It is my hope that the stories, nostalgic memoirs and struggles I tell of my life are somehow relatable to all who read them. For some it will instill a more patient, tender heart and make some more appreciative of the life they lead and were given. Maybe it will let them know the sacrifices their past gave for them in some small way, not to have had to experience the unrealistic sound of realism I write. I want those who had a materialistic view of life to realize that all relationships were not as dysfunctional as mine. I understand that no family is perfect and in no way am I trying to diminish the struggles you, the readers have been through, for you are the only one who knows your story. It is my intent to let you know that things are and can be ok. My childhood was a season in my life that took many revolutions of the sun to turn into Spring. I suppose this story should have been the prelude to understanding my life’s journey. When I write of nostalgia, it is just that, for nostalgia is a time that I long for and I miss. Writing about a memory could mean different things, a tale of feeling the impending doom that obsessed me as a child, from fear of either not being good enough, being looked over, passed over, or being the rotten apple in the basket. But, life has been good to me, despite weathering many storms. It has taught me to look forward, to live and to forgive. No, I am not, nor will I ever be a saint. Have I always made good decisions? Absolutely not. Has the past affected the panoramic view I have of society and people? Yes, without a doubt. Panoramic because maybe I didn’t take the time to know you, the time to understand your problems were deeper than the surface. When we take a panoramic view of life, we only see the surface, not what made you or me how and who we are. I have been shown the good when I couldn’t see it myself, through others. I have been knocked down by the ignorant, intolerant, entitled brats of my childhood as many of you have, only now to recognize their life’s pressures that show the strain of life’s struggles through their actions, change in lifestyles and the dents they display on their once familiar, immortal chassis. I speak of my childhood, my brother’s, sister’s and parents often. They are the base and pillar of my existing memory, for they were always the constant in my life. As I see less days ahead of me than behind, I honor their sacrifice, as menial as it might have seemed yesterday, as monumental to me in the present. Many were the day that the black cloud hovered over our house, became what seemed stationary and then moved on, just to return with more effort in each of us to endure and compartmentalize. Compartmentalize because as a child there is nothing left to do but to accept this is life, a life that cannot be changed without learning a behavior and self-belief in that one day the stifling soot left behind can be lifted, if not through someone, through one’s self. For during my life as a child, I’m sure I was called every name ever written that a poor kid could be called. Words that cannot be unsaid by people you thought would never say them. But more than that remembering the look of disgust on their face because in their minds, they felt as though their life was grander in the scheme of things than mine. Now, don’t read anything into this story that wasn’t written, there is no room for feeling sorry, or poor things they had it so hard. Because, my siblings and I are a testimony to the test of faith and belonging to a clan that lifts one another up when their down. I am on top of the world. I have a nuclear family and we possess more compassion for life and what’s in it than many people can absorb. I don’t miss the subtle things anymore, I read the signs of life and struggles easily, as if my second language. They are written in my soul and I am thankful for that. I am certainly no mystic or fortune teller, but once educated in life’s negative forces, they are easily seen in others. I come from a family that is positive, strong and able to ignore those negative forces; these attributes I gladly leave as a legacy.
Copyright @coffeewithcharles.blog (Charles D. Grant)