Wednesday: Open Doors

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Keeping it together, when we mourn loss, is sometimes sketchy. Emotions come and go, just like feelings. The farther from the point of impact, one gets, doesn’t necessarily put one in the clear. This is so true, depending on the circumstances of the loss.

Our kids are mourning.

I think, all of us, who are adults, feel for them deeply. Even more, if we, ourselves have children of our own. It is terrible and sinful that trolls in space have been demeaning and degrading the suffering of our kids.

I’ve heard it sad today that the next President needs to be a rousing, angry bunch of kids. They are on the march, and they are moving society and a nation, all by themselves. Albeit, with some superpower support from some in Very High Places.

I grew up in Florida. Over my lifetime, growing up, we had seen our fair share of crime that hit our home several times. But life was safe. I mean seriously, when I was an elementary school kid, we had keys to the house and we would come home after school and have all afternoon to hang out and play.

Our schools were safe. We really never saw the kind of violence that our kids have seen over the last ten to fifteen years. People had guns, but, if memory serves, we never thought about using them on each other.

Let alone, on our Kids …

I don’t ever remember any kid I knew, in any school I attended who had problems or issues that would have pushed them to kill innocents, because they walked into a gun shop and bought an automatic weapon, just for kicks.

There were plenty of guns in our house. And we used to go out to the Everglades and shoot cans and rocks. And there are always plenty of guns shows that used to pop up all over the place. But guns were not so much an issue when I was a kid, not to the extent guns are an issue today.

We need smart, and proper gun control.

We need to vote OUT those politicians who are in bed with the N.R.A. All those men and women who have taken SIX DIGIT SUMS from the N.R.A. for their continued
SHUT UP NESS.

We need to wrest control of society from all those who think that guns don’t kill people, and that guns are the constitutional way of life for everyone. Because that is the way it is for so many today. We need human beings in government, because the government is a mockery and a joke.

We need Serious change. And if anyone can do that, OUR KIDS CAN.

Stand with our kids. Support them. Love them. Raise them up.

Over the past little while, I have been posting stuff on Facebook for my friends I grew up with to read, because they all knew my father, and my family, all too well.

What I did not expect was what happened today.

I had been grocery shopping and my little “granny cart that could” was straining to hold everything that I had packed in it for the walk home. On the way back, I ran into a friend I got sober with, all those years ago.

He is of Native decent. And he is sober, almost as long as I am. after he got sober, a few years in, he went to work on the streets of Montreal, caring for the Inuit and Native populations who are strewn all over the city. He has an office, in Cabot Square, right up the street from home, and that is where we found each other this afternoon.

We are friends on Facebook, but we don’t connect there. He has been reading my writings, as they went up. And he was really excited to hear of recent events concerning my father.

He told me to mind my dreams and pay attention to them seriously. Because he said that if I am being visited, it is because my doors are open.

My doors have been open for the whole of my life, is why family, all returns to me after they have passed on. I shared with him that story earlier.

People don’t have to like us he said. Some people are just angry, and may not accept who we are today, even if we are sober. Trying to make restitution and goodness, sometimes is hard in coming. And sometimes we don’t succeed.

The one thing we have in our favor, is that We Are Sober Today.

I needed to hear his words today. They went right where they were needed.

You can always count on your friends. At least I can.

Always keep your doors open …

There are those Too …

Prisons

Do you have any questions about your father’s death ? I said NO.

But I cannot help but wonder, what was going on, in my father’s final moments. What was he thinking, what was he feeling, who was he thinking about ? And I wonder, if I was in any of those thoughts.

I cannot help but ponder the fact that, when my father proposed sex to my mother, in the backseat of his car, in that drive in, in New Britain, what he was thinking in that moment?

I cannot help but ponder, on the day I was born, when my father gave me the name of a soldier, who died serving his country in war, what he was thinking?

I cannot help but wonder, what happened, to the name of honor that was given to me, in the moment my father decided that, I went from honor to a mistake in a single breath.

My family believed that I was a mistake and should never have been born, went on for the whole of my life.

How does one move from the miracle of birth of your first-born son, to regretting ever conceiving him, and for the rest of his life, remind him, abusively, “Hey, I hate you, and I want you dead, and you don’t matter, and never will.”

