In my early twenties, I found myself ‘between jobs’ due to a retrenchment. A friend of mine begged me to step in and assist her husband for a few months before applying elsewhere. He had just started a small company in the telecommunication industry, and office work and administration was not either of their strong suits. So I agreed to help out.
In the office was my friend’s husband – late forties; a guy in his late twenties who was our ‘technical wizard’; and two young men showed up to try their hands at sales. They were fresh out of high school, and overly enthusiastic with far too much energy, ha ha! I was only four years older than them… but it felt like a lifetime!
Our tech wizard affectionately called them ‘Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumb-er’!
And whenever the two of them called me, ‘Mommy Meggie’, I’d reply, ”yes, yes, Laurel and Hardy, I care.”
(I’ll name them Jason and Dave for the purposes of this blog post.)
They really did look like Laurel and Hardy!
I chose this picture, because even the driving scenario was the same 😛
Once there was successful implementation of procedures, I moved on from the job and took another. But we all stayed in touch, and all still were, until circumstances changed 😦
Jason and Dave were actually part of a trio. They talked incessantly about a guy named Thomas. And even though I’d see the other two regularly (we’d meet for lunch, or go out dancing – and I was always only around for my nurturing… their sober driver, and to take care of them when they’d overdone it 😛 ) I only met number three (Thomas) in 2012. The day I met him, I felt like I already knew him.
Unfortunately, I stopped ‘socialising’ with this trio in 2013. We were just on completely different paths. Jason and I still spoke regularly on the phone though – and he’d often tease that ‘one day when he grew up, he would marry me because I was marriage material’. I’d always laugh and say, ”why on earth would I want to marry you?” and then we would both laugh, because – again – despite the small age gap, I was just plain OLD in comparison!
I don’t know why, but in the year 2015, everything changed as far as staying in touch went. For all of us. Jason and Thomas were housemates, and worked together – but Dave had started moving in a different circle, started his own business – and we were all just ‘busy’.
Before we knew it, the year had almost passed us all by.
And then I got the news. Jason had driven to a ‘famous bridge’ a few hours away, and ended his life. I was shattered.
(Later, I heard the ‘why’/ circumstances – it sounds strange to say, but it helped ‘knowing’.)
On this past Easter weekend, I got another message that almost broke my heart. Dave also took his own life – age 40. I instantly reached out to Thomas – the last one of their trio – because I knew he would not be okay.
A lengthy phone call followed – brokenness, heartache and plenty of tears, from both of us.
Initially, I planned on blogging all this. Then I changed my mind.
But a couple of days ago, I saw an image on Facebook, which I will share at the end of this post, and it was almost as if I was physically nudged to just ‘type the darn post already’!
In that lengthy conversation, something that Thomas kept repeating, every time his voice broke and I could hear he was crying, was this : I’m sorry, Meg. I know I’m supposed to be a man and be strong. But how? I am just so broken!
As I mulled that repeated statement over in my head, I got really cross and upset. I had conversations with my adult son and teenage daughter about it. I also spoke to a couple of other men that I encountered that day about it.
The general reply was this (and this is GENERAL… I am not saying that everyone thinks this way or is this way, so this is in no way a personal attack on ‘every person in society’) :
”Men are expected to be the strong ones, and the definition of that strength seems to be that they are not allowed to feel or have emotion, like women. Crying is a definite no. Being sensitive is also a no. Unless you get permission from ‘your woman’ to be that way. If a man is not hard to the core, he’d better be ready to apologise for failing. And heaven help him if he admits to having mental health issues!”
Well, good grief, ”society”!
I KNOW I am not alone in the saying this…. here’s the image from Facebook….
MEN! YOU ARE LOVED TOO! YOU ARE WORTHY! YOU ARE ALSO STRONG WHEN YOU ARE BRAVE WITH YOUR FEELINGS!
And don’t listen to the naysayers, please!
Find the people who will cry with you, and still appreciate the value within you! ❤
(I probably haven’t done this topic justice… but, simply put, the above is just processing how I feel in an uncomplicated way.)