Dad says: “I’m a Little Short of Money”

I just got a call from Dad.  I was out (am out) for my walk so he left me a voicemail.

“I’m a little short of money”, he said.

Of course there was more but this is the jist of it.  Now I don’t know what that means, does he have no money in his wallet, or did he go to the bank and think there was no money there?  Shouldn’t be the latter because I just went online (from my phone, cuz I can) and checked his balance. Inquiring minds need to know.  I’m confused.  I’ll call him shortly to get the lowdown.

I still feel frustration when I talk to him. That alone pisses me off, that I get frustrated, never mind whatever he calls about.  And it’s not like he’s always calling, but typically when he does there’s some issue that needs resolving.  Often it isn’t even an issue but more like a situation where he has something confused.

Look at me, who’s the whiner in this story?  I should be grateful he’s still around. I AM grateful.  We never know what we’ve got until after its gone, that’s a for sure.  He ALWAYS tells me he appreciates me, and whatever small things I can do for him ARE small in the big picture.  Next time I whine slap me upside the head, k?

Tic Tac Toe
Tic Tac Toe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I’m sitting here in the coffee shop, smelling the fresh brew and warm pastries, I love to watch the people.  I think I could study them all day, trying to figure out their stories. Right now there’s a man and small child across from me playing tic-tac-toe.

I think he must be the grandpa, the boy his grandson.  He’s appears to be about my age (old) but you never know these days, it could be a second relationship for him.  What you can tell is that he’s thoroughly enjoying the toddler, and trying to teach him the game.  They chatter back and forth and occasionally I hear a giggle from the boy, or a guffaw from the elder.  There’s pride in the grandpa’s eyes.

These scenes warm my heart.  I think of the future with my grandson, perhaps I’ll teach him tic-tac-toe as well.  Maybe we’ll go for coffee when he gets older.  I hope so.

These situations makes me feel somewhat in limbo land.  I think of my Dad and his needs.  I think of his care, and what his future may hold.  I think of my connection with him, our past.

I also think of my kids, I ponder what could have been with my son Shawn had he not died.  What would we have done together?  How would we have bonded? This makes me sad.

And I think of my grandson, and what our future might look like.  How many things we can do together.  This makes me optimistic and happy.

So it’s about life isn’t it, the past, present, and future.  They are all so important.  How do I connect them?

Happy Birthday Son, I Miss you!

Shawn as youngster

It’s my son’s birthday today, but I can’t wish him happy birthday because he passed away suddenly 12 years ago, on Jan. 18, of a rare heart condition called Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (AVRD).  If he was with us today he would be turning 30 years old.

I miss him, sometimes painfully, and I think of him most days. The hollowness in my heart never goes away but it has lessened over time.  Knowing I will meet him again sometime eases my loss.

Another thing that helps to mitigate the hurt is partially filling the void with another love.  It can never replace my heart’s previous tenant but will moderate the loss. It will take the edge off, it’ll provide some relief from the angst that comes from losing someone.  I’ll never forget my son, but having a grandson to love now allows me to use that love instead of letting it wilt inside me.

You will never get over the loss of someone you love, particularly your child.  They are your hopes and dreams, they are the future.  When they is gone so go those thoughts.

I had so hoped to write something fitting and appropriate today, a means to capture his memory and pay proper tribute, but the words escape me.  It will have to be enough to say Happy Birthday, and I love you!

Thoughts of Shawn… Only if.

The snow is falling, or what could be loosely described as snow. Maybe dust, white powder dust would be more appropriate, almost like large flakes of flour. The kind of dust that you barely glimpse, but can see when the sunshine catches them as it’s rays filters through the window. This same white powder fell on the day Shawn died, a day I’d not soon want to re-live.  An ethereal day.

I wrote this as I sat waiting for my appt with Gloria, my counselor, but she approached me soon after and said “Come on in Dwayne, how are you doing?”  It’s funny, the thought of Shawn, or his passing, wasn’t forefront on my mind as she asked me that question, but was only moments before.  My thoughts of him come and go, depending on circumstances and mood.

It’s coming up on 11 years since his untimely death, January 18th of 2000 to be exact.  The closer we get to that date, or his birthday in October, the more his life (and death) surface in our minds.  Often it brings back some guilt on my part, none that I’ve mentioned to Gloria though, and even though I can rationalize my way through it the nagging thoughts of “only if” are still there and still pull at my heart.  Only if, 2 isolated words that when put together have more power over us than so many others.  Only if.