I don’t understand how a human being can live in the space of toxicity and resentment for the whole of his life, and be justified in his beliefs?

I know how it happened. I was there. I lived this existence.

My father is dead. And I never got the chance to say all those things I needed to say, to defend myself, my honor, and my integrity.

Living in resentment and hatred only makes one seriously sick. It turns your heart into a stone. And separates one from, what we call, in sobriety, The Sunlight of the Spirit.

Hatred is a serious thing. It is objectionable.

For the whole of my life, my father never shied away from airing his views at home, in front of others, and beaten into his children and his wife.

My father used many words to describe “people.” Words we are hearing from the President of the United States.

I knew very early on, that I did not agree with my father, and I surely never used one of his colorful metaphors to describe my friends. I knew early on that I would never be like him, ever.

In sixth grade, I had one friend. Leighton. Leighton was from Indonesia and his mom and dad were from that region of the world that my father found objectionable.

Leighton had dark skin.

One day, Leighton came over our house after school, and my father looked at him and said, what is that Nigger doing in my house? Leighton had to go home, and my father passed a decree that there would not be any dark-skinned people allowed in our house, because God forbid, my white neighbors might see them.

Leighton was not black and he surely was not a Nigger.

I don’t think that you can go fight a war in another country, and not return home tainted by that experience. I don’t know many veterans in my life today. It’s not something I go around asking my friends, who are older than I am.

My parents lived in resentment. They lived in anger. And they lived in hatred.

My father wanted a cookie cutter American family. So he imported a wife from Canada. What she did not know then, could have saved her a great deal. But she assented to assimilation. I think she wanted a husband as much as my father wanted a wife.

Systematically, my father alienated each foreign family member from our family, but only AFTER they served their purposes, that my father and mother needed.

Namely, the services of foreign family, as baby sitters.

My father’s parents were taken from us when I was in eighth grade, a year apart. My grand mother had a debilitating stroke that took away her speech, her ability to walk, and all of her memories. She went from vivacious to a vegetable in one night’s time. A year to the day, my paternal grandfather went the same way.

When my father took me out of school, and flew me 1500 miles from home, hoping that just the visual of me in my grandmother’s hospital room, would rouse her from her stupor and that she would wake up, right then and there and be healed.

That morning, as I walked into her room, looking at the shell of a woman she had become, I was so shocked that I collapsed, and fainted. Hitting the floor like a rock, and I ended up in hospital myself for hours.

I think my father was so angry with me that whatever he had imagined would happen and then did not happen, he resented me for the rest of his life.

I wrote my brother the letter I posted here the other night. Admitting my amends for what I had done as a stupid twenty something.

My parents lived like elephants. They never forgot, hard things done to them. When one lives in the space of not being able to forgive, taints us and builds a shadow over us, that never goes away.

I will never be a man. I will never be NOT a Mistake. I will never be forgiven.

I don’t understand how someone who is human, can live within such darkness and then take that darkness to their graves.

Regrets ? I have a few.

Maybe I should have made that trip to say all those things I needed to say, that are all but moot points now.

There is nothing I can say anymore. And my friend Joe, said to me, after the meeting that, toxic people cannot be reached, and attempting such communication is pointless.

You just have to let it go and go on with your life.

I just don’t understand, and I don’t think I ever will.

There are two people still left in their world who hate me as hard as my father hated me.

Will that ever change? That answer is up to God and timing, and using the right words and doing the right thing for the right reason.

I think I did the right thing for the right reason.

We shall see …

A mass of life will be offered for my Father Sunday Morning, at the Anglican Cathedral here in Montreal. My friend and mentor Donald will be saying his mass.

It is the most spiritual thing I can do for a man who went to his grave hating me.

God has dealt with him. And like we all know, When we get to the Pearly Gates, we get the question, we must answer, and in the end, he probably got a long look from God, and then forgiveness.

May he rest in peace. A peace he never knew in his mortal life.

I hope, at least, it feels good to him, finally.

