Growth in Silence

His gigantic hands covered his face, a feeble attempt to hide his tears. He even tugged at the neck of his sweaty shirt. Yet, he could not hide his body’s shake, an instantaneously recognizable sign of crying. As his broad shoulders heaved up and down, I silently watched him, feeling like a voyeur during his intimate, seemingly private moment. I turned my head to respect the privacy that his hands and covered face demanded. As my focus shifted to the trees and the surrounding park equipment, tears flooded my eyes.

I’d been where he’d been. Heart broken. Overwhelmed by a random moment’s intensity, often spurned by an unexpected flood of memories and thoughts that break the dam protecting one’s eyes. I did not cry then.

I started to cry now because I love him and understood the pain. But I valiantly fought back those tears, refusing to wet my cheeks. I wanted to be strong for him in that moment, or so I lied to myself in those quick seconds. However, I truly wanted to put my arm around his shoulder and weep alongside him. I undoubtedly have some unresolved issues that more than likely require a good crying.

But I did not do so. I gave him his space.

After a few minutes passed and we completed the workout, I hugged him and told him that I loved him and I was here for him. Tears once again attempted to stream down my face but they did not break out of their lightly sealed ducts.

We sat on a nearby park bench and in silence our friendship grew, watered by unseen tears.


My Challenge to You is Write

Ernest Hemingway once wrote a story in six words: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

While the new school year has limited my time to write, I thought it best to share my recent thoughts via a series of six word memoirs.

Hurt feelings, concealed, sting the most.

Joy undoubtedly returns when he smiles.

Fighting daily to realize my ambition.

Only promise: never lie to mirror.

Impending wedding bells create cacophonous expectations.

My plea: be better than me.

Taking risks because monotony bores me.

Time heals, so give me time.

Only in control of my own.

Stop second guessing my instincts. Word.
In comments, I challenge you to share a six word memoir to capture a recent thought, feeling, or experience.

Breaking Up with My Son

Before the socially ingrained, borderline expected storyline of a deadbeat Black father dominates your thoughts, let me clarify the title.

When my son returned home, after spending a magnificent, adventure-filled summer in NYC, life has felt completely different for me. While I purposely avoid using the word, depression, I definitely slumped emotionally: his absent voice and laughter echo in my mind; I avoid going places that we’ve gone together; food tastes different; visiting my mom’s house feels void of that special something; I see parks or hear of new things that I could do with him and wish; constantly answering questions like, “How is he doing?” stings; I can’t stop reliving the fun we had; in a eye’s blink, I would tell anyone about him because his name alone makes my heart smile that big goofy kind of smile that one should be embarrassed about because all of your teeth and gums are showing but you simply love because those smiles are amazingly amazing and you cherish them…in between visits, talking on the phone and occasional Skype dates with him are my only reprieve. Yet, those moments undoubtedly leave me wanting more. Unfilled. I want to feel his body plump on top of mine when he gets tired; I want to carry his motionless, sleeping self from the car to the bed, wrestling off his clothes in order to wrestle on his pajamas; I want to combine taco and movie night to make him feel special; I want to play with toys on the floor; I want to listen to him read me a story; I want to help him with his math and writing skills; I want to remind him to wash his face after he brushes his teeth; I want to see him smile those heart smiles; I want to answer his persistent call of “Daddy.”

I woke up this morning, missing him as usual and thought to myself, I haven’t pined for someone like this since my last break up a few years ago. Hence, the title was born in that moment.