Before light, my mother would wake me on school days. After the alarm wouldn’t manage to budge me from my coma, due to the evening of drugs and alcohol the night before, her persistent voice would fill my room. I recall the usual routine of sitting at the sofa with the candy dish that I used as an ashtray, while flicking my ashes from the usual two cigarettes. Breakfast usually always consisted of a tall glass of chocolate milk. I’d make my way into the little bathroom and shower in the beige plastic tub. Put on the dingy clothes, primp in the mirror and then head off to the bus stop.

Those teenage years were horrible. The life that I lived then was not like it is today. I eventually had to make some really big choices, and they came as maturity and growth took place. These days that I look back upon have shown me how I do not desire to be in the current. Although, they still have a residual that I just can’t define at times. Like the old is somehow always calling to me, asking me to come visit.

I am sitting beneath a large maple in our backyard, writing about a time that is somewhere now gone. I look at the landscape within our privacy fence, and I am so thankful for the blessings that are truly the fruits of our labors. My wife–the beauty I am not worthy of and the someone I never would have thought the kid on the couch would someday be spending the passing days with–is the queen of my contentment. Three kids that aren’t my own, which really are in so many ways, fill me with a joy that is indescribable. The peace of nature here is singing as the breeze and birds provide their unique song.

Blessings, indeed.

In those days gone by that brought me such grief capture my thoughts, I see where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. I see the teachers and influence, the God I have tried to understand many times over, and my evolving drive to move forward while embracing the now for all that it is.

It’s something, being able to change and actually feel good about it. I learned a long time ago that if you want to do something besides the things you currently do, you can change. Fear has no say after facing them time and time again. That life of yesterday is when I lived in fear, and this life of today is knowing fears will keep coming, but knowing I can and will face them.


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