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The Benjamin Boys Aren’t Expecting This

I’m my father’s daughter…sometimes I forget how much alike we are…but sometimes it pops up at the most random times…

Aidan got in trouble today at Boys & Girls Club…regardless of how he misbehaves for me, he’s thought to be an angel by a lot of people…today he screwed up…and he knew it…

He was walked out my someone who works at the Club…and I had to sign a note stating that I understood what Aidan had done wrong…I immediately got very quiet…and very angry…

Aidan got into the car and immediately started quietly crying – this wasn’t sadness…this was nerves, pure and simple…even he knew this wasn’t going to be good for him…I told him we would talk about it when we got home…I have a feeling that was the longest five minutes of his life – good…

I knew what I was going to do for punishment…but I didn’t know how I was going to approach it with him…and I immediately wondered if all the stony silences my dad put me through were simply stall tactics – because that’s what I was using it for…but knowing that it was bothering Aidan actually helped…let him suffer a little and be worried about what I would do…he needed to worry…the Club doesn’t play – they will kick you out if you’re bad enough…and I’m tired of him not taking me seriously…

We got home…he was still crying…I was still silent…I got Sean settled, and then I had it out with Aidan…I never raised my voice…I never got in his face…I was serious, stony, and very non-Mom like with him…he understood that I was serious…

Did I get through to him?  I think so…Will he get in trouble again?  Not anytime soon…

Was I reminded that my dad’s blood courses through my veins?  Oh hell yeah…and even though he doesn’t understand it, now Aidan knows, too…

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Dealing With Dear Old Dad

I thought I knew how today was going to go…I thought there would be sadness…I thought there would be awkwardness…I thought it would suck…

Like everything in life, I should have checked my expectations at the door…

After 10 years, my mom and I were finally prepared to do something with my dad – his ashes, his urn, his remains…and we could think of no better place than with my great-grandmother who he adored…

We pulled up to the cemetery (I hate cemeteries, by the way)…my aunt and uncle seemed to know exactly where to go…and my stomach immediately began to knot…this was happening…this was really happening…oh my fucking God…

Being the people we are, we immediately began tidying up…we cleaned off my great-grandparents’ headstone…we cleaned off another family headstone…we freaked out about the hole that either belonged to a snake or a mole…I apologized to all the dead people I was stepping on…and then the moment came…we were supposed to pop the cork, so to speak…and we all just looked at one another…and shuddered…

What if we were standing in the wrong direction and got sprayed with remains? What if we couldn’t pry the lid off?? What if there was something other than dust in there? OK, so that last one was just me…

So we buried his urn…yep, that’s what we did…go ahead, be horrified…call us chicken…whatever…we’ve never been the type of people to act normal in any situation…

I really thought I would be weepier…and for a second I did tear up…but I did what I usually do – I sucked it up…

I don’t need my dad in a can next to me to be able to feel him with me, to be able to talk to him…everytime I hear “Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay” or “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” I know he’s with me…everytime I’m too blunt and straightforward, he’s with me…everytime I work and function through hard shit or pain, there he is…I don’t need his ashes for him to be with me…

I felt something shift in me as we covered his urn with dirt and tamped it down…it reminded me of the shift I felt when he died…that day, I immediately felt the need to take care of my mom while she grieved, the way he would have – and I was no longer willing to take anyone’s crap (unfortunately, that didn’t last forever)…

Today it was more of a feeling of strength…a desire to be less nervous about life…an urgency to make changes, to be different, to be better, to be more alive

Thanks Daddy…I love you…and in my own twisted way, I will always be a Daddy’s girl…

Laughter…LOTS of Laughter

My stomach hurts…from laughing until I’ve cried…from laughing until I’ve nearly peed in my pants…

I didn’t anticipate today being this way…

10 years ago today, my dad died…he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)…once he caught pneumonia, he never recovered – which is typical with people who have ALS…my mom and I made the decision to take him off life support, which he would have wanted….we knew he wanted to be cremated, so we picked out the urn together…together we got the house ready for his Irish wake style party to celebrate his life…

I was 22 and about to graduate college…always thinking of my education, he died at the start of my spring break and I barely missed school…the post about all that is coming…because tomorrow, we are finally scattering his ashes…in the only place that made sense…

Today surprised me…my mom and I speeding down the road, heading closer to something we both dread…that should have been a recipe for disaster…but we talked, we laughed, we pranked YY who was simultaneously heading up from south Florida…

We don’t do well when either of us is stressed…we had our moments where she was tense or when I rambled a little too much…but then we’d jokingly text message YY something, watch her fall for it, and start laughing again…

We laughed as we walked into the hotel…we laughed as we tried to get in our room (unsuccessfully)…we laughed when we back downstairs to talk to the crazy lady at the desk to get our key fixed…we laughed through dinner…we laughed through Target…we laughed while we visited with YY…my stomach hurts…

I dread what’s coming tomorrow, no matter how necessary…and since we’re a family that believes in finding something to laugh about in every situation, I know tomorrow won’t be all bad…but I am glad I had today to laugh with abandon…I’m going to need the memory of today tomorrow…

A Little Bit of Balance

I have been in an amazingly wonderful mood all day…and five minutes before I sat down to write this, Aidan had me so angry that my head actually throbbed at the temples…I laid down the law, won the battle, and then took several deep breaths…I didn’t want to lose the good feeling any sooner than I had to…

And I expect the way I feel today to fade…unfortunately…

I had a trifecta of what I needed this weekend…time with my family in MS…the comfort of a reliable vehicle…and an hour with BBFF (which wasn’t enough time, but I was grateful for it)…

My YY came to visit this weekend…we rented a car and drove to MS to see my mom and The Step…we sped down the highway, talking and laughing…the boys and I were so excited to finally be heading toward MS – for the first time in months and months…

Aidan tore out of the car before I got it in park and ran to his Grandma…screaming for her…Sean laughed and laughed…they walked in the house and immediately started playing and asking for surprises from my mom (she’s trained them well)…

I found myself playing on the floor with Sean…laughing and rough-housing with both boys throughout the day…feeling genuinely happy…

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See? That’s the first picture taken of the three of us in a long time…and it’s my new favorite…

Driving to visit BBFF (who is recovering from surgery), I was a bundle of nerves…but as usual, the moment I saw him, I was relaxed and centered…I felt normal for the first time in a while…oh, maybe a month or so…we talked, I tried to fuss over him (he wouldn’t let me), and I left smiling and feeling at peace with the world…

I know the good feelings will fade as reality sets back in…I still drive Bubba (who I hate irrationally), I can’t get to MS for a few reasons, and it could be at least another month before I see BBFF again…but I’m going to savor this feeling of peace and balance for as long as I can…hopefully, I can be productive and make good use of how I’m feeling…before it slips away.

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