stashes to ashes, just to dust (a flashback)

a few notes should be tossed in before you read the bulk of the bit…

1. my dad and i have a MUCH better relationship now than we did when this was written
2. i have no idea whether or not the aforementioned lunch took place
3. i didn’t mean for this to come up just before father’s day, that was just coincidence

that being said, i know i’ll remember to text or call him on father’s day. will he remember a few days later on juneteenth? time will tell, but over the last few years his record on such things has been pretty damn good. now back to some good ol’ fashioned bitterness from my thirty year old self:

06/14/2002: “Mi Familia”

this weekend is all about the family; which is weird, because i’ve always WANTED my family to be closer than it is, and this weekend it has the chance to be so but i have this weird feeling i’m gonna be going into sunday with that infamous, “be careful what you wish for ’cause you just might get it…” line echoing in my head.

first off is tomorrow’s memorial service for my grandmother. a few things make this one a bit odd for me. for one, even though my grandmother had always said she wanted me to speak at her service (after hearing me speak at my own mom’s in february of ’96) and i had mentioned that to my uncle on NUMEROUS occasions, he had forgotten to put me “in the line up”, as it were….something he says WILL be corrected by tomorrow.

my uncle is a very, very, VERY quiet, private person; yet plans on giving some war-and-peace-length family history/story of grandma’s life speech tomorrow that he says will be around thirty to forty-five minutes in length. i’m curious to see how he holds up speaking in front of a crowd (for the record, i actually get nervous every time i do it; but i think i hide it fairly well). why this is necessary, i DO not know; but we all grieve in our own way, and as i was just saying to i forget who on the phone the other day, what makes this odd is the fact that she died six weeks ago, i’ve grieved, i’ve moved on, i’ve healed, and NOW we have the memorial service.

six weeks ago i had a great, funny, witty speech all prepped for her in my head; but didn’t write it down ’cause i was just gonna let it flow at the service, keeping the language in grandma-speak of course (i.e. 100% “fuck” free). now i’ve got nothing. but since i DO tend to do pretty well with this page, i might just sit down and write it as in entry (might even post it) and then print it up and take a whore page as notes. for the one or two readers who were at mom’s funeral you may see the parallel in this “whore reference” if your memories are good enough. (if anyone else wants to know, ask me…)

it has been a while since i’ve gone to a funeral, let alone checked my watch at one; but in order to make it to work on time i have to be in and out of this thing in about two hours, which given the fact there’s no body; and therefore no VIEWING of the body, or procession to the grave site, or for that matter, no grave site, i figured this was safe and told work i’d be there with no problem. my uncle seemed offended that i thought it would be over that quickly. is there a formula i’m missing here? allow one hour for every thirty years a person lives or something? or am i just an insensitive prick?

(for all of those who’s mice are now RUSHING to the comments button to answer the preceding question keep in mind that i meant it as it would apply to this situation and not as an overall judgement call on me and my life in general; as a general rule, i KNOW i’m a prick…but i’m a lovable prick)

then i work, grab dinner, hopefully drink heavily to make the whole unfortunate day a blur, and pass out. then it’s father’s day.

i haven’t spent father’s day with my dad in twenty-five years. soon after my parent’s got divorced, my dad remarried the woman that he would apparently stick with (and be completely controlled by) for the rest of his life; and he took to raising HER daughter from a previous marriage and kinda forgot about us. there’s a current situation in my life where i’m banking on absence making the heart grow fonder (and it’s working on this end) with my dad, not so much…

i went through three very distinctive stages in my relationship with my dad and my views on it. they can be summed up in three simple phrases:

“dad, what did i do?” (i.e. GUILT)

i blamed myself for him leaving. maybe if i had been a better son, more what he wanted, he wouldn’t have gone. maybe if i can prove to him NOW that i CAN be what he wanted, he’ll come back and we can be a family again. this lasted till i hit my teens, where i kicked into…

“dad, you SUCK!!!!” (i.e. ANGER)

freudian fuel, boys and girls. i didn’t BLAME dad for everything wrong in the world or my life; but i’ll be damned if he wasn’t gonna shoulder his share. i was pissed he left; pissed he didn’t seem to care; and pissed that he had started treating someone who WASN’T his own flesh and blood better then me. this rode out ALL through high school, and basically started at my grandfather’s funeral when i was in the eighth grade. after high school, i went to college, began the study of both broadcasting (my major) and what i almost double majored in, psychology. this allowed me to see everything in a whole new light, and i started to view things the way i do now…

“dad, you poor bastard” (i.e. ACCEPTANCE)

now i can see who wears the pants in that marriage, and it ISN’T my dad. he’s on such a short leash i don’t even know if it qualifies as a leash; more like a neck chain. and it’s been going on so long it’s no longer a problem or an issue or a debate; it’s simply a way of life that he can not and will not change. my dad didn’t leave us and forget us of his own free will…he HAS no free will. he’s the only one that can do something about it, he chooses not to, and there we are. a few vertebra short of the whole set. it should be mentioned at this point that he has NO idea i have a web page.

or that i curse a lot.

yeah, we’re that close.

but he IS in town this weekend to take care of some issues with my other, still amongst the breathing, grandmother (i.e. HIS mom) and i suggested a father’s day lunch (pointing out it’ll be the first chance we’ve gotten to do this in twenty-five years) and got a, “we’ll have to see” out of him as an answer. in other words, if it’s cool with my stepmother, it can happen. oh, dad…you poor bastard.

i LOVE strong, independent, intelligent women who can think for themselves and act on their own…and could never spend my life with anything less. but my nuts WILL stay my property until someone is publishing MY funeral speech on line. i learn from the mistakes of my parents…

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