The Call Was Made
Well, I did it.
I made the phone call yesterday to Pop. We talked, we cried, and we came to a resolution of sorts, though I don’t know if that was the objective. Come to think about it, I don’t know what the objective was at all, if it was to vent, to get closure, or a combination of both. What I do know is I feel like life is anew, and yesterday, after we got off the phone, those who saw me walking down the street, may have noticed my feet were a couple of inches off the ground.
There’s something jarring about hearing a man cry on the other end of the phone, especially when it’s a man who raised you not to cry. But several times during our conversation, when I was trying to tell my Pop how I felt, he tried to get off the phone. I could hear his voice cracking, as he attempted to catch his breath through his nose. The whole conversation was heavy for him, and it was heavy for me.
I don’t want to get into what was said between my Pop and I. But after I wrote Friday’s post, I thought a lot about what I wanted to say to him. I knew I wanted to tell him I loved him. I knew I wanted to tell him that I indeed hated him for a long time. I knew I wanted to tell him who I am today has a lot to do with him being in my life, that for whatever it’s worth, he raised a man who went on to graduate from college, leave Seaside, and establish a career for himself.
So that’s exactly what I told him. I told him all of those things and I’m at peace now knowing he knows that when I look back on my life growing up under him, the bad times may be lurking somewhere in those memories, but they’re overshadowed by the good times. However wrong he treated my mother, however hard he raised my sister and I, he still raised us. Life with him was not hell, nor was it heaven, it was a reality that was sometimes grim and sometimes beautiful.
Usually, I have no follow through with my posts. I write about something going on in my life and I leave it there, choosing to write about something entirely different the next day. I do this mostly because I never inteded for this blog to be a running diary of my day-to-day life. It’s a combination of experiences and commentary told from my perspective. Originally, I didn’t even plan to follow up Friday’s post with the one I’m writing right now, but I changed my mind after the outpouring of support shown to me by friends, family, and readers.
I want to thank everyone, especially the ones who have never met me and only know me through this blog they read daily, for your words of encouragement. The way I can tell something I have written is resonating, is by how many people hit me on the side and say they experienced something similar to me. Last Friday’s post was no different, as I received a countless inbox messages and emails from people who told me they either made a call to a man who was a difficult hero in their life or they admired my strength for doing so because they themselves still can’t bring themselves to do it.
As I said last week, sometimes a man’s issues have nothing at all to do with women and everything to do with men. If there was anything I wanted people to take away from that post I wrote last week, it was that because it was a lesson I didn’t learn until recently. The reason I cried after I made the call to my Pop is not because of any particular thing he said or didn’t say, it’s because I have ignored a very crucial element to my maturation, and that is the element of closure. It’s like when we think something is broken because for a couple of seconds, it’s not working like it usually is, and when we call up customer service, the first thing they say is, “Well, did you try to turn it off and then turn it back on.” Then, when we do as they say, everything works! (Damn, I hate that.) Sometimes we go to a thousand people in our lives in search of the answers to our problems, when really, the answer lies within us.
Just like I didn’t believe when Harry Joe passed away last year, I would be at peace with my biological father’s absence when he was alive, I by no means believe every issue I have is solved because I made a phone call to my Pop. Trust me, I am still under construction. But there is no doubt, the phone call made was just the tool I needed to keep building. The work continues.