but my dad looked at me asking where I was going and I told him I was going to see a girl I was dating and he was a bit drunk and said yeah right you don’t have a girlfriend. It shot right through me like really my own father believes I can not get a girl? I again ignored his words and questions and he said well why haven’t I ever seen this so called girlfriend and I said yeah why would I want to bring her here it’s embarrassing. His face went blank, I had just touched a nerve that I had never seen before. He was hurt by my statement and then turned it into anger slamming stuff and yelling how I was embarrassed of my dad and what he was providing. I just left making it easier for both of us and by the time of my return he was already passed out never to bring it up again. Those words had done something inside of my dad because he did all he could to provide and I had shot him down and that was his manhood. I never apologized for those words and until this day it still hurts to think of the pain I caused him. A cut could have been healed but my words scarred him more then I ever knew. I love you dad, rest in peace.
Thinking about my day and what my teenage boys are up to sends me back to a time when I was a care free teen. I have to think back a ways to find the time when I had my first taste of so called freedom. Freedom being no parent to worry about or looking over my shoulder asking me what I was doing. Growing up with my parents separated gave me the opportunity to roam free at an early age. Dad was doing his best to support me and keep a roof over our heads but that story will come at another time. At 12 I had some how became friends with a group of guys that were more in the 17 to 19 age bracket. I started smoking and drinking and experimenting with other drugs that I really do not understand why people enjoy them. These guys were my friends and I enjoyed being able to do things I couldn’t have done on my own because these guys were older. The brothers were 19 and 17 and lived two house from the railroad tracks. There parents were the only couple still married out of all our parents and seemed to be pretty well off. The oldest a wanna be rapper and his brother who was just crazy. That’s all I can say about him is that he was crazy. Then there was the kid from New Jersey with dirty blonde kinky hair whose dad was an under water welder and they bought the house on the corner. The dad was a single parent of two boys and a girl and wanted to start of fresh for his kids and came here. Little did he know what they would get into. Then there was the grandmas boy who lived above the pharmacy with his grandmother and looked a lot older then anyone but was 19 himself. This was the group of guys I hung out with daily and became really close with. From 6th grade to freshman year these were my boys and I learned what kind of friends I really wanted based on these relationships. I lived in a shared housing situation with my dad. They took these old Victorian homes and made each room into a rental and we shared the bathrooms and kitchen with 10 to 12 other people. Privacy was not an option when you lived like this so a lot of the time I wanted to be out. I left with the sunrise and got back in time for bed. During this time I was more of a cigarette smoker and drinker then anything else, but the guys smoked a lot of weed, cocaine was a weekend luxury and pcp was a drug of choice if they had a choice. If you have never experienced this drug please do not start now. Having your friends girlfriend start screaming because foam has started coming out of his mouth is something I will never forget. I was probably 13 now and we were partying at a friend of a friends house right across from mine and feeling like everything was perfect. For some reason I believed this is what life was all about. Growing up with this as part of your life made it seem even that much more normal. The oldest of the group there was in their early 20’s and had a baby asleep in the room. It was a little apartment with a connected kitchen and dining area. A small bedroom where the baby was and a little bathroom with a shower and tub combo. Reminds me of a cheap motel by the freeway when I think about it now, but this was a place to party with no worries. We filled the place with music, random mixtures of smoke and plenty of alcohol and laughter. I had some random girl sitting on my lap because there was no more room to sit, but you know I didn’t care. A hand on her thigh as I drank whatever I had in a cup and a couple friends started pouring some white stuff on the coffee table. Rolling up dollar bills and chopping it up with a drivers license or ID card they were about to do some lines and started telling me to try it. At this time I had only smoked weed and that was as strong as I got, but with a girl on my lap and a drink in my hand I felt like what the heck… It can not be that bad. You look back to instances in life and just say why but why is not my question. I really wonder how I never became addicted to all these things I had done in my past. Take that half a line up one side and then finishing it off in the next I had no idea what to expect, But I carried on like a big boy. I noticed the oldest brother get up and go in the bathroom which pissed off everyone because it was the only toilet in the place and he was in the for a while to smoke his joint laced with pcp. His girlfriend was very clingy and always right by his side so of course next to the bathroom door there she stood as he smoked away. After 10 minutes I had forgotten about him and was wrapped up with my own feelings being brought on by whatever I had hoovered into my face canal like an idiot. Her scream is what woke me up from my day dream and I got up and went to check on her to see my friend laying in the bathroom. I had never saw a dead body in my life, but if I had it probably would have looked like him. Clammy and pale with white lips and not breathing. Who knew what to do? I was just helping pick him up and his brother yells through h in the shower so we did turning on the cold water and hoping like a dying plant it would revive him. After a minute or so he shook and opened his eyes upset for us wetting him. What the heck? He is still high eyes barely open and slurring his words he begins to claw his way out of the tub and gets up walking with his girlfriend outside. She is yelling crying at him and he pushes away taking off down the stairs which amazes me he made it down and into the street where a car hits him. Again his girl screams and we run out to see the car taking off and he stands up stumbling around but walking thank god. We bring him back into the house where the mood has now changed because of all the excitement and people left so he laid on the couch and fell asleep. You would think after this crazy night and him sleeping it off things would be fine In the morning right. Well it probably would have been just fine if when he woke he didn’t have a broken leg from getting hit by the car but we didn’t know cause he was so high he didn’t feel it. I can say a broken leg isn’t that bad compared to what could have happened that night. I do not know what any of those guys are doing these days but I do hope like myself they found their way after being through so much and seeing things I will never forget.