Tonight I cried about it.
It’s taken me this long, but it hit me full force and from out of the blue. The realization that in a couple of weeks you may very well be told that you are dying or very ill and need an operation is not exactly a picnic. It really took me by surprise because I was holding back everything so well, so sooner or later, I guess the damn had to burst. I wasn’t expecting the raw emotion that came out of me, this absolute profound sense of sadness that made be think of everyone I knew who passed away, flashed by in a moment. Ironically on a day where love is celebrated, my loving aunt passed away 11 years ago. Somehow I think she was here with me; I could feel another presence. I usually know who they are too…sometimes, it sucks being gifted that way and other times it’s a blessing. And now I can almost understand the title of this post better as it’s the title of an album from one of my favorite musicians’ (Robert Fripp) pieces of his extensive body of work. I always thought the title was beautiful for some reason, and now it just made sense.
Sometimes we need our tears to give us the relief and release of the unedited emotion that’s been in check inside of us for so long. I’m more emotional than most guys; I always have been. I’m usually the guy who’s yelling at a ballgame or when I get a good laugh going, I’ll crack up a room just from that. There are other things I keep buried deep down, and it’s these things that sometimes come out as extreme anger. That’s the nature of being bi-polar as well as a recovering alcoholic. And for a guy with PTSD, I’m handling all of this remarkably well. Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I think I am. I always thought that had this happened to me, I’d handle it exactly the way I did tonight…with pure unmitigated sorrow. I wasn’t angry. I had no bitterness. I was almost bargaining with the Universe that if there is a chance for a second half of my life…a second chance to do something, I swear I’m going to make it count. I was put on this Earth to do something meaningful. I was not put here to die at a very young age (although my kids consider me “old” at 50. Bushitt…50 ain’t old, and I have no intention of going anywhere. Except to Paris. I’ve never been there, or Moscow in June. I’d even love to spend New Years Eve there, because that is the highlight of the Russian Holiday Season. I’d love to go on a vacation to Disney (either one, although my best friend lives in San Diego and my wife has family there and in LA) with the kids…before they get to be beyond being kids. I’m not going anywhere except to both my daughters’ graduations and weddings, and I plan on being there when my first grandchild is born.
Things suddenly were put into focus: don’t procrastinate. Get this done with. Find out what the hell is wrong. Subconsciously, I must be delaying things because I’m not making time for blood work (I’m only a day or two behind schedule there; a needed test set me back a day) for this last of three tests that is the scariest and the most risky. There’s a shot my lung could collapse when they take a sample they need, but I’m going to will my body into making sure that does not happen. I’m scared…who the hell wouldn’t be with a potential cancer diagnosis? What’s more I’m even angrier at myself because try as I might I still can’t quit these damned cigarettes, e-cigarettes are not helping as I’m falling back on the real thing that got me in trouble in the first place. That and 9/11 (and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise; 50 year old men despite having smoked for 35 years do not die of lung cancer at a relatively young age of 50. I won’t go into my rage about that one, because that would produce the opposite of why I started writing this in the first place).
It was a cleansing of the soul. I needed that cry alone, and yet I felt a spiritual arm around me hugging me. What the worst part about all of this is has become my thoughts on my children. What becomes of them. Of course they’ll have their mother and other family to take care of them. God only knows how much I love those two girls. I see home videos when they were younger and there were my two little girls, the ones you always keep in the back of your mind as a favorite picture; one that you always carry no matter how old they get. I often wondered why my Dad had a picture of me from 5th grade in his office as I lumbered in there with long hair, beard, and ripped jeans back in my college days. I asked him once why he never took that down and updated it. He told me something along the lines of “I always liked that picture of you, and you weren’t such a fool back then. Besides, you’ll understand when you have kids”. Well Dad, I do. It took 30 years, but I do.
And tonight my soul was cleansed by a blessing of tears.
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.” – Charles Dickens, “Great Expectations”