I remember how I felt that night back in late 2004. It was sheer and utter despair. Actually, it was several exits past despair. I felt depleted. I felt alone. I felt beyond lost. In my eyes, there was nothing left except the final bit of tequila that sat at the bottom of the bottle I held in my hand. I couldn’t cry anymore. All of my tears had already been shed. I couldn’t feel anymore, both physically and emotionally. It was my rock bottom and I had emptied out.
I remember picking up the phone, my hand trembling, not knowing what the right thing to do was. I didn’t care to know either. I dialed and left the following message. “Hey. In the event I don’t wake up tomorrow, please tell the kids I am really, really sorry.” With that, I plopped a handful of sleeping pills in my mouth and finished off what was left of the tequila.
I am embarrassed and ashamed of that moment in my life. It’s the one moment in my life I gave up complete hope in anything, and it’s the furthest away from God I’d ever been.
I look back at that night and thank God He spared me during my moment of insanity. I believe He did so as a reminder that life is a struggle, and that when it appears everyone else has abandoned you, He is always there.
I look back at that night with disgust for myself because I was blind to the one gift He gave me that serves as a reminder of His love for me; my kids. How could I have possibly thought it was okay to check out on them, the only two human beings in the world that have ever displayed true, unconditional love to me? It’s shameful that I even considered it.
I have a great job, a beautiful house, good health, a nice truck and so much more. I have a circle of friends that makes my life so amazingly awesome and helps me create wonderful memories. And I have a wife that is my best friend, my biggest fan, and my north, always helping me find my way when I think I can’t. Still, given all that, the one thing I truly live for is my kids.
I’d trade it all in for them. No hesitation, no questions asked. I’d be fine living as a homeless person if it meant my kids had food and shelter for themselves. I’d lie in a hospital bed the rest of my days if that were the only way to ensure my kids were healthy. I’d live alone and broken-hearted if it meant that was the only way my kids would find someone to love for the rest of their lives.
Now, before you go freaking out on me, please know I’ve had this conversation before with my wife and she knows how I feel. She supports how I feel. And I am pretty sure she loves me more because of the father I strive to be to my children.
My children have made my life worth living for. I am reminded of that every time I look in their eyes, and I am so thankful God allowed me the chance to remember that.