Never Like Junior

 

DaleJrI have to own it. I haven’t paid much attention to it this year. Which is a little messed up considering it is his last year driving. And that he has been my driver for 18 years now. The reason I started watching NASCAR. The reason I’ve got boxes full of memorabilia (“shit” as my other half calls it). The reason I drank Budweiser for years. Then Mountain Dew. Even that horrible AMP shit. The reason I warmed up to the 48 and the 24. Which was huge.

 

a712fb42b0edc8399fa4197c813d8e55--photo-shoot-a-photoThe truth is, since he got hurt last year, I got more enjoyment from seeing glimpses of his personal life through their Twitter and Instagram accounts, than from watching races. He shared clips from his recovery process (TBI is no damn joke). She shared lots of candid shots of him, and Gus the dog. And it was in her pictures that you could really see it. Really feel it.

He was done racing. It was time. He looked happier, more at ease, more settled, than any fan had ever seen him. Even after some of those wins. He was happy then, but nothing like what her pictures showed. He looked like he was getting to live for the first time in his life.

905c378057832ae84f37c363dfdaefdf--dale-earnhardt-jr-nuest-jr

Of course, his sponsors grabbed his new lifestyle and marketed the hell out of it. Nationwide and Hellman’s made some great commercials of “married life Dale”. You almost got the feeling that this third act of his career was going to bring that elusive title. Almost.

For me, hearing he and Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip call the The Clash at Daytona last February on Fox, I felt it in my guts. I knew right then that I was watching a preview of his third act. I knew my driver was headed for the booth. Soon.

And really, as with most NASCAR fans, you get really invested in your favorite drivers. Like, “Restraining Order” invested for some of us. You read every single thing about them on the internet. You feel like you know them. Like you just last weekend had burgers and beer with them. When they get hurt, you hurt. When they get mad, you rage. When they cry, you rage at whoever made them cry. They are yours.

Back in February, I told my daddy that I’d bet him a hundred bucks that Junior retired after this year. Daddy (an obnoxious Kyle Busch fan) said, “He may as well. He ain’t winning, and his brain has been rattled around too much.” I’m not sure where daddy got his neurology expertise from, nor why my driver’s noggin’ was rattled but his isn’t, but whatever.Dale-Amy-Pets

So, when he announced his retirement, I was not in the least shocked. I was sad. Sort of. Like I said, I’d been enjoying he and Amy’s tweets and instagrams more than the races anyway. They are so happy and so invested in each other. Those are relationship goals right there, man.95049196195db57e26dd69b08003cfa9

And that Amy. Wow. That is an amazing person. She stepped into this “role” of NASCAR wife like a wildfire out of control. Playing Fantasy Football, driving the pace car, enjoying her wine, and managing this being that was Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. The guy that once said in a television interview that he was “the captain of his ship” regarding relationships. OOOOKAY RALPH.

He is driving the season for his fans, his team, his crew. Circa 2014 Dale Jr. doesn’t finish 12th and be happy about it. This man does. Possibly because he was advised by his doctors not to drive at all this year nor any other year (That is just my own opinion). But most likely because he is at peace, clearly, with his on-track accomplishments. This season is about his team, his crew, and his fans. This is his “Thank You”. His “Apprec88ion” tour. I’m not sure some of “us” deserve it. His fans can be a bitter as they can loyal.4ba3c6ccd18791c62344202b260f54fe--junior-dale-earnhardt-jr

For me, I’m good. Like I said, I enjoy getting small glimpses of his personal life through Twitter and Instagram. I was looking forward to the Key West remodel project before Hurricane Irma, and now there is a baby girl on the way. Those are the things I enjoy seeing him get to do and be now. He looks so happy, how can you not be happy for him? As humans, that kind of happiness is what we all strive for, I think.

 

As for my future in NASCAR, I like Ryan Blaney somewhat, so I’ll likely follow him now. He seems like good people. I’ll buy a hat. And I’ll follow him. 2017-June-12-Ryan-Blaney-party-625x340

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not like Junior though. Never like Junior.

