9 years ago today I stood in a hospital room and witnessed the nastiest, sickest, confusingly gross, visually disturbing, messiest, bloodiest, … most beautiful thing, ever.
Childbirth, the process, is definitely for the strong to behold, for the even stronger to bear. I cannot even, in my wildest of imagination, ever sculpt or create an idea of having to had endured that. Every step of it and what it did to her body and how it transformed and transitioned her mind, was nothing short of remarkable! It is one of the… No, it is the most beautiful thing in nature to date. It is nature. Birth is the beginning and sustainer of all life and to witness that… WOW… and YUCK!
I don’t have the strongest of stomachs as you may can tell, but on February 8th, 2005, I stood there and I watched the nurses and doctor assist in the delivery of my son. Assist is what they did, his mother did the hard work, and did I ever, from that moment and every moment since, recognize and understand that she, in her nature and power bestowed by the creator of all life, do the most incredible thing that I have ever seen. In that moment I then understood and recognized the moments of my own mothers’ child birthing experiences and the strength and care and fragility that were. I looked at all women differently from that moment on. I acknowledged life differently after that day. I became a sense of alive that evening. I changed. Well, I started the change. I was so grossed out though. The doctors asked if I would like to cut the umbilical cord. I couldn’t. I was not strong enough to touch it. His grandmother stepped in to cut the cord. I couldn’t even watch it. The sound was enough. But then it was cut, and he was here, and he was mine!
Today is “My Dudes” birthday. Coron is 9 years old. I have to say that I CAN believe that because it is, but to say that I could have imagined and expected this, would not be believable, because I had no idea. I had no idea that I would one day have a son and that his birth would begin the process of restoring me and redeeming me and rebuilding me. I could have never counted on his being ever being the reason that I would eventually, be. I watched his mother deliver him that day. He has been delivering me everyday since!
Before that day, that moment, on February 8th, in that hospital room, my life was defined by a far different moment, in another room, 11 years before. A death. A loss. My world had revolved around March 28, 1994. The moment I found the woman who gave birth and life to me, my mother, in her bed, dead of a gunshot wound. That instant had defined my existence. That day had been everything that I had to live with. All that I had and all that I knew. That day had taught me the ugliness of life. That day began the process of my downward spiral. I began to know loneliness that day. I began to know abandonment. I realized hurt, real hurt, and loss, and pain, on that day in March of 1994.
And now, Coron is born. 11 years after that had taken place. On the 8th of February, 2005. 8 representing NEW BEGINNING. 7 days after my mothers birthday. 7 representing completion. Her birthday was February 1st. 1 representing the one, the beginning. I believe in numbers. I honor and observe numbers. I recognize the meaning and truth in the representation of what some numbers hold. And that day, the 8th, truly brought forth a new beginning for me. And it represented a completion of a season that had been tortuous and traumatic. It began a process of healing. It did not miraculously change everything. Actually, very little on the surface was different. But his life gave me hope which in turn gave me strength which gave me a bit of courage. And it all started to grow.
I recently had a talk with my son about purpose. I asked him if he understood what it meant to follow dreams and find purpose. I told him that I was choosing to leave the barbershop and cutting hair, of which I’ve done for all of his life and many years before him, to pursue my passion and gift and talent of writing and performing and helping people. Even with his birthday coming up, I asked him if he was okay that I might not be able, in the short term, to do as I had done before, or as I wanted to, but that I had to step out on faith and go after my dreams. I told him that I had to because I couldn’t be just an “expression” to him but that I had to be an example. I told him that I hadn’t put a plan in place but that I had to try because I just felt that it was time to. I told him that I had to follow my heart, and I asked if he understood that. And then I asked him if it was okay with him that I do it. I asked if he would be willing to give me a chance to prove myself to him. I asked him to give me his blessing. I really did. I asked an 8 year old to co-sign the decision I had made to drastically and dramatically change both of our lives. Later, I believe and have faith, it will be for the good, but in the now, at the moment, it would be a challenge. But I believe that I have no choice. I believe that there was no other option.
And Coron told me that it would be okay.
I have recently wrote and revealed some things via my blog and other social-media outlets that not everyone knows or knew about me and my life. The last 20 years have been extremely difficult and I made them no better by following suit and perpetuating the habits and hurts that had started so long ago. But God. Yes, BUT GOD! My life story is a real and true testimony of God’s grace and His mercy. My life is testament to His forgiveness and His love. My life is proof that He is!
There is this song…
Phillips, Craig & Dean “I want to be just like you…”
I heard that song in July of 2005, a few months after Coron was born. I was not in a very good place at the time. Psychologically, spiritually, mentally, physically, I was broken. All that his birth had begun in me was soon coupled with the torments and pressures of such newfound responsibility. And I was in a very difficult state of emotions and energy and my actions were catastrophic. Around that time of my life I hurt some people that are very near and dear to me, beyond what I am able to explain. I have yet to make amends and restitution for the evil and trouble I caused back then. I was already messed up and my son being here seemed to force me into a corner that I was unfamiliar with. And I didn’t know how to fight my way out of it. So I ran. I ran because I felt like I couldn’t breathe and that I was going to lose control. And I left him and his mother in that moment. I left Chicago with my bible and one of my son’s blankets. I have carried that blanket with me since that day. It stays in my possession. It is a reminder. Coron and I often joke about whose blanket it is. He always says that it’s his blanket. I always tell him that it’s mine. But then I tell him that everything I have is his. So it is his. But he is mines. So it is mine.
