Wednesday, April 1, 2015

You Can Always Learn Something From a Racist

My grandfather was a racist. I don’t apologize for this or take any of the blame whatsoever for this, but I figured I should get it out there, since it applies to what I am writing today. You see the most important thing to remember in this world is “You are what your parents make you, and if you choose to stay that way, then BLAME YOU!” This makes a great lead way to my greatest phobia in this world, which is why every time I leave the house I kiss my wife good bye. You see my grandfather died on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the last thing he said to my grandmother was “I’m not taking nigger day off from work.” Later that day he was found dead in his store. If you take the irony that my racist grandfather died on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, add in his last racist comment, and I have found a way to learn from this.

Now of course I am not a racist, never have been, never will be, so I don’t put up with the stigma of racism when I talk, or make an opinion. I don’t defend myself on the basis of all the black people I know, or the black people I like or any of the other things guilty white people do. No I just assume whoever calls, or considers me a racist is an idiot, who never took the time to know me. The chances are probably very good that they will never get to know me, because I don’t like spending time with idiots. I don’t care what color the idiot is either. I am as equal opportunity as it gets when classifying someone an idiot, trust me.

Back to my overwhelming fear, and it really has nothing to do with that theory that I could die at any moment. I actually don’t worry about that fiery car crash on my way to the gym, more than I worry about not kissing my wife good bye, and then dying in that fiery car crash. Even if she is asleep I give her a kiss on the forehead and remember that I love her and then go about my day. This is amazingly important above all else, because I have seen what happens when someone doesn’t have a great last moment with someone. I see how it affects their outlook on the world afterwards, and how it stains their own decision making skills, for the good or the bad.

As everyone who reads me knows, I go to the gym almost every morning, because it is what I do. There is one older gentleman, who is in his mid-80s and he comes into the gym at least 2 or 3 times a week when I am there. The friendly old man usually can’t sleep and wants to have something to do. I had this discussion with him one night, and he started going to the gym because it is 24 hours and he had a hard time sleeping after his wife died. Some things are just hard to get past, and he apparently from what I have gathered really adored his wife just like I do mine. He told me the story of how he spent his nights at the hospital because it was hard for her to sleep, and it changed his sleeping pattern, but when she finally passed away he was happy that he was there and that he didn’t forget to tell her that he loved her that day.

That image really burned into my mind, because I have no doubt that no matter how hard he has found the last couple of years, he profoundly believes that he is a good person. I agree with him, and I just hope and pray that I can be that good person too. Beyond all of the family, all of the friends, all of the work relations, I keep focused on the one person who chose to spend the rest of their life with me. I may not have the best of relations with everyone I know. I’m pretty sure that my children, other parts of my family, my work relations etc., like me well enough, but they all for the most part have been stuck with me, as I have them. That beautiful woman I see laying there in bed as I kiss her good bye chose to be with me, forever, and she reminds me of that often. I owe her the best of me until the very moment we separate, every day, or unfortunately for the time we have to wait to be together again in whatever happens after we die. I thank God, I get that, and I probably owe a lot of that to a racist grandfather, and his poor decision making skills.