I don’t have many pictures of my father and me.
Today marks the three-year anniversary of his death. It is difficult to not be catapulted into the gaps his addiction carved in his and my life on days like today.
But between the chaos and incense and pills and disaster that shaped my perception of his life, there is certainty that I cling to- emerging from his overdose and demise- and it is this:
At the end of the day, at the end of your life…you are the only one capable of saving yourself. No one else can do it for you. It is your journey- and yours alone- to create what you will.
The love that you wait on- from anyone and everyone- to fix things, to change things, comes from within. And even when it’s dark, even when it’s buried, you MUST dig for the strength and the courage to design your life, instead of letting life mold you.
Blame and anger can only take you so far. Hatred breeds darkness and disease. And I think that forgiveness and humility are two undervalued champions in today’s culture that can help drive out one’s demons.
So today I will grieve the memories I have of the talented poet, the brilliant mind, and the tortured soul who was my father. I will remember turning five and the joy I felt when I opened my Go-go Walking Dog. I’ll listen to Natalie Merchant’s “River” on repeat because it has always reminded me of him. And I will pray for his guidance from above, where I believe his ability to influence my life far surpasses his capabilities here on Earth.
I love you, Daddy.
Written by Desmond
November 26th 1985 (my birthday)
I am giving this child to the universe.
From my loins I am giving this child to the waters
And the earth and the stars
I am giving this child,
Giving this child away
Forever I am giving this child
To the wind and the grass and the
Rains. I am giving her
Blood and dreams and mortality
She has come out of me. Like a root
She has torn my skin. She is drinking
In the deep earth and I am giving her
My muscles, my hair, my bones, the eons
Floating over my skin, the dances, the mysteries,
The mist from my eyes.