Sunday Sundries: Storms of Change

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Hurricane Irma is spinning off the West Coast of Florida. I have family in the affected areas of Sarasota and Tampa. Some I care about, and others, I do not. I lived through what Andrew did to us in 1992, but I was not going to engage to that level once again this week.

Storms are those natural occurrences that forces one to review what is really important. If the storm is a direct hit, whatever you own, is going to be destroyed, so whatever you packed up and took with you, when you evacuated, will go with you where ever you go.

I was up all night, pensive and worried for friends who live in Florida who chose to stay, instead of evacuating. I was up before dawn, with a thought in mind. Quietly, I began the export/import process of my writing venue.

If you click the link, it will bring you to a brand new domain location. Today we are a (Dot.Blog) venue. I own this site now, it is all mine. Everything has been merged and re-ordered. I kept this new template, because it is clean and sleek. And I like it a lot.

The Pages are all there, along with twelve years of writing.

I remember Oprah when she said that “Writing is Cathartic…”

This new venue has a good deal of bells and whistles. I’ve uploaded a series of images that will populate the header as the seasons change.

The Seasons are changing in Montreal. The nights are coming sooner, and the air is a bit cooler than it has been as of late. I noticed a few days ago, that I really needed to add a second layer of clothing, along with my sporty look.

I purchased a digital scale last week, because I did not trust the rotary dial scale that we had for the longest time. A few weeks ago, my new doctor tweaked my medical regimen and she took away a pill, and added a pill, and raised my insulin injection daily by one click. My target sugars are 6 to 7. If I do not hit either a 6 or a 7, in the morning, I take an insulin hit, which is at 21 today, Sunday. If the 6 or 7 does not appear the next morning, I crank the pen up one click. Until I reach the optimum number goal.

My weight continues to drop. I hit a new low of 154 pounds the other day. And given my eating schedule I bounce 3 to 5 pounds on any given day. But I have lost a total of 33 pounds all together. From start to today.

It has been a nice quiet weekend. Quiet is good, because I can crawl into bed at any hour of the day and sleep for as long as I like, provided I get my groceries out of the way, and occasionally, do a load of laundry.

I am usually up early in the morning now because of my medical schedule, so I get all my chores out of the way, then have the rest of the day to snooze, until I hit a meeting on any given night.

Stay tuned, more to come.

Linkin Park Loss: Chester Bennington is dead … Oh My Freaking God !!!

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I cannot begin to tell you what Chester’s death means to my life. Linkin Park has been the sound track of my life for more than a decade. I have every album on my phone. I listen to them constantly. Chester is my voice of rage, anger and angst.

I love this band. I love Chester Bennington more than any other artist on my playlist. This is a HUGE loss for the music industry and his band. It is a HUGE, SAD, loss for me. They were supposed to play here this summer.

There will NEVER be another Chester Bennington.

Nobody comes close to the artistry and voice that Chester had. He was unique and totally and completely a fine artist and singer.

I will miss you terribly Chester. May God Bless you and Keep you forever.

Goodbye Chester …

My heart is broken into pieces.

**** **** ****

Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington has died aged 41, LA County Coroner says.

The coroner said Bennington apparently hanged himself. His body was found at a private home in the county at 09:00 local time (17:00 GMT) on Thursday.

Bennington was said to be close to Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell, who took his own life in May.

Formed in 1996, Linkin Park has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide and has two Grammy Awards.

The band had a string of hits including Faint, In The End and Crawling, and collaborated with the rapper Jay-Z.

Its album Meteora topped the Billboard 200 chart in 2003 and is regarded as one of the biggest indie rock records of all time.

Bennington leaves a wife, and six children from two marriages.

He is said to have struggled for years with alcohol and drug abuse, and has talked in the past about suicide as a result of being a victim of abuse as a child.

Friday: Lies, Irresponsibility, and Virtues

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Tonight, it rained … If there is weather going on, attendance is going to be down.

It was.

Tonight’s read: Virtue and Self Deception

I read the reading, and thought I knew what I wanted to say, and once I spoke my words, I realized that I had missed my mark. In retrospect, I lived my alcoholism in reverse.

The stories of most alcoholics usually begin with one innocuous drink, that leads to More. For most, but not for all, that’s the way it went down. Except for those people who started drinking full throttle from the very start.

