- Growing Up Bronx
I don’t know what is wrong with me. I feel as if I am sinking, drowning, and the only way to breathe is to cry and sob. The thoughts that enter my mind, I cannot entertain them. They are self destructive, dark, inconceivable thoughts. I cannot allow myself to slip into a dark abyss, the place I fought so hard to escape all those years ago. I fight, and I fight hard, but I’m just so sad and broken, I’m just so tired. It’s ironic, I’m not working now, so I have all this time, but I’m just so exhausted and tired.
There is so much happening in our society now, so much discord, so much hatred. The outside world reflects how I feel inside. I’m torn, broken, hurting, angry, and confused. At times I sit and I think, I don’t have a dad anymore. My old man is gone. I begin to sob uncontrollably, like a baby. At times like that I am happy to be alone, that I can sob without having to be “a man.” My dad and I had distanced out, and I knew that one day he’d be gone. I knew this, but I didn’t think it would hit me like this. After so many years with only casual encounters, I thought I’d handle this much better. But I’m not.
All that keeps playing out in my head is the last time I saw him. Him struggling to breathe while talking to me, trying to be light humored. He was so weak, so old looking, in so much pain. My dad was a man’s man, and even then he never showed me weakness. He acknowledge that he was tired, but he treated it as it’s just a matter of fact, and my logical brain did the same thing. Even towards the end of his days, he was talking about this van he wanted. My dad loved vans, they could be used for work, and in a pinch, you’d always have a place to sleep. That’s the way my dad thought. I know my dad lived a long life, my mind is aware of this. Even so, it hurts me so much.
I try to use the power of perspective, I think of a father that has to bury their child because of cancer. I ask myself who am I to feel pity for myself when there are mothers out there burying their babies because a stray bullet hurt them. I call on their strength and resolve to be my strength.
When I start to ask myself “what if,” or “you could have done more,” I fight it, I don’t allow myself to get pulled into the spiral of regret. Things were the way they were and their is nothing I can do about it now. All I can do is cry, and then cry some more. I loved my dad, and no matter what happened between us, the distance, I always took care of him, and I always loved him. I miss him terribly, those few days I spent with him, talking to him and hearing his stories, I’m glad I did, but it also makes me see that we could have had so much more together. That breaks my soul.
I’m sad, I’m very sad. I’m strong, I’m fighting, but I’m just so damn sad.
Growing Up Bronx