10 January 2007

I Hope

So, 2006 is over, or something. I had the usual kick ass NYE with my siblings. We got drunk/semi-drunk [depending on who we're talking about.] And we played games. And we laughed A LOT. I think I'll probably be 50 and still celebrating NYE with at least my brother Ryan, because he's down with being all about the family forever, too.

Last year was not the best of years for me. And for the first time in forever I feel like the reasons it sucked so hard were only 20% my fault. Maybe a little more, but not much.

I still think about my grandpa everyday. It's only about 80% of the time these days that I feel like curling up in a corner and crying, though, so I guess there's that. Ryan and I shared a quiet toast to our Pa on New Year's. "To our Pa. Our hero. Forever." I love that Ryan understands my inability to relinquish my memories of our Pa.

I'm thinking in three months or so I'm going to start applying to airlines. That information used to be top secret.

So I'd rather have no camera than a shitty camera, right? Except for how I am apparently OBSESSED with cameras and "no camera" is about as much of an option as is "not breathing." However, cameras are expensive and I pay many bills and am THE WORST EVER at saving. Mostly I think savings accounts are stupid. I'm sure someday that thought will come around and kick me squa' in the jaw, but until that day, I say eff you, banks. Eff you, savings accounts. Eff money entirely. Except when it comes to buying a new PowerShot. I love you, Canon.

Whatever, someday I'll stop hating blogs.

17 September 2006

Cradle of Family

[i deleted this.]

14 September 2006

We Ready

The design of this blog drives me insane. So dark, so lonely. Neither of which I am.

The Broncos home opener is this weekend. And I like I have for the last five, ten, fifteen years I'll sit next to my Gram and cheer on the boys who make or break my mood in the fall. I sit with headphones on, a cheap Walkman (!) purchased five years ago blaring the play-by-play into my ears. When things happen, my neighbors tap my shoulders. "What'd they say?" "Is he okay?" "What's the ruling?"
Before Invesco was built, my grandparents had tickets next to the same people for 30 years. They knew their names, their kids names, tiny parts of each other's lives. Now we sit next to one set of neighbors who have been there with us since the beginning of this wretched stadium. The rest cycle in and out, top sellers at their company. Business guests a local company is trying to impress. Some dumbass from Jersey here to cheer on the Jets.
Football games with my Gram are my favorite tradition. They do fly overs from Buckley, or the Air Force Academy, or Fort Carson and my 5'-if-she's-anything Gram jumps around and squeals, "I just love those!" We place our hands over our heart and sing our National Anthem. We stomp our feet and clap our hands and yell at our team. We bond.

I think of my Pa. How when I would drive over to my Gram's so we could go to the game, he'd always tell us, "Play hard!" How he'd smile at my superstitions, having shown up in the same jersey, jeans, shoes and hat for the last 10 years. [The shoes might have changed once.] I always felt bad that my Pa stayed at home, but the reality of it was he was just too sick to go. He could barely walk to the backyard, let alone up and down ramps at a football stadium. Still, he loved the Broncos. Not the way my Gram and I do, mind you. We'll literally throw things at the wall after a bad play, and yell at people if they talk to us during a game. But he loved them all the same. Enough to record their games, so he and Gram could watch them again. Enough to never miss a game.
[I miss him.]

So this Sunday we'll meet our boys at the 30 yard line of the north end of the field. And we'll hope for the best. [The best being Jake Plummer getting hurt and subsequently going out for the season...] Let's go, Broncos.

06 August 2006

Maude & Harold

Some night when we were laying in beds less than two hundred miles apart, staring at different ceilings, with different animals cuddled next to us, you asked me if I'd ever seen Harold & Maude. I said I hadn't, and after your gasp you proclaimed it a tragedy.

You told me later that Harold & Maude is a movie you have to see with the person who recommends it to you. We made plans to watch it at the cabin. But what was between us was never to be real. We were never going to watch that movie. And I think the bitch of it is that at the time, we both really believed we were. Maybe that is another lie I tell myself about you.

I watched Harold & Maude last night with one of my best friends. I thought about you, about how I can barely remember feeling as close to you as I did that night. And it wasn't just that night. It was night after night for months. I can't hardly remember on what we built our friendship. I can't remember falling in love. I remember how closely I kept you under wraps.

I told one person about everything -- the ups and downs, the laughter, the confusion, the rage, the sadness and emptiness after you were gone. And as she has for so many years, she just understood. She didn't chastise me, or tell me I should have known better. She didn't hate you based on principle. She told me what was right, and what was wrong, about a very strange relationship. I just looked up the last email with your name in it -- it was almost six months ago. I think the last time I heard from you was almost two months ago, requesting my email address because what you had to say was "too long to text." For days afterward I checked my mail, wondering where your explanation was. Wondering what you had to say to defend away the abolishment of something great. Obviously it never arrived. Your last betrayal of my heart.

