Through my own eyes I have seen many things,
I have seen the horror of pain and agony,
I have seen the joy of love and exhilaration,
I have watched with my own eyes the destruction of cities through the fury of fire,
Hopes, dreams, possessions, and lives… all gone, hopelessness and loss, all that remained.
I have seen and listened to the ache and passion of a mother who had lost her child and was reunited, Love, joy, wails and tears all melding together in the zeal of their embrace, and the purely genuine love and joy in her smile and in the strength of her arms as she squeezed me in thanks. I can still feel her arms around my neck, and the tears on my chest. All this I remember with my own eyes.
I have witnessed and felt with my own eyes the horror and devastation of another mother who’s six year old daughter I could not save, no matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I wanted it, how much, how much…….how much I begged, how much I gave,
The pain, the rage, anger and accusation. The pain……the pain. I can still feel her hand as she slapped and punched, I can still hear her voice as she moaned and screamed…..I can still see with my own eyes the loss and emptiness, the absolute breaking of a human soul in her eyes.
Through my own eyes I have seen and remember the joy, pride, love, and admiration I felt watching my children come into the world. The honor of knowing that my seed, helped contribute to the creation of the single greatest event in my life. Watching them play, learn, teach and grow into the individual personalities that will shape who they will become.
Through my own eyes I have also seen and remember the terror, the breathlessness of watching my own child fight for her life, witnessing through my own eyes my wife, hurt….cry… moan, and ache. Watching helplessly as her heart slowly broke. So slowly. Her very soul collapsing, seeing myself powerless, willing to trade, willing to give my own life, and being unable to do anything but wait and witness with my own eyes…..
When I close my eyes I can still see the smile, the glorious smile that filled my wife’s face, when we were able to bring our little girl home, The joy, the delight, the tears, all of everything was ours to share and hold…hold tighter then we have ever held anything before. I can still feel her joy, I can still see the tears, I can still hear my little girls laughter. Through my own eyes I can still see it all.
Through my own eyes I saw the pain in my wife’s eyes as I broke her heart, as I refused to see what needed to be seen, refused to hear what needed to be heard. The pain, the shame, oh the shame I felt, still feel. The fear that still racks me across my entire being. Doubt, insecurity, and unworthiness that distract me from what needs to be done. Through my own eyes I see the same fears and doubts in her eyes. The loss she feels, the confusion, the anger and sadness, all of my making. Through my own eyes, I have seen myself, and shiver, I see myself for what I am, but can’t seem to get to where I NEED to be. Not just for her or for my children, but for myself. To look at ones self, to see and understand who you are, is a painful, frightening experience, one that not all people can recover from. One that I may never entirely recover from myself.
Through my own eyes, I saw the hope in her’s. I saw the belief that she has in me. I now know what she needs, she needs me to be me. Not for her, but for me. She loves me….ME. I need to be me to be loved for me. I feel nothing but shame for who I had become. Cold, shallow, empty. I feel nothing but overwhelming hurt for my part in what she had become. Buried, secluded, alone. So alone in everything, even in herself.
Through my own eyes I have seen all these things, and so much more, all the things that make me who I am a son, a brother, a father, a husband, a friend, a man. A man with many faults, a man with many qualities, a man who is lost and looking for his way, but still a man……a man.
-John C. Madger