I drank as a teenager. When I moved away from home, I started hard and strong. I’m not sure how I got through the first five years of my drinking. I do know that I would lie, cheat and rationalize my way into alcohol.

I was not a very honest young gay boy. Then again, none of us really were:

HONEST …

Young people today, have a sense of entitlement. Like we owe them something for just being alive .

I do know that I grew up in a home where alcoholism flourished. Nobody talked about it, and we always lived in fear, if we ever spoke about it to anyone outside of our four walls.

It seemed to me that silence gave consent. None of the men in our lives ever paid a price for their addiction to alcohol. My father was terribly abusive. In the end, he got away with his actions. All of them. He is a really fucking lucky man, that I did not retaliate, ever.

There were always loaded guns in our house. And Bats, and Chains, and Metal Tools, Knives and Machetes. He was very lucky that I never went in for the kill.

I do regret never beating the shit out of him, at least once, for the abuse he heaped on me. When I drank, I believed that I would get away with it. If the men in our lives did not pay for their problems, then I believed that neither would I.

I believed that if I pawned responsibility off on either of my parents, I would slide through, without being called on the carpet about my drinking.

Responsibility … That was the word I really wanted to talk about.

As a twenty-something, I was terribly irresponsible, EXCEPT when it came to being responsible for my drinking career. My drinking always came first. Everything else, came a FAR second and third.

I had a brand new car. I had to choose between paying off that car, or drinking. Can you figure out what choice I made ? A series of well told lies, brought the repo man. My father, did indeed, pay for the car, and I got it back, with nary a word about my drinking.

Did I feel guilty ? No. Not One Bit.

That motherfucker was going to pay his dues. He did.

Today, I live with that resentment high on the list of things I did that will never get forgiveness. My parents will never forgive me for my alcoholism. I will never grow up from that twenty-something that fucked them over, I will be guilty till they go to their graves.

Leaving home, was to find a life, a people, a group, ACCEPTANCE.

I was woefully unprepared to be an adult. And I did not have any clue about responsibility for my life, which is really ODD. When I lived at home, I was responsible for the house, for cleaning and the upkeep. I was my brother’s keeper as well. I had to go to school, which I did, willingly.

I graduated High School because I told a true statement to my Math teacher. I was a failure when it came to numbers, and I still am, to this day, albeit a bit better.

On the day of the final exam, I learned that all of my classmates got a preview copy of the exam and I did not. In the end I wrote a note on the last page of my exam. It said:

“I was the only student in this room, who did not get an advanced copy of your exam. Have a nice day.”

Regardless of how I did on that exam, he passed me.

I graduated High School.

When it came to employment, I was at the top of my game. I made good money doing that too, until alcohol began to cloud my judgment. As a much younger person, who had jobs, where alcohol was NOT included, I was successful.

When I began to work in my travel field, and you tossed in alcohol, all bets were off. I talk about this incessantly, many of the people I worked with and drank with, were as alcoholic, if not more alcoholic than I was. Getting on a plane on a Friday afternoon, to go somewhere exotic, so that we could drink, was not uncommon.

When I worked for a Very Big Cruise line, alcohol was served during work hours. And it was also not odd, to get on a ship on a Friday afternoon as well, to head to the Bahamas, and drink 24/7 while that ship was moving, and then some.

Many of the people I drank with got SOBER, well before I did. And nobody said anything to ME about ME.

I had to run my sordid, irresponsible, sickness ending road.

I WAS responsible for myself so long as alcohol was not part of my life equation. I knew what right and wrong were. I had morals, I was honest, I was responsible, at every one of my jobs that I had. My progression into alcoholism was jump started, when you added alcohol into my life, while I worked.

When I made the move away from home. My alcoholism followed me. And since my main goal, as I was directed by my shrink, to go to a bar, have a couple of drinks, and “see what happens,” was what I did.

My responsible sense of life went right out the window, because alcohol was the main ingredient, in my emotional, personal and sexual success.

I don’t know where my good values and honesty went. I think alcohol helped me to forget those values, virtues and honesty. Self respect went out the window as well.

