Tonight Changed My Life in Entries of Great Significance

  • Dec. 23, 2015, 10:30 p.m.
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  • Public

This is not going to be an assortment of fanciful words strung together in any sense of melody or flow. This is not going to be about perfection and the artistry of placement and how that impacts the reader. You. This is about tonight and the absolute cascading waterfall of emotions that built up to driving to see my aunt and cousin to the actual process therein followed by the inevitable aftermath.

Isn’t it fascinating that the word aftermath is rarely utilized in a manner that reflects a positive result or experience?

You don’t enjoy an aftermath ordinarily, but rather I find you have to deal with it instead.

This night will be the exception to that common usage as tonight nothing was expected, and everything was an absolute surprise.

Because rarely in life do things that terrify you end up leading to fulfillment, and the pretense often does not exceed the actual outcome, but rather it usually succumbs to it.

I am not here as a writer, a poet, a romantic, nor a man of some modicum of talent for expression.

I am here as Brian Michael Milici.

Born on June 13, 1978 to Ann Alsop Milici and Getano “Tom” Milici.

The former a daughter of an estranged widow of a brutal marriage and even more estranged sister to three other equally damaged girls from New Orleans.

The latter the son of Sicilian immigrants who hid that he was 20 years the elder of my mother and was a wife-beating alcoholic from Philadelphia.

I am the middle son of them both, and I grew up in the violent and chaos of a single mother returning to her native Crescent City to trying to raise three young boys with little to no help and a lot of addiction and violence her history from childhood throughout.

And I am her survivor, myself estranged from my older brother and as much a caretaker of my younger brother as he is me. We are as tight as can be.

My mother’s most hated sister, the youngest of the quartet, reached out to me the night my mother died. I was touched, conflicted, and very confused.

I wanted to believe in her. Family has been the eternal quest of mine both in keeping mine stable and healthy and expanding it someday with children of my own and a wife I will fully partner in the creation of a better sky each and every day and night.

However, I became highly reclusive since my mother passed in July.

I don’t show it. I talk about it, and I can do that now, but I don’t really express how it hurts. How it hangs in my gut and it dominates my thoughts and weakens me in idle moments when I have just enough time to wander into the depths of guilt over not doing enough for my mother in her last years…

How it has consumed me in ways I am still entangled in and by, and yet I am determined to find.. more. Better. Solution.

Solace.

Not contentment, that is an unattainable goal, I will always have a ghost that haunts me, and it isn’t as much my mother as it is my expectations of myself and how I always believe I can do everything and I always know I can do more..

Be more..

And here I am, my aunt trying to contact me on Christmas about an event. I didn’t respond to the text. She called and left a voicemail. I could not bring myself to listen.

She finally left me a Facebook message that popped up on my phone and of course would reflect to her I had “seen” the message.

So I had to read it.

Now, mind you I avoided everyone on Thanksgiving. All of my favorite friends were out the previous night. Steve and Sam. Her parents. Clarence and Tiffany. Joey. Everyone and then some.. karaoke and drinks.. he tried to get me to go so many times. Even asked if I was okay. Steve is thoughtful that way. He’s.. my best friend. Truly.

Finally the next night Thanksgiving night Steve told me it was Cards Against Humanity and Clarence and Tiffany and Enrique were there and I better come over. I just.. I couldn’t see family. I couldn’t see happiness.. until Steve threatened to that night come over and drag me.. and I gave in and had a great time.

I always do.

But my aunt Ninette (Tant Ne! It’s a cute story. No one could as a kid pronounce Aunt Ninette and one of the kids inverted it into Tant Ne and that’s her name ever since!) and her daughter Ashley I barely knew as a kid. I saw them last on my birthday in 2008 a month before the major surgery that changed my life and it was my grandmother’s funeral.

They were my grandmother’s favorites.

She played favorites with her kids and grandkids.

So there was always instilled resentment even without my mother’s vitriol.

How do you overcome all of that uncertainty? Mistrust? Confusion?

And how do I fit in? They’re all successful. Ashley is married to an uber successful Dutchman who is a CFO and takes them around the globe. I’m just.. a cripple on disability who writes as a hobby and is in debt and tries to care about people.

I felt inadequate.

Insignificant.

Out of place.

But I went. And in typical fashion my mom’s old beat up van has the driver’s side windshield wiper motor break down. I’m literally maybe going to afford my mortgage this month and only that. I am terrified and stressed. And it’s going to rain 6 of the next 8 days. Why can’t it be the back wiper? The passenger’s blade? Nope..

I tried going there for 6pm, and it took me over an hour having to stop constantly cause of any actual rainfall obscuring my vision. I instantly questioned myself and choice to go.

