Friday, July 27, 2012

I have no title for this post...

It's been several weeks since I wrote something here. Things have been crazy with work, being that we are in the middle of an insane heat wave, business has picked up. Plus, the wedding is drawing closer and demands attention.

I've been doing better with the emotions I feel when thinking about my father. Thats not right. I've been doing a better job at suppressing those emotions I feel when thinking about my father. I bottle them for a while then let them out when the time is right. I need the release the feeling of loss gives. It's not a pleasant feeling, but it's better than just trying to keep it all inside.

I know it hasn't been long, three months now, but these feelings, stronger than the feelings for my grandfather ever were, will not leave me, ever. And I'm coming to terms with the fact that it is not a bad thing.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The House

We've owned our new house (it's an old house, but it's new to us) for a little less than a month now. Words cannot begin to express how happy I am to be out of the two bedroom postage stamp I've been calling home for the past few years. The simple fact that we have a real kitchen to cook, eat and spend time together in makes it amazing to me. I have fond memories of time spent in kitchens, that’s where my large Italian family often gathered. Besides for the memories and warmth of the room, I've got the counter space to actually prep my meals so that I'm not cooking things one at a time only to reheat the whole meal. We had chicken stir fry over browned noodles the other night and everything was hot when I plated it!

I also love the fact that I have a backyard. I had one in the old apartment, but it was small and I had no direct access to it. Not a major deal, but it's still nice to have my OWN back yard that I don't have to worry about sharing with someone. I have a shed now, where I keep my new lawnmower. I let my son help me with the first of many cuts we will be using it for. He squealed with glee when he depressed the forward drive lever and the mower took off, something he wasn't expecting.

I spoke of the porch in my last post. I need to get that refinished. The railings have warped with age, and the posts should be reset. I've spoken to Mom about getting my father's rocking chair and fixing it up a bit, so it can sit on my porch and I can use it like he did. I'm worried that one day though, I'll come home, and it won't be there. I tend to do that, worry. Things play out in my head for the worse, which, while during those episodes is very, very bad (to the point of anxiety attacks in those severe cases), can often times make things better when they turn out ok. If you plan for the worse, any small positive is a victory.

I know that’s not the way to go about things, but I can't help it. I get a thought stuck in my head and I usually can't see the positive of the situation. That is one of the reasons the Future Mrs. is my Future Mrs. She has a way of putting things in perspective for me. The honesty of her words often times can snap me out of the self-inflicted "funk" and allow me to see something other than the narrow view my brain portrays. She was and is there to help me deal with the things I need dealing with, like the loss of my father.

I'm happy I have a new house, but the kitchen, porch, and backyard wouldn't have any meaning without her in it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dinner for Three

Last night I made dinner for the future Mrs. and my mother. It was simple, nothing fancy, just dinner. They both came in and sat down at the table as I started to plate the meals. As I reached up to the cabinet my fingers found four plates. I had to stop and remind myself, not four, three. I pulled the three plates down and did the same for the silverware, three, not four.

Earlier in the day my mother gave me a card for my birthday. I had told her to save the stamp, to just bring it out when she stopped by to visit. It wasn’t the cost of the stamp I was concerned about, it was my reaction to the card. This would be the first card in which my father’s name wouldn’t be attached.

The card could have told me that I won a million dollars, or that I was adopted, or anything really, but none of it mattered. What mattered was me opening the card, which was extremely difficult to do. Inside there was just one name, Mom. I started to tremble a bit and she was up in an instant hugging me. That was just as difficult for her, maybe even more so, than it was for me. We stood in the kitchen crying together over our shared loss.

Dinner was quiet, just polite chit-chat. After the table was cleared and the trash was taken out, I made up an excuse to go and sit on the porch for a bit. It was warm in the house I said, and much cooler outside.

The house we bought is over 180 years old, but it’s new to us. We are still furnishing it, so my porch is bare save one of those folding chairs you can store in a little bag. It’s bright green, and looks out of place, but it’s comfortable. I plunked down to watch a storm move in and thought of how unprepared I was to lose my father.

It’s funny really. A friend and I often talk about the fact that schools really don’t prepare you properly for the real world. Sure, you learn calculus and history, which are important subjects, but it’s never about real world issues. There are no classes on how to deal with someone passing away. I only learned basic medical and CPR from taking a class I needed for one of my diving certificates. Hell, PE when I was younger was more about square dancing and dodge ball than proper exercise and nutrition. All important things you need to take initiative to learn but are needed by everyone. It’s a topic for another post I guess.

I went back inside and logged on to the blog. There aren’t many comments on here yet, but those of you who have posted provide support and understanding, which helps me out in these times. I can’t thank you guys enough.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Yesterday morning was rough. The realization that I wouldn't speak to my dad hit me pretty hard. I remember being young and waking up with the full knowledge that, yes, today is my birthday! For the past decade or so though, it doesn't dawn on me until the first time someone says Happy Birthday. That was my fiancé yesterday morning, as soon as I woke up, with a hug and a kiss.

