Tag Archives: Family

More than he knew ( for my Father)


 

I didn’t cry for you when  mom told me you had just died. I don’t cry in front of most people.  It’s too much to give them of me.

My two brothers had.

I remember my older brother wailing something awful, eyes full of anguish while my younger brother’s eyes filled over, tears  flowing down his cheeks like a runaway river in full flood.

Like you, I never showed anger nor did I ever show sadness.  But I remember your smile and your silence.  Such was I.

Three days later we drove the hour and half to your house in another town to collect your things and attend your funeral. You always felt a world away but you had always been close really.

There it sat,  your house, small, non-descript,  dull in color.

I recalled as we entered, me  visiting you once all by myself staying for a weekend.

I had baked you a nice big chocolate cake because mom used to bake for you and I knew you missed it and I wanted you to smile and be happy because I knew deep down you were not.

I wandered the house slowly taking you in.

In the bathroom your razor still sat at the edge of the sink just waiting for you to come back to pick it up and use it.

The chair you once sat in,  still with the noticeable impression from the gravity of your body filling it as  you watched television.

My brothers started fighting over something of yours they wanted to keep for themselves. My mom began to complain loudly about something frivolous like she so often did.

There I stood in the middle of the living room. Lost. Thinking of you.

A soft light spilled through the living room window to fall on the wooden floor  at my feet lighting upon the dust motes which filled the empty space.

I pictured you there. Like me. Lost . Forgotten while the world worked around you.

A deep welling up of painful pressure begin to rise in me, to think of you perhaps feeling you were not loved in your last years here on earth.

To think you perhaps felt alone in this world at the end of it all, your life coming to a close and no one there to send you off with a held hand, or a kiss or heartfelt word.

Then I silently begin to cry standing there.

I couldn’t have stopped if I had wanted to.

Then mom noticed and pulled me in close with a hug, my brothers turn to me and I didn’t care

For these tears were for you not me.

 

by Philip Wardlow 2017

 

 

 

 

 

His Silence…


I often sit and just think about what formed “ME”

What led to “ME” .  How was I formed? Why do I function the way I do?

I like trying to understand myself as I am sure most people try to. I do it also to become a better writer. I believe if I can get to the root of me then I can get to the root of that character I am trying to develop.

I am big on being “real” with my characters. So many books I have read have stilted unrealistic dialogue action, and plotting just so they can get the character to the next page.

What’s my character?

I remember my father vaguely because he died when I was barely twelve.  The one thing that sticks out in my mind about him most was his quiet silence.

I call it a quiet silence because it wasn’t a disgruntled silence or silence that had a point to it. It just was.  There was no malice behind it..though perhaps there was a little sadness  at times in it.  To me it always seemed a calm acceptance  at the way things were or had to be.

There were one occasion where I really felt this silence within  him.

I was about nine years old and my mom had thrown one of her epic “tantrums”  I call them now. Plate throwing, iron skillet flying , cussing, and flinging of insults and  telling  of all the wrong doings done to her by him, my father.  And there my father stood in silence, one hand perhaps slightly raised in defense to any imminent flying object which may come his way.  The knot rising like a mountain  already on his head of one plate that had connected with his skull.

As my mom often so did when she would get this worked up she would flee. In that fleeing, she would collect up my two brothers and I in a whirlwind and drag us  from the house, our home, to stay at a friend’s house,  or a hotel far away for a short to extended stay of days or weeks or even months at a time.

My father would sit there in his silence and just let her take us knowing she would return sooner or later, until the next time of course.

But this time had been different.

As I was being tugged out the door by my mother (because I was always the pokey one)  my father suddenly reached out and grabbed my other hand and pulled me back.

So there I was, a human piece of rope being tugged by my parents. She pulled then he would pull back….

I remember my father distinctly looking into my scared tear filled face and asking quietly if I wanted to stay with him.

I found my mouth wouldn’t work. I couldn’t talk.. I could say neither “yes”  or “no”.

My mother overheard the question and then asked me in a clipped tone if I wanted to.

For some reason I found it in me to answer her…and simply said, “Yes.”

She abruptly  released me and left with my other two brothers. Gone.

For the next days or weeks, I really don’t remember, it was just him and I at home.  We hung  out , we talked in generalities and funny things that only a nine year old boy and a grown man could talk about.

