Forgiving yourself: tales of a single father

Joseph Scialabba is a single father from the Chicago area who unexpectedly lost the mother of his child to drug addiction. This blog  post chronicles his experience with raising a female child alone in the 21st century.


I sat there next to that hospital bed, a flood of emotions in my soul, knowing that this was the end. 

I tried to condense what I thought would be a lifetime of love into a few meaningful hours that would be our last, and all I kept saying out loud was, "get up, let’s go home".

For a poet and writer, it’s one of the few times I was fresh out of words. Reaching out to touch her hand I’ll never forget how cold it was to the touch, I knew at that moment things would never be the same.

My mind racing at what this all means, and what are we gonna do and how that could it happen to us. There is so much you plan to say if you ever have the opportunity to, and when it comes you're so shocked, you say something like "get up, let’s go home."

Your brain literally reaches a point of stress that it just can’t deal with what’s in front of us.

For days, weeks and months I ran the last few conversations over and over in my head, how horrible we were to each other, that maybe if I could take those harsh words back then maybe this wouldn’t have happened, maybe it was all my fault. Laying night after night what-if-ing things to the point of insanity, my only refuge being a glass or two of liquor to get me buzzed enough to stop the voices and let me sleep.

For a solid year, I couldn't even complete a full night’s sleep. I awoke in the middle of the night, wandering the house, looking for answers, and expecting that late night text from her that was never going to come. Sometimes something worse than death itself is having to accept that you can't take back what you said, there are no more chances, and having to live with that reality. For me, the hardest part of it all wasn't forgiving what had happened, it was forgiving myself. That is still very much a work in progress right now, and the foreseeable future.

We live under the assumption most of our lives that there will be a tomorrow for us and our loved ones. In truth, nothing and no one is guaranteed more time on this earth. Some of us, like me, learn the hard way (the only way I usually learn something). We are creatures of infinite wisdom living in a finite time and space, or as Drake would say, we are here for a good time, not a long time.

Looking back on all the things I said (and probably shouldn’t have) and all the things I should have and didn’t, you realize that in the grand scheme of things, there’s only a handful of stuff that is truly important. Sometimes things that seem important at the time aren’t important in the long run.  We all forget that sometimes.

The more you show your loved ones how you value them, the happier you will be. Don't wait until the final moments, because by then it’s all going to rush out and become a jumble in your mind.

And the only thing that comes out of your mouth is, "get up and let’s go home."

Take chances; tell that girl you’re into her, take your kids out and play, because later might come a lot sooner then you planned. Leave a legacy you’re proud of and, if you don’t think you would be proud of it, change.

Opioid Epidemic Plagues Section Of Bronx Neighborhood NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 07: Heroin users prepare to shoot up on the street in a South Bronx neighborhood which has the highest rate of heroin-involved overdose deaths in the city on October 7, 2017 in New York City. Like Staten Island, parts of the Bronx are experiencing an epidemic in drug use, especially heroin and other opioid based drugs. More than 1,370 New Yorkers died from overdoses in 2016, the majority of those deaths involved opioids. According to the Deputy Attorney General, drug overdose are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness

Ken Webster Jr is a talk radio personality and producer from Houston, TX. He started his career in Chicago on the Mancow show and has since worked at dozens of radio stations all over the country. He’s currently the host of Pursuit of Happiness... Read more


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