Tag Archive | family

A letter to Dad on his 70th birthday*

*Which was March 13, but then we had this whole global pandemic happen, so I think he’d understand my cause for pause.

 

Dad's birthday
Slick Rick,
It’s hard to believe you’ve been gone six and a half years. I remember thinking you were so young to die at 63, and now today, you’d be 70. SEVENTY. That sounds so old somehow.
I’d like to think you’d be watching the world news without worry, knowing you’d already survived a terrible car accident, a few wars, and a massive stroke. You always had an eye out for prepping, whether it was with stockpiled paper goods or those Army MREs we thought were such a novel treat for dinner.
I know you’re so proud of Adam. He’s been resilient as ever this past year, welcoming their third baby girl into the world and overcoming some awful work news. He brought you a beer today, of course, and I hope your neighbors at the cemetery don’t mind that he doesn’t share. You’d love all of your grandkids equally, but I’d kill to see you and L have a battle of wits. She would wear out your patience and then give you that devastating smile to make you melt.
You must be proud of Mom, too. She sold the house on Rusty Circle, the same one where you had the stroke and spent the last days of your life. She’s making big changes that are scary, but she’s not alone. You’re always with her, even if she’d prefer if sometimes you’d just let her spoil the granddaughters without question. Her move to be closer to the kids is something you both would have enjoyed in this phase of life together.
I hope you’re proud of me. I’m trying to write more in my free time, which I’m getting a lot more of lately. I’m doing well at work and constantly look to you and Pop for the encouragement to keep doing what I’m doing, not worrying about what others think. I have some incredible friends who made root beer floatinis in your honor tonight and I cried even more than you did when we saw Mr. Holland’s Opus.
There’s a lot that’s happened in the last year, and I hope you’re still listening to me each day. I know you’d prefer I curse less and have more patience, but I do have you to thank for those qualities so it can’t be all that bad.
I miss you every single day and can’t believe how much you haven’t been physically here to see. I can’t believe how much there still is to come. All I can do is hope and pray you’re watching over us; taking breaks with Food Network or The Weather Channel; and grilling burgers to your heart’s content for all of our loved ones up there.
Sending you all my love,
Mouse

WO: Weekly Obsessions

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the house, all the creatures were stirring: three nieces under 6, six adults, two dogs, a TV, an Echo, countless phones, this very laptop… To say I’m having sensory overload is an understatement. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

It’s my first time in Florida for Thanksgiving in seven years. The last time I was home for it, my dad was alive. We visited his aunt in the nursing home and her dementia had her believing I was my mother. I was scheduled to go the following Monday to Raleigh, N.C., for a job interview — but I’d just received a job offer from macys.com in New York City, instead. My brother and sister-in-law were newlyweds, without children. My grandpa was still alive and hadn’t yet reconnected with his sister, who would later become my Thanksgiving hostess while living in NYC.

While seven years doesn’t seem like that long ago, it’s clearly been one heck of a time for change in our family. We’ve had ups and downs and highs and lows and all of the normal everyday nonsense that comes with daily life and changing seasons.

So as usual, I’m thankful for this crazy circus I call my family. And I’m especially grateful to be in a position to come home for a few days, meet my newest niece, await the arrival of my SIL’s SIL’s son, and spend a few exhausting but fulfilling days with them in person. As much as I love SF and my life there, some things can’t replace the feeling of being home for a holiday.

Wishing you and yours the happiest of Turkey Days tomorrow, and if you are in need of love, don’t be a stranger! We have more than enough cheer (and food!) to go around.

bread food plate light

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

WO: Weekly Obsessions

TFW you realize your scheduled post didn’t publish and you missed a Wednesday for the first time in 8+ years 😱😱😱

This week was my first “normal” one in more than a month, so naturally that means it’s been INSANE.

Working late, email oblivion, socializing, and a little bit of reading (I’m at 74 books for the year!) — what’s not to love?

But since my favorite holiday is upon us, I’m trying to put my positive / spooky face on and have my marvelous momma to thank for giving me some levity.

Whether it’s a parent, friend, partner, licensed professional, or some combination of these, I hope you each have someone (or a few someones) in your life whom you can turn to in peaks and valleys. It’s worth more than I can express in an overwrought week but the result is also a bit more sanity and not feeling alone. Who doesn’t want that?

