It is Thanksgiving Eve. For the last few weeks, I have seen people post online what they are thankful for, such as: Family, Friends, and Good Health. I want to add my two cents to what I would like to give thanks for this year. However, it will not be will what you think. Plus, forgive me, if this post rambles on, and if it makes no sense; I have been told that it is a charming part of my personality.
I want to give thanks for Anger. Anger is a gift. It is a dangerous gift, but a gift, nevertheless. There was a portion of my life that I was the beta male, gamma male, doormat, loser, or whatever pejorative that you would give to a male that ceded his power to the outside world, and let the outside world define him. I tapped into anger when I was in middle school. Anger electrified my being. Within its flames, I found the will to be; I found the will to resist. It felt good to be angry. Being angry kept the maelstrom that was the world at bay, and you find yourself angry all of the time. Yet, the barricade of anger can last only for so long. Because while anger can protect you from the world, it does nothing to help you heal from the wounds that fester and bleed. Therefore, this leads me to the next thing that I am thankful for, which is love.
According to Common, Love is not a Mystery; it is everything. I am thankful for love. While I have fallen flat on my face a number of times seeking love in my life, I am grateful that it was there for me to seek out, and to find. It has allowed me to find peace; it has allowed me to find closure; it has allowed me to find purpose in life other than just the will to be, but to thrive; it has allowed me to find forgiveness for myself and for others. However, love requires courage. And courage is something that I am very thankful for this year.
My father was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer this year. It sounds unreal for me to say those words, even though it is a reality. However, the day that upended my father’s and my family’s life is still with me.
On June 17, 2015, I went to my parents’ house to help my father with his garden. Before we started, we had talked about taking it easy, since it was going to be very hot and humid that day. We had been outside for not an hour. I was placing tomato and pepper plants into his grow boxes. He was sitting down on his trailer that had a number of buckets filled with soil. While I tried talking to him, he was not being responsive, and his eyes were cloudy. I told him that we needed to go inside. While it took him some time to get in, he was able to walk on his own. Once we got inside, I got him a bottle of water, and I told him that he needed to drink it. My father was looking up at the ceiling with his cloudy eyes. His tongue was partially out, not in a cute way like the one a kitten does when he is happy, but in a sickly way. Yet, in a twinkle of an eye, my father raised his arms to his chest with his fist clenched; he let out a cry of pain that will live with me until my dying days; and the man that I epitomized with strength and endurance fell backward to the floor like a tumbling domino.
Immediately, I went to help my father. He was unresponsive. While holding on to my father with one hand, love gave me the courage to call 911 to seek help. While the EMTs were en route, all that I cared about was keeping my father him in that moment, and alive. It was eerie how you can be so physically close to a person, but be so far away, at the same time. The EMTs came to my parents’ home, and they took him to Eastside Medical. While the events of that day still have repercussions for my family and myself, I am thankful that God allowed me to be there on June 17, 2015 and that God gave me the love & courage to be there for my father, and for my family. And I am thankful that my family is still together on this Thanksgiving, and that there is hope that we will be together for years to come.