Normally, by people I deem close to me (more to come), I am personified as one of those “all about me” people. A narcissist if you will. I disagree but that’s probably just because I view narcissism differently. To take something that is not about me and to make it about me seemed natural to most and felt normal to me. So… maybe “they’re” right. Maybe I am the N word. This commentary is on how this infected/affected ME, so I am going to leave out the things that are not about Jake’s impact on me.
I have long been a father. A father of many, and with many “wives”. Carelessly, sloppily yet somehow blessed to have well-rounded children. There have been moments in my life where my choices were not savory. The outcome, temporarily disastrous was not fatal. That was God. God took care of these innocent souls to protect them from my stubborn carelessness. That observation of my own parenting gave me three perspectives which I will elaborate on more: my children are first, the people “close” to me may not be the best for me, where is God and why?
My children have lived all over the place. They have been pushed in and out of states, school districts, and other women’s lives in my quest for purpose. I have this wonderful yet terrible attribute that makes me put the aforementioned women first. I try to please everybody, ultimately destroying myself and everyone else in the process. In Jake’s passing, I realized that I have done this to my children, for years. I realized that Lisa would never do that. I hated myself and wanted a second chance at being a father. I rationalized it by saying that they are well rounded and have seen the depths of polar opposites: success and failure. I convinced myself that this has built their character. It did not. They have adapted a survival of the fittest mentality, which is good. Jake’s passing made me realize that other “things” would not come in the way of what is important to them. I had to put myself in the mind of a child to understand what is important to them. Missing school and sporting events is not an option, nor a desire. Work can wait, they can not. So, thank you for the wake up call Jake.
Secondly, those that are closest to me are not necessarily there because they are fans of me. In evaluating the element of my children, it forced me to evaluate all other aspects of my life: friends, family and career. I have never been the best at keeping in touch. I have not been a very good friend or relative to many. Jake’s tiny existence showed me how short life is. The moments we invest into people will never come back to us. So, I wanted to start investing those moments into the right people. As I sit here in retrospect, I realize that this piece was subconscious. I inadvertently focused my attention on what matters most. Although it was subconscious, I feel it was intentional. Again, survival of the fittest. Certain friendships were cut. Relative relationships that seemed to matter to the other side as much as they matter to me, just get taken with a grain a salt. After all, they are making choices like me to invest time into what matters most. Like they say, don’t hate the player, hate the game. So, for helping me get back to what matters most, thank you Jake.
Lastly, God!?!?!?!? WHERE ARE YOU? A person like me (a bad person) is able to populate the Earth in abundance yet a good person (Lisa) is having such trouble. It sours my taste for my relationship with God. I never really understood when people cop-out and say everything happens for a reason because there is no reason for this. No reason for Jake passing. No reason for the hurt that Bret and Lisa have endured. But then, I re-read this and even if the impact on 10 other people is only a fraction of what this has done to/for me, I can say that I might be able to understand that this is the reason. Maybe God was able to impact dozens, even hundreds of people to be better parents/friends/lovers. Maybe he saved thousands throughout generations just by forcing us all to come together and be better. Maybe the lesson of appreciation ripples for hundreds of years.
Jake – that is miraculous. I never understood it until just now. Thank you. And, for the first time, I am saying I love you, and feeling it.