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A Man’s Resolve

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

The past several months, perhaps fifteen, “Oh my '', he thinks as he shakes his head and fingers awake before he begins typing, and realizes it’s been more than a year of suffering and this thought suffocates him. The time of it all that is, and he contemplates how it has been like a dull headache in the temple, next to the right eye, that just wouldn’t go away. However, time is not meant to go away, it just marches along no matter the weather.

There were the moments where he thought about his mother and became a witness to her pain and failing back and posture, yet, he watched with a pupil’s eye because she was teaching him his final lesson. He sometimes sits with pictures, from just two or three years prior and can see what the monster has done to her. For those that have had or been a witness of cancer, they know of such monsters. They wreak havoc and are the worst of villains. He lives this with her, beside her, and walks every step, but deep down he knows that is a lie. It’s just a flashy way to convince himself, and maybe others, that he walks with her on her journey. However, when such pain comes to one’s body, it becomes your own luggage to carry. He knows he can open the door for her and offer a courteous hand, but the baggage is for her to carry. We fool ourselves into trying to feel better when we think we can help carry the weight of pain. The burden of death is an isolated experience and one that is a solo journey.

He trips over his tongue as he sees his wife enter the door. His mind has been spinning out of control and he feels like he’s been away, on some accidental pilgrimage, for so long, yet he has been there beside her the entire time. The problem was that his individual turmoil and ego had drifted in the way, and though he tried to be a good husband, he resented himself. When one has such a feeling of being exhausted with himself, it is hard to be fully present for the others in his life.

And to use the word “tried” in the same sentence as being a good husband, has never been an issue. It’s what he has reflected on the most, that for over a year he had to focus on trying to be present for her. It was because his life had taken over. His novels and self-promoting, a gross sight to behold, the selfishness of it all, thinking that he is something he’s not, and promoting oneself is something that he never wanted to do but somehow it became necessary in order to get his words in the hands of readers. He put himself on display, with good intention and wanting to help others, but he is not a billboard for advertising.

Then, there was his pain, the grueling pain that absorbed his body and mind and all of his energy had been placed into trying to cope with this horror that had visited his body. The jumping of jobs, never settling, not tolerating bullshit, something that others admire about him, and he once admired about himself. Yet, the bullshit was, and has been, his burden all along because the toxic people and environments that he smugly ran away from, are still going strong. His departure had no impact on them because people forget about you when you are out of sight or have nothing to offer them, and he realized that all of the times when he threw in the towel, his own self-righteous bullshit, has only been detrimental to him. If he would have just breathed a little deeper, calmer,with more patience, and waited, the test of tolerance would have been passed. This too, took him away from her because while he was digging himself out of ditches that he created, she had to pick up a shovel as well. He despises himself for the labor he put her through. And upon reflection, he realized once again, his attempt to get away from the people who vomit negativity has never been possible. There is no place that has all blooming flowers. Many flowers wilt and will continue to do so and will want others to dry out with them.

Then, the final dreary storm that took him away from her, the crushing blow month after month, stealing a year of his life, was his own mind. That reckless thing he could not escape. He had to come to terms with himself and what was really happening. He has sat across from himself before and came to this realization, but he had a better lens to see himself through this time around. His illness, depression and anxiety, tapped on his shoulder and then stuck their steel cold hands through his chest breaking open the ribcage and smashing his heart. They came for his soul. They tried to take him away from her on two occasions. One with a rope around the neck, ready to suffocate him, and the other in an exhaust filled garage. The devil wanted him, but he fought hard and showed the devil that he was no match for love. So, when he climbed out of the darkness, he realized that she was standing there, waiting, watching closely, and opened her arms again to him. She welcomed her husband back and he realized that he did not have to try anymore. His entire reason and purpose for walking this earth was right there in front of him. He just hopes that she will keep fighting this fight with him and never become tired of his love, exhausted and drained by it, because as part of his reflection, he understands that he is doing all that he can to battle his demons. He will never stop being a warrior for her.

Still, the scratch from a dirty fingernail that protrudes from the hand of depression and anxiety comes for him every so often. It’s that devil again trying to convince him that doom will visit and take away his smile. It sometimes feels like a set of strong hands are gripping his throat and silencing his voice and stealing his breath. It can be heartbreaking, knowing that this war will be never ending, but he stands with strong legs and arms knowing that he can continue to win the battles. He realizes that he is a poet warrior and the devil that is inside him does not quite realize his resolve or that he fights him with words and conviction. He is strong, stronger than anyone could ever imagine, because that is what love will do to you. It will give you strength. The strength to live a beautiful life with all its pain and sadness. He remembers what Pablo Neruda said, “Your own happiness can grow bitter if you kiss it every day…” Perhaps to live a good life, we must accept that we will only “kiss” happiness a few days per week and meditate through the other days with a strong will to survive and be fully present in pain and glory.

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