You were Maude. I am Harold, sitting in an ambulance crying that I'll never, ever love again. You promised I would, and after abandoning the person I was while I loved you, I know I will. I couldn't help but sit there and think what a selfish bitch Maude was. And when I think of you these days, all I can think of is how selfish you were. I believe in the good of your heart, and don't think you went into things with the intention of hurting me. But nonetheless, it's a fucked up move to leave the way you did. Your pain and hurt from a prior relationship does not justify you damaging me. And my willingness to forgive my heart its poor thinking in prior relationships does not justify my allowing myself to be so angry and hurt for so long.

There are pieces of you I choose to keep. There is a picture of you in my mind; your smile makes me smile almost every time. There are songs that remind me of you, and sometimes I bow my head or stare at the wall, fighting back tears, fighting to let go. Because of you I know I can love selflessly and completely. And because of you I keep my distance. Because of you I believe in friendship and romance. And because of you I'm too scared to try again.

But because of Maude, and because of Harold, I'll give it a go one more time.

19 June 2006

The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows

There are things that have happened in pretty much all our lives over the last month that have been muted because Pa isn't here. My younger sisters graduated, my middle little brother got into Honors Orchestra next year, my nephew turned 1, I got a promotion...
Last week I was presented with the option of taking over a department at work, and I accepted. It's a big deal in my life. My friends and family are happy and excited and proud, and all I can manage are a few half-hearted smiles and some quick prayers of thanks. I'm excited for the opportunity, but like I said, everything seems muted. Like we're all experiencing life through filters or somehow we're viewing our lives through pictures instead of living them.

Wednesday night after I got home from work, I felt anxious and restless. Sister and I wound up on a short hike/walk near her house, where the reality of Pa being gone sort of hit me. I thought again and again of how he was constantly so proud of me all of us, even if I we didn't do anything to deserve it. We're walking in the twilight and I'm choking on tears and fighting my way through a not difficult hike. I catch sister sneaking looks at me as we both talk about the impact Pa's death has had on us and our siblings, and we toss around speculations about life and death and each other and our family.

It all just landed on me that night. I wanted to celebrate my success with my siblings, sure. After all, they believe in me and love me and encourage me everyday, even when they don't know it. But I also wanted to tell my Pa. To hear his, "Way to go, kiddo!" To know that honestly, sincerely, he was proud of me.

Most of the time I think all of us walk around in disbelief. It's hard to imagine him being really gone, so we find ourselves not necessarily denying that he's gone, but instead rounding corners blindly, hoping he'll be there.

I still cry for him almost every night. More often than should be allowed I sit on a bench or in a car or on the phone with a boy who believes our primary purpose in each other's lives is to listen to the things we can't tell anyone else. I cry and sob and mumble words of apology for letting my guard down, letting my heart free, one more time. He shushes me and applies to my sense of reason, explaining our friendship would be worthless if we couldn't cry, just as it would be senseless if we didn't laugh. Other nights I send a short message to a sister, "I miss Pa." Most times, though, I wind up in bed, clutching a Kansas Jayhawks sweatshirt, crying uncontrollably at the thought of my Pa being gone.

04 June 2006

You Know Where To Find Me

My Pa died almost a month ago. 08 May. Today is June 4. Yesterday was June 3, and we had a memorial dinner in honor of him. Almost a month after his passing.

I still choke on the words I need to say about him, about his life and death. About the gaping hole I see in the hearts of every single person I love best in the world. About the gaping hole he left in a family that up until a month ago I'm convinced thought itself invincible. I choke so hard on the words that I pretend they don't exist at all.

Last night my brother [Ryan] and I laid opposite sides of a bed in our grandparents' home, an additional sister and brother sandwiched between us, and we let slip secrets and stories and laughs. Anyone can look at Ryan and see the broken heart. Anyone can look at me and see the broken heart. I look at my little brother and am so fucking proud of him, I almost don't know what to do. I saw our Pa look at him like that.

I hear Ryan talk and am amazed alternately by his intelligence, wit, irony and awareness. I said to him tonight, "I want to write about Pa, but I don't know what to say." He replied, "Write about how he was so great and why. And write about why you're glad you knew him." So I will. I'll work on it.

My Pa taught me to write, after all.

14 May 2006

Teeny

I keep having these minor breakdowns. Ten, fifteen minutes. Great, heaving sobs. Uncontrollable sadness or emptiness or rage. I don't know how to make the words come out. I lay on a bed, or sit with my head against a wall and cry. Because I just don't fucking know what else to do. I can't make words. I can't keep smiling. And I can't keep crying. There's so much that has happened in thirty days.. I just don't know where to start.

So I don't. I don't start, because I probably won't stop. I can't think about my brothers crying. I can't think about my sisters being hurt and sad. I can't think about my Gram. Or my mom. Or her siblings. I can hardly look at my nephews, the pride & joy of my heart and life, without feeling like someday THEY will let me down, or I will let them down, or life will let us all down. I can't look at them for fear of getting lost in thoughts of them living without my hero. And it doesn't matter, not really. They have their own hero.

But the breakdowns. I wonder if they are leading to some huge catastrophe. Or if they're a daily [twice daily?] catharsis. If.. little by little.. I'm letting go of the hurt and sadness. I'm healing myself.

Either way, I think I'm going crazy.