Wow, Im very very tired right now. Just not ready to go to bed yet though. Crickets are going crazy outside my window.
I was doing a survey on myspace and there was some question about my birthday and it really hit me hard. Im never going to see my grandma again. Today marks one month since my grandma passed and I still feel like it hasnt really hit me yet. Monday was her 36th AA Birthday, or would have been.
I miss her, I was wanting to call my friend Sarah earlier today (who I also miss), but instead I just scrolled through my contact list, assessing who everyone was, when I came across it 'Grandma'. I so very much felt like just hitting the dial button to give her a call. If only she was just a phone call away still.
The world is a lesser place without her. She defined a new direction for a family very much following the wrong path.
Her kindness knew no bounds, her convictions were strong, she let her ideals guide her actions, and her mouth lol. She helped so many people to realize they had a problem with alcohol, she helped them to become sober and to stay sober. She helped those people with their houses, their gardens, their weddings, thier children and grandchildren.
She would take injured people into her home and nurse them back to health. Wether injured in body, mind or in spirit. She would visit prisons to run AA meetings withint he walls to help inmates. She volunteered for many things, she stayed very active within AA, Garden Clubs, Avon. She morally supported and guided so many.
She liked hunting and camping. She loved gardening and quilting. She made all sorts of crafts, cooked all sorts of different foods. She did things only on a large scale. She had a garden so massive that I doubt I will ever see another of its kind. She always had massive decorations out for christmas. Each holiday she completely redecorated the house to make it look festive for that holiday. She would always have parties with 50 people coming out to her house. She could never make food for just a couple of people, she always seemed to make enough to feed an army.
She never did anything half way, she always showed passion for the things she was interested in.
I have my grandma's passion, locked deep inside of me. I feel like the way I was raised prevented me from ever doing anything. I put walls up all around me and I bang on them and bang on them until I explode out of them at some point.
My opinion never mattered growing up, it was just my mom and I at home, and I can remember so clearly I would say so many things that she wouldnt even hear, she wouldnt even listen. Then when I was 12 I started Making an Argument. I started pounding on the barriers around me saying that I had had enough. It was time for my voice to be heard, it was time for my opinions to matter.
And one day my mom just looked at me, yelling that my opinions meant something, and she looked suprised. It was like she had an epiphany. She suddenly understood that my opinions did matter, and she explained that up until that point she just ran under the assumption that kids are not meant to be heard.
I broke out a little, but now I feel like I see a pattern in my life. I want to do something so badly, I end up putting up walls preventing me from getting there. I start to pound on them and pound on them from within myself until I finally explode. It could be the most simple of things.
Sometimes I dont understand how some people see me. Even some of my closest friends, on one hand they will say Im a pushover, but then in the same conversation they will say I am the most stubborn person they have ever met. I dont let things go, I dont like to be wrong, I do love to learn and grow, but its difficult when I think Im already right about something.
I do admit when Im wrong, or when Ive finally been convinced of that. I am obsessed with knowing why I am wrong about something, I feel like I need to discover the root of my misinterpretation.
There have been a ton of women in my life and only one of them was ever able to really control me, my Grandma. Control may be too strong a word, you just didnt defy my grandma. I never even really questioned that, I didnt want to try. She was the Matriarch of my family, she was a powerful woman. She could be so intimidating, her opinions, even amongst strangers, carried more weight than I could imagine possible.
If anyone ever tried to stand up to her, they were put in their place. A good example was my uncle bob, when he was a teenager, he played football, he got all big and tough and decided he didnt need to listen to his mom anymore and he was going to go up the stairs and show her who was boss. Well, thats about the time she knocked him back down the stairs, end of story.
She brought everyone together, she was the glue the bound us as a family. And damnit, I want to pick up that phone right now and call her, tell her how much I loved her, respected her, looked up to her. Now all I can say is that I will remember her, honor her, and hopefully we can all work together to keep this family together.
Im not a pushover, but I did anything for my grandma. Sometimes she got pissed at me, and sometimes she frustrated me, but ultimately she got her way because there was no way to challenge her, no one had the will to go up against her. Not because any of us are weak, but because she was sheer strength of will and personality.
My mom didnt have much control over me, she didnt instill that in me at all growing up. I did my chores, and I was a really good kid in general (mostly because of those walls I built up around myself), so she didnt have to really tell me much. But she got very frustrated with me, because I just didnt listen much to her, by the time I was about 16 I was pretty much tired of living at home. I love my mom very much, I think she did a great job with me, but Im sorry, I have my limits lol.
Nicole couldnt much control me either. I went into detail on her method of controlling me in my last blog, Ill try not to be so graphic here. Lets just say, I was a difficult person to live with at the time, it was my first relationship, we were both young. She relied on me to make all the decisions, and I did. I decided on where we would move, where we would work, where we would eat, where we would shop for groceries, I decided what we did for holidays, I cooked most of the time, I did most of the major cleaning while she did most of the upkeep cleaning. I did all of the disciplining. She didnt make me do all of these things, she was practically incapable of doing any of them on her own.
The fact is, most of the things she convinced me to do, or that she tried to exert her control over, were meaningless things, and she quickly put me into the habit of denying these things to her so that she would "convince" me to do them, even though they were things I probably would have done anyway. So while I was 'pussy-whipped' I still wore the pants in the family, I still wore all the responsiblity.