JRRR12

I added some random Google images to this. None of the photos are mine, and I have no clue who they belong to.

 

 

 

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#YouToo?

I’ve been shocked this week by the #MeToo stories as well as the non-stories. And also the non-disclosures. Because if this many people are disclosing, my mind says three times as many are not. How in the hell did “it” get to be this prominent? This normal? This expected? It is like a pandemic. Only it is not. Because it hasn’t just come about. It is not temporary, and it is permanent.

Hell, I have a #metoo. Mine is exceptionally fucked up. Not that ALL of them aren’t, but mine was as special as it’s owner. It was 1998. I had just moved back to my small ass hometown. I was not “out” yet. I was going through a nasty breakup. I was a wreck, a basketcase, and there was a co-worker. An “out” lesbian. A nice enough person. We talked about my messed up life. It was cool to have an ear to bend without having to play the pronoun game. (That is the game us queers played twenty years ago before these young bucks decided to make up fucking pronouns and words). Aside from her, I had only told two people of my sexuality, none of them family.

But, as with everything in my life, the other shoe soon dropped. After at least four conversations, she decided she was in love with me. And shit got weird REAL quick. I mean, REAL quick. It was, hands down, THE most uncomfortable situation I’ve ever been in. And trust me, there’s been many uncomfortable times in my life.

The final straw for me was the night she stayed over after her shift ended to “hang out” with my shift partner. Only, every time my partner left the room to go pee or use the phone, or get coffee, the crazy bitch started running that mouth. After two or three weeks of crazy, the last nail in the coffin was rather amazing, as far as psychopathy goes.  I had my back to her, sitting at the radio console (I was a police radio dispatcher) silently SCREAMING for SOMEONE to call out on a traffic stop or a burglary, or a murder, or a black male walking, hell SOMETHING, ANYTHING! Then I heard the words. “You don’t even care. I love you, and you don’t give a damn do you?”. I finally turned around, shocked and sickened, and all I could muster was a very lame, “Nope.” And then the words I’d been waiting on forever finally rang out; “13 to ******. I’m 10-50 on I-10 Eastbound at mile marker blah blah. Can you 10-65 a 10-28?”  That was most assuredly THE loudest, most adamant “10-4, 13 Go Ahead” I ever transmitted.

Long story short, I had to disclose the harassment to my supervisor, our Captain, AND our Sheriff. I would have rather eaten horseshit. It was handled though. She was gainfully employed in a cozy State job within weeks after one of the best recommendations Captain Blah Blah ever gave in his career. And to this day, I truly believe that Captain “T” and Sheriff “A” honest to gods thought that I was so traumatized and upset about it because my stalker weighed every damn bit of 490. One of the Deputies summed it up when I told him over a few Natty Lites. “Damn. That’s worse than some big fat nasty dude hitting on ya. Wouldn’t a been so bad if she was one of them cute little dykes. That coulda been fun.”  No. Seriously. I love that boy to death to this day, but he meant what he said, and that was what everyone seemed to get out of it.

On a scale of 0 to 10, my story pales in comparison to other stories obviously. I’d give it a solid 3. But the level of anxiety it gave me was around a 6. And the embarrassment, the shock, and disbelief was just wow. But, I digress.

My original point, was to point out the absurdity of the fact that sexual harassment, assault, and abuse is so prevalent in our society and so far-reaching. After this week, I’d be comfortable saying damn near everyone I know has been impacted by it in some way. Either personally, or someone they love has been impacted.

I see the blank looks. The zoning out. She is obviously thinking about it. Still haunted by it. Still hurting from it. It will never go away completely. Especially if she dares to watch the news, read a magazine, look at the internet, or a newspaper. Because there’s always a new story. There is always a new victim, a new offender. And always the chorus of boo birds in the balcony with their victim blaming and shaming. But the stories themselves are always the same. Like a blueprint has been secretly shared among the predators. A guidebook for preying on the weak and vulnerable. The stories are the same, only the characters and locations change.  And because of this prevalence, this unusualness, we become more and more indifferent to it. We care less and less and we start to focus on the “roll the victim played” in their own assault.

