Monday, October 15, 2012

Oh The Guilt...

OK. I'm not 100% sure about putting this out into the web of trolls and daemons but I need to find an outlet for these feelings and I have yet to get a shrink.

My father recently had glaucoma surgery after it was revealed that he needed to do this before getting cataract surgery.  So, we set it up for him to get his surgery performed while my brother was here.  He went through a week of recovery with my brother present and a week without us while we tried to get him some help from a home care professional group.  little did we know that trying to get people to act quickly to help him out would be impossible (I predict a blog rant on health care in the near future).  So, as a result of the lack of consistent care for his eye and Dad fawking with it, he erase all of the progress in that eye and is on the verge of being blind.

Great.

The basic feeling I am harboring right now is guilt.  I feel guilty that my Dad is in this state and my inaction to directly be involved in his life contributed to it.  There's guilt that he's in pain.  I feel guilty that I can't bring myself to tell him this now to his face and like a coward instead am writing it on my cot damn blog.  I feel guilty that my Mom had to support my Dad all be herself and that as a result it killed her spirit to live for herself.  I feel guilty that all alternatives that we have to give my Dad care are all pretty much bad choices and I am going to help make decisions on his behalf that are probably in his best interest but in the end are against his will.  I also feel guilty that my Wifey has had to hold down the fort for almost two weeks straight with the kiddos.  Oh...and my best friend pulled a lot of strings to try to connect this week and now I have renege on the plans to care for my father (he's cool with it and understands but it still sucks).

Logically, I know that I am only responsible for myself; Dad played a 98% part in ending up in this situation.  He fought tooth and nail to allow people to help him and be an actual part of his life.  My step brothers and sisters don't talk to him anymore, he pushed away his immediate family for a long time, and now that he's really in trouble, he all of a sudden is going along with our decisions.  Even knowing what part he played in all of this, I can't help feeling this way.

So, I am going to take it one hour at a time and focus on good things that have resulted thus far.  At least I have:
  • helped put into motion the actions to try to give my Dad a better quality of life.
  • teamed up with my brother and in-laws on this.
  • utilized the time to reconnect with my feelings even if I don't like them right now.  I feel like I am confronting my deepest issues right now.  I have been more honest about how I am feeling with people lately and that is a good thing even if some may construe it me whining/complaining/being week.
  • been writing A LOT more.  I'm on a crazy writer's trip.
As a friend of mine said, "Nelson is the bomb."  Yep. I'm the bomb.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I've Got Friends In Low Places...

At risk of dashing some people's well-formed and outstanding perception of me, I have to leave out a few details from this story, but feel free to hit me up on the street to get the missing details :) .  What's important in this blog is the message and not the details surrounding how the message was arrived to.

I decided to go out and visit the nightlife of major Midwestern town outside of Chicago.  I took a long a new found buddy of mine Pete for the ride as we both didn't really have a whole lot to do in the evenings after all-day meetings at work other than eat, drink, and sleep.  We decided to go hit up a local establishment we had read about online that promised to be both entertaining and engaging in different ways.  After a quick bite to eat at a sports bar (where I missed out on a chance for live band karaoke - here known as "bandiokie"), we headed on over.

Eventually through the night's festivities, we ended up talking with a girl and a group of her friends sitting near us.  After busting out a freestyle rap about them as an ice breaker, we hung out with them for about two hours telling jokes, sharing stories, and having pleasant conversation. Then shite got real.  I gave her a hypothetical question:

"It's your day off.  Some one hands you $10,000.  What do you do with it?"

She thought about it for a bit and said, "Well, I'd go get a massage.  I don't know.  Then like, go get my nails done.  Do I need to spend it all in one day?"

"It's up to you," I responded.  She was very uneasy with the fact she couldn't really answer the question.  So, of course, she turned the question back on me.  "What you do with $10,000?"

"Well," I started out, "I would wake up and thank the person giving me the money.  Well, I guess I'd already be awake at this point so I would just thank that person.  Then I'd get dressed," I said to break up the tension a little bit.

"Then, I'd call my man Pete here, go to Guitar Center, get some instruments, some recording equipment, set it up in my basement, then jam out and record a $10,000 record."

The second I said this, her entire demeanor changed from a subdued state to complete animation. "YES!  YES!," she said.  "That's what I would do!  I would totally - you don't know how much I've wanted to be a singer."

"Can you sing?" I asked her.

She smiled and said, "Yes, totally."

"Then why aren't you pursuing it?" I asked.  By this time, her friends had bailed so Pete and I had her undivided attention. "If you know you're a singer, go out and sing!"

"Well, I haven't found people yet to do it with," she said in a defeated tone of voice.

"So?  You no longer need a 'band' to be able to perform.  You can sing in the shower, on the train, in a car, a corner - you can sing in the middle of a Starbucks.  Just ask Pete!"

"Yeah," Pete responded pointing at me. "We were at Starbucks earlier and he was singing all kinds of crazy stuff."

"Well, I've got to get my head together first.  I've been trying to straighten out my life for the last three years,"  she said trailing off

Right as she was about to say something else like "Oh, I can't do that!" or "That's not me", I spoke up in a very confident voice and said, "Look.  You can accomplish anything you truly want to.  You are your own worst enemy (Ed. - ironically enough, I had chosen "My Own Worst Enemy" by Lit to sing at bandiokie but ran out of time).  Stop blocking yourself from achieving something that makes you happy.  This is what I want you to do."

I took out a piece of paper and folded it in half length-wise then opened it back up.

"Fold a piece of paper, a napkin, a manual - any piece of paper like this.  On the left side of this paper, title it 'Things I Will Do'.  On this side, you will jot down things that you are most definitely going to do no matter what.  Nobody will be able to stop you from doing it.  You could get shot right now and you'd still find a way to get it done.  Nobody will stand in your way.  Then on the right side, title it 'Things the Universe Will Do'.  List here the things that you want to happen; from getting a large amount of money to traveling to becoming famous - write it all here.  These are the things you're going to allow the Universe to align itself to provide you without any direct effort from you.  Don't worry about this side.  Just trust it will happen eventually."

This girl's entire demeanor totally changed after giving her this advice.  it was like her opening up a present on Christmas morning because she just lit up like the Christmas tree.  She looked at us as if she were on the verge of crying and said, "I...I totally needed this...something...to show me that I can do this...because I can do this...I just really needed a sign to let me know..."

With that statement, it was like *BAM* we're all connected here.  Her smiles seemed empty all night but now they were totally full of life and vigor.  She definitely put on a show for everyone but we cut right through that quickly.

Before we left, she was so overwhelmed with joy that she gave us a nice hug and was like, "I'm going to do this.  I'm going to this!"  Pete and I walked all of the way back to the hotel talking about what we just experienced.  We all left feeling like we were all in a better place.