I suffered from alcoholic delusions for a very long time. Like I stated above, my alcoholism began backwards. All those devastating things that usually take place at the END of ones drinking career, BEGAN on day one for me. I was an alcoholic who LOST BIG, from the get go.

I refined my drinking over the years, so as not to include anyone, but myself.

In the end I really did not need you. I had burned all of my bridges. Alcoholism helped me alienate family, friends, and coworkers. The one thing that alcohol still did for me, was to get me in the door when it came to the horizontal mambo.

Until I was diagnosed with AIDS.

Irresponsibility and really bad choices, mixed together with drugs and alcohol, pushed me over the edge, on one specific morning. In those days, in Fort Lauderdale, you could, actually, DRINK, twenty-three hours a day.

That MORNING, that I sat in a bar, and continued my drinking from the night before, I made a sexual choice, NOT a responsible choice, by any means.

The bullet was shot, and I had been hit with that bullet. Only, it took a year for that bullet to rear its ugly head in my body.

There was nobody saying to me – Maybe you should STOP. or Maybe, you should be more responsible. or Maybe you need to grow the fuck up, already …

Last night I shared with you Todd’s story.

The first choice I made, moving towards responsibility, was walking into Todd’s bar, that one night in 1993. Had I not done that, my timeline would have been fucked.

Todd – read: God, was waiting for me in that bar.

Another point I want to talk about is this: We know today, and we repeat this mantra to everyone who comes in the room that: If you put anything before your sobriety, you will fail, miserably.

I have AIDS, I was going to die, and Todd brought me to a meeting.

AIDS was a much BIGGER fish to fry than staying SOBER. I was juggling two very serious balls. And I had to keep both balls in the air at the same time.

If it were not for Todd, I would have died. I would not have made it out alive.

I was going to meetings, and reading the book, an Roy was my sponsor, who worked IN the bar with me. But Todd, was the Master in Control of my destiny.

I got responsible, it may have taken a while to get there, but I did get there.

Before Todd stepped into my life, for years before, not one human being, on my timeline, ever offered me a suggestion, a piece of advice, or uttered the word STOP.

I was working in the bar, drinking myself sick after hours, and my body was sero-converting all the while. The day I got those results, I figured that I would drink myself dead, instead of suffering the way my friends were suffering.

It was a very good thing that I did call Todd away from his vacation and asked him to come home, for me. He did that, gladly.

Todd took over and actually said the word STOP to me.

My education in survival began. My sobriety, took a back seat. If I did not survive, sobriety would not matter. I was going to meetings, marking time. The thrust of survival lead me where it did, because Todd was running the game.

For those few years, I earned dignity. I learned responsibility. I learned values. I learned morals. I learned Never to Give Up. To Fight for my life.

I was sober when Todd departed my life. I stayed sober for another two years. I moved to Miami, and went to a meeting, where alcoholics like me, heard me speak, and told me to Go Away and Not Come Back.

Imagine what that feels like, if you were fighting for your life, and fighting to stay sober, and have another alcoholic say the words: Go Away !!!

I disconnected. I became despondent. I took my life into my own hands. The HOLE in my SOUL, took over. Sobriety, took a back seat. I kept SECRETS. I told LIES.

I put the HOLE in my SOUL first.

I prearranged my slip, and orchestrated it to the best of my ability, because nobody at home really cared whether I came or went. Nobody was paying attention to me.

So Fuck It.

Eighteen months later, the cops were at the door, to extricate me from the house.

I came back home to Miami, with my tail between my legs. The year 2000 turned into the year 2001. I saw my mother ONCE.

On September 11th, 2001, we all know what happened.

Miami Beach was plunged into forced communal SOBRIETY – Because New York needed us, and drinking was outlawed for two weeks.

No bars, No Clubs, No alcohol and No drugs.

I would not get sober for another four months.

I was living in the DELUSION that if I just drank a little more, someone in the club I was drinking in, would notice me. I had lied to myself for years and years. None of those things I was told would happen, those things that needed to be lubricated with alcohol, ever happened.

I had my last drink. I was done, shattered, FINISHED.

I had to get over the border into Montreal, for my REAL SOBER EDUCATION TO BEGIN.