Or we start to feel like we contributed by saying nothing, so we say things like the Hollywood folks are copping to now: I heard things, but I never actually saw anything happen. That is sick. It is really sickening. That we cop to that. That we have no gumption or desire to do something about something so heinous. Because we never actually saw it happen?  Well, I’ve never seen a goddamned dinosaur either,  but I know they existed. To say otherwise is fucking absurd and the same applies to these situations.

Until our society undergoes a major change in the mindset around sexual harassment/assault, we are going to continue to have generations of broken young women, and men, trying to navigate life with an inner trauma that some of us can only imagine in our worst nightmares. And those nightmares…. they’re bad. She has them, and I just hold her. I don’t think she even remembers them.

So, I don’t want to take to my grave that I just sat around and never said nor did a damn thing about it. So yeah. Me too. And her too. And him too. And them too. And I fucking believe you.

 

 

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An Unwanted Double Shot

She says she wants me to write how I feel when I get overcome. I don’t think she understands how hard it is to deal with me when I get overcome though. It is crippling. It is hard to function or even breathe. Harder to put to words.

I don’t like to feel like this, in fact I hate it. It has happened several times in my life. It always lasts a couple of years. I call it The Funk.

I think this one has already been happening for two years. In fact, it has been the most difficult one. Because this time it was different. This time it was my actions that started it.  And it has just steamrolled from there. It cripples me at times. Not all of it has been my own doing though. Life has a bad sense of humor.

Most recently, it has been my cousin’s death. It has ripped my guts out. She was the one of us that should have lived. She was needed more than me. Her kid is alone now. All alone. No person should have to go through all of the shit she went through. Especially those last three years. It was inhumane. Anyone that needed me, would have been okay without me. What this has left for her daughter is just so unfair and fucked up.

And I know that is crazy talk. I know that fate doesn’t decide who goes and who stays based upon who is the most needed soul. I know that. But it doesn’t change that feeling. It doesn’t change the guilt that I feel. It doesn’t change the perpetual sadness that I feel. For being happy with my life. With my girlfriend. For being happy my mom made it through chemo. (Hers didn’t). Even fucking cancer seemed to favor me.

Complications from diabetes took her dad. He even ate right and took his medicine. My dad has diabetes and has done nothing he was supposed to do, yet he is still ticking along at 81. Her heart just gave the fuck out. My rotten lungs were supposed to have quit by now. Yet, here I sit typing away.

Not one bit of this has been fair. And yes, life isn’t fair. Not at all. But, it is also very unfair to certain people, more than others, and I don’t get that.

Last year, sitting at hospice with her mom, my career hanging in the air, I remember sitting in that room and thinking my entire world was on the cusp of falling slam apart. And then I thought “you stupid piece of shit. This woman is dying by the hour, painfully. You are about to get fired. Who has been dealt the shitty hand here?” And then I felt guilty for being sad about MY situation when there was shit that MATTERED to be sad about.

I think that is what has been gnawing at me. Guilt. Fucking useless emotion but a very real one nonetheless. And right now, it eats at me. And I don’t know how to make it stop.  All of the other times I got like this, I was filled with anger, sadness, and self- loathing pity. This one has been the same, but with a double shot of guilt thrown in the mix.

I’ve always been the jerk that had “potential” but zero ambition, or willpower to even try to live up to that potential. And I think a lot of what I feel right now, is just a manifestation of all of the regret that I feel for pissing (drinking) away 25 years of my life when I have been given plenty of opportunity to better, to do more, to do a lot. I’ve been very lucky in many ways, and I’ve not taken advantage of those opportunities.