The last person I would say is my friend Sarah. Sometimes I dont know exactly what she thinks of me. I know she thinks I am a good dad, and I hope she thinks I am a good man. But I think she is under the impression that I am a pushover. She hasnt really said that to me, but she lumps men in her life into two different catagories, and I definitely fall into the "easy for her to control" catagory it seems like.
Well, Im not a pushover, as almost everyone of my teachers and supervisors would attest to. I challenge authority, I make my opinions known, I dont give respect when its not deserved.
I have very specific opinions about Religion and Politics, and a very specific mindset on morality. The way I raise my children is specific to me, and while it has grown and changed a lot, and I do accept feedback and criticism from people I trust, it is my own way.
Im trying to figure out what exactly Sarah, or anyone, thinks they could control about me, or thinks I am a pushover in regard to? Is it someting that even matters, is it something that is a part of who I am, because I have a feeling that I would feel very sorry for anyone who tried to butt heads with me on one of the subjects I just listed. I am a very critical person of myself and of others, and I am very opinionated.
Everything else about me is putty, meant to be shaped and molded so that I can adapt to the people I want in my life. Just look at how I live at the moment, a simplistic bachelor lifestyle. I dont want to invest myself into an apartment when ultimately I want to be making those decisions with someone down the road.
The fact is, Im not fucking crazy. Part of me has always been very adolescent and not grown up, but another part of me has always been an adult. Ive always fit in with adults, Ive always hung out with adults almost exclusively. I tend to be the voice of reason, caution and safety. I try to be pratical.
I would argue I haven't lived as much as a lot of my peers, but all I know is that when a moral situation presents itself, I dont as myself how much fun it would be, I ask myself what decision I would want my children to make in this same situation.
We'll take tomorrow night for instance, Im going out drinking with some friends. I dont drink very often, mostly because I am a single parent and I will only drink when I know I wont be around my kids at all, so Mostly it is a summer time thing for me. But tomorrow I am going out. Ive thougtht about how we are getting to the bars, Ive thought about how much I plan on drinking, Ive thought about how late Ill be staying up, Ive thought about how I will be getting home.
Im going to have fun tomorrow night, and im going to do so without having to worry about anything because I already took the time while I was sober to arrange for all of that and figure it out.
Im more afraid of next weekend, Ill be going out drinking in unfamiliar territory, Bellingham. And i know that the people we will be drinknig with are a little crazier and I will probably need a cab home.
Ive come to the realization that a lot of people drink and drive. It genuinely scares me. These fucking idiots really dont know what they are doing. Its something you have to learn the hardway I guess. But if a situation presents itself next weekend that I am in disagreement with, the fun will stop.
I already have a lot of things I would say to someone, Im not trying to make any friends when it comes to dressing people down about the bullshit things they dont think about or the danger they place others in. You think you know how alcohol could affect your life, or the lives of others, why dont you try being a seven year old kid sitting in on closed AA meetings.
Why dont you try hearing horror stories about drinking rubbing alcohol, beating your children and spouse, running your car into a house, why dont I tell you how it affects a little kid to hear a story about what it does to your life when you make one drunken mistake too many and end up killing someone. Sure, those are things I probably shouldnt have heard, but its given me an appreciation for life and responsiblity that few seem to recognize in me.
Or how about the 'accidents' thick with Irony, like a car full of Students, all members of AA having realized they had a problem and getting help before they ruined their lives, then getting into a head on collision with a drunk driver. Or a man and a woman, sober for years, meeting each other in AA, falling in love, getting married, and then on the day of their wedding as they ride off into a sunset, they get struck by a drunk driver while riding their motorcycle, killing the new bride.
So go figure why I might tell someone to go fuck themselves if they even think of doing something so stupid while they are around me. You want to know why i am so careful in my life, too careful, it is because I know and understand how my actions can effect the lives of others in both positive and negative ways. So sure, my plan is to have fun next weekend in Bellingham, and Im not going to run my mouth off about any of this, but you know what, Im thinking all of this just in case I have to bust it out and put some dumb drunk mother fucker in his place.
You wonder why things between Sarah and I have never worked out, its this exact mentality. She knows full well that almost every time Ive seen her she has essentially been forbidden fruit. The barriers I put up around my feelings for her were so thick it was ridiculous. And then she wonders why I dont make a move on the rare occasion that she is around me while she is single.
But this blog isnt about Sarah, its about the important women that I have had in my life, and she is definitely one of them.
Im hoping for at least one more to add to that list at some point. Someone special that I can wake up to every morning. But until then, this is my list.
One of the reasons I decided to blog tonight is, tonight is the 2nd to last Movie night I get with my boys before they leave for the summer. They are gone the next two fridays camping with my mom, so I only get the friday right before their flight.
Technically its 12:30 in the morning, so Ill say its June 6th. That means my kids have only 21 days left before they leave, and they are camping for 8 days with my mom, which leaves me with only 13 days left with them, thats less than two weeks!!
Tristan just had his Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony, it was a lot of fun. He is pretty excited to get to be a first grader next year. Both the boys have come a long way with their reading this year, it just amazes me. I would not be suprised if they were both on small chapter books by the end of next year at the pace they are going.
Well, I think that is long enough for now. My last three blogs have all been private, my friends will be able to see this one though.
Have a good weekend everyone, I know Ill be having a fun and safe weekend.
And just remember, I hold the passion for life and love in my heart that my grandma held in hers, I just have more layers to get through before I can let it out.