I was alive. I survived AIDS. I had money in the bank. A place to live. And I had meetings and the people in those meetings.

I no longer had any other fish to fry, I no longer had to juggle several balls at the same time. The only thing I had to do was STAY SOBER.

Responsibility began to set in. I had set myself up before I walked into Tuesday Beginners. And what did they do ? They gave me a job.

Coffee, set up, tables and chairs.

I did that over and over for all my years in the program.

In fact, I am still doing service at every meeting I attend, now almost sixteen years later. Because keeping it simple, always remembering that I need to act like a newcomer to keep it real, I do that gladly.

11 months in, Hubby came into my life.

My education in manhood and responsibility began in earnest.

The rest, you can say is history.

Today, I have values, morals, and virtues.

We all know that our “heads” are not places we go into, willingly, ALONE.

I know many things about myself. But I will never learn everything.

I am still alive. I am still sober. I am Responsible.

Fifty is not far off.

Responsibility got me here. Knowing I am NOT a saint NOR perfect keeps me here.

My belly button is NOT the Center of the Universe.

I am told that Step Three is very important.

Every day I have to make a decision to Turn my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand Him.

There is a God, and I am not HE.

As long as there is breath in my lungs, and I get up in the morning,
it is going to be a good day.

Friday … A Disturbance in the Force

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This is my cousin Carol.

There is a force in the cosmos. Something much greater than myself. For some reason, the force is strong in my family. And for the whole of my life, I have had visitations of family who have passed over, once they are gone. This is the case, in every single loved one I have lost in my life.

  • When my uncle Paul died, he returned to my uncle and their family.
  • When my Grandfather Alexander died, he came back to my family.
  • When my Grandmother Jennie died, she came back to me and she stayed with me for a very long time. This was proven by a medium twice.
  • When my Grandmother Camille died, she came back and I channeled her for weeks on end.
  • When my Aunt Georgette died, she returned to me, HERE in this apartment.

I am fully aware of Omens, when they speak. I can see the signs, and I know what they mean. I am fully aware the subtle shift in the energy around me when the Omens show up and when I get a solid message from them.

The other night, I was standing on my balcony outside, and a shift occurred. It was real, I felt it happen, and I felt it inside of me, a great feeling of sadness, and loss. It was an acute feeling, and it stayed with me.

Over the last month, an Omen appeared on my balcony, a very familiar Omen that has come in the past. I heard the message. And I’ve been paying attention to it ever since.

Three days ago, my cousin Carol, who has been sick with Cancer, had a stroke. At one time, we were told she was terminal and was going to die. The family that mattered connected. We took action to do what we needed to do for her.

The day the stroke happened, eerily coincided with what I was feeling here. I felt it shift. She is in Connecticut. I am in Montreal. I soon learned from my other cousin who lives in British Columbia Canada, got the same feeling herself, that something was off and that something was just not right.

Carol, ended up in the hospital, unconscious last night. The doctors said that there was nothing that they could do for her and that it was just a matter of time. This morning around 5:30 a.m. Carol passed.

It has been a lifetime, that I haven’t seen Carol. Probably since the night when my Uncle Leo got married, or better yet, when my Grandfather Emory died. Those were the last two times, all of the family were in the same place.

Carol was part of my life when I was a child. My brother, myself, and the cousins, before we moved south to Florida. She visited with us several times, throughout my childhood. But at one point, my father had alienated family out of our lives, because he had no family and could not stand the family he inherited, basically, because they all wanted me to live and succeed, and he was hell bent on my destruction. And He didn’t want their influence on my mother, who he was grooming to be an American wife that he wanted. That she was Canadian, was not an asset but a liability.

So, another death, another family member gone.

I knew it was coming, I felt it happen. Now she is gone.

The sinking feeling that I have right now is this …

The Omens come to me and to others. We feel the subtle shifts in familial energy. One day, those omens are going to speak again, but this time, the news they relay, will hit far closer than I may like, and I am not sure, how I am going to deal with that.

I know what the right thing to do is, and time is of the essence. I am just powerless to be able to speak, as I think I should, to those whom I do not matter.

Utter Sadness …

Eternal Rest Grant her and may Perpetual Light shine upon her.

Goodbye cousin …