Shine Your Light
We each have a light that shines within us all. Yes…even the darkest of people have this light. I like to think of each of our lights as a gift, a gift that we should never take for granted. However, there will be many times in this life when our light goes dim or even sadder…goes completely and totally dark. It will be a constant battle throughout our lives where we must fight to never let our light burn out. Easier said than done, this much I know but that doesn’t mean we should never stop the battle. Sometimes we will lose this battle and other times we will receive our victories. This week’s entry is one that I’d never thought I’d have to write.
Right after my last entry, it was the week of May 21st and while I was prepared for the news it’s still painful when you receive it. A friend of mine passed away. I’ve known this man for many years and boy…did he have light. He could really light up any room he walked into. When I met him, he was dating a very close friend of mine and through their relationship; he was a permanent fixture in my life. Over time, their dating relationship had ended and he went on to not deal with his demons that were eating away at his light.
That same evening that I got the news that my friend passed away, my mother contacted me to tell me that my grandmother was in the emergency room having heart problems. Hours went by before my mother told me that they were putting a pacemaker into my grandmother. Suffice to say, that day I didn’t feel like shining my own light.
When I woke up the next morning after receiving all that terrible news, the sun was shining brightly through my bedroom window. Without any hesitation, I grabbed my phone and told my friend who had lost his ex-boyfriend that the sun shining is God’s way of telling us that he’s alright now. No more demons. No more pain. No more struggle. Peace and Light were shining down onto us.
By the time the end of that week was approaching a farewell was set up in our friends’ honor and unfortunately, I would be missing it for I was boarding a plane to Arizona to be with my grandmother.
I arrived in Arizona and I was going to be there for a week. I usually never take more than a day or two away from work but they understood and found coverage while I was out. While I would be staying with my parents, my aunt from San Diego also came down to help lighten some of the “grandmother” load. My week would entail me helping interview potential outside assistance to help with my grandmother moving forward.
It was a long and challenging week. Even before the pacemaker, my grandmother was tough, mean, rude and sometimes even cruel; mainly to her relatives. So, even though she only had the surgery a week prior to my arrival; that pacemaker didn’t slow her mannerisms down in any way.
Over the course of the week that I was there, I helped clean her apartment, witness her have a breakdown in the Arizona heat and I think the thing that opened my eyes the most was her pain. We are so programmed to focus on babies, puppies and anything that is cute and young. But what happens when you become a senior? Who is left to take care of you, especially if you have no loved ones nearby? When you don’t have a reason to get up in the morning, it can make for a very long day and those days can turn into months and years.
As a family, we all felt confident in one particular nursing home for my grandmother. When we arrived, they treated us and my grandmother with such kindness and respect. I glanced around at all the people living there with their walkers, wheel chairs and moving at such a slow pace. Some of the people were alone, others were talking among themselves and it just broke my heart that these people are preparing for the end. That after all they had gone through in their lives that this is where they are going to end. It sounds morbid and dark but I was doing my very best at the nursing home to find some sort of light. But I couldn’t. I looked at my grandmother sitting at the table with us as we ate our complimentary nursing home lunches and couldn’t help but think if she was having the same thoughts as me. This was, of course, after she hit my elbows for resting them on the table (I forgot my manners).
I opted to not tell my close friends just how much I was struggling with all that was happening. I figured someone needed to be strong. I have yet to shed a tear for any of the things that has happened in the past two weeks. Mainly, because I haven’t had the time or any real moments to myself to process anything. However, I cherish my role in being there for others, whether they are people I love or strangers. If I can help anyone find their light or prevent them from going into the darkness than I’ve done my job as a human.
I arrived back into the city and typical me, I had a date lined up already. It was a third date with the guy from New Jersey that I’ve been on a few dates with already. This date was on the special side for he was inviting me over to stay the night at his place in a town called, Bayonne, New Jersey.
Saturday afternoon, I went to spin class got ready to jump on the Path train that would take me to New Jersey. The commute was rather painless and easy. Once I got there my date was waiting for me in his car. I told him prior that I wanted for him to drive me around show me this town. He took pride in his town and it was nice seeing him get excited about what he was showing me. We had no real set plans after the tour and I told him that relaxing is probably what I needed more than anything. I did pack a light overnight bag just in case this afternoon date turned into a sleep over.
When we got to his place, he showed me around and proceeded to tell me that the reason the spare room in his apartment had no furniture in it was because his ex-boyfriend had moved out a few months ago. Great…already having the “ex-boyfriend” talk and I hadn’t even finished the tour of the apartment yet.
We watched the Subway Series game and while the game was on in the background I thought for SURE that he was going to make a move. He didn’t. Instead we ordered take out from a diner, watched the game and when that was over he wanted to go back to his bedroom. Finally, something was going to happen. I excused myself and washed my face and put my products on and got into my sleep-over clothes. He was already in bed and had the show, The X-Files, on. I hadn’t ever really seen that show before, I knew the premise but never saw the show. Anyhow, finally he decided to make a move, finally things were heating up but things cooled off rather quickly. Before I knew it, he was one of those guys where it was “all about him” and no attention was being tossed in my direction. I brought up the TV show that was playing in the background for every time I glimpsed at the TV screen there was some alien’s guts being blown up or some weird shit. I asked him to turn the TV off because it wasn’t very romantic. He didn’t. Finally, it was over and so was he. He kissed me on my forehead and turned the other way. It was past midnight.
I woke up yesterday morning and he got up and started making me breakfast. I really just wanted to grab my bag and have him drive me to the nearest train station but I wanted to be polite. He went all out with this homemade breakfast…eggs, bacon, potatoes, fresh fruit and he even buttered my toast. As we sat and had breakfast that is when he really began to share stuff about his life. He told me that he identifies as bisexual, belongs to some Freemasonry club just for men, needs a little medical assistance keeping his penis awake and worse of all…is a Trump supporter. At this point during breakfast, I couldn’t wait to get back but he asked me if I wanted to take a quick shower first before he drove me to the train station. I declined but did want to brush my teeth and splash some water on my face before we left. As I was in his bathroom freshening up, I noticed his shower curtain was pulled back just enough for me to see something shiny inside. I looked inside the shower and there…suctioned cupped onto his shower tiles was a metal dildo!!! Yes folks…you read that right. A metal dildo just suctioned on his shower along with some Pantene shampoo and body wash from CVS drugstore. I wanted to take a picture but I didn’t have my phone with me.
In the car, I did my best to act like I had a good time because the truth was, I didn’t have a horrible time just wasn’t what I was expecting. I wasn’t treated that way I deserve to be treated. I left my city and went across the Hudson River hoping that maybe this guy, just for one night only would be able to help bring some of my light that I felt wasn’t burning as brightly as it once had.
When I began walking home from the subway to my apartment after my Bayonne adventure, I knew that the only person that can bring my light back is me. I’m beyond fortunate to have such an amazing support system both here in the city and back on the west coast. Most people out there have nothing. However, even those that you think have it all might be very lonely behind closed doors.
We each have a light that shines within us all. Yes…even the darkest of people have this light.
It’s our responsibility in this chaotic world to help anyone when you see their light fading away. It’s a gift that we are given. The ability to help, to share, to give without receiving. We are truly blessed with this light and I’m the luckiest person in the world to have people in my life that have the ability to shine so bright. I have never ask for much but I do ask that you shine your light as brightly as you can and help others in need.
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