And, I am still alive. Unlike my cousin who was smarter, stronger, better than me. That did not have those same opportunities. Even though she deserved them.

She was a far better cousin to me than I was to her. And I hate that. I regret that. And now I can’t change that.

So, now I sit around making her death all about me. Because that is easier that pulling my big girl panties up I guess.

 

 

 

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The Way I See It

Two in one day…….

 

When I began writing this, I did not think it would become a defense of people and ideas that I find to be derelict and deplorable. It turned out to be just that. I struggled with whether to post it, because everyone is so easily offended, and lately hostile, to anyone who’s mindset or opinions differ from their own. But I figure we haven’t survived 241 years of being the best country on the planet without our share of disagreement, conflict, and strife without being able to endure actions, opinions, and attitudes that we often find to be disgusting and just plain wrong. And unlike a lot of my ideological counterparts, I think the First Amendment is our Founding Fathers’ greatest gift to our country.

That said, I decided to proceed with this blog post.

I recently read an article in Vanity Fair written by John Sedgewick about the pending elimination of several all-male final clubs. These clubs apparently came under fire after Elle magazine published an article, written by a female Harvard alum who was present for and participated in, what the thought police see as lewdness at a weekend excursion. There was a nude ice sculpture and the party goers did things with it that may make people blush. Or lose their collective minds.

This debauchery, along with another club hosting a pajama party, and the ongoing nationwide unrest and panic concerning sexual assault on college campuses, has led to Harvard engaging in what I see as a Puritan-esque witch hunt for these final clubs.

Their first gripe was, of course, sexual assault. Which, it seems, has become Academia’s go-to primary bullet point when they desire to attack an institution or a tradition they want to wipe out. When the data didn’t fit their rhetoric (75% of Harvard sexual assaults occurred in their co-ed dorms) they moved over to the exclusion of women and how that was contributing to the fact that women are underpaid and under-represented in certain areas of the workforce.

Women are underpaid. Women are under-represented. Women are sexually assaulted. These things are true. Does the existence of all-male final clubs on the Harvard campus and elsewhere make a difference in this? Maybe so. Does it make a huge difference? In my mind, hell no.

The article goes on to talk about the various proposals and actions Harvard has taken to eliminate these non-inclusive, non-diverse clubs. It read like a description of some fascist propaganda slung around in the 1930’s or some McCarthy-era horseshit from the 50’s.

All of this led me to think about our current state of affairs. Did the dipshit at 1600 have maybe a slight point, when he referenced violence “on both sides”? Does the “New Left” exhibit some of the same characteristics that their “Alt-Right” counterparts do? Is violence and antagonism being met with violence and antagonism, hidden behind the shroud of First Amendment protections? Do these two extremes accurately represent what most Americans feel?

My answer to the last question is a resounding “NO!” There is no way that most Americans subscribe to the thought process of the Alt-Right nor Antifa nor any other fringe group marching around like savages in our streets, antagonizing their counterparts with their rhetoric, chanting, signs, shields, swords, guns, and cars. No way.

As for the other three questions: I’m sorry my fellow Libtards, but my answers are all yes. Although one side is, in my opinion, on the “right” side, their own aggressive, antagonistic actions are contributing to the escalation of the violence.

We have gotten to the point that we are outright abusive to anyone that doesn’t think the same as we do, including friends and family. I am guilty as hell of it. I’ll own that. I am overcome with rage each time I hear or read someone defend Trump’s words and actions. Or someone denounces gay marriage. Or displays a confederate flag. Or says something that I deem to be racist. I get furious. To date, thankfully, I haven’t taken to the streets with a shield and a can of Raid to protest a protest.

The right to speak freely and openly is, to me, the most important part of our country’s foundation. Without it, we become conformists and robots. We become sheep. Like the Borg on Star Trek. One big blob of the same.

