So I’ve been chatting with the men in my life…yes ALL the men in my life. I mean men like my father, my brother, close male friends and the list continues. My conversation with my male friends have been informative, comical and entertaining. Their opinions on women, children, love and life have been interesting, even when they are off the mark!
However, it is the men in my family who have been my role models. The ones who I watch and learn from. Over my 43 years, I have observed them grow through life…taking trials, tribulations and bruises. They have fallen and bounced back…and fallen …and bounced back again.
My father, my first love, has a different perspective on life. His ‘just do it” mentality has often found him in a difficult situations. Yet he eventually crawls back to the top. He has taught me that sometimes you must do what you have to do …and deal with the consequences later. He is determined, yet stubborn, temperamental, yet soft-hearted… comical, yet hard-headed and the death of my mother in 2006 is still fresh to him. He talks about her everyday, as if she transitioned yesterday. I can see a soft light in his eyes flicker and then lose its glow after the realization that she is no longer here materializes. It is a love beyond the grave and he won’t be content until he sees her again. I pray that someone loves me in that way, whether I am here or long gone…
My one and only brother has a vastly different approach on life. He waits patiently for it to bend to his whim, succumb to his desires. He often carries the weight of the world’s expectations on his broad shoulders, yet he is the epitome of professionalism. He works diligently to make a difference, waiting for the rest of the world to do their part. At the ripe young age of 30, he is an old soul with a desire to see all at peace in the world….
Then there are my uncles, they are four different men who have four different outlooks on life . Their stories are remarkable and it is through them, I have compared my experiences with the male species along the way. The four brothers of my mother have given me an outlook that I am blessed to embrace. I have observed them from a young girl and although I was young, I knew them, knew their lives, their loves and their secrets. I paid attention to how they responded and reacted to situations and circumstances and I took notes.
The oldest showed me what essential love looks like. A love that must be displayed, even when all is not right in your world. A love that never changes even when you are not being treated well. A love simply “because…..” He has raised two sons and others whose mothers claimed were his. As a single father, his journey has and still is not easy. He is making it…with many prayers. He lovingly embraced a son who was not his own, yet he took on the role without a second thought. “Righting” the wrongs that perhaps he felt were of his own doing, not realizing that God’s plan was bigger than his own. That same son, who was given to him to raise, like his siblings have made us all proud…we are all blessed to be privy to their accomplishments.
Then there is my Uncle Mike, one who embraces life and makes the world turn on his axis. He does not succumb to the whims of anyone. Strong willed and grounded on every aspect of his life, unmovable it may seem, yet his heart is always on full. On the outside, he is solid, yet I believe that his private times are spent deep in thought on subjects that others are not aware of. He cherishes his time and does what his heart desires, when the need arises. From him, I have learned that time waits for no one or nothing… and ignoring foolish people and their antics keeps your blood pressure low!
My Uncle Dereyk is the most different, yet recently I realized that perhaps he is similar to me. He rarely shows up at family gatherings, yet when he does, I can see the nostalgic in his eyes. Sometimes a look of yearning or pain is evident. He dreams of moments past, places and times of long ago, people who held special places in his heart. I dare to say that he will always be one who “wishes” for better days. But whom of us does not long for a time when life was just a little bit sweeter, I know I do everyday…
Finally , there is my Uncle Hank, the younger of the group, yet he is a free and a wise spirit. His journey has not been easy, but he has overcome…and still continues to do so daily. His laughter and comical captions to life are what we all should be embracing…for even our tribulation has a funny side….we must just be able to find it. Although he wishes that dear ones long gone could see the person he turned out to be. I dare to say they already knew the remarkable person inside, one who could beat the odds and win in the end. My Uncle Hank, has taught me the most about life. Each time I see or hear from him , it gives me courage to stay focused on the journey. He reminds me to stay seated and buckled in…even when the ride has stopped for you to exit at the rear..
These are just a few of the lessons I have learned, although I have many other men in my life, these men make me the woman I am. I am thankful they are still here…still able to be my role mentors…
Perhaps they were who I desired my own partner to be like. After 22 years of marriage, it failed due to many reasons …and I shared in the demise. This month, my life came full circle, I regained everything I lost along the three years of separation from my ex. Surprisingly, I did not think about the past….or wonder “what could have been.” I was overjoyed and shared my testimony with the important people …which consisted of these particular men in my life.
It was then I realized my ex never seemed to hit the mark. He was not the man who I hoped for and unfortunately it took me 22 years to figure it out or perhaps that long to walk away.
Maybe the bar was set too high from the beginning…
Peace, Love & Empowerment