January 23rd, 2010 | 15 Comments »

Okay, I’ve never had funeral potatoes, but I might want to look up the recipe.

I swore I wouldn’t attend any more funerals after my Mom died because, frankly, it was ugly. But then, it was not Dad’s children that were being mean-spirited. It was Mom’s. I just now figured that out.

My mother and father had a marriage made in hell, and I believe his second marriage made him into the kind of man that gave his second set of children the father I never had.

I have to say that this particular funeral service was very healing for all concerned, and certainly provided healing for me.

I want to say a word about his second wife, mildly amusing OCD stepmother. She loved him without reservation, and wanted to be certain that his send-off was her last gift to him. She pulled it off like a champion. There was no drama, no sniping at others, and everyone just loved on everyone else.

She did her best to make everyone feel welcomed, and wanted to send him off with a nice family gathering. She put aside any differences she might have with others, and she did it because she loved him so much.

The funeral directors made a point of remarking what a nice family they dealt with. I’m pretty sure they have seen some train wrecks, but there were none in evidence that day.

Grammie showed up and provided some welcome comic relief. I can honestly say it was an awesome service. Look here for a creepily appropriate picture of Grammie.

I resolved I would say goodbye to my father in the same spirit which I met him. With the unrestrained love of an infant.

That is precisely what I did. I am so thankful.

I’m totally okay with this. And? That is my miracle.

And guess who was one of the first non-family members that showed up for the viewing? Horny McSlutty! Bonus. We thought he might be dead too.

Thank you all for your good energy and wishes. Know that I felt it, and greatly appreciated it.

You are in my heart.

January 18th, 2010 | 20 Comments »

When I was younger, much younger, I secretly called him The Giant. He was larger than life, and sometimes he was so large he eclipsed the sun. He cast a shadow through which I saw my life.

Standing in the shadow was fearful, and I avoided his gaze, his disapproval, his genius at finding chores for me to do upon taking notice of me. When I sought his attention, it was in order to shock him.

The way that he tried to relate to his children was to teach them. I resisted. I think I’m the only one of the many who has a tin ear, so I just wasn’t interested in learning guitar. Or really, in spending time with my father. He ruled by fear, and I seethed in resentment.

When he first got sick, I tried to make a connection, for my own sake. I wanted to try. I was rebuffed. And totally got blamed for upsetting him while he was in hospital. I never did get to talk to him then.

Each year, The Giant was diminished, no longer a threatening physical presence, yet the disapproval was pervasive. I just didn’t know what to say to him. We weren’t even close to being on the same wavelength, and I didn’t know how to bridge that gap. I would have liked to do it for me, at least.

Yesterday, after eight years of illness, he breathed his last.

Nobody really believed that The Giant would die.

The waves of sadness and emotion overwhelmed me, but mostly surprised me.

That’s where I am right now.

Processing. Owning my part in it.

This shit isn’t for sissies, is it?

Posted in The Dead Dad Club
January 17th, 2010 | 8 Comments »

I was on a lengthy phone call last night with one of my twin cousins. At one point in the convo,she told me that her twin sister was playing with the Ouija Board, and had a message for me.

The message? Was from my first puppy love boyfriend, Horny McSlutty The content of the message was that he was sorry for the way he had treated me.

Twin cuz was a bit startled by my response. Because I totally cracked up.

She only got the funny when I described the picture in my head of the long line of women that this boy had to contact from the spirit realm to apologize to. I just figured he’d be wicked busy for quite some time.

I did an obit search and didn’t find his death announcement. Frankly, there’s a few other people I would like to get an apology from for the way they have treated me. This one? It’s a non-issue. I’m so over it.

January 12th, 2010 | 8 Comments »

Island folk have their own mystique. They are leery of outsiders, and often have strange names for them. We have two island provinces in Canada, and the larger one has such a unique culture that the rest of the provinces poke fun at its people.

“Newfies” are your basic, salt of the earth, hard working people. For the most part. I can always spot a Newfie woman, certainly by her charming dialect, but more so by the content of her conversation. When a woman lists off how many floors she scrubbed today, how many loaves of bread she baked, who she gave them to, and a whole list of chores she has performed, you can safely bet that she’s old school Newf.

Children of old school Newfie women have tightly braided hair, their starched dresses as spotless as the houses they live in. I got a sense of what it might be like to be on the receiving end of this work ethic when I had my hair done in Newfoundland. The stylist, not lazy by a long shot, really put her back into the ordeal procedure. There was more yanking and pulling of hair than I had ever experienced.Did I mention it was my hair that was being yanked?

I asked the stylist if that was how her mother did her hair. Duh. I already knew the answer. It behooved me to explain that a customer might go to a salon for some pampering. You know? A pain-free experience?

Her position was that Newfie women came to her to get the nostalgic Mom experience. “It’s how we always does it, missus.”

Who was I to argue? I was a “come from away”.

I think she was pissed that I didn’t tip her. Because really? Her shop was the cleanest I’ve been in.

Posted in down home