Faith, Family, Friends, Forgiveness, and F it.
I am thankful to have the foundation of those 5 F words in my life as they are all based on one thing and that is love for yourself. My life, attitude, and perspective have completely changed in this last 8 years since meeting my wife. She taught me the foundation of love and the 5 F’s in life. I felt blessed to have her not only as a friend, because while she was young at 28, she had lived through several lifetimes of pain and was the most positive happy person I had ever met. Her struggle would continue over the next 8 years of our relationship. She fell to her knees many times from the pain and weight of her world. That brings us to faith, as my wife always says when life knocks you onto your knees the Lord is saying you are in the perfect position to pray for his guidance.
My wife and I were both raised Roman Catholic and have converted to nondenominational Christianity. My wife left the Catholic Church after being told that she had not been raped by her first husband. Well you can’t really blame a girl for that. While she lost faith in the church she did not lose faith in God. She went on to become a minister. While I myself was raised in the faith you could call me a lot of things, but a practicing Catholic was not one of them. It’s not that I didn’t believe in God, but how can I feel comfortable taking counsel from a church that protected and had hidden child molesters? I’m sorry Ma, but I couldn’t do it. When Jessie and I had talks about faith her conviction was inspiring. I asked her how she could have such faith after all she had been through in life and her answer astonished me. “God never told anyone to wrong me so why would I blame him?” You would have to know all she suffered to truly understand the gravity of the statement, but my mind was blown away. She asked me if I’d like to come to her church and hear what they teach about following the path of God and I said okay to please her. While I was never atheist or agnostic, I was very anti church because of my transgender brother who at the time believed she was a lesbian. I can not support a church who tells me God is perfect, God makes no mistakes, except when a LGBT child is born. It’s not a choice to be gay. I don’t care if you want to scream it’s a sin. There is a whole lot going on in a straight married couple’s bedroom that God considers a sin too. She stood in church and preached that. “Maybe it is a sin, but all sins are the same, and let he who is without sin cast the first stone of judgment.” My world had been changed by a church that preached love and equality for all. This beautiful woman had given me back faith, and it was a faith that supported my family.
Family is the cornerstone of my life and how I was raised. My wife and I both come from large military families, but very different backgrounds. My family struggled financially and that is an understatement. Her family wanted for nothing financially. We both had stay at home mothers, but her mother was extremely abusive to all of her children. Abusive to the point that her brother committed suicide to escape his mental hell. My mother was overwhelmed as a almost full time single parent of 7 children, a grandchild born to 16 year old parents, and a future daughter in law. We didn’t have wants unless we had jobs and worked for them, but we never wanted for love. My mother passed away a year ago and I miss her daily. My father and I do not speak as today he is an abusive self centered alcoholic. I have my living siblings and I know my twin is with me always. He was a good kid who made bad choices with drugs and gangs that cost him his life at just 16. My family is everything to me and there is nothing I would not do for them. My wife built her family and the love between them is incredible. DNA makes you related by blood, but a family is built from trust and love. That is the basis of all relationships. She questions whether she is capable of or deserves to be loved, but she only has love to give.
We don’t have many people we consider friends. You’re either friends that have become family or you are people that we see socially. Trust is a hard thing to earn with my wife and she always questions why people like her. Part of that is self protection from users and a warped self image from the years of abuse. She is incredibly sweet, kind, loving, and a mother figure to every child who has crossed her path. She’s never met a child she doesn’t love and never has met a person whose story she didn’t have time to hear. She is someone who will become your instant best friend, but it will take you years to climb her walls. The climb is worth it. You never meet anyone who has a more unconditional love for all, except herself. She can forgive anyone for the largest of sins against her.
I have learned from my wife that forgiveness is more for you than the person you have forgiven. It’s about letting go of the hurt and pain. It’s for you to be able to move forward in life. I’ve learned to forgive a lot of things that I hadn’t realized I was even angry about to be honest. It took 18 years for me to realize how angry I was that my brother isn’t standing beside me like a mirror. I was angry that I found the perfect woman and she was about to be taken from me. I was angry that my father started drinking again and my parents ended up divorced after 42 years. I was angry at how much bitterness was put towards my family, especially from my dad, for being this messed up guy in a wheelchair who “now has the cushy life”. Did you really just say that when my wife has cancer dad? F it.
The funniest thing you will ever see in this life is a tiny little Greek southern belle minister say, “F#%¥ it, and F#%¥ y’all too if that’s how y’all feel about it. Y’all have a God blessed day now!”… And she means every single word! It took a minister to teach me to say F it. Now I was using that word a lot more before her, but not in the same manner. I will never forget the day she looked at me and said the words. “Do you remember the Serenity Prayer? God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change… Basically it’s saying F#%¥ it, you can’t fix stupid so let it go!” Sometimes you need to say F it to life to move forward to live and be happy. I’ve learned to say it towards a lot of things. It’s people who want to use me, people who want to look down on me for my limitations, and to my disabilities in general. You’re not God, real family, or even a friend so F#%¥ it. Why am I letting anything that’s not one of things tell me how to live my life? Sorry, I’m not sorry anymore.