This song is dedicated to my late Grandfather. He had his own way of telling me things.
Something that he told me that was very direct was "it's just you and your Mother." He saw that it was very rough for my Mother, being a single parent raising a little hell raiser like me. He knew that I was a black sheep like her, and I'd grow up fighting an uphill battle.
The lyrics in the song " someone once told me that I had two strikes against me" was something that my Grandfather ALWAYS told me. I was born with Cerebral Palsy. I walk with crutches, and have had several procedures done to correct certain things to do with walking. If you look closely, there are crutches attached to my mic stand (more on that in another blog).
He'd sit down while either I was getting ready to go to sleep (as a kid), or while we were at the dinner table and tell me "You have two strikes against you. You have to be as independent as possible, and look out for your Mother."
He saw me being physically challenged as a strike, and probably me not having a father as the second strike. To most people, that would probably be quite offensive. Once I figured out what he meant (in his later years) it clicked. I knew that his heart was in the right place. All my life, he told me that same phrase.
Around the time that I was about to hit 30, I was yearning for change in my life, and I felt alone. I kept having dreams of fighting off with unknown things and people, and always losing. It was one of the coldest winters and I remember just isolating myself a lot, crying, and praying for change.
My Mom saw what was happening to me (she has certain things that she says to me like my Grandfather where she repeats stuff.) "As a kid, you were a fighter. I took you to so many doctors. I tried everything with you. We went from place to place looking for help and answers. I prayed so much. You weren't crawling when you were supposed to. You couldn't even support your own weight - but you were happy with your toys, and your stuffed animals."
She continued - "one day I was on the phone and doing something and you kept trying to get my attention so that I could get you one of your toys. I will never forget this - you waited and waited, and then you just started to claw on the floor and grabbed on to the floor material. You started to pull your weight to get that damn toy. You did reach it, and I remember crying. I then knew that you were a fighter. I knew that since then, whatever you went through - no matter how many times you were in and out of that hospital for procedures, you'd be my fighter."
Always on cue - she'd start to cry telling me that story. She then said "you're only as strong as your weakest link. You're not fighting. You've got to make a change."
And then something clicked. It's like a light came on in a dark room, and things started to make sense. I started to be happy about who and what I was. I started to love myself and I started to make changes in my life. I no longer saw what I had as a disability. I saw it as a challenge. I saw it as it was a part of me, no longer me a part of it. We all have things that we must carry in our life. It's up to us to either use it as a strength of character, or to bring us under. I chose to fight. I chose to let it strengthen me.
When my Grandfather passed, I said something at his funeral. It took a lot for me to stand up there by his casket and say what I said. It was about his little chats with me, to memorialize him, in my own way.
"My Grandfather once told me that I had two strikes against me. And in the beginning I thought that those words damned me. It all turns out that it was his way of showing that he cared. He was trying to tell me that if I wanted something, I had to fight harder, and keep pushing."
Whatever you have in life, whatever challenges you face - think of me, and remember my story. Don't let your light fade. Be radient, and fight a good fight. Embrace yourself and keep going.
"But it will always be my choice alone - to make this blessing or curse, my own."
To get This Blessing or Curse, and the rest of the EP for free - please go here.