I miss you.

It’s coming up on 5 years this weekend that I lost my brother.  I miss him so, so much these days.  Anniversaries and special days are always hard, but the longer it’s been the more I miss him.  I would give anything to have him here.  I would love to call him and talk to him about school, about  the stress of being a student and parent and employee… That was a big struggle for him during the last months of his life and I understand it now.

I wish we could be an encouragement to each other right now- I know he would be one of my biggest supporters.  Of course, I’d do so many things differently now.  I’d never be too busyto talk .  I’d always make sure he knew how important he was, how precious he was to our family and especially to me.  I would make it clear that any void he left would be too big to describe and heartbreakingly empty.  I’d cheer him on and make sure that I pointed out his gifts and why he should stay alive to use them. I’d ask him if he was considering suicide.  I’d help him get help and make sure he knew that there was no shame in what he was going through.

So many things I’d do differently.

I usually try to end whatever I write with some hope to take away, but tonight it just sucks and hurts and I miss him.

a black hole... something that pulls light into darkness


Who Are You?

Am I famous? I’ve suddenly been getting lots of traffic on here, so tell me who you are and why you’re here. If my writing amuses you, tickles your fancy, tell me. Leave me comments because I’d like to think SOMEONE is reading. 🙂

(If you’re a creeper and you’re stalking me, tell me that too so I can get the paperwork rolling on that restraining order. )

El Presidente

Got a letter from my school yoday congratulating me on my academic performance and to let me know I’ve made the President’s list.

For someone who didn’t even make honor roll in middle school, I’m pretty excited. 🙂

Kids and Poker

My son is teaching my daughter how to play Texas Holdem’ with Honeycombs cereal and made up rules.

The move…

… was smoove.  My dad’s move to his new digs, that is.

All that today, and now on to homework.  When I’m worn out and still have work to do, I think of what one of my favorite customers said to me.

“You have to look at each step of getting your degree as placing a brick in a wall.  You’re building a wall that will help you climb to where you want to be.  Each class, each test, each semester is a brick in the wall… don’t stop building.”

So every time I get discouraged or overwhelmed with work/the house/ the kids / my dad / deadlines for school, I whisper to myself, “It’s a brick in the wall, baby.  Just another brick in the wall.”

Gotta go do some masonry….
(queue “She’s A Brick House”… 😉

The Hands Of Time

 (Before I start, I have to say that I usually only blog when I’m emotional about something or want to talk about my brother or best friend.   I’m not sad like this all the time. And I’m totally supposed to be taking some online tests for my science class but whatev.)     

I miss my dad.

He’s still alive.  As a matter of fact, I just left him after having spent the morning helping him go through his things in preparation for his move next week.  He’s moving into an independant living facility and it’s going to be a really good thing for him. He’s really social but lives in a place that is made up of young people who work during the day.  Dad is left to read and hang out with his dog, Max, which is not good for a retired mailman with the gift of gab. 

We’ve been going through boxes, dishes, closets and cabinets.  He’s a serious packrat and every time I pick something up, he says “That’s ANTIQUE, Janice.  Like me.”  Even if it’s an old rusty knife that needed to be thrown out years ago, he says it’s antique.  I tell him there’s  a difference between old and antique, and he says that “antique” just means it’s important to someone and we’d better keep it.

My dad has changed a lot over the last few years.  We’re approaching the 5th anniversary of my brother’s suicide and I can say he’s never fully recovered from that. How does a father “fully” recover from losing his only son that way?  He’s aged a lot, and he moves a little slower.  It takes us longer to do things he did before… spending time with him has been a lesson in patience that has humbled my impatient heart.

The biggest change- and the one that bothers me the most- is the difference I see in his hands.  My dad has always had strong, rough hands, made that way from years of hard work.  He grew up on a dairy farm, worked in the dirt, raised horses and whipped a bunch of kids into shape.  To me, they were rugged cowboy hands and I’ve always loved them.  Most importantly, his hands weren’t like anyone else’s.  When he was in Vietnam, he was sleeping with his hands crossed over his heart when he was hit with shrapnel from a nearby explosion.  The hot metal drove itself into the knuckle of his pinky, which saved his life because had his hands not been over his heart, he probably would have died.   As a little girl, I remember rubbing my fingers over the area that once had a knuckle and wondering where it had gone.  Ironically, I always thought my friends’ fathers had strange looking hands- THEY were the ones who were different.

Interesting, the perspective of what is normal to a child when it comes to their parents.

Now, all these years later, I look at my dad’s hands and am overwhelmed with how much they’ve changed.  No longer are they rough and work-ready, they’re thinner and baby soft.  Time has taken their steadiness and strength and I hate it, but it’s been a reminder to me that while time may change their appearance, it can’t take away their giving nature.  Although my dad is getting older, he’s still the same amazing man who threw me into the air as a little girl and put Chapstick on my boo-boos.   I admit that I hate being the parent.  I hate being the grownup in our relationship, and I know he hates it too because he’s a stubborn and ornery cuss with an occasional bad attitude who lets me know I’m not REALLY the boss.  But as he heads into this new living arrangement, we’re going to accentuate the positive.  He”ll have a new audience for his never ending supply of stories, and I’m sure more than a few ladies will want to get to know him.  😉 He’ll be well taken care of, and my kids will get a ton of new grandparents. 

It’ll be fine, and he’ll do great.  However, I admit that I’m feeling like I did when I sent my babies off to kindergarten, hoping he won’t get lost on the way to the cafeteria.  Instead of lost retainers, I’m praying he won’t forget his dentures on his lunch tray. 

If that happens, he’s on his own.  I draw the line at going through garbage.


Finished up two more classes today- Elementary Statistics and Comp II, writing about non-fiction and literature blablabblah I don’t fully remember the title.

ANYwho, I think I got an A on my stats final, which means I’m keeping my A in the class. I got 100%’s on my last two papers and am waiting for a grade on my 7 page research paper on nuclear power. Think I did well on that too because I may have just found the answer to the energy crisis.

Just kidding. Nuclear power ain’t no joke, kids.

After these last two classes, my brain is mush and I start a new class on Monday. It’s Earth Space science- the easiest class of all time. I only need one stinkin’ hour so I totally aimed for a 5th grade level class. 🙂 I hope it’s no harder than “Welcome to class. This is Earth. This black sky around it is Space. Take out a pencil ’cause it’s test time!!”

I know I talk about school a lot but it’s my Facebook wall and my blog sooo… 😉

Much love to my family, who really stepped it up this term. I am so blessed with family, friends and supportive customers and I couldn’t do it without you!!!!

Smooches to all of you!! ❤