I don’t remember the conversations or any of the activities we did. I do remember being content in that short amount of space and time with him.  I  saw his contentment as well.

I remember he seemed a little less silent when we were together during that period.  And even when he was silent he seemed to carry his silence a little differently when we were together.  Lighter , is the only word I can put to it.  I had come to realize he had needed me to stay….

I was happy I had said yes…

 

Silence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My brother – Past and Present reflections


 

 

 

Another_Screaming_Face__by_Master_Chi

My Brother ~

 

His pain grabbed at me, reaching in to hold tight to my chest as he screamed in that moment to no one and everyone in the world. His scream filled me up with an overwhelming emptiness that I could never fully know as it found a small echo within my own soul.

His inner turmoil was plain to see, manifested in the violent visceral cast to his eyes and voice that seemed to travel somewhere else in that instance of time. I realized then that I would never find a way to calm his inner demons that had taken a hard hold of him.

 

 

by Philip Wardlow 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assumptions of you….things you might not know.


YoungME17
Me at seventeen holding Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Forgive me,

for I did not know you as I had surmised;

silent, thoughtful,

and smiling in the corner

were merely a rippling

long flowed

downstream.

by Philip Wardlow

When I read any book by an author I like to read the Author’s note and  any forward they may have written. I personally like to get a sense of who this person is that wrote this book. What made them tick…so below are some of the things that might give you perspective into who I am and who I am not perhaps. I don’t know, I will let you be the judge. I for one hate self analysis because we lie to ourselves more than we lie to others. Perhaps you’ll see something in me that I don’t see myself…

**************************************************************************

My mother had me when she was 29….my father was 59 at the time…He died when I was 12…He was 72,  the age a grandfather should be.

Often my mother would leave our father at the drop of a hat..taking me & my brothers away…we lived in 18 different homes growing up.

Security seemed to be a liquid state to me as a young child…no solid friends..no real home to speak of…life always in transition.

My mother signed my older and younger brother  up in the Big Brother Volunteer program at the local college…me I did not get one. She believed I was the adjusted one and didn’t need it I guess.

My older brother William participated in sports and played a musical instrument at school.  I think I wanted to but was never asked by my mother, besides money was tight and he got first dibs.

I don’t really like my family.

I love them but I don’t LIKE any of them…in certain ways I am sure they don’t like me. I am not perfect. I have quirks and issues I am sure,  that annoy the hell out of them….your typical dysfunctional family.

I WANT to like them. But as I have gotten my life together in some semblance of normalcy they have still not to one degree or another.  So I AVOID them if I can because its a DRAG.

Am I selfish?  Should I feel guilty? At times I do.  At others, NOT in the slightest…Blood is NOT thicker than water at times.   AT TIMES you need to live for your self and be selfish….I had to learn that was okay.

*****************************************************************************************************************

I am forty-three…

I hate my age…

And not for the reason you think. I hate it because I really  started going after what I really wanted in my late -30s…which is as you can see is Writing…

I try not dwell on the almost 20yrs of wasted time  of not pursuing it….”OH the things I could have written in that time” flow through my head at the oddest and most inconvenient moments.

But I shut that  annoying voice out and carry on.

Also at forty-three I wish to stay in shape ..so I work out on a constant basis. I have a  sucky metabolism so I must.

I work out to look & feel good for myself,  my wife and any lady passerby on the street who wants to check me out…:)

I didn’t always think I was a handsome person. I kind of had an ugly duckling syndrome. I grew up with a gap in my teeth and because we couldn’t afford  to pay for an orthodontist, so the gap stayed . We also were a poor family that didn’t have the ” cool” clothes or stuff so I was pretty much ignored by other kids at a certain age.

I still have the gap but wear better clothes.  My wife and others have convinced me that I don’t look hideous. I will take their word for it.

Seriously though my confidence has grown over the years with that. (still have trouble with big smiles in pictures..so I look mean or stoic or something half the time in them)

I always like a compliment….who doesn’t.  So go ahead tell me I’m cute I can take it…:)

I think I will wrap it up here for now….perhaps I will share more of myself in later posts….now you know just a little more about me. I am going to go relax and read a good book now.

Picture 024