It’s funny how the autumn sun light is beautiful and somehow melancholy at the same time. The temperatures are similar as early summer days, yet the sunlight has this certain low glow, summer gives you that blazing light. Autumn is here, the leaves are slowly changing in colour, but not quite the blazing beauty expected in the coming weeks. Fall comes on a bit slowly down here in the southeast.
Somehow, the season changes can cause you to think about the chapters in your life. Sure, we’re all familiar with metaphorically equating the natural seasons to the seasons in your life. As I was sitting and looking at the sunlight beaming through my bedroom window I seemed to fall into a waking trance and could see the chapters of my life circling by as if on a carousel. I saw my childhood when my whole family lived with my maternal grandparents (I wonder how we all fit in that small two bedroom one bathroom house.) Moving away from Memphis and my grandparents to San Diego. Wow, that was a culture shock, the midsouth to the west coast. Growing into my preteens onto my teenage years. I had a blast in high school, real fun. I thought about the school year kicking off and how, of course, football season produced the biggest and best events at that time of year. And the large pep rallies where we had a ball. I can’t forget my first real girl friend and real love. I knew it was real love. There is no such thing as puppy love, love is love.
After having played baseball in high school and having several try outs with professional teams, and, well, not making it, some friends of mine decided to start a softball team. Softball??? Nah softball was for girls. But hell, why not give it a try. We became neighborhood folk heroes, something like the movie Richard Pryor starred in Bingo Long And The Traveling All-Stars. The Over the Hill Gang (don’t know why they chose that name most of us were in our late teens and early twenties) were the stars of Southeast San Diego winning countless USSSA and ASA softball tournaments. But, seasons change and life changed.
In my mid twenties I fathered a child, got married (I know the tradition says it’s supposed to be the other way around, but life teaches differently) and like many Americans the marriage ended. This opened a whole new chapter in my life. I loved and love my son. He’s a big man and officer in the U.S. Coast Guard now and I am very proud of him, but it was no easy road. I will say from the time we divorced when he was about six years old until he graduated high school was a living nightmare.
See, unlike many men that the news portrays and what we see some men do, I endeavored to maintain a close relationship with my son. Not long after the divorce his mom decided to move to the east coast from San Diego. That tore me in half and half again. But I dealt with it and decided to move east myself to be closer. She, unbelievably tried to break the relationship between my son and myself and little did she know she was breaking his spirit. I had to work very very hard to prevent this from happening. She failed miserably, thank the Most High!
So, as I sit today I see another woman close to me making decisions that could break her son’s spirit. I see in her the same crazed mentality as my ex-wife. I see her making a decision to possibly co-habitate with a 45-year-old man who has no children, says he doesn’t want any and is rumoured to not even like children. I see a woman who has allowed this man, she has only known for less than 6 months discipline her son with physical exercise! A 5-year-old!! She is wrecking his spirit, she is destroying it. I see the joy in his heart and spirit and his physical actions when he comes here. I hear his mouth say he hates to go over there. I feel his distress when his mother talks about picking him up to go back over there. Yes, the seasons cycle, but, I never thought this kind of pain, this particular pain would cycle back again. What’s a grandparent to do?