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Tag Archives: family

I’m going to hell, but it’s ok

Like most people I know, I do not like death. I ACCEPT death for what it is, and I know it’s this awful, inevitable end we must all face, but I absolutely do not like it and wish to avoid dealing with it at all costs. My Uncle died in 2006 and my boyfriend’s grandmother passed away in February of 2013 – I kind of prided myself on the fact that I had avoided funerals and viewings for that entire span of my life. Everyone handles it differently, no one handles it well, and I, frankly, don’t want to handle it at all. Death is still such an unknown to us, which I think is my true fear. It’s not the end of life, it’s the “Well, what the hell happens NOW?!” situation. I feel like that is why we wrap ourselves in these traditions of a mass, and last rites and an entombment – the dead don’t care what happens to their bodies and they probably don’t even know what’s going on after they leave them. These rituals only try to bring comfort to those of us left here, but they don’t ever really answer questions or tell us what is REALLY happening out there or make me feel like my spirit or my essence or my ‘being’ won’t end up being less than nothing after it vacates this meat suit.

My morbid thought process today is due to the fact that my step-grandmother passed away on Saturday. I’ve been a part of her family for something like, 24 years now, so it’s not like we didn’t know each other well and I am sad that she’s passed on, but I’m not overwhelmingly upset or going through the 5 stages of grief over it. I saw her several times a year and always sat down to chat when we were at an event together. She accepted me and my sister pretty easily into the family when other members did not. She was always honest, a great cook and prided herself on her family and how her home was decorated. I have many memories of her, from the Christmas morning brunches, to the shoe themed bathroom, and I truly don’t think she ever said a mean word to me. I will remember her fondly and I am thankful to have known her, but I selfishly feel like I should be less involved in this whole situation than I am. I mean, I’ve been asked, and out of catholic guilt and respect agreed, to do a reading at the mass on Saturday, assuming of course that the bible I may read from doesn’t spontaneously burst into flames as I approach. Now, Ma had 5 children – each child is married and all have 2 or more of their own, except the youngest who has one child, but that STILL amounts to a heaping pile of children and grandchildren….and yet, the non-biological step granddaughter is doing a reading at the mass?! Are there going to be THAT many readings or something?! I mean, shit. For reals?

Now, you can see where the crazy really comes in and the guilt goes through the roof – I cannot get past the fact that I will be spending approximately 8 hours at viewings and another 2-3 at the funeral itself this weekend, MY weekend, away from my overwhelmingly frustrating means of paying bills, AKA my job, and I am even scheming on how to get out of at least an hour or two. My job has me so stressed out right now that I look forward to a day off in the same way a kid looks forward to Christmas. My weekends are precious to me – this whole working for a living thing SUCKS – so losing a weekend to something like death is just about the last thing on my To Do list and almost as much fun as waxing my hoo-ha. And yet I think, this woman has just shuffled off the mortal coil and here I am worried about spending my day off of work at viewings. She no longer has a choice on what to spend her weekends doing and here I am feeling resentful at spending ONE of mine honoring her life. Shit, I’m going to hell.

 

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Continuing the trend

My father is the most negative human being that I know. He actually used to be angrier, or at least used to show his anger more, but as he’s gotten older, the anger has turned from cussing and throwing and breaking shit, to just being a downright bummer.

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and when I called my dad to thank him for the birthday card and check that he mailed to me, we ended up having a relatively decent 35 minute conversation about how my life was going good, how work was going good and how I didn’t really have a lot to complain about. I’d venture to say that his ability to withhold the negative peaks at around 36 minutes, though, because we quickly went from HAPPY HAPPY to “Just be glad you have a job because if you didn’t, you’d have a hell of a time finding one right now.” and “You should be better at saving your money” and “Well, I gave you that 6 months ago – you haven’t done it yet?” Thank you dad, for ruining whatever high I had on life by inserting your usual bit of negatively slanted realism. Can’t I just be happy for a frickin’ minute, here?!

