ITS BEEN A JOURNEY…..
So its December and nearly the end of this year. Since 2017 I’ve had so many ups and downs. So many things have happened good and bad. I really don’t even know where to begin and what to even mention. Since my father passed in August 2017 my life has been one heck of a journey. I couldn’t say I have recovered because I haven’t. Does anyone really?
I learned to cope with losing my father thanks to therapy, my travels and many friends. After he died I felt alone. About as alone as a person could feel. Except I wasn’t. I have lots of family and friends but I’ve always been the kind of person that leans towards friends more so than family. Family is always busy. Well, so are friends but sometimes I think friends understand a little more what I’ve been through. Perhaps it was just my ignorance. I sat back for so long feeling sorry for myself. Then in December 2017 I started doing something that I never imagined……I somehow became more social.
For many years I’ve turned to travel as my escape from life. There’s just something about riding a motorcycle down desolate roads or hopping on a commercial airliner and crossing the ocean. If you know me well enough by now you know that some of my favorite destinations are Germany, France, Switzerland and Iceland. I love traveling all over the world. Japan is amazing. Russia is…..interesting. Greece is full of history as Italy. Of course I can’t forget South America. Brazil is wild and Argentina has some good wine but dangerous roads and areas. Chile was always a splendid place. Fiji, Mexico, Belize, Philippines, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Canada…..need I go on?
I guess I feel blessed to have seen so many places in this world. For the longest time I never felt the urge to share my travels as much as I wanted to because there was always someone with the “oh he’s bragging line.” So many have said they lived vicariously through my travels and I always felt happy to share a photo here and there or a story. It’s been many years since I’ve gone on any long motorcycle trip. My travels have turned to the air. I love planes and airports. Im the guy who would book a flight with a connection to an airport I’ve never been to just to say, “hey I was there.” It’s always nice to let someone else do the flying even when you’re a pilot. Four score and many distant years ago, lol I got my pilots certificate. I flew smaller aircraft like Cessna’s and Cirrus SR22’s. I wanted more though. My friend has an Embraer Phenom 300 and he began training me to fly it. Then I took the course through the manufacturer and here I am now flying THE Embraer Phenom 300 as a single pilot. Small planes to jets. That’s quite a journey right there.
Looking back to August 25th 2017 at one point would be very painful. It still is but I’ve grown stronger over the last few years. On the 24th I remember driving out the the hospital in downtown to spend the day with my father. He had already decided he didn’t want treatment to fix his heart problems. He was just ready to die. We had many conversations alone just father and son. He prepared me for the day. That dreaded day. I can’t say I was really prepared but at least he did what he could to mentally get me ready for the day that he would no longer be here. At this point my life was just as normal as anyone else’s. I didn’t do much. Just spent time with my father. I guess looking back I did what was right. I spent time with my father so that I could have many memories to look back on because in all the travels and fun we had we always forgot to take video and photos together. Probably one of my biggest regrets in life. I will not ever regret though spending all the time with him as I did in the hospital. In fact I wish I had spent more. That last day was like any other. Perhaps he knew his time was coming to an end but he didn’t say anything. To me it was just another day at the hospital with Pop. We had conversations that evening after everyone else left. We said things that needed to be said. Then within moments I witnessed the most intense event of my life. Buzzers and alarms went off and my father’s face was blank. His mouth wide open as he looked straight ahead at me. Only I don’t think he was looking at me. It’s as if he was looking straight through me at something or someone else. The nurses asked me if I wanted them to bring him back. The hardest decision of my life at that point was to say…..no. He didn’t want that. He wanted to go in peace and me having him brought back would only prolong feelings for him and for me. In fact he probably still wouldn’t have survived anyways. For a moment he looked to have come out of that out of body trance. He moved his head and then a quick jolt of his body. The buzzers and alarms again going off. Its all I could hear. The haunting sound of those alarms. It was 11:42pm. I looked at him and he appeared to be looking up in the corner of the room. There was a single tear coming from his right eye but he was gone. I felt it. The buzzers stopped and the heart rate monitors were all flat line. It was over…..