WO: Weekly Obsessions

If you’ve been around here a while, you may recall how September holds a smorgasbord of birthdays in my family. Well, add one more to the list because on Monday (the 2nd), my third niece was born!

She is absolutely perfect and healthy and squishy and snuggly and all the things I’ve ever hoped for these girls. Sister-in-Law is doing well, as are Brother and their older daughters.

It’s been an emotional week as we watched Hurricane Dorian decimate the Bahamas and prayed for relief of its residents (not to mention, a slowdown and fade-out before causing any more damage). Little Niec3’s arrival added more tears — albeit happy ones — and the remaining September babies have lots to celebrate as well.

High fives all around, yeah?

toddler and adult doing hand gestures

Stock photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com because Niec3y isn’t ready for Internet fame. 

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Our first seven days in Ireland have had their fair share of ups and downs, but as I’ve learned from the Irish to say, “It’ll be grand” and “We’re not here for a long time so might as well make it a good time.” These also remind me of a family favorite saying, “If you’re not having fun it’s your own damn fault.”

Quotations aside, we’ve done a TON of learning and laughing along the way from Dublin to Killarney, the Ring of Kerry and more. We have just a few precious days left here and I know we’re both trying to soak up every second of it (even if it means the 6:45am alarm comes way too soon).

From remembering my Grammy’s passing to my eldest niece starting kindergarten on Monday and tomorrow’s 24th anniversary of my dad’s stroke, it’s been quite the emotional adventure as well. I couldn’t be more grateful, though, to spend the time with my mom in her parents’ homeland and with unforgettable memories in the making.

So, that’s about all I’m obsessed with this week. No breakdown of the four top things, because I could hardly choose from the live music to my bag being returned to the stories to my bag being returned… well, you get the idea.

photo of people walking on street

Photo by Lukas Kloeppel on Pexels.com

WO: Weekly Obsessions

If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans, right? I’m going into my 12th hour of travel and have only made it to Chicago. Same for my mom and she’s JUST getting off the ground from Orlando.

Our destination? Dublin, Ireland! The luck of the Irish might not be on our side today but I have high hopes the delays will make the destination that much sweeter.

Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary since my maternal grandmother passed. I was studying in Ireland at the time and didn’t make it back for the services and to be by my mom’s side. So while my genius idea to take Magz to Ireland for Grammy’s angelversary has gotten off to a rocky start, I have every hope that the next nine days will be incredible.

May the road rise up to meet you 💚🍀

WO: Weekly Obsessions

I haven’t been back to Florida in six months, so it’s just about time for waves of homesickness to set in. It doesn’t help that we just had Father’s Day (our sixth without Dad), my parents’ anniversary (their 39th), and my grandma’s birthday would be tomorrow (happy 89th in Heaven, Grammy!). Here’s what’s helping me get through the hometown blues:

Image Credits Listed Below

  1. FaceTime: I mean, duh. There’s likely no way I would get through being far from family if it weren’t for the power of technology. I’m very grateful for my mom, brother, SIL, and the whole gang being up for FaceTiming regularly. It’s nothing like being there, of course, but it’s absolutely a great (and cheap!) alternative.
  2. A Cowgirl’s 3rd Birthday: Coming in hot this weekend is my younger niece, who turns THREE on Sunday! I can hardly believe she’ll be a three-nager in no time. Her current obsession with Jessie the cowgirl shows no sign of stopping, so it’s only fitting she dress the part in a sparkly hat and pair of boots to “ride like the wind, Bullseye!”
  3. “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” – Randy Newman: All this Toy Story talk has me thinking of the classic (how old am I?) song that brought us all to tears. Of the many musical moments we have Pixar to thank for, this one easily sits near the top tunes to take us back. I also can’t help but think of the show “Monk” when I hear it, but that’s another story for another week.
  4. #PrideForever: There’s no place like home, eh Dorothy? And there’s nowhere I’d rather be to celebrate 50 years of the modern LGBTQ+ movement than in gay ol’ San Francisco. Living in such an accepting, love-filled, progressive place can have its scary moments. But overall, I feel very privileged and special to reside in this Bay Area among people of all identities and backgrounds.

Images courtesy of: Apple, Popscreen, TeePublic, KQED