We are not alone...Wednesday 3rd May 2023
Last year was my first DGR and it was everything I expected it to be. Gentlefolk from all walks gathered to raise each other up and ride motorcycles.
As a man, as a son, and as a father of young men and women, I have a lot of lessons to learn and pass on. Growing up the my father, uncles, and other male role models in my life thought that to be a man you have to be tough, and to be tough you have to endure the things that may even take life away. I can honestly say that my childhood has a lot to do with the way I handle my mental health today. It has a lot to do with the fact I never stayed consistent with my mental or physical health. It wasn’t until I had children when I realized that taking care of them was one of the most important things, I could be doing for myself.
10 years ago, I made a life change and decided to take a job my aunt offered me at our family funeral home. I like to think she saw something in me I didn’t and that’s why she brought me on board, but I may just be patting myself on the back. I must admit when I took the job, I was a little scared of what I was facing as I had worked here before and decided that this profession was a lot to handle emotionally. I was 20 years old, invincible in my head and had decided that death just wasn’t something I would give energy to. Through my twenties I lost some friends, some my age, some older and it made me realize that death didn’t have a criterion.
Being part of a family-owned funeral home we develop a close bond with the families we serve. I keep up with some and we share stories and memories of our lost loved ones. I can say that it helps me cope with not only my losses but my everyday life and the emotions I deal with at work. One of the things that attracted me to the DGR besides the badass motorcycles was that it is done to bring awareness to men’s health. I have known about the ride for years and always wanted to join in the fun and do my part in bringing awareness to men’s health.
In October of 2019 I was on the other side of the arranging table for the loss of my mom. For years I knew the day would come and I thought I was mentally prepared for the day but it turns out I was completely wrong. For years I tried to empathize with families suffering from mental health problems because of losing a loved one, but I realized that I was not doing good enough because of the overwhelming devastation I felt losing my mother. This is one of the many things that made me join in raising money for Mens Mental Health awareness. I could feel myself going down a dark path when my mom passed and it wasn’t just her passing that was taking me down but, so many other things I was battling with all at once. Her death was the catalyst to this downward spiral of my mental health breaking down.
I later took a hit to my pride and ego a sought help to get me back on track, for myself and my family. I was so unaware of how many obstacles I was facing and the ways I could deal with them. Sometimes our pride and ego as men get in the way of our growth mentally and this is where I was struggling the most. Today I am open to changing the way I deal with my mental health, and I know what I need to do to nurture it. One way I found out is getting on my motorcycle to clear my head and remember that I am not alone in this fight. I see all these ladies and gents getting Dapper, sharing laughs, trading stories, and riding motorcycles for Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and I know that I am not alone.
Keep up the good work Joey!
I will always be your biggest cheerleader! I’m beyond proud of you, I see alll the effort you put into this and it amazes me❤️. Love, Kayla! Xoxo
Good Job, keep up the great work.
Cedeno And Salinas Funeral Home
We are so proud of you! Way to go!
Way to go!
Cheering you on brother! Have a great ride!
Thanks for advocating for this great cause. Good luck!
Ride Proud Distinguished Gentleman !!!
Have fun nephew Joey!
This is inspiring, thank you for raising money for such an important cause.
Proud of you! Love you! ❤️
From the Guinea Pigz Thank you for setting a great example for us.
I enjoyed reading your message Joey. Such a great cause 👏 Be safe ✌️
Good luck! I hope you surpass your goal!
Love u brother
Woohoo!!! Awesome Job!!