Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Room Full Of No One

The littlest things in life have always been able to make me feel alive and that simple concept just blows my mind at times. Not because I wonder how little things can make my motor run but instead because of how aware I am of the road that has lead me to this place and my life and the pain that I walked through to get here. Tonight I begin this post because even though I have felt lost in myself lately it was just a tiny moment that has me smiling in my heart greater than I have smiled in awhile.
There I was just changing my 4 month old son Liam for bed, I had just pulled his shirt over his head and as I lay his head back down our eyes locked and I could sense his excitement  so I slowly inched closer to his face and then gave him a raspberry on his belly. Now usually a 4 month old will just look at you like you are an idiot when you attempt this (trust me my soon to be 2 year old daughter did it every time I tried until she was at least 10 months, now I cant get close to her and she is dying) but in this one instant my little boy just lost it and for the first time in his short life I made my boy laugh. I cannot even begin to describe the emotion that rushed through me but I could feel my heart shed some of the cold exterior that I have built to protect myself.
The craziest part of all of this is that I have been feeling so alone lately. My family is more or less non existent in my life, my friends well I am not sure what to think about them, and work well work is work for the first time in my life. I of course have my home life but when you want to brag about your babies I would imagine an audience of a 2 year old and a 4 month old are not what you had in mind. And the wife well she already knows the stories so that is no fun. I call my mother but the conversation just falls into what it has always been which is just a bunch of excuses of why she cant travel 3 blocks to see my kids, my sister has made recent attempts to see them but she did remove and block me from her facebook page, my friends well they don't even answer the phone half the time which has really caused some soul searching as of late.
You see I was the popular kid back in high school the one with people always around them. The problem that I had then basically came down to the title of this post. Although I always had people around me I was in reality in a room full of no one. I knew it then but I didn't care because I knew in my heart that with the messed up life I had been chosen for, if I was alone I was going to have one of three things happen. #1. I would be beaten by my mom's boyfriend. #2 I would have fallen so far down the line I would be writing this from a cell or #3 I would have ended my life. So I used the people that used me to make sure I lived after all I owed that much to my father who died at 30.
The kids were easy to use too, every weekend like clockwork my phone rang off the hook people wanting to come and stay with the kid who had no supervision at least not until closing time at the local watering hole. And I let them all come one by one to shit on me and talk about me behind my back and even while I was in the same room with them. I each weekend would find myself in a room full of no one, no one that cared what happened to me, no one that respected me, no one that knew how broken I was inside or that I wished that I did not need them by my side. No one that knew me.
I have always felt like I have been in that room. In school, at work, at home, in churches, with strangers, with family and even sometimes with myself. It is my least favorite place to feel like I am because when you are in a room full of no one, even though you are surrounded by many you are truly by yourself. I need that room when I was going through high school without it I would be a memory, but sadly I am still disappointed by the superficialness that has led me to this place now where I have something to brag about but all the people that I can tell already know the story and 2 out of the few I can tell are 2 and under.
I will never fault the kids that clung to me like glue because they could party their high school years  away because I used them too for my own reasons. But would it really have hurt them to invest themselves in my life a little more. Would it hurt my family to travel 3 and 4 blocks away to share my life with them. Unfortunately the answer to that is yes they too have always treated me like I was expendable. I never used my family for anything or walked all over them and I will not understand their actions.
Which brings me to my point, all my life I have been sitting in a room full of no one, pretty much a loner just thankful for the surroundings of other heart beats so that mine did not stop. All my life I have been haunted by the miseries and pains that my road has encountered. All my life has been spent pondering questions and what ifs but for 6 years now I have been on a path to redemption a path that found me at my bottom and at my worst and I am proud to report that my eternal flame that was near it's final flicker has actually been refueled and is burning stronger than ever.
You see I am 34 years old and I have lived through more pain and sorrow than most people see in a lifetime. And yet no matter how dark it got I have marched through with the will of a champion. Tonight I realized something when my son giggled. I was not in a room full of no one, I was in a room full of 4 and quite frankly how many more do you need.
Thank you if you took the time to read this, I love writing more than you know....

