Emotional Baggage

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I haven’t been sleeping well. My mind always seems to be “clicking” as my mom calls it. I can’t turn my brain off lately. I haven’t really had dreams either. There’s something deep rooted into my being and I’m not sure what it is. I know I miss my dad to the max right now as his birthday inches closer and as I feel lonelier. It’s so surreal that his birthday is 2 weeks before my own so it can be hard to celebrate. I’m not saying that I haven’t enjoyed myself for my day I just go through my grieving process every year. I just imagine what he would say to me if he was still around. If he would be proud of me for what I’ve accomplished in my life. I also wonder if he would accept my transition. I’ve had this conversation with myself a lot lately. I look in the mirror and I can see him everyday. It’s so hard not to just break down into tears when I think about him because it doesn’t get any easier. I haven’t cried this year as of yet but I can feel it coming. The pain never really leaves at least in my case. My father had HIV/AIDS for the duration of my childhood. My parents had always been honest with me about his status and I appreciate that so much. It is one of the things that has saved my life when it comes to my own life of intimacy because I’m extra paranoid about who I get into the bed with. On my summer days I would go with him to his doctors appointments to be there for him and to learn. I also became affliated with the AIDS Center of Queens County or ACQC to brush up on my knowledge of the disease. We did a lot of peer education and outreach to educate others. I would watch him take so many pills everyday on top of his Ensure diet to try and keep his weight. It got to the point where he couldn’t walk without the use of a walker. I watched the disease slowly take my father away from me. This was heart breaking as my dad was one of the most active people I knew growing up. He took me to many different places. I remember our trip to the Statue of Liberty where we walked up all the steps to the Crown. He also took my mom and I to Disney World/Universal Studios where I had the time of my life. He could be such a big kid at times lol. He was a damn good father even though he had his human flaws. I’ll never forget the day he passed.

It was May 2006 and I was a high school senior riding the wave. My grades were average at best because I felt the need at that time to coast. My mom went with him to the doctor while I went to school. My dad was about to be admitted to the hospital for some reason but he refused to stay. He used to hate staying in hospitals so when they tried to admit him I believe he signed himself out. My mom bought him home where he went to sleep pretty peacefully. He woke up in pain in the nighttime hours as he couldn’t void without the use of a catheter for some reason. I recall taking a cab to the hospital where I saw them stabilize him and saw the smile come across his face. My mom and I stayed with him till the sun came up on May 4th. That night we talked about many things including how much he appreciated us being there for him. My so called half siblings never did a thing to help him out when things went downhill. I remember turning around and looking at him before leaving him that day. That was the last time I saw him alive. I had a final that day in English class which I was excused from with a phone call to the school by my mom. I came home and went to sleep. I woke up a few hours later to my house phone ringing off the hook. I assumed it to be bill collectors so I didn’t answer the phone. I heard my mom scream out when she eventually answered the phone. I went upstairs to hear “He’s gone… Dad’s gone”. I still remember that feeling that went over me after hearing those words. I was in disbelief and didn’t cry until well after his death. I called my then girlfriend at the time to come after the test so we could talk about his passing in person. I know she took it rough. She was very close to my father. We then went up to the hospital to see him. I didn’t know how to feel. I sat there and rubbed his head for a bit and held his hand. He was so cold. He was known to be such a joker so I felt he would just pop up with “April Fools” just to play with our emotions but he didnt. He was gone and I would have to move forward in my life without him. So far I feel I have coped very well with his untimely passing but then again I haven’t.
 
I never felt I could compare to him with all of the things that he knew and did in his short life. He owned a bar and was an Electrical Engineer by the time he was 30. Me on the other hand, I’ve been struggling to find some sort of stability in my life and I’m only a few short years from this milestone. It makes me feel little sometimes. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself but I feel it keeps me motivated to do better. I’ve been reading a lot of real estate blogs and watched a webinar on how to invest while working full time. I hope to use some of these tips to give me financial freedom. I know it won’t happen overnight but I will be successful. My dream is to name a building in his honor and to donate money to HIV/AIDS research so no one else has to lose their loved one to this disease. That would hopefully put my heart and soul at peace.

I Love You Dad Forever
May you Rest in Peace
October 16, 1953- May 4, 2006

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