Some traumatic experiences put a dent in our armor whereas others, pierce your armor and hit your soul – let’s refer to these as ‘nuclear experiences’. The initial damage is bad, but the unknown after-effects are destructive. Our survival instincts takeover to preserve critical body organs and mental auto-pilot \ muscle memory keeps us moving… however our souls are left unguarded. This can lead to depression, disease, self-medication and various dependencies.
In a split second, there’s an internal conversation between your conscious mind and your unconscious mind… are we going to mourn or deny it completely?
Where am I going with this?
Within five months… I’ve lost two of the strongest people in my life – Poppy (My Grandfather) and Aunt Dottie. They were two of the most influential people in my life, who have planted seeds of Strength, Relentlessness, Ambition, Vision and Leadership so deep in me that… some seeds have yet to bloom at all. I wanted them to live to see – an amazing return on their investment. Their love was strong, direct and honest… they didn’t accept mediocrity or excuses.
Aunt Dottie was taken from me August 29, 2016 and Poppy was taken from me January 17th, 2017.
I didn’t go to either of their funerals… Although there could be a valid reason for not going to both… they’ve taught me – there are no “good reasons or excuses” … the truth is I was ‘hurt, confused and shaken’… I went into my mental bomb shelter (designed for nuclear experiences) and slammed the door. I refuse to accept their deaths… there’s nothing you can say or do… there’s no quotes or speeches… They are and will forever be here… More alive than they’ve ever been… When you see me… you see them… when the Luthas Center opens… they’ll be right there watching people walk down their corridors – specifically designed to highlight their value to me and the world… I looked in my Grandmother’s face and told her… “she better not plan on leaving me… we have work to do”.
Let me take you behind the curtain…
This mental bomb shelter has been a safe haven for me since I was a child… It’s my disconnection point… I’ve mastered the art of “suppressing mental pain”.. The problem with this is, suppressing pain somehow wipes out other memories that have nothing to do with the pain itself (note to self: look up the psychology behind this)… While in this mental bomb shelter – I change my phone numbers, delete social media accounts and unconsciously sever relationships.
Allow me to digress: Since 2014… my life has been harder than it’s ever been for me… I won’t share all the details now but I’ll tell you this… 2 weeks after moving from a building with roaches, mice, broken elevators, no hot water, police presence and everything that goes with that to a Penthouse apartment on the Hudson River facing New York City’s beautiful skyline, with a concierge, a pool, basketball \ tennis courts, and a gym… I was in a coma for 10 days due to medical malpractice and have been dealing with the aftermath of that experience since then. Including, missing a total of 11 months at work… suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (with associated side effects), a torn MPFL (ACL Damage) and approximately 18 of my friends have been killed…
My Aunt Diane, who is my Mother’s and Aunt Dottie’s sister has been sent from heaven… She’s a first-class Angel with Gold Wings. During my knee injury, last year and after Aunt Dottie’s ascension to Heaven… she came to stay with me for a while. I can’t explain how much her visit meant to me. The timing couldn’t have been any better… I was on a virtual bungee cord… coming closer and closer to hitting the bottom each day.
Aunt Diane speaks truth while giving unconditional love… She doesn’t tell me to do anything… She suggests and provides a reason for suggestion… I remember one conversation in which she said… “You may not like what I’m going to say to you… but I love you… so understand it’s coming from my heart… Baby, you have to stop running (referring to my mental bomb shelter)”. That statement resonates with me to this day… Although, I don’t refer to it as running… I refer to it as ‘protecting my sanity’.
It is ‘Denial’… I deny ‘mental access’ to the ‘nuclear experiences’ that affect my ability to focus, provide for the people who depend me and drain me of the strength needed to fulfill my purpose. Some would say it’s not healthy, others would say it’s selfish and a select few – completely understand.
When I’m long gone… Remember me as the Man that started off behind the 8 ball… experienced some of life’s best and worst… absorbed it all the same… learned from it and did his best – to give the world the same unconditional love he was given.
If it takes a Coma (and many more traumatizing experiences), sleepless nights, social sacrifice and occasional social disconnections… then that’s what it is. I’ll do it again and again with no hesitation… It was an honor to have them in my life and soon the world will know of their Greatness…
So when you don’t see me mourning at a funeral… it’s because I’m hurt and the only way for me to deal with that pain – is to convert it into the energy needed to continue their Legacy. The torch has been passed… The day the Luthas Center opens you’ll see their faces in Bronze right over the Corridor named after them. Obituaries are fine, but they deserve so much more.
Dear Aunt Dottie
I will always remember when you told me… “your Mother might’ve given birth to you, but you are and forever will be MY Son…” I remember that awesome trip to Disney World… we flew first class on my first plane ride ever… you told me “We fly First Class, because we are First Class” – although I had no idea what that meant then, I completely understand what that means now. I remember having breakfast with Mickey and Minnie Mouse… then going on every ride for the next few days.
I remember those long talks about life which always ended with you saying… “Don’t forget you’re my Son and I won’t tolerate anything but the best from my Son.” Those same countless conversations ended with me saying “I Promise..” Now here I am… A Man… Your Son… saying once again “I Promise I will not let you down..”
I will always remember when you told me… “You’re a LUTHAS… You’re my First Born Grandson… but You are a LUTHAS… You are responsible for the LUTHAS name… Don’t ever forget that!” That’s when I looked at you and told you about my plan to create the LUTHAS Center and its purpose. I remember you looking at Nanny and said… “See that’s a LUTHAS!”
I could never stop listening to your stories about how you always went to buy a new Cadillac with cash… then you’d take me for a ride in the Cadillac to get some Ice Cream. The day I purchased my Cadillac Escalade, I remember driving 13 hours straight back to NY just so you could see it. The smile on your face was worth everything to me… then I drove you around in it and got you Ice Cream.
Every day you went to work, I would go to your room… lay in your bed and swear I’m Poppy. Hands behind my head… stretched across the bed looking watching cartoons… after spraying myself with your Colognes… I love you Poppy.
Dedicated to MY Aunt Dottie and MY Poppy…