I rather enjoy differences. I can even find some enjoyment in things I loathe. For instance, the movie Smokey and the Bandit has caused me to piddle in my pants, as has Archie Bunker. On the flip side, Schindler’s List and Roots reduce me to tears and vomiting.

But, what I see happening now, is not something I am comfortable with at all. The “outing” of Alt-Right wackadoos on social media reminds me of the “outing” of gays and lesbians in the 80’s and 90’s when things weren’t so friendly.

Our presumption of moral righteousness should not also afford us the right to be intolerant of what others see as their own moral righteousness. Have we fought for so long and so hard for equality and tolerance only to become intolerant ourselves? Have we become the mirror image of what we previously loathed?

I’ve never wanted to be a sheep or a robot, and I’ve refused for all my life to conform to anyone else’s ideals or morals, and I don’t aim to start now. But I damn well don’t think it is right to force everyone to think like I do. As I’ve gotten older, I have tried to remove myself from people and situations that cause my blood pressure to rise. I have not pussed out nor turned a blind eye to them, but I have learned a lot about how to pick my battles. And I’ve also learned that if a person is just an asshole, they will likely always be an asshole. No amount of Twitter or Facebook fury will change them. No debate, no argument, no protest, will change their mindset.

Years ago, those three things may have swayed folks. But, not today. Not right now. There are two very populous, very dominate, and very opinionated generations seemingly running the show right now. And while they like to fancy themselves opposites, they are very similar.

I can’t speak about the Boomers’ childhoods other than to say that polio and segregation sucked. And maybe that is why they’re so fucking angry and grumpy and stubborn.

As for the Millennials, I watched it close-up. Due to advances in technology, along with having disconnected late-boomers and early gen-xers for parents, they have been able to largely separate themselves from people they did not like, or were mad at, or disagreed with. On the few occasions that they were sent to the yard to engage face to face with friends, once someone became a bully, or the game changed to one they didn’t enjoy, or the temperature got too high, they were able (allowed) to socialize on media in the comfort of an air-conditioned home, surrounded only by subordinates (pets) or the unliving (toys). The art of compromise and negotiation was not practiced on the daily. The acts of facing and fighting through adversity was not required of them. If they got mad at someone online, they logged off or switched sites, games, chat rooms.

Both groups are now very idealistic. And they are both unbending. And whether they lean left, or right neither can begin to understand the “other side” of any damn thing.

And that right there is a lot of why we are the way we are right now.

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Random Thoughts

 

 

Sometimes, you just have to kiss a little ass. The world just doesn’t like non-conformists, rebels, and free-thinkers anymore. If it ever did. Especially in the workplace. Unless you’re good with serving fries or fancy coffee for the rest of your life, you better learn how to kneel for something other than prayer.

 

People are fundamentally good. They truly are. Southeastern Texas is showing the world how fundamentally good people truly are.

 

I wish the government and the media had given as many fucks about the crack epidemic as it does about opioids.

 

Sibling incest is still gross. I’m looking at you Jaime Lannister! Nephew/Auntie incest is hott! Because Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen give me the feels! And at 42, it takes a lot to get anything flowing in me.

 

I can’t help but feel like the politically correct climate that has been created over the last couple of decades, has created a very weak, soft, and unrealistically idealistic society. Especially with the Boomers and Millennials. It has segregated our society and led us to a barbarity usually reserved for our “enemies”.

 

I can’t say it better that David French did in National Review: “If 2016 is the year when our political parties failed, inflicting on America arguably its worst presidential choice in our nation’s history, then 2017 is when our broader institutions began to lose their collective minds. This is the year when reasonable men surrendered to unreason — when political tribalism trumped human decency.” PERIOD.

 

The Alt-Right and Antifa: Two sides of the same shit dipped coin. Sorry. Just my opinion. The fact that your “cause” or your “stance” is on the right side of history and morally exceptional, does not give you a free pass to act JUST LIKE THE PEOPLE YOU DESPISE.

