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Father of mine…

So, my dad decided to hit the Wal-Mart today. Oh, boy…

Apparently he stumbled a little in the parking lot and when some lady asked if he was okay, thinking he’s some kind of pitiful, frail old man, he told her he was feeling “a little funny” and asked her if she’d ever tasted human blood. He thought it was hilarious! 

Well… It kind of is hilarious, but who says that?? My poor, pitiful, frail old father, that’s who. SMH…

Wait, what?

I went to the funeral home to pick up mom’s ashes. The funeral director asked me, “Did you want to place the ashes in the urns yourself or did you want me to do that?” 

First of all, what a weird question! How many people opt to do that themselves?? Second, I’m like a three year old on a meth binge when I try to pour a glass of *milk*, man. Do you really think I can manage pouring my mother’s ashes from a large cardboard canister into three tiny little urns and *not* have it wind up like some kind of Lucy Ricardo horror show? Really? Nah, I’mma let you handle that, big guy. 

My Family Legacy (Grieving, Burnham-style)…

Oh, my family… And y’all wonder where I get it…

So, there we were last night. Just my sister and me, crying and drinking vodka. We were just getting into the good part – you know, where you start apologizing for shit you did when you were 12 – when my sister happened to notice something sitting on the end of the kitchen table. It appeared to be the toe-end of a men’s dress sock cut off, filled with…*something*, and tied off with a rubber band. Hmmm…

So, my sister tried to get me to smell it. I refused, on the grounds of my automatic vomit response to the smell of feet. I was CONVINCED this thing, whatever it was, was made from a dirty sock and I wouldn’t even touch it. My sister eventually smelled it and concluded it was some sort of very pungent cheese stuffed into this little package. Which left us wondering, why would someone do this? We figured our dad must have been the culprit, but *why*? Poor old man, his dementia must really be setting in now. And off we went to bed to cry some more. 

Fast forward to today….

There we were again. Just my sister and me, but this time with our dad accompanying us. As we were bonding over some fond old memories, my sister happened upon the mystery package and gently asked my dad about it. He made me smell it and because I still can’t refuse a direct order from my father, I sniffed it. It smelled like rotten cheese and death. Then he told me to feel it, to see if I could guess what it was. Now, bear in mind, this is the same man who once brought home a mummified cat corpse because he thought it was interesting and funny. My best guess was the mystery package was some kind of dead and rotten slug or maybe a rodent. Entirely possible in my family, trust me. 

My father looked at my sister and me incredulously and asked, “Y’all really don’t know what this is?” The horror had begun to set into mine and my sister’s eyes, but we dared not refuse an explanation. “That right there is a Georgia Sachet, girls.” I forget which one of us it was, but one of us got up the nerve to ask what exactly was in a “Georgia Sachet”. We knew we were in too far to turn back now, so we braced ourselves for the inevitably hilarious, yet horrifying explanation. We know our father well. 

The explanation was simple: “It’s dog shit, honey.” The ensuing chaos? Not so simple. I made a mad dash for the kitchen sink, where I performed a full surgical scrub while screaming at my dad, “WHO DOES THAT, DADDY?! WHY???” and my sister sat in stunned silence, staring at the sachet in abject horror. Btw, it was still lying on the kitchen table at this point. 

Daddy just laughed and laughed. He explained that he’d left it there for us to find. Again I began shrieking, begging for some sort of rational explanation. In lieu of rationality, I simply asked him how he got it into the sock and before he could even begin, my sister declared, “Nope! That’s it! I’m done. Good night, y’all!” She washed her hands in the sink and marched straight upstairs for a little PTSD siesta. 

Dementia, my ass. That old man is sharp as a tack and straight-up hilariously evil. He is my biggest hero.

Goodnight, Mama…

I lost my mother yesterday.  I hate that phrase.  I didn’t “lose” her.  She died.

I’m writing this with he hope that it will help me begin to process some of her death.  Please forgive the lack of coherence.  I don’t even know where to begin with this.  