I felt so alone at that moment. It made me think how I felt so fucking worthless because I had no one special in my life to be there beside me to help me. Guide me and comfort me in that moment. The nurse gave me a hug and told me it would be ok. That he was no longer in pain. All I could do was break out in uncontrollable tears. I was mad at him for leaving me but then again I was glad he wasn’t suffering anymore. I knew I had to call my family. So I made the call to my aunt to call my mother. It usually hard to get ahold of her. Thats another story…Then I called my aunt and uncle, my dad’s brother. I’m sure they knew that me calling after midnight meant only one thing. The doctor on duty that night came in to evaluate my father and he checked his vitals. He told me, “yes he is gone.” He called the time of death at 12:07am August 25th. For me though I consider his death August 24th at 11:42pm.
After that night I drove him listening to some peaceful music. I turned on the radio while I was at the light and this song from a choir called Libera came on. The song was Ave Maria. The song started right at the beginning and just 3.5 hours after everything happened I broke out in tears again at that light. It’s like I was meant to hear that song from the beginning. It sounded like a bunch of angels singing. I felt at peace after hearing it while driving home. I got home that night around 4:45am. I sat in my living room with the lights off and shocked. I went to my dad’s room and laid on his bed. Cold sheets and a total feeling of emptiness. I couldn’t say I felt his presence or anything but I just felt alone. I had posted to Facebook and Instagram of his death. There was many condolences to my page and his. As I read every comment I couldn’t help but cry. My best friend and father was now gone. The man who taught me to grow up and respect others and women. The man who sacrificed so much just for me. The man who would always buy me things even when I didn’t ask because as a child he didn’t have much. He grew up dirt poor. I managed to fall asleep and wake up the next morning from phone calls from many family and friends. Texts as well. My phone flooded with condolences only I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I just wanted someone to comfort me. An ex-girlfriend I’ve been friends with was there with me days before at the hospital. She always thought the world of my father and he the same of her. She’s married with kids but I was flattered that she took the time to come see him and be there for me. She was also there for me for a short time during the services. I mean she had to get home to her kids and husband. Still I was thankful for that.
Since that time I’ve struggled with his loss. Only a week after we buried my father my grandmother passed. I felt like everyone I cared about was suddenly leaving. At this point all I could do was yell, “who’s next?” I thought why believe in a God when he’s taking all these people away from me….From us. Only its all part of a plan that we all set in our lives. I’m not religious but I do believe we are here for a purpose and for all of us that doesn’t always mean we live happy healthy lives. My father lived a happy life but he was depressed. My father suffered the same depression I fell to this day. He was alone. My father was a great man who would do anything for anyone. He risked his life for many years as a firefighter. He sang to many for entertainment to brighten their days. You would see him and think man he looks happy but he was all but. He was sad. He was broken down. Just like his son. My father was always told how handsome he was. Many women would mention how attracted they were to him. Like me, my father would attract the wrong women. He spent time with some that seemed to only use him for money or other reasons. He was never happy after his divorce from my mother but he found a way to move on. For many years he resented how things ended up for him because of that split. He found it in his heart though to forgive all those emotions he felt and to forgive my mother for their split. He tried to find happiness just as I had. He never found it. Besides spending time with me and family he was always depressed. That’s why he told me to take his decision to die like a man. He wanted me to deal with his loss and not cry over him.
Months had gone by and I felt I needed to change. I started going to therapy in December 2017. That’s when I made the decision to find something new. This is where Texas Roadhouse comes in. I’ve said this before but my decision to go in there was probably one of the best things I could have done for myself. I broke out of my comfort zone and I met some amazing friends. It took me time to get to know many of them as it took them to know me. I first came across Matt, Katlyn and Mykala. The bartenders. They were so nice and welcoming I just felt so happy and excited to go back again. I always enjoyed the food and now I felt I could really enjoy the company there. I remember going in and ordering a Blue Moon. I ordered a steak and had a few drinks. I talked with Matt and the others. At Roadhouse its part of the atmosphere for the bartenders to ask for your name and to speak to you in such a personal way as to call you by your name rather than hey or sir/ma’am. I got to know them better and after a few visits they remembered my name. I felt comfortable going there and having a few drinks and a meal. I went on a Friday and I saw some of my dad’s friends there. I later would find out they go there often on Friday’s to have a few drinks and relax. Soon after I’d be having conversations with them. Everything was just feeling right.
