Living Life In the Shadow of Not Wanting to be My Father 

  I have fairly high expectations for the man I want to be. I’ve literally lived my life trying to do everything the right way. I don’t have any stories of drunken house parties while my parents were away or sleeping in the drunk tank on spring break. I have never concerned myself with what’s popular if it wasn’t right. I wish I could say I was doing this because I have this high moral compass or because I’m inherently good but that’s not the case at all. 

I am who I am because I promised myself I would never be my father. My fist time meeting him was my 4th or 5th birthday, at least that’s my first time remembering meeting him. My mom and family threw me this smurfs themed party. I loved the smurfs. He showed up with a car truck. Not the electronic type but the hot wheel kind. He didn’t hug me and barely spoke. I just remember feeling like he was a stranger and I never wanted to feel that way again. I never wanted to feel irrelevant. 

Sometimes I wonder what type of father I will be. I don’t worry whether or not I’ll be there for him or her or whether or not I’ll provide. I worry that I won’t be able to give them the emotional support they need. That I won’t be the man I always invisioned myself being. It’s a scary feeling being unsure about something that’s supposed to come so natural. 

Will I be the type of husband that just knows when my wife needs a break? The type of father that just knows when my child needs a hug instead of a spanking. My father didn’t teach me these things and in trying to be everything he wasn’t I’m afraid I’ll become some of the things I hate about him. Nature vs. Nurture.  

Everyone Dies But Not Everyone Lives

If I told you, you were going to die in a month, would you be satisfied with the life you’ve lived?

Would you cry over the kisses you didn’t attempt? Over the gigs you didn’t give?

Would you feel sorrow over not working enough or working too much?

If life is truly a gift why treat it like a burden? If every breath we take is a present from God why do we act as though its annoying?

To live life is to feel! To live life is to feel the sting of emotions happy and sad.

I’m not afraid to die, I’m afraid to die alone. To die unaccomplished. Death is but the footnote. The story, the novella is what we do with this gift called life we have been given.

What shall you do with yours?

~ Demez F. White

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