” I’m going through changes…” Black Sabbath
“I’m trying hard to understand I know we can make it together, cause you see I changing – I’m a changing man Changing man…” J. S. 1981
I can’t tell you the exact moment it happened, only that it did happen, hell, it’s still happening! I can’t tell you why it happened, I suppose I was just ready, it was destiny. The winds of change were blowing in my direction…
The Eighties were just getting started. I was nearing thirty. I’d come of age during the ‘peace, love, drugs,’ decade of the sixties and early 70’s, began my pursuit of the almighty dollar, got married and became a participant in the status game during the ‘I, me, mine’ decade of the seventies, but I was not at all prepared for the so called ‘decade of greed.’
At twenty-nine I was not a happy camper. I hated my life! Nothing seemed to be going right. Everything was going to hell! I hated my job, oh it paid well and kept me in the game, but I couldn’t stand it. My anger and self doubt was destroying my marriage and my relationship with my young children, my life was just one disappointment after another. My only recourse was to lock myself away in my den with my stereo God and drown my sorrows in a daze of music, marijuana and bottle after bottle of Budweiser, which I did often, too often…
I was going nowhere quick but didn’t really care. Then in September of eighty a former girlfriend was killed in a traffic accident, a major turning point in my life. It was not her death that fanned the flame within me, but it’s aftermath. While attending the reception following the funeral service I chanced to overhear her daughter talking about her mom and sharing happy stories about her, pleasant memories. She had been a very good mom. I listened for quite some time and when I finally walked away I was crying.
On the drive home and for months to come the memory haunted me. I began to wonder what my children would say about me if I were to die suddenly. A single image always came to mind, my kids being asked about me and saying, “yeah I remember my dad, sitting in his den listening to music, and when we’d enter the room he’d shout at us, “Get out of here I’m busy! Leave me alone I’m busy!” “Get the hell out of here!” Not a very pleasant way to be remembered.
Then in December my rock hero John Lennon was assassinated. In the tons of articles and new stories that followed his death, I read how he had left music behind so that he could be there with Yoko to help raise his son, so he could be there to answer his questions and share in his discoveries. Again I was driven to ponder my own shortcomings as a father. Why couldn’t I be that kind of father, that kind of husband? A month later in early 1981 my grandmother passed away. We were very close. I was the one who had given her the nickname that stuck with her forever. She had always been grandma Pepa, I dubbed her grandma Pepita. Her death like the others drove me deeper into myself searching for the reasons I was the way that I was, searching for answers on how to make things right, searching for direction. That five month period was what I like to call my epiphany period. It was my window of opportunity, a chance to learn, understand and grow, a chance to begin my metamorphosis. Best decision I ever made. Of course, it didn’t happen overnight, I wish it could have, it would have made my journey a whole lot easier. In time I was able to gain back my wife’s trust and respect and we were able to move on. We were a family once again. Thirty years later we’re still moving on… Making life changes isn’t easy. It’s a painstaking endeavor that takes time and commitment, it cannot be rushed. Soul searching and understanding are hard work. But good things are the result of hard work, they don’t come easy. The harder you work, the sweeter the reward. Believe me I know! Life Change Happens!