My pup! And my boy, of course:
Jan doing well and slowly getting her strength back. That the doctors got all the cancer and she won't need chemo or radiation... just monitoring.
And the fact that its friday!
Have a great weekend all!
But she is fine. The surgury went well, and while she is in a bit of pain right now... they say that she slept soundly last night and should hopefully be feeling better today.
His talent was martial arts, and he wore a zoot suit (though in all the above pictures he doesn't have the jacket on, so its hard to tell). I'm so proud. Lol.
Anyway, on to the actual weekend. Friday I got to leave work a bit early... and stopped on my way out to grab coffee with my friend, Nick. Then I had a leisurely walk to train station, under a beautiful sunny sky, with stops at two stores... and still got an earlier train home. Once there I gave Trav his presents (the complete DVD collection of the Planet Earth series, some socks/underwear/undershirts which sounds boring but he loved), then we ate a quick dinner, and headed to the local fair! I forgot it was going on, but Trav suggested we hit it up and we had a great time doing so. We only rode one ride (the "Himalaya"... which I always knew as the music house ride because they blast music on it...), but we had fun walking around. We also had fun eating fair foods... Trav got a blue sno-cone and I got fried oreos. Then we picked up some cotton candy on our way out to take home.
Saturday was fairly lazy (though I feel like I'm forgetting something we did). We went grocery shopping and Trav grilled some ribs. Then that evening I ran out to the mall for Lauren's gift and a stop at the craft store for necklace stuff. I have a jade stone necklace from my grandma that I love wearing, but don't love the chain... it would, however, look amazing on a black cord. So I stopped at Michael's to get a black cord, necklace ends, and a clasp.
Sunday was Lauren's graduation party. My hoser has worked her ass off for three years, but she is officially a law school graduate now!
The hard work isn't over, as she is studying full time right now for the bar in July... but Sunday was her day to cut loose and relax with people she loves. We had a great time seeing my hoser, Ro & Pat, Hannah & Jeremy, and a few other friends. GG charmed everyone there, which was very hard work:
After that we headed home, where Ro & Pat stopped by... I went home with Ro, and Pat stayed at our place. It was nice. I know the boys definitely enjoyed their night to cut loose! Ro & I had fun getting to talk and relax... and I got to enjoy a hardy thunderstorm right when we headed to bed.
My brother Ethan also had a fun night... at prom!
They has some fun with their pictures...
A lot of fun... :-)
I actually got a little wistful looking at these! For my own prom days.
So I found this:
It's a scan of an old photo, so not the best pic even... but you get the idea. :-)
Monday we slept in until about 8, then Ro & I decided to go walking. The boys were waiting for us at Ro & Pat's place when we returned, where they grilled us up some sausages and steaks for lunch. After that we headed back home where Trav mowed, then we grilled again for dinner. Burgers and dogs this time. There is nothing like grilling on Memorial day to make it really feel like summer (though technically its not summer for almost another month).
And I would be remiss to talk about Memorial day without saying a big Thank You to all our vets! Especially those that lost their lives defending our country. I can express my gratitude enough... I'm free because of your sacrifices. Thank you.
Daisy was also thrilled to have Monday roll around. It's been 10 days since her procedure and she was looking so good, and her incision site was look like it was nicely healed, so we dropped her restrictions and let her out into the yard sans leash. She was the happiest pup! She didn't even run around that long, but flopped onto the grass with a stick to chew on...
Back inside she had a little wrestle with Trav... hard to tell who won!
That evening was blustery and we were sure that a storm was coming. They were calling for it, and it felt like a sure thing, but it never materialized!
Tuesday, obviously I was back to work. It was cold... barely 60* out, and windy windy windy. I was actually quite cold in the morning taking the pup out, which was novel. We are letting her out without the leash more and more, letting her run again... she loves every second of it, which made it harder Tuesday morning to get her back inside! But she was sweet, and the morning was good. At work though, I spent my time trying to feel on top of things while my stomach was in knots waiting to hear about Jan. I was positive that everything was going to be fine, but that waiting things is so damn hard.
