Taking Losses

21 Jan

I’m a helper. I do what I can to help as many people as I possibly can, as much as a possibly can within reason. If someone needs a contact I’ll see if I have one. If someone needs that perfect word it will torment me until I find it. It is in my nature to be helpful, it only makes sense to me because when I’m in a place that requires the help of others I am appreciative.  This is why it is maddening for me to feel like I’ve failed someone when they needed help the most.

Ask most students if I was helpful in college and they’ll probably reply that I was as helpful as anyone they met on campus. I did my best to always lend an ear to hear and a shoulder to lean on. Don’t get me wrong I also did my fair share of partying but most of my time was spent in the service of others.

This however did not come without a cost. While I was a whirling dervish in Austin I was almost non-existent in Dallas where my real family is. I don’t have any children so no I wasn’t a neglectful father but I feel as if I could have been a better son, brother, or grandchild.  I operated under the assumption that everyone had their own lives and it was much more helpful for me to stay out-of-the-way and not be too big of a burden by asking for too much. I didn’t ask for anything unless it was necessary but I also didn’t visit home nearly as much as I should have. I called home sporadically at best.

My family never complained. They would always ask me to call more but they never guilt tripped me. My parents are grown, they understood. Where I really wish I would have done better is with my brothers. I’m the oldest of four and I never realized exactly how much my brothers look to me until I moved back home in August. Me and my brothers all are our own people with very strong independent streaks which led me to simply admire them on their own accord while ignoring the fact that they take a lot of their cues from me and for a good two to three years I was simply trying to lead by example. I didn’t offer the sounding board and advice role that I could have because I believed going to college and succeeding was enough. I shirked the hard part of helping them grow through the wisdom I gained. While I always had an answer for anyone who had a problem near me I provided none back home.

I’ll never be able to get that time back my brother’s will never be teens again but I plan on doing better in the future. If you ever find yourself in  similar situation I hope you won’t take the losses I have.


Posted by on January 21, 2011 in Family, Philosophy, Relationships


Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Taking Losses

  1. MYH

    January 21, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Damn. This was real. I struggle with this too.

  2. primemeridian11

    January 22, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    Such a vulnerable post. I love it and I understand this all too well. I’m the youngest of 6 and I am the one who ventured the farthest for college (although it wasn’t that far). When I first got to college, I was finding myself and I thought that meant distancing myself from my family. Then I got bitter because I felt like no one called or came to visit. Now, I realize how much better it would have been to let my family in on my journey and how I should have fought to include them. Especially my parents, who couldn’t afford to send me to college, but still supported me in everything. I was just selfish, but I didn’t know that’s what I was being. I have 6 nephews and 4 nieces. Most of them of the age where having them come visit my world or even talking to them about it would have greatly helped. I was the uninvolved role model and I hate that I did that. Now, I am working to reconnect, but it is a very hard process. I know that it will get better, but I kick myself for the time I lost.

  3. justinfication

    January 25, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    It can be rough.

    “My Brother”
    “My Sister”
    “My Blood”

    ….these are relationships that imply a strong obligation and consideration by definition.

    And I gotta say, due to my pursuit of an education and career, they have takin’ a hit. But I can’t worry myself too much about it (which I often find myself doing), because I know I can still fulfill my duty from a distance.

    I have to find solace in knowing that I will ALWAYS love them, I will be there when they need me, I will ALWAYS call. And although the supply & demand of our relationship may be lop-sided, I’m secure that I’ll step up whenever they need me too.

    …Even if I have to hear about the minor details in their life via their Facebook status.


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