It didn't matter that I was prepared for the fact I knew he wouldn't be calling. I shouldn't say that, I don't know what it would have been like if I hadn't at least thought about it beforehand. Regardless though, I did the manly thing...Went in the shower where no one could hear and cried. The future Mrs. knew though, she always does, and it carried over to the bedroom, where I sat on the edge of the bed with a towel over my head.

I feel like the milestones and annual gatherings will be the worse this year, as each of those passing days will be the first without him. I am unsure though, that in time, I will be better able to deal with this.

A few years ago I was in the Long Branch area with my two children and decided to stop at my grandfather’s grave site. I was very close with my grandfather, he was the man that had nurtured my imagination, turned me on to science fiction and fantasy books, watched cartoons with me as a child. As I walked to the location I was telling my children stories about the man they never got to meet, but would have loved them very much. I can do that because I know this to be true. My grandfather would have adored my children, much the way he did me, when I was young.

As we wrapped up, I walked them back to the car and asked them to wait for a moment. I went back to the grave (it wasn’t that far from the car), and spoke softly to him, letting my sadness of the fact he could never hold them out. It was probably the first time my children saw me cry. My daughter was too young to remember that I reasoned, and my son had an understanding of what was going on.

When my father passed, I pulled my children from school to let them know. I did this for two reasons. First, they deserved to hear it from me, and no one else. Second, I had to leave for Atlanta and did not want them to worry about me while I was gone (my son does that…worries, something I would give my right arm for him not to do at such a young age). I told them that it was ok to be sad, that it was ok for them to cry or yell and scream or do whatever they needed to do to get the hurt out.

My son opened the window in his room and screamed. He was sad and frustrated and angry. My daughter stayed with me and asked me if it was “Ok to cry, like that one time, at the place with all the graves.” She had remembered that, it had stuck with her.

The saying is that “Time heals all wounds,” but I don’t know if this is the case. My daughter hit the nail on the head, I still deal with the emotions the death of my grandfather bring up in me, and that was 16 years ago. There is no telling how those emotions about my father will manifest for the rest of my life.

"Time hides those wounds," would probably be a better saying. Time and the mundane tasks we go about in our daily lives cover and hide and distract us from our emotions. But the mind never really lets those wounds heal. At least, not for some of us.

Friday, May 25, 2012

May 29th and the question of time...

Tuesday is my birthday.

I hadn't thought about what that actually meant until I received a card from none other than Mary telling me everything will be ok. Even then it hadn't sunk in until I reread the card. She was of course, telling me what she had to deal with her first birthday without Uncle Frank. I feel better prepared now to face the fact that Dad won't be calling to send his birthday wishes and share some far fetched story he had read or heard.

My dad would do that alot. He loved to talk about anything, always wanted to share stories. He would often try to recreate comedy bits he heard from comedians. I will say this, his delivery was much better when it was his own story. Repeating another's...not so much. I remember once he called to tell me about a Lewis Black bit. Black was, along with Carlin, one of his favorite comedians. He butchered that bit. I mean destroyed it. I actually had heard the Black special it came from, and let out a laugh at how badly it was delivered. I could do that without him taking offense, because, while he was my dad, he was also one of my closest friends. We busted chops constantly, something that I find I miss more and more as the days slip past.

Come Tuesday, I'll be 33, something that doesn't mean much to me. While it sounds strange, I've started to care less about age and more about time. I remember when people who were older than I am now used to tell me, "Enjoy the time, it goes by faster when your older." I never understood that when I was younger. Who would? A second was a second, minutes and hours never change, they are a set amount of time. But they were right. In a few days, I'll be another year older, and it will have been a month since he passed. Where did those 30 days go?

I was just in Georgia making arrangements and helping my mother out with the tasks that no one should have to face alone. Hell, I was just at the lake last Memorial Day with my future wife telling my youngest to get out of the water because it was only 55 degrees and her lips were starting to lean towards a tint of purple. Where does it go? When we are younger, time seems to drag on. Waiting for something seems to take an eternity. Now, I can't help but look back at everything I've done and question how it all slips past so quickly. Not that I regret any of it, I just wonder where it went.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Starting Over

Well, I've decided to give Blogging another go. A friend and I messed around with a blog a while back, something that was silly and fun, but nothing more than that. We both got busy and posts became less frequent. I may go back there and write again, but for now, I'm here.

I was whisked back into this by my cousin, after the loss of my father. I was encouraging her to continue on with her blogging and she used some type of Jedi mind trick to get me back into it. She had done this, somehow, before she physically told me to do it. She had inspired me back by showing me her writing on her condition and the demons she faces.

I know writing is a great release, something that is an easy way to get things out. Sometimes its difficult to articulate what I need to say, like there is a disconnect between my brain and mouth. That path seems much stronger when I can write out those feelings. With the emotions due to the loss of my father, there are things I need to get out, which hopefully, I can do here.