I felt like such a woman before I left, I spent an hour trying to figure out what to wear. What is casual? Are these people casual? Are they expecting something of me? My brother was working and Thomas wanted no part of it either way.

I had a migraine from straining to focus on the road so intently for so long.. but I breathed in, exhaled deeply, and I decided to do what I always do.

Be true to myself, be honest always, and never let possibility stop me from expressing all of who I am to the world and accept whatever it returns.

I went in and my aunt was thrilled.

I hugged Ashley and heard stories of her falling in love and backpacking across Europe.

I saw photos of my grandfather I’ve never seen before.

I’m told constantly I am his carbon copy in charm, wit, and way with ladies.

My grandmother hated him and burned his letters which I found out tonight from Tant Ne that he was an amazing writer. Such an eloquent soul in expressing his love and romantic side. My grandmother destroyed almost all of his photos.

And then when people left, I sat down and we talked.

It doesn’t matter right now about what or why or …

We talked.

The words do not matter.

The love and emotion and introspection was there between Ninette and I as we traded thoughts, concepts, fears, failures, triumphs, and so much pain.

“I wanted nothing more than to be close to my sisters. And I knew that wouldn’t happen, and I tried and tried and it hurts so much because. I love my sisters. I wanted us to be close. We were family.”

Her eyes pooled with every syllable uttered.

Every word she gave was a piece of her soul being violently exposed to unforgiving elements, and yet she soldiered through it with grace.

With determination.

Even as the tears were now oceans and she could not see me though I was mere feet away. I motioned to get up and hug her, and she held out a quivering hand.

“It’s hard seeing your pain through so much love.” I said fighting back the emotion and choking on it anyway.

She looked at me, and with such absolute remarkable dignity stated, “Your mom passing, I miss her, and I love her and wish that I could change so much, but I think maybe in a way it is what I hope will allow you and I to find ourselves as family in a way she and I could not.”

The tears were weighty nails thundering down her cheeks.

My own stained just as deeply.

“I would like that. I would love to actually be what we are – family.”

I was invited to Christmas dinner by Ashley and Tant Ne was enthusiastic in her hopes I do come and we build upon ourselves. The compliments were heartfelt and they were offered rigorously and without shaded motive.

I did not know how to feel other than amazed that this night has changed my life.

There are moments in time when we are eclipsed by the magnitude and weight of the very experience we are presently within yet you feel the impact of it forever as a wave starts on one end of the ocean and continues rippling forward until it hits the other side.

I feel the tide surging within me.

I’m floating along a wave.

And I do not know my destination.

I do not see the other shore.

And I do not care about that at all.

Because I have family.

I really do finally in my life at 37 years of age have family.

And they love me because they are me.

We just need time.

Always,
Brian Michael Milici

May you always find your smile.


Deleted user December 24, 2015

This warms my heart. You write so beautifully, and what an amazing experience. I'm so happy for you :) big hug

Jafael December 24, 2015

What a gift it is to have this wonderful new joining of you and your own family! Happy Holidays indeed!

Miss.Meadows December 24, 2015

I have no words to describe this. I'm so happy for you! You really deserve it :)
This made me all teary eyed.

LoveSuicide Miss.Meadows ⋅ January 24, 2016

Aww, wipe away those tears or I'll dry them with my BEANIE. lol

Miss.Meadows LoveSuicide ⋅ January 24, 2016

Hahaha, you mean your TOQUE? I think I can handle it

Soulshine December 26, 2015

so happy you decided to go and that things went well!

LoveSuicide Soulshine ⋅ December 26, 2015

It went even better on Christmas Day, but I'm basking and not writing!

pokes

How was the lady's Christmas? I want details! :)

Sharee December 28, 2015

I'm glad you're reconnecting, I have a feeling my family is going to end up like that soon and I'm still trying to hold together the connections I have. My mom is pretty upset over how things went after my grandmother passed and I'm pretty sure once the property is sold and everything is settled she'll very happily never talk to my aunt again if she can help it. I'm not happy with the way she's acted either, but I'll be here if and when she stops being baby and gets it together.

Hope your holidays were merry! :)

LoveSuicide Sharee ⋅ January 24, 2016

Do you think it'd be healthier if they did or didn't keep the relationship?

Sorry I have sucked at noting I'm trying!

Mine were and the ladys holidays?! Jess was fun sounded like!

Sharee LoveSuicide ⋅ January 24, 2016

I used to go through long spells on OD of not updating or noting, it happens. I'm actually surprised I've kept up here as well as I have.

My mom has never gotten along with my aunt, even when they were kids. They might find a balance someday, but for now mom is probably better off ignoring her.

Holidays were good, saw a lot of family, got some gifts I actually really like. Had a good time hanging out with Jess, wish she'd bring that racetrack back! lol

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