Most people who do that to me usually get thanked for dropping the Bummer Bomb in some snide, sarcastic way, but my dad is not most people. He is the poster child for emotional suppression and avoidance, so if I were to bring it up, he’d just get angry and most likely say something like, WELL, IT”S TRUE ISN’T IT? To which I can’t really argue, but there is a thing called TACT that he seems to lack. In fact, his need to end on a sour note seems almost purposeful to an extent – there was nothing in our conversation that could have segued him into how suck-tastic the world is or how terrible the weather is or how awful the state of the economy is. He just started hating on shit with no prompting. Yeah, I get it, sometimes shit sucks, but if all you do is dwell on the negative, everything becomes ABOUT the negative and I’ve worked really hard to get my thinking out of that downward spiral pattern. And this, my friends, is the long winded version of why I don’t talk to my father very often and when I do, it’s in very short bursts. Gotta get out before the negativity sets in.

 
 

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Some girls really do have all the fun

This weekend was my annual family reunion. My dad’s side of the family is Italian and they make it a point every year to re-une. Every one from my grandmother to my cousin’s one year old was there this year and it actually was very nice. No one got stupid drunk, no one set anything on fire, and no one managed to cuss anyone else out. All in all, I’d consider it a raving success, especially when you take my family into account.

The last couple of years, my one cousin has been hosting the reunion at his home, which happens to have my fathers house between it, and me, so I called my dad to see if he wanted to carpool. I need to preface this with the fact that I did NOT ask my father if he wanted to carpool with any ulterior motive – I just thought it would be nice, and as long as he was OK with leaving when I needed to so that I could get home to care for my dogs, I thought it actually made some sense. Anyway, so when I got to his house, he had the garage door open and his truck out in the driveway, which meant one thing: we were taking the VETTE! Hot Bloody Damn! Here we go, boys and girls. We were taking the 2000, 6 speed, 345 hp black on black convertible to the family reunion. Please understand, my dad does NOT bring the vette out but on the rarest of occasions, and it must not be raining, have rained, or have rain in the forecast, or else she won’t come out from under her car covered, curtained windowed garage prison. But saturday was GORGEOUS and my dad was feeling ire, apparently, so out she came! AND………….wait for it………………….I got to DRIVE!!!!

We arrive in perfect condition, and I will admit to cresting nothing above 80 in that car – I honestly didn’t feel safe as I drive it so seldom, and if ANYTHING were to happen, I think my dad would LITERALLY kill me. Then and there. Seriously. So the rest of the family reunion carries on as expected – drinking, eating, laughing, reminiscing, kids screaming, adults screaming, etc. – until my dad says “Did you tell your sister you drove the vette?” NO, Why would I do that? So that she can give me some whiny crap about how it’s been such and such amount of time since SHE’S driven the vette? No. Thank. You. So, my sister says “No, but you did” back to my dad. Then started: “Ya know, I haven’t driven the vette in YEARS.” Neither have I, sister. “Well, you know, I didn’t even drive it that far last time I drove it.” Well, sister, I didn’t ASK to drive, dad offered. Next time, you can drive and pick him up so that you can drive the vette. Ok?

I must admit that I do find satisfaction in burning my sisters ass. She gets herself so worked up over the dumbest things, it just cracks me up when she gets so upset. She starts in with the Woe-is-me routines and lays it on thick enough that others not savvy to her ways would be sucked into her abyss of negativity. All I heard was Blah Blah Blah as she rambled on about how unfair it was, half in jest, half in stark faced sincerity. Thankfully, this all happened as my dad and I were leaving for the night, so I simply got in the car and did what ANY good sister would do – I hammered that shit down and just about spun into second gear, then third. My hair waved GOODBYE as my left foot pumped the clutch and I jammed it into third and my smile opened up greater than it has in a long time, and stayed that way the entire ride home. She’s so pretty, she’d make just about anyone smile.

You'd be jealous, too

 

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