Over the past year I have been going in to hang out with my friends. I made even more friends as time went on. Amber, Gabe, Jodi, etc. I always felt comfortable going in there and I think I began to feel too comfortable. Here I was on this new journey in my life away from traveling and riding motorcycles. It felt great but over time I began to grow too dependent on these friends. I expected them to always be there for me and I felt my actions were becoming selfish. So I took time away from going in to distance myself from that. I had made many friends but I did things to ruin friendships. Last Christmas I remember many of my friends took me to eat for my birthday. It felt great to have people appreciate me because for so long in my life I never felt appreciated. I felt worthless and used. They took me to Cracker Barrel and we had a great breakfast that Sunday morning. Many of them had to go to work soon but they took time out of their morning for me. That’s just special. Now here we are a year later and some of those people who once took me there don’t talk to me anymore. Again because I became too dependent on them. I never figured I’d lose friends. I let my mouth talk about things I didn’t know much about and in the end I lost friends. It devastated me to the point that I felt I was right back where I was when my father died.
Lots happened during that time that I won’t get into but I did take time away again from going in. I continued therapy more intensely and eventually I found my way back to going to this place I enjoy so much. I don’t go as often anymore so that I don’t feel like a pest and because friendships were lost and not mended. It’s just part of life and something I have to live with. This journey I’ve been on this year and over the last few has been full of regret but also happiness. I am so grateful for all of my Roadie family. The friends I’ve made and even those I’ve lost I still am grateful for and only wish them a life full of happiness.
This journey in my life surely isn’t coming to an end. That won’t happen until I die. Im trying to find peace and happiness with my life currently. It’s still hard to go through life, holidays and everything else alone The same depression my father suffered from I am as well. I always asked the question, “if my father and I are such good, handsome men why are we forever alone?” Therapy of course made me realize that my hatred for myself, my body and my looks was the reason for me. Yet I can’t just settle for less. I have to try and improve myself. Be it my looks, health and my attitude. It’s the only way I will find confidence and happiness in myself and in life again. I’ve watched other men get the woman they desire and don’t even put forth any effort. In fact many of them treat their women like shit. Yet they got them. Here I was trying to be a Prince to every female I dated only to be thrown away. Years ago I realized that I didn’t think I wanted a relationship anymore. I figured I’d just make friends with as many people and women as I could. If I couldn’t date them well I might as well be friends with them women.
Im trying to put forth a new outlook on my life. Im trying to change the game for myself. Through faith, healing, fitness and friendships. I just want to become a better version of myself and that all starts with me. That starts with a new journey in this fucked up life im living. For the start of this new decade in 2020 I want to improve my well being. I want to change how I feel about myself. I want to mend my friendships with people if they’ll accept me, forgive me and give me another chance to be that good friend I once was. This isn’t a time to cry about the past its a time to give respect to the future ahead of me. My father wouldn’t want me to be sitting here crying and feeling sorry for myself. True some feelings will come and go and I’ll have bad days but I have to start loving myself and caring for myself before I can expect others to love and care for me. I’d like to say that one day someone special will come into my life that will bring me lots of joy and happiness. That person or persons doesn’t have to be a intimate partner. They can be just friends. I found many of them. I lost many of them but I hope to bring new happiness to my life. New friendships, new trips…Just new journeys. I’ll still keep traveling the world. I’ll still keep learning the German, French and Russian languages. My heart may be hurt and im still mending the sorrows I feel but one day….one day ill reach that happiness and I’ll then be able to look at myself and say, “you know im not a bad fucking guy after all!”
If you want to change your outlook on life you have to recognize you have a problem. You have to be willing to lay it all on the line and accept change. You have to understand that not everything will go as we wish. We will gain new friends and we will lose some. People will like us and some will despise us. While I can’t change my face which I feel is horrendous I can change my attitude, health and soul. Only then will I begin to see change in myself, my body and my mind.
This journey over the last few years has been rough. I’ve learned to never take for granted people. To never expect more of people than they’re willing to give you. I’ve learned to never turn on people. Never speak of things if you don’t know what’s truly going on. Help others and be kind to those you care about. The people in our lives we care so much for won’t always be there forever. Some are part of the chapters of our live who will come and go. Some are there forever. It’s up to us to be there for each other. Be there for your family and friends. Be the shoulder they need to cry on. Be the one who listens. Be the one who they will look up to when they feel their own lives are falling apart. You both will help each other heal. Spend the rest of your lifetime being happy and making others happy rather than feeling sad and depressed. It takes time but if you believe in yourself you will one day find that your journey will take you right where you want to be….happy and enjoying life. So for 2020 I hope you all have lives full of happiness and love and I hope to find peace and confidence in myself…..
Cheers to you all