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How June 18th changed my life forever

The saying that "Timing is everything" is more true than anything I have ever heard in my life. From little things like getting to be first in line for tickets to a show, definitely in inventions and certainly in trying to create life.  People get jobs based on timing, they fall in love based on timing, some hit the lottery based on their timing and unfortunately some die because of their timing.
In this blog and in my story timing has been my friend and my enemy. It has caused me tears and set me up for laughter. But no single moment would shape my life quite like the timing of June 18th, 1978. See for those of you who have never met me and maybe stumbled upon this blog because of Twitter or maybe by accident let me tell you of the worst possible timing of any event that I have lived through.
In June of 1978, I would experience two events in life that are polar opposites, the beginning of life which I experienced as my own life reached it's first full year and the end of life which my Father reached at the age of 30 when he was struck and killed by lightning on June 18th, 1978.  In a matter of 16 days I ate my first cake, blew out the shortest amount of candles I would ever get too and spent my 2nd Fathers Day of my life at a picnic where my Dad was pronounced dead by first responders.
It is probably the hardest thing I have ever experienced and I cant remember one thing from that day. In reality the first recollection I have of my father was wondering where he was when I was 3. I have been doused with pictures and stories of my father for the last 33 years although the last few have gone quiet, with only me telling the stories I have heard over the years to other people. And with those stories I have heard about the kind loving, intelligent man that played one spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates and would never hurt anyone and would give you the shirt off his back....what I did with those stories was create a legend in my mind that would move the Heavens and part the oceans to protect me and would love me more than the love from a million women and men. My Father would lift me out of danger and in tough times he would make sure to walk me through all storms.
Now in that description I have described at least 2 different people....Jesus or a Superhero. My point is as I was growing up I didn't let my father's death just destroy me and just throw away my life like I have seen many people do. I could have trust me it would have been easy, I was raised in an environment that had alcohohlism, verbal and physical abuse and worst of all a carousel of people who loved me one day and then disappeared from my life completely. But in all of that I used my Father's absence with my imagination I had learned from reading and TV to create the ideal model of what my Dad would have been. Couple that with the rose colored glasses that people put on my eyes every time they painted a picture of the man my Dad was and basically you would have a man that would win Dad of the Year hands down.  The problem with all of this creation in my head of the Legend of Bill Hall is that these ideas made me long for him even more when times were tough and trust me times were always tough.
Yet somehow when my path veered towards the wrong path these images of who he was in my brain kept me from traveling down the road least advisable to travel. Now I do not claim I am OK with any of this to tell you the truth I broke down three different times today when my mind wandered and it was 33 years ago but I will also not deny that this event shaped my soul in good and bad ways. June 18th has become to me a day that will always represent sorrow to me as I am sure anyone who lost their Father on Fathers Day would feel. It is a day that leaves me feeling robbed and I will never shake that but that day has also left me with an image of what I believe a Dad to be and although I may have painted my father out to be a Superhero, I will die trying to live up to those images for my kids Liam and Belle. If I can be half the man that I imagined my Father to be then to quote Charlie Sheen my kids will be Winning!!!
June 18th ripped my heart out 33 years ago and hear I sit another year older and another year wiser and although my heart aches at the thought of my Dad laying breathless on the side of a hill after trying to cook burgers at a family picnic and my eyes swell full of tears at the idea of him not being here to watch me grow. I can tell you that for the second year in a row I have held my babies and been able to connect with my Father as I now know how he felt when he held me close. I will never stop imagining what my father would have been like. Would I have played pro sports like he had if he had lived or maybe I would have been a Dr or a lawyer. What I can tell you for sure is that there is no way I would have been as good a Dad as I am right now. His death has taught me a very important lesson and that is a common one you hear in sports and that is live each moment like it is your last. I do not always do this and anyone claiming to is probably nuts but when I am with my babies I make sure to enjoy and treasure every moment we have and I make sure that they know how much I love them and that I always will, a question that has filled my head for 33 years. It is amazing how in just one moment your world can fall apart, mine did that fateful day in June of 1978 when Fathers Day was celebrated on the 18th day. I will never be what I may have been but what I do know is I will go to my grave trying to be the best father I can be just like my Dad did.
Happy Father's Day to all and for this Son and Father mine will be double the fun this year. I love you Liam and Isabella don't ever wonder. I love you Dad I hope I make you proud........