Do you ever ponder the "WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN?" I sure do. I found myself doing it tonight. A friend of mine briefly mentioned an old flames name in a conversation and I wondered hmm what ever became of my old AOL chat love. So I did what I've become very good at lately and I Myspaced him. There he was. Don't get me wrong he doesn't hold a candle to my husband but a few things caught my eye. First of all, he is a Giants fan. I wasn't until I got married but its still interesting to see that we have sons who are weeks apart in age and were at Giants games with in days of each other. Something else that caught my eye was that he quoted FRIENDS on his website. Okay so if you know me you know I'm a FRIENDS freak. I love the show. I couldn't believe it. Most people would have no clue this was a quote from my favorite show. But the wierdest one was his nickname. Cheese. NO WAY MAN. That is my nick name. Who else has that nickname. It was so odd. It felt as though we were living the same life just states apart. So then I start thinking of everything else. If only I had built the house I wanted when I was 18 instead of being impatient and buying one already built. But then I wouldn't have met Rob. Or would I. Were we meant to meet each other or was it a meeting of convinience? Hmmm. Had I continued on in school where would I be now. I ask myself this question often. Honostly I quit going because I realized I was going to work for my mom no matter what happened. There was no reason to go and learn other things when I knew what my destiny was. The biggest what if I have is where would I be had my dad never died? I got asked the other day if I would go back and change it. My response sparked quite the fight. I said NO. No knowing what I know now and seeing where I am now I wouldn't. Is that selfish of me? Sure, maybe, NO. Some background. My dad killed himself. If you ask me that was selfish. He attempted suicide once and didn't succeed. He called me after that I was 12 and he told me it would never happen again. I was 12 I believed him. I can't be sure on the timing but shortly there after my dad was dead. Here is what is interesting. My parents where divorced. They divorced when I was young and had both remarried. So when he died I woke up that morning and my mom came in and said I have to tell you something. She had that look on her face. I immediatly asked "Is my dog okay" She said yes and that actually my dad killed himself that night. Back to the interesting part. I wasn't sad. I guess maybe I was shocked. I was so young I don't think I knew what to do with that information. It was like well I"m going to tuck this away and deal with it later. I was joking with someone today that you should never ever mess with my memory. I remember all. So true to form I remember going to school that day. I was wearing this annoyingly ugly sweater my mom made me wear and I hated it. I came home and mom asked how was school and I said it was good we had Turkey and Mashed potatos for lunch (at the time my favorite hot lunch meal.) I think this pissed her off. I guess I could have made it easier on everyone if I would have just freaked out and cried and shown some kind of emotion. Not me though. I simply went about my life. I got dressed up for the funeral I acted like a girl and fretted over what to wear (white coolots with a black and white blazer that looked ridiculous) and I didn't cry a tear. Everyone sat there telling me how sorry they were and all the while I was like man I just wanna go play with my friends. Long story short it took a long time for his death to catch me and when it did I reacted by acting like a huge jerk and getting close with to many guys thinking it would help. Back to the point. His death got me where I am. I was raised by an amazing dad (no not a stepdad but a dad) and an amazing mom. I was given all the best things in life and given all the tools to get where I am now. I got through my dads death in my own way. I had times of depression, times of anger, times of hurt, and times of craze. It was hard because for so long I didn't know how I felt. Finally one day I figured it out. Someone who was supposed to love me unconditionaly made the decision to leave me. Pardon my french right now but FUCK HIM. One day I woke up and realized that he sucked for doing that. How was I supposed to grieve over a person who could just dump me aside for his own selfishness. He was where he wanted to be. This wasn't the first time he tried it. He tried it many times, times I never knew about. When I got married never once did it cross my mind that my dad wasn't there because my DAD Kirk was there. When my son was born his grandpa was there. And that is when I had clarity. I had a son and I realized the magnitude of being a parent. I realized how seriously mean it was for my dad to leave me. He must have been pretty concerned with himself to leave. I am a parent now and all I think about every day is my son. How can I make him happy. How can I be safe and keep myself alive for him. How can I make his life the best life possible for him. These are questions my PARENTS still ask themselves today. So you ask. Would I go back knowing what I know now and save him. NO! He left me. And because he didn't care enough about me to stick around he left me with people who did. He left me with people who feel about me the way I feel about my son. Because of this I own two homes. I drive a beautiful car. I dress nicely. I am polite and well read. I have been on nice vacations. I have the most beautiful son on the planet. I have the best husband a girl could ask for. A husband who would never leave his son. I have friends that stuck by me when I didn't know who me was. But most of all he left me with the knowledge of how to be the best parent I can be. So maybe I should say thank you to him. Thank you for helping me see who I never want to be. Helping me see that drugs are not the right way of life. Helping me to see that just because I made mistakes doesn't mean I need to continue making them. So what could have been? Well I'd rather worry about what IS. For those of you who knew me in middle school and those of you who knew me in high school. Here is the start of the confession. The confession of a girl who had no clue how to behave. A girl who ran to guys looking for a way to fill a gap that never needed filling. The girl who was a bitch because it was easier to be defensive then to explain why I wasn't hurting over the loss of a father. The confession of a girl who used a death that never bothered her as an excuse to get away with anything. A girl whose heart was hurting but who never knew why. These are my confessions. I have two friends that I've had from elemetary school. Ginger and Katie. They know my confessions. They know my soul. This is why they are still with me. They are watching me finally figure out who I am. Who I could have been all along had I not been affraid that very first morning in November to say HEY DAD FUCK YOU FOR LEAVING ME. So Ginger and Katie thank you. Thank you for sticking around. Thank you for 23rd chances. Thank you for knowing I was never as messed up as I seemed. Thank you for knowing even if I didn't that someday I would get it right. I said that I finally realized that I wasn't upset about my dad. It took losing my grandma (my dads mom) to reliaze how death felt. Te see what mourning was. I still mourn her loss years later. So Ginger thank you also for being there the day she died. For skipping class to show up at the hospital and repark my car. For watching me smoke cigarettes and passing no judgements. Finally thank you God if you are there for giving me my son. For giving me the strenght I found in him. The strength to be open and honost and finally let the world see a broken me. A me who is on the mend. I'm sorry for the ramblings but this has all been so long in the making. I've never confessed these things before and its only the start. So again I digress back to the beginining. Do I like to sit back and think about what could have been? YES. And it doesn't always lead me down this road. It just did tonight. I think for today instead of saying what could have been I'll say what IS. Because what IS, is all that matters. Thank you to everyone along the way who has dealt with me. And to those of you who couldn't maybe its selfish of me to say its your loss. I'm amazing. I've only just learned that though.
By the way the photo is of my DAD Kirk the dad that didn't leave me.
Posted by Shannon Mateo at 9:30 PM