We knew she was gone two days ago.  Three?  I don’t know right now.  A message from my sister, begging me to call her.  My sister choking back sobs describing performing CPR on our mother.  Watching the sky in my friend’s convertible as he drove me to the hospital.  Seeing my mother in the trauma bay and instantly knowing that my mama was already far, far away.  Nurses, doctors, monitors, seizures, take-out Waffle House, tears, shock.  

We had her vent removed yesterday morning.  Her attending physician, so kind and gentle as he listened for a heartbeat, looked at me and tenderly shook his head.  My sister reading Goodnight Moon to her as her heartbeat slowed and slowed and slowed.  Her pulse under my fingers fading away.  It took all of four minutes.  Her nurse praying Our Father with me.  My husband standing beside me with his hand on my shoulder as I prayed the rosary over her body.  The moments I took all alone with her body, telling her the things I’d wanted to say for years.  Things that will never be spoken outside of her and me.  

I can’t go beyond this right now.  I will try to set words to all of this as they come to me, but right now I have nothing.  She’s moving through me like a glacier.  

On My Honor

There should be merit badges for raising a toddler: 

  • Identify the Stain badge. Bonus badge for doing so without gagging. 
  • 5 Yard Dash to Prevent Serious Injury, Death, and/or Property Damage Exceeding $500 badge. 
  • Single Finger-Sweep Method Executed to Remove Half-Chewed Doggie Kibble From Toddler Mouth badge.
  • Keep Shoes on Toddler Feet Longer Than 8 Seconds badge. 
  • Keep Diaper on Toddler Butt Longer Than 10 Minutes badge.
  • Endure 67 Hour Loop of “Elmo’s World” badge. Bonus badge for doing so without the use of illicit substances.
  • Correctly Guess “Why Are You Freaking Out??” in 25 or Fewer Guesses badge.
  • Rescue the Family Dog From Being Used as Lego Smuggling Mule or Personal Transportation Device badge.
  • Survive Cardiac Arrest badge.

The list could go on and on and on, but you get the idea. I want a freaking sash, dammit.

I need a young priest and an old priest…

So, Linda Blair decided to stop by around 6 o’clock this evening. 

I’ve never seen a one year old actually spoiling for a fight. I wound up in a wrestling match with her for her sippy cup and SHE WON. She was too fast for me. After the sippy cup was angrily flung to the floor and she yelled “STOP!” at Grandma when Grandma dared to say hello to her?  It was bedtime for my ornery little badger. She furiously screeched and screamed and then promptly passed the eff out. 

Wow. I could see her watching me, calculating her every move, deciding how best to push my buttons. That girl is alllllllll me on the inside. Lord help us all.

My eternal struggle. Of the day.

Why?  Whyyyyyyyy won’t my daughter eat vegetables?? Well, she will eat sweet potatoes, so that’s pretty good. But everything else we’ve tried here lately? Carrots, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, collard greens, spinach, yellow squash, okra, peas? No go. At all. Ever. 

I gave her all kinds of vegetables in her infancy to help her develop a good taste for veggies. She used to eat the FOOL out of some broccoli and green peas and spinach. Now? If it’s green, The Doodle ain’t keen. If it’s yellow, she ain’t mellow. If it’s red, she’s full of dread. If it’s orange… Crap. 

I tried to sneak some broccoli into a big bowl of shredded chicken today. She spit out every bite I tried to cram in her mouth. She loves chicken and it was just the tiniest amount of broccoli, but she was not having it. I tried adding garlic (she loves garlic on her chicken), nope. I even committed a mortal sin and put a little salt on it in desperation. Nope. She finally had to resort to biting the crap out of my finger to get her point across. Solid copy, Col. Doodles.  Ow.

Fine. I know when I’ve been defeated. She is going to live on chicken, cheese, bananas, peanut butter, and sweet potatoes for the rest of her life. These are literally the only things she will eat. She is going to develop scurvy and rickets and anemia and scabies and there is nothing I can do about it. Yes, I know scabies comes from mites; just roll with it, alright? 

I’m going to start giving her a multi-vitamin every day. As soon as she figures out it’s good for her, she’s either going projectile vomit the thing all over me or stage a nationwide violent coup of angry toddlers. We’ll all be BEGGING North Korea to nuke us.

Sigh…

As you were, Private.