This post started out with a headline called the videos you don’t watch and turned into The ‘Unsugarcoated’ Reality.
It follows The Ice Maker & My A1C.
A quarter past ten I am not sure if I fell asleep on the couch for a moment but I know I drove almost 600 miles between 10 am yesterday and 6 PM tonight.
Was scheduled to put in almost another 700 during the next couple of days but got that adjusted around 150 give or take 50.
Ten minutes into a conversation I was told to make sure I was engaged in ‘real talk” and I smiled and said I can provide The ‘Unsugarcoated’ Reality.
Ten minutes later I was asked how I could shift so easily between trying to finesse someone into slamming a sledgehammer into their head.
I told them I didn’t see much of a difference between the two. “One had more details and the other was stripped down.”
They laughed, said they could see it and asked me to show how I would apply it in multiple situations.
I said sure:
“This isn’t a problem, it is an opportunity, If you pass on it it will become a problem.”
“We love each other. Stop playing games and have a discussion.”
“Your opinions are not facts.”
They paused and told me it was the look on my face and the edge in my voice that made the difference. I shrugged my shoulder and they asked if I used the shrug to try and hide my real intent.
The younger Mr. Wilner is the only one of the grandchildren to have seen Dad after his leg was amputated.
He told me the memory doesn’t bother him as much as it used to and I nodded my head because it took a while for me to settle that one in my head.
Sometimes I dream about it and remember how the pain made him flop around in his hospital bed and how he squeezed my hand hard enough that it was painful.
I never tried to pull my hand away because I figured if he could take the pain of the missing leg I could handle a little in my hand.
During the conversation with my son I realized all of the Wilner men tend to just gut out the pain. You didn’t hear my grandfather or father complain about pain.
Sure there were some comments, but you knew more about discomfort from facial expression or the occasional grunt.
I asked my son if he thought I complained and he said not really, not about that.
It occurs to me that I can now account for four generations engaged in similar behavior. Could be five, I knew my great-grandfather but was six when he died so I don’t remember anything specific to him being uncomfortable.
But I know stories told from his children and grandchildren so I can make a good guess.
Got me thinking a bit whether it’s a good trait to share/pass along. Told him it is ok to mention not feeling well and he said he has never had an issue doing so.
I think that is true.
In regard to pain I don’t see much value in moaning or crying about what hurts. Not because I am trying to be tough, but it doesn’t make me feel better.
Easier for me to go inwards and just get through whatever it is.
“There was a good chance he was going to have to lose the other leg. That would have created some challenges.”
We’re digging in and I am going deeper again with him because he is old enough to talk about some of these things. Mature enough to go deeper and talk about quality of life, the choices we choose to make and a reminder that grandpa and grandma discussed what comes next.
“Your grandfather and I had open discussions about death and what would happen afterward. I was the one who told him about his father and little brother when they died. I was the one who told your great-grandfather that our uncle, his son had died.
You know what I remember, I made my grandfather cry. That stuck with me.
I know all about not sugar coating things. I have done it many times. I also know presentation is everything and how to adjust it.
It is an important skill.”
The younger Mr. Wilner tells me again no one knew how sick grandpa was and I nod my head.
He didn’t act like it. I heard a doctor refer to him as a very unhealthy man and a few others. But he didn’t let any of that stop him. He kept going, maybe not as well as he would have if he would have been in better shape, but he kept going.
That is part of what I never forget. He just adapted and rolled forward as best he could. I would have liked to have challenged him to another race, post surgery. Would have liked to have gotten that icy glare one more time.”
I snort and we move onto a different topic and as we do I hear, “You know I know you are trying to make a point here.”
“Fathers never stop with that. I am part of a long tradition, maybe one day you’ll be part of it too.”
Took a minute to put together an update elsewhere for nothing other than accountability, not for anyone but myself.
Figured regardless of outcome I had to do illustrate my thoughts, feelings and ideas in a way that provided clarity for me.
Had to make sure there was no sugarcoating there because that sort of talk isn’t applicable solely for how we speak with others but how we speak to ourselves too.
Can’t shoot the moon or grab that brass ring if you aren’t honest with yourself about what is required.
Got another 2500 miles or so coming up faster than I might like but not surprised because the tick tock of the clock isn’t slowing down.
If anything it is speeding up and the only choice is to meet it with eyes wide open or risk slamming into more objects than necessary.
Bruises don’t fade as fast as they once do and though I still tend to go through most things and am better known for being relentless in some areas I’d rather spare myself unnecessary nonsense.
The days of not caring about scrapes and bruises while blazing a trail are starting to fade a little bit.
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