Today is a sad day. I have them every so often. Depression knocks on my door two or three times a month. Today’s visit is different. I’m sad for my history, my life as a teenager, a soldier, a husband, and a father. I fucked up so many things, so many people, and so many opportunities.
I’m in my cold and snowy years. My bones creak with each step; my mind wanders around my reality. Sometimes the idea of taking my last breath scares me and makes me cry. I am an atheist for those who read this and say, “There’s a much better place for you.” To you I scream bullshit for so many reasons, and no I won’t respond to “let’s talk, Stan.”
I’m sad and I am determined to be sad all damn day. I’m sad because I lost my father when I was seven and lost a brother when I was fourteen, and a brother when I twenty-six. I’m still sad and mourn my lost and I don’t care what anyone says.
I broke the heart of a girl when I joined the Army. She loved me and I mourn her tears now. I was a fool and I wish I could tell her that, but she is gone. Where? I don’t know and I am sorry that I don’t.
I left my son when he was twelve. His mother and I were not right for each other. I am sad for that. We divorced. My son’s life was filled with confusion, addiction, and criminality. I am sorry for that. I can never feel good about his early years. Now, he has become a midlife adult and has changed his life for the better. I am grateful for him.
I married a lady soon after my divorce, rebound they say and it was true. We drank ourselves into a divorce and I am sad for that. She has passed from this life and for her I am so very sad.
I waited eight years, went to college at the age of 44, drank myself into sobriety, and married the most fair and kind woman I’ve ever known. I love her. I would die for her and death is no stranger. I feel its numbingly cold fingers whisper-touching at my heart.
Of course my heart has been broken many times. I have walked away from relationships with only the shirt on my back and the boom box sitting in the back of my 68 rusted Mercury station wagon, but those events did not break my heart. Sometimes they broke my spirit but no doubt deserved the repercussions of my behavior.
I round this self-deprecating story off by offering unsolicited advice to all of you well-aged men and possibly women who read this offering. Not many people read my stuff, but just in case you do here’s my advice. If you’re sad, heart aching sad, cry. Admit your sadness to yourself and cry your eyes out if needed. Me? I put on a sad song, go for a drive, and cry until I can cry no more.
I say with all sincerity don’t be afraid to admit you have wronged others. Do not be fearful of your feelings.