Being the eldest of the siblings, my attempts to reconcile this abandonment by Dad rested on my shoulders to lead the way. It falls under the unwritten responsibility guidelines for the older brother/sister expectations. This is the point of entry for the aforementioned step family. Whenever Dad left, he not only moved out of the house, but vacated his role in our lives. We seldom ever heard from him, and almost never saw him. Sadly, this was an extension of the previous few years prior to his bolting from the house. He had already used his work as the excuse to stop coming to my football games, and spending nearly every weekend away. The time he did spend at home was only to recover from his drinking binges. As bad as all this sounds, he was still my Dad, and I wanted him to love me and be proud. He had moved away to a town about two hours from where we lived, and met someone willing to tolerate his broken shit. My senior year of high school he invited me and one of my friends over to go duck hunting. This was my first chance to overcome all of that empty space left from his departure of my everyday life. This was also the fusion point for the people who recently died. 


New beginnings are everyone’s opportunity to embrace beneficial change. That is if one views their life as a developing story. Dad lived in a constant state of discontent over his past. His search for acceptance from a world he felt cramped into left him frustrated with the facade it required. He bore his authenticity for his beliefs with each and every action of his behavior. He believed his standards were the normal for the internal turmoil he struggled with. This struggle spilled over into every relationship he ever encountered. It started with his authoritarian father, who managed the demons of his horrific childhood, by oppressively dealing with Dad’s rebellious objectivity. All Dad ever wanted was someone, that would take him for face value, given he fought for that identity his entire life. This quest for belonging created some tricky inner personal relationships between Dad and those around him. Questioning his motives only created conflict and barriers to his well hidden vulnerabilities. He withstood 16 years of attempted conformity with mom, but never truly filled the role he was portraying. The new wife however, didn’t require any real adaptations from him. As long as there was booze and cigarettes at the house, she would conform to whatever Dad would dish out. He was not the abusive type, but their common ground was tied together by drunken reminiscing of their self proclaimed fucked up lives. He was a college educated engineer for Southwestern Bell, and she was a country girl from rural Arkansas. Being the children of this dysfunctional matchup, well left a vacuum with regards to meaningful connections. Tolerance for the situation in hopes of being a part of your Dad’s life was the only driving factor in any of this. Absent of that, there was nothing to build a lifelong connection around. Suffice to say, after his death everyone reverted to their natural directions. News of the deaths of two people, who should have been important to me, failed to register any real emotional response. The fact it’s a nonissue is sad for me to accept...


"...don’t stand so close to me"

Fellas...keep your goddamned dicks, hands, and thoughts to yourself unless you’ve explicit verbal consent of your advances. It’s pretty cut and dried boys. You need to discuss these things with those you have an interest with. If they don’t want your shit in their lives, move your shit along to someone else. Drop the attitude about rejection, and put some shoulder into the work of grooming yourself to be a good guy. The more conversations you have with the girl of your affection, the more aware you become of what’s important to her. This is the process for building better people. Engage the girls of your life with the best actual version of yourself. #wecandobetter

". . . down home country"

There’s a singular sound exemplified in the human spirit. The tone of connection and hope rings throughout humanity. We revel in the harmony of love and happiness ❤️ Reaching toward the depths of someone’s story, to share in their disguised vulnerability, represents the truth of why we love. Absent of its presence, we stumble over the regret. lining of the vacuum left behind. Peace never rests upon this void. Love for all the right reasons, forgive for the unfortunate times, and forget the pain we share today. We feel the best of life, and cry over the heartache. Learn to recover from the rejection, and the acceptance left behind is all  yours.

". . . peace beneath salsa"

Every day gives me hope to improve myself. There’s every reason in the world to strive for being bigger than I was today. Gratitude is centered within respect of the way we help others. Shame is the absence of effort, not in the results.