That July was a lifetime ago. Today I am here, always available to my son. Here for him. So much better because of him. And I am so much better.
So today I was sitting here wondering what should I buy him for his birthday. It’s crazy what having a child will force you to do. Like whatever this kid wants, I am trying to figure a way to make it happen. You want what is best for your children. My dad once told me that, “Kids make the right people, the right people.” I’ve never heard anything more true. Although it has taken a very long time, Coron has made me right. I began to “right” this ship once he came into my life. It has been a long and arduous process. But I am so much better today. I feel so much better. I am doing so much better. I know better. I want better. I am going for better.
So this is his gift. I am writing. I will never again stop writing. Writing is my way out. Writing is my way in. Speaking and performing are the resources that I have, in abundance, and I will use these talents and gifts to secure a stable environment and future for me and my family. This is my gift. This is my skill. I am both profound and proficient in these abilities. And I am ready to use them as my service. As my gift. As my opportunity. As I sit here and pen this note I am reminded of every second and season that has gone without me being able to stand firmly and proudly in my own skin. I pretended before. I acted before. I hid before. But, I AM MY STORY! And I must be told. I must be shared. I must be exampled and examined. I must be utilized and used for the purpose of educating and inspiring and motivating. And that is what I can and will give my son. That is what I will give me. A chance at the promise of what becomes of such.
Happy Birthday Bud… Thank you for being such a gift to me. Thank you for giving me strength and courage and hope again. Thank you for the looks of pride and expectation that your eyes remnant as you look at me. Thank you for showing me my own reflection. Thank you for helping me to discover real and true love. Thank you for helping me to understand and recognize loyalty. Thank you for showing me the essence and nuances of blind faith. Thank you for the peace of mind that comes into my spirit every time you call my name. Thank you for being a great child and being full of energy and excitement. Thank you for the healing that your laughter is to my soul. Thank you for the encouragement and motivation that your needs are to my drive. Thank you for the answer that your well-being is to any question that I have. I have learned so much about me because of you. And the lessons are just starting!
The other day, someone very special to me reminded me that my mother is okay. Although I spent years angry and frustrated at having to only be able to guess and assume at her last moments and state of being in the afterlife, I have finally come to terms with her passing and I have found the closure and justice in my spirit that yet evades this family on earth. But I know today, that my mom, your grandmother is proud of me. She watches over and guides and clings near to my heart. Although she had long left this earth before you were born, your birth gave a sense of her back to me. And tonight my heart smiles with the joy of knowing that she is just as excited about you as I am. And just as proud. And she and every other angel and spirit of God that she can move in heaven to help bring to pass the future she long ago envisioned and prayed for me, is in full motion. I can feel it.
I wish you the wildest of your greatest imagination. I pray everyday that you try, that you love, that you explore. I pray and believe that you will fight for love and for peace and for the goodness that is inherent in you. I speak into you authentic joy and happiness and abundance of relationships and resources towards the fulfillment of your purpose. I speak Safety, Security, and Significance for your every moment. I pray that the love in you is reinforced and reflected by everyone around you. I pray that you are always protected. I speak in, over, and unto you perpetual favor as you go forward. I pray that you embrace the journey and learn the roads and admire the experiences. I pray that your relationship with your parents extends for decades of years to come but that in every moment you realize and recognize that life is a delicate petal of a much larger flower and is at any given moment vulnerable to the winds of time. So at every chance you have, you love, you lead, you live! I pray that you understand how important it is to give and to share and to hope and to have faith. I pray that you listen and admire the knowledge and wisdom available to you. I pray that you curiously seek to find your destiny through deliberate action and determined focus. I pray that you open your mind and heart to possibility and that you give way to the action of experience. I pray that you have faith in the truth of who God is. I pray that you seek him out constantly and that He avails Himself to you with a fervor that leads you to lead others towards a relationship with him. I pray that you not wander or worry or wait for too long, in no season that has expired. I pray that you “get it” as quickly as possible and that you use what you learn in any moment to guide you in every moment. I pray that you are blessed. I pray that you know that you are identified and defined. I pray that you know that you are loved. I pray that you always know that you are appreciated and respected and revered and trusted. I pray that you know that you are believed and “believed in”. I pray that you realize the benefits and beauty of being honest. I pray that you are comfortable with your truth. I pray that you are okay with who you are and that you wake up every morning to the sun of a new chance to give and pay forward and love and care. I pray that every moment you rest your head that you are able to find peace and comfort in the gratitude of knowing how blessed you are. I pray that you know thankfulness. I pray that you know humility. I pray that you know and exhibit whatever and all the good that it is that you know.
And I pray that I continue, as your father, to be more than that, but an example for all these things.