 

Nor does being on the right side of history, and acting as the moral superhuman, justify setting out to destroy a person’s life and livelihood, thereby causing collateral damage to the innocent. Because, if by taking down the morally decayed you also destroy innocent bystanders (i.e. children that must be fed), are you truly any better than that which you despise? Or have you also become a revolting and repulsive being just like “they” are? …… I may have to blog fully on this later.

 

As long as there is no uniformity in the marijuana laws, we are walking in gray mud. To have it legal in this state, while being illegal in that state, is just blurring too many lines. It is like saying it is illegal to fart in Georgia, while you can fart freely in Alabama. And in Mississippi, if the doctor says you must, then you can fart. But if the doctor didn’t say so, you can’t. Gray mud.

 

Again, this mess in Houston should give us all hope that we can, and will, get through our current political climate and get back to what we do best. Being Americans.

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“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” —Ernest Hemingway

To anyone that knew the two of us, we could not have been any more opposite. As kids,  she played with dolls and loved dressing up and wearing makeup. I swung from trees and played with balls in the dirt. As teenagers, she caused absolutely no family drama and I created and caused enough for the both of us, and more. College was a struggle for me at times, while I don’t recall her ever needing to study. Her degree was in Nursing, mine was Sociology. We were very different people, but we were always “us”. We were a pair.
Our adult lives took us on very different paths, but we always stayed in touch. We could go months without seeing each other but pick up conversation as if we’d seen each other 5 days prior. I don’t recall us ever having a real argument. She was likely the only person that I can say that about. I confided things to her that no other ears have ever heard. We were closer than most people thought we were. We didn’t have to use words to communicate most of the time. An eye roll or a laugh or a head shake said enough.
Last year, for her birthday, I gave her four bags of sugar-free candy, a book, and one shoe. She rolled her eyes, shook her head, and laughed like there was no tomorrow.
Life was never easy for her. Nothing could ever be simple. It seemed there was always a hitch. But, you would have never known that to be around her. She was always quick to laugh. She was always upbeat. Even in the last three years. She could have easily thrown in the towel. What she went through, losing her mother, her father, and suffering her own health crisis, was almost unimaginable. These last ten months would have broken the strongest of us. But not her. It didn’t come close. She had bounced back. It seemed like the last ten months made her stronger.
I said the day after she passed away, that her superpower was her ability to love unconditionally. But, it was more than just that. She was able to do that, true enough, but she wholeheartedly and unconditionally loved people who likely didn’t deserve it. She was always better to people than they were to her. She was the kindest soul I have ever known. She was also the strongest person I’ve ever known. Her resiliency and her emotional strength were nothing short of amazing. I think those things were also her superpowers.
Most people who knew us, thought I was the strong one. But that wasn’t true. I was just the louder of the two of us. She was the one with all the toughness. All the strength.
And I really can’t imagine growing old without her.
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So, we will just roll on with this too. Like we do.

That entire evening is a blur to me. My last detailed memory was us sitting in the waiting room. We were listening to the girl behind us dry heave into the barf bag they graciously provided her. Some children on the other side of the room arguing over a toy fire truck. A man came in holding his shoulder. Another kid came in with an ankle the size of a watermelon. My girlfriend was in Quincy with her parents. We thought you had the stomach flu that so many people had.

When the Physician’s Assistant pressed on your stomach, the look on his face is now etched in my memory. Only, I didn’t notice it then. According to Google you may have been experiencing appendicitis. According to you, it was gas, and after sitting for over an hour, planning your rude nurse’s violent death in my mind, you went for a CT of your abdomen.

Once you came back from that, we sat some more. We sat so long that your ass cheeks went to sleep. And so did you. Then my back knotted up, so I took a walk. I talked to dad on the phone to say we knew nothing yet and were just sitting. Waiting. And I was pissed, because I was sleepy and you just needed some fluids because of the stomach flu and your nurse was rude and they were too fucking slow.