Happy Birthday Shawn

All is done and we’ve survived another one, at least I have to this point anyway.  Mo is still cooking though and likely won’t be done until later tonight.  She upholds her Grandma’s commandments, all 37 or more of them, this one being that no turkey shall be cooked without the bones being boiled for soup.  She steadfastly soldiers through the day completing this task, not saying “done” or “I give” until the last container has been filled and there’s no leftovers left over.  She is a trooper for sure.

We both made it through yesterday without any emotional upset, and although I wouldn’t have been surprised to have shown, or seen, some I’m glad it didn’t come.  The reason?  Oct. 9th was our son Shawn’s birthday and he would have been 29 had he still been with us.  Sadly he left us suddenly over 10 years ago and although we think of him almost daily his passing was not more painful to recall yesterday than on other days. It’s always sad no matter what, Thanksgiving or not.

Dad stayed over last night instead of going back to the home, he was happy to do that and I think enjoyed his time with the family.  As Mo said he hasn’t had that much family contact for years and that will make his last years in the area much happier I’m sure.  On the way here before dinner yesterday I drove him by the seniors home here in town and he mentioned numerous times how It would be so much easier for him to be here in town instead of his current location 20 miles away.  I have to agree, and that was why we initially wanted him here, to be closer to us.

Happy! Thanksgiving

I feel better today, mind you it’s only just short of 10 am and I haven’t had any beer yet LOL.

I probably should be cautious about joking about alcohol consumption, I could give the wrong idea.  The wrong idea would be that I drink too much, and I know that is a relative thing.  If you have one drink and it causes you some negative reactions, through words, actions, or thought, then it probably is bad.  If that’s the case then likely nobody should drink.  Ultimately that’s a reaction I’d dare to say many people have had at one point or another.  Anyway I don’t think I drink too much, yesterday was only 2 beer after work and they were 2 of 4 beer all week.  Not sure why I need to explain or justify my actions, just did at this moment.  Nuf said.

Ay and her husband are coming home today for the weekend, the first we’ll have seen her for a few weeks and she’ll be showing more.  She’s about 18 weeks pregnant at this point and seems to be settling into it more.  She did have some challenges at first, both physically and emotionally, around the pregnancy but is feeling much better about it now I think.  I’m looking forward to seeing them, I hope the feelings are mutual.

We’ll be doing a family dinner at the Colander tonight and then big family dinner at our home tomorrow.  Tomorrow is also our son Shawn’s birthday, or would have been.  He would be 29 had he made it this far.  I’m not sure how his death will be dealt with today, that will be a question.  I miss you Shawn.

Sadness Felt, and Loss of Closeness

It’s often interesting to me how the written word, and often other benign media, can have such an impact on ones mood, in this case bringing me to sadness.  It’s not only the sadness of loss, which I certainly feel, but the sadness of loves felt and missed.

The book I’m reading, fiction in this case, is Stephen King’s “Duma Key” about a construction magnate who after becoming seriously injured moves to Duma Key in Florida and takes up painting.  He produces paintings with an ethereal quality that in the end reflect past events on the Key.  The most significant of those is the drownings of twin girls many years in the past.  He sees later how that occurrence in the past has the potential to impact his 2 daughters lives in the present.  Anyway he often refers to his one daughter in particular and it’s that reference that often brings me to the brink of tears.

It draws the love from me for my daughter Ay, but not drawing it out in the sense that it was not there, certainly not, but taking that overwhelming love and drawing it out to where it’s hard to contain.  In the story the man’s daughter expresses her love freely and openly and that is something I yearn for, and miss in my relationship.  Where I know Ay loves me she seems to have that trait exhibited by many on my side of the family that makes it difficult for them to express love in the conventional sense.  It hurts and brings me sadness to not know her love in that way.

G has often asked me if our loss of Shawn has caused me unresolved emotions like grief, or anger I guess, emotions I can’t or won’t allow or admit to.  I have always answered no, but now I wonder if this loss of demonstrated love from Ay is accentuated by Shawns death, as if somehow now I need more reassurance or confirmation. Things that make you go “hmmmm”.