As for today, well its another rainy one... but at least a little bit warmer. My computer has been giving me a lot of trouble this morning, which led to me cleaning up my browsers (deleting old links, clearing cache, etc) and my other files. It really put me in the mood to clean out in other areas! I actually want to go home just so I can clean out the house some! But for now, I'm just going to run and get more work done. I've been keeping plenty busy with Jan out... just trying to take care of whatever odds and ends I can for her, to make her life easier when she does return.
So, on that note... off I go!
But we are no less a warrior, no less empowered, no less mighty and powerful and connected to our inner strength without our children here to prove it. I never knew the depth of the warrior I could be until Tikva entered my life, until she departed. I never knew the grace I could live from was possible before her.
I think we are asked – in the moment of loss – to tap into a warrior in ourselves we might never have known was there. Because to mother a child who has died – to say goodbye over and over, to let go a little bit every day for the rest of our lives – is HARD. It is powerful, mighty, full of grace.
Speaking of Harry Potter: I just starting rereading the series for what must be the 7th time now (in preparation for the movie), and I'm just as excited to dive into them now as I was the first time. I love the things one can tell about themselves by looking at what they read. For me, its the belief that everyone needs some magic in their life. A belief in bold and extreme possibilities. I think its the same reason I love the X-files so much... I want to believe. I want the impossible to be real.
I cannot wait for the movie! And I'm so glad that in the meantime I get to dive back into this magical world through the books.
On a random weather related note: I'm so excited that its already mid-May and we're still enjoying springy weather. Some years we get here and its already in the high 80s - 90s everyday. I'm enjoying the 70s... especially since I know those higher temps will be coming around in a few weeks and then I'll be begging for autumn to get here!
Well, I have to get some work done... but have a great weekend!!
Ps. Check out this video... Time-Lapse Across China... its only a few minutes long, but its neat, chronicling a man's journey across China.
There were years when I wished my parents would get a divorce. The fighting was constant, and my father seemed like an angry stranger that I didn't know how to please. I would load the dishwasher wrong, walk wrong, be too slow with my homework or with eating dinner. I didn't know him anymore and I didn't want to.
It wasn't always like that; my formative years were happy and full of love. I don't remember my parents fighting then, or being unhappy, and while I'm sure some of that is simple childhood naïveté and missed subtext, it’s also because it was before something in my father broke.
It happened when I was in middle school, and while he was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder (manic depression), that was only after what I now know to be much time spent in the most awful state of depression. There were days that he would sit at home and be so weighted down by his sadness and pain that he would have ended it all, would he just have energy enough to get up and do so. Thankfully he got help, and was able to work through those times and come out, if not the same recklessly happy person as before, at least one that could find his way through life again.
One particular memory, from the before: My mom and I were at the supermarket doing our weekly shopping when I saw a stuffed cat on sale. How desperately I wanted that cat! We didn't have the means to be buying stuffed animals at every excursion, nor did I really need any more, but boy did I want that cat. We went home without it, but a few days later my papita sent me to the fridge to bring him a drink and there was the cat, sitting on the middle shelf. I carried that cat around all over the place, including to the house of a family friend. They had a long beautiful backyard surrounded by trees and backed by a creek. The water was a few feet down, the earth held back from it by a concrete wall, which we would sit on and throw sticks to watch them sail away downstream. My new cat was "walking" along the end of that wall when I lost my grip and it dropped to the water. I must have shouted, because the next thing I know my dad was over the edge of the embankment and into the creek water below. All for a stupid, stuffed cat. I remember feeling embarrassed, but so proud... so happy that my dad would throw himself into the cold water for a stuffed animal, what greater things would he do if I was the one in trouble! I still have that cat.