When I got back to your room, you were awake. Staring up at the TV. And you looked like you had seen a ghost. Then, in your typical blunt way, you just said that you had a blockage that they thought might be cancer and you were being admitted for more tests. I knew you were not being truthful. I knew you were holding back. The look on your face gave you away. In 42 years, I’d never seen fear cross your face. I saw it that night. Right then. And I knew they had told you that you did, in fact, have cancer, and you were being admitted for surgery.

 The rude red-headed nurse came in and explained again what was going on. We were waiting on a room and you would remain at the ER until a bed became available for you. We talked very little after that. I saw your eyes full of tears. I saw that you wanted to be alone. The details are very fuzzy to me. I was shocked. I couldn’t feel my face. My mind was racing.

We had never been the typical mother/daughter duo. I think we’ve hugged three times. Said “I love you” four. We have gone weeks without talking. Days while living under the same roof. You never saw me play one single softball game in high school nor college. We’ve never even had “the talk”. Neither of them.

But, you’re still my momma. And I am nowhere close to being alone in the world without one. The last year or so has allowed us to see each other more often. Not under the best circumstances, but it has been a good thing. Things were beginning to look up. There was some light at the end of the tunnel. We were getting better.

Cancer has a way of throwing shade though. It can throw darkness even in the brightest places. And you were never the chipper, happy, type anyway. But, what this has done to you has shocked me. I am struggling to stay afloat here, and I need for you to come back. I was not expecting this out of you.

You have always been in the zone during a crisis. You have always taken charge. With my grandfather, my grandmother, an Uncle, a Great Uncle, with my dad (your ex-husband). And most recently, with your sister. Six months to the day after her passing, you got your own diagnosis.

I guess it was just too much. That is how I am processing this. Everything just snowballed for years and this is where you have finally stopped rolling. This is where you decided to bail. My guess is that this is temporary. My hope is that it is. Because even a sick you is better than this version.

How fucking crazy is that? I am sitting here saying out loud, to anyone that will listen, that I miss my momma. That I fucking miss my mother. The one that told me at 5:00 am on Monday, the 27th, that I was “the laziest person” she had ever known. Because I dared to be asleep at that time of the morning. Then she told me that I needed to either stop snoring or go the fuck home. That one. I miss her.

The worse part, at least to me, is that I should have seen this unfolding. For years, things seemed off with you. Your give-a-damn busted. It was a bit fragile anyway, but it really disintegrated in the past few years. Things were off and I should have seen it. I was blind to the obvious. We can’t see what we don’t want to.

I didn’t notice the weight loss. The fatigue; I attributed the fatigue to the emotional toil of your sister’s illness and death. The stomach pains you said were nothing but gas and stomach acid. I figured the weight loss was stress and age. I figured wrong. I was never good with figures.

I wonder how many people can say that their parent having colon cancer is the very least of their concerns? I cannot imagine there are very many.

You seem to be getting better every day. More aware. Remembering more. Your iPhone pin. Your debit card pin. That nobody bothered to make your car payment for you. Because we are all “the laziest people you’ve ever known”.

We are painting your living room this week and you seem to remember that I am not a good painter, and that I really suck at trim work. You even did the motherly thing and blamed it on the paint roller. Until I walked out the door, then you told my girlfriend, that it “wasn’t just the roller.” That is the you I remember. The one that will only admit my failings when I am not in the room.

On the matter of girlfriends, you even made us laugh this week. Names are not easy for you right now. You were telling me something you watched on TV and you lost the name of the person you watched it with. How you worked that out was downright funny.

Unless you were me.

“What’s her name?”

“Who?”

“Whatshername? Your girlfriend.”

“Kay?”

“No. The other one. The older one.”

If I could have crawled into a hole right then…….

It was funny. Only because you weren’t trying to be funny.

Such is life for us these days. But we are going to roll with it. Because, what other choice do we have? Not one single thing in my life, nor yours, has been easy for the last several years. So, we will just roll on with this too. Like we do.

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