During certain parts of my college career, we would meet once a week to get tea and a sandwich at a little shop by my campus. I loved those moments of having him all to myself, when it was less about him being the parental unit, and more about us just being two people who love each other and want to share what is happening in their lives. Too often before I came to college that was not the case, and my own battles with depression, ones that started in my teens and stretched until my mid-twenties, got in the way of seeing how much my father really did just want to know me. To know my life.
I remember my freshman year, newly in love with the man that would become my husband, I was a hard woman to reach. Pre-cell phone, I was constantly away from my dorm, off at class or spending every spare minute with my new beau. That included evenings. Meaning no reaching me before bed, or before class in the morning either. I always called back, but my father, reaching a point of frustration during one of those returned calls, demanded the truth from me. And in all my freshly-independent wisdom, I gave it to him. “You want the truth?! We're sleeping together!” The phone was quickly passed to my mother, who in her much greater and longer held wisdom told me that my father did not actually want the truth. In reality, he just wanted to know that I was okay, that I was being smart, and that he was still an important part of my life.
He was. He still is. He always will be.
Writing this has been so much harder then I thought because the past shared by my father and I is one littered with misgivings, miscommunications, and missed opportunities. Those things all led us to where we are today, but they paint a picture that isn't complete because our past is also full of shared moments, gentle compromises, and so so much love. I’m not going to lie and say that our relationship has always been easy, because for many years it was not, it was downright horrible. He was angry at things beyond his control, I was full of teenage shortsightedness, and we interacted with a blazing intensity of emotions that often left us both hurt and confused on what just happened. My father is not a man to let someone blow smoke up his ass and to make this real it has to include the bad so that the good can be believed.
And it should be, because my father is an amazing man. A torn man, often held hostage by personal demons and the inability to see the good in him that others see, but a genuinely good man. If it were up to me, he would measure his life not in the matters where he feels he falls short, but in the number of times he sang Cat Stevens songs for me to fall asleep to at night, and the number of mornings he read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to me while we waited at the bus stop.
He would know that he taught me the beauty of getting lost. I have such fond memories of our drives to my best friend’s house during pre-high school summers. We would set off in the mornings, me impatient to get there with daydreams of the video games to be played, the pool laps to be swum, the giggling, and the perfectly lazy day ahead floating through my head. The first time I imagine I might have been suspicions of the unexpected detour from our known routes (of which we already had many), but now I love those memories of trips through cornfields and along semi-paved roads, which did (amazingly) always end up at Heather’s door. We’d head off along an unexplored road, with me getting to pick the direction of our turns, and watch the beauty of our countryside laid out before our unhurried wheels. It was almost sad when the roads would become familiar again and I would know that we were close to our destination. I wonder if he longed to just keep driving, the way that I did on those mornings. I wonder if he intended to teach me that the journey is everything.
My father is also a man with a sense of humor… one that involved turning off all the lights and jumping out from behind couches when scary movies were on. One I didn’t always appreciate as a young girl on dark and stormy nights. I still can’t watch the original House on Haunted Hill without getting the willies.
While my papita has been many things in his life (carpenter, mental health advocate, mail man, free-wheeling hippie to name a few), I think the thing he has embraced the most is being a father. And he is damn good at it. His family is his life, and while my mom and I might have been closer, he has always been there.
As my husband and I work to start our own family, I appreciate my father now more then ever. I wonder if I will be able to put aside my shortcomings to be all the parent I can to our children. I wonder how I will ever teach them all there is to learn. I know that at least part of that will be easy thanks to his example. It will involve taking the long way to our destination, through uncharted areas, books read aloud, and songs sung at bedtime. It will be freedom of expression, encouragement for intellectual pursuits, and going out when you want to stay in, so that there is never a missed opportunity. It will also hopefully be less raised voices and angry words, but if we can’t learn from each other’s shortcomings, then what can we learn from?
My father taught me that too.