Another Plane Went Down....

This weekend, we've started preparing the house for Christmas. The tree is up, all of our ornaments on it, with a baby version in the girls room. Most of the ornaments have a story, a bit of information or memory they bring up. It's an eclectic if Disney heavy tree - Yoda watches over us all, and Mickey's presence is felt. Alice in Wonderland is well represented.

It's a busy tree - and it smells wonderful (Douglas Fir, if I recall correctly). One of these many ornaments is a glittery biplane, slightly broken. That's my fault. 

Dad died in mid-November, 7 years ago. At some point, I was going through my Christmas presents and stocking stuffers and found this ornament... I'd been giving him one each year, and had already found this one. That was.. hard. I threw it across the room in a fit of rage, hurt, grief - whatever name I give it. It broke and bent, a bit. Eventually I unbent it as much as possible, and put it on the tree. 

These days, it doesn't bring up the same type of emotion - wistfulness, a little sadness, and a fairly large helping of joy. Especially this year - doing Christmas with the kids for the first time is already being lots of fun, I can't wait for the rest of it. 

I know that I'm doing what I need to be doing right now. I know Dad is watching, cheering me on, wherever he is. But I'm still sad that he couldn't see this, see my family, see what I've built, meet the people I love. 

My first thought when I learned that he had died was "but now my kids don't get him." That's still a particularly painful bit for me. It's not just that I miss him, it's that nobody else gets him, either. 


Being Thankful

We discussed this over dinner this evening, but after a long day of cooking, I wasn't at a great point for verbalizing. So, uh, I'll try to type it. Thanks to Wild Winds of Fortune for the idea!

50 things I'm thankful for, right now: (friends and family mostly not getting listed individually.. 'cause it'd be all 50 and that's cheating.)
  1. My wonderful, amazing, supportive, loud, crazy, full of love and glee household, and the home we're building. I'm blessed. 
  2. My family - of choice and of blood. They're pretty darn awesome, and I'm glad to have them.
  3. JM - cause anyone who will fly to AZ, do the bulk of my packing, load the truck, help me drive it here and unload it - deserves a lot of thanks (and more). 
  4. My loves. Cause they're awesome and they care an awful lot about me.
  5. My Krissy - because, dude, this isn't an easy thing we're doing and I'm so thankful that it's worth the effort to her. Noah, also - same deal, but perhaps even more. 
  6. My Patti. Cause I've misssed her! 
  7. My John, who is off living his dreams. So much love.
  8. Amber! Much as it was challenging, helping you through your wedding this spring was awesome.
  9. The girls. I mean, wow - it's pretty much more amazing than I ever thought it would be, this whole parenting gig. So awesome! 
  10. My friends.  I missed y'all a lot. (Still miss some of you. Darn lack of teleportation.)
  11. My heated mattress pad and all the other soft wonderful things that make my bed - my nest - cozy and comfy and a place where I can sleep and rest and get more spoons. Plus! 4-poster with rainbow curtains!
  12. The meds that make life functional for me, despite my complaints about them - not having them would be worse. 
  13. My doctors. I'm *so* thankful to be back with doctors here, and have options for treatments/doctors that I didn't really have. 
  14. Netflix. I'm not using it a lot now, but man - it did a lot for my sanity when I was isolated.
  15. Being home! I'm so thankful to be back here, back home - for so many reasons!
  16. That people put up with my weird collections and hobbies - or even like them! 
  17. That I live somewhere where it is really ok for me to be me, and feel my emotions.. and say what I'm thinking. (Kindness is still key, but I don't have to hide anything.)
  18. Rainbow hair. 
  19. Being a grown up, because that means I get to choose what that means.
  20. People who are willing to stand up and do the activist work and make the noise - we desperately need it. My part in this one is staying home with the kids, to enable someone else to go - and I'm so glad for that! 
  21. The constitution and bill of rights.
  22. That I live in this country. For all the flaws and issues, there's a lot to love about it- and I think we're about to see even more as people get fed up. 
  23. Mornings with Calli and Tuesday dates with Shanna. (I know, I know, I already listed them..)
  24. Good (safe, clean, healthy, tasty) food. 
  25. Being able to keep my family fed with said good food.
  26. Ikea. 
  27. Instant Messaging. 
  28. The incredibly powerful computer that fits in my pocket, holds most of my music collection, and gets used most for texts and maps - the future is awesome!
  29. The teachers who helped me make breakthroughs. They had a lot of patience, and a lot of skill - and changed my life for the better. 
  30. Baba. (That's a story I should tell sometime.)
  31. My car - it's in surprisingly good shape given it's age and my bad habits around maintenance. I had help to keep it that way, but I'm still glad to have transportation that is safe and reliable. 
  32. Being able to go to school and have some time to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. 
  33. Friends who are honest with me, even when it's really hard - and about things I'm stuck in denial regarding. 
  34. The two fantastic people in my life who will help me reach catharsis when I can't do it on my own. 
  35. The Spoon Theory - because it's so much easier than trying to figure out how to explain it. 
  36. My computer - not because it's anything especially interesting, but because it's my connection to so much of my world - and living in the future is awesome. (As I may have already said.)
  37. Hugs and snuggles and cuddles. 
  38. Amazing people who can build amazing things. 
  39. Having gained a very visceral view into how much people love me and want me in their lives.
  40. My collection of tie dye rainbow dresses. Yay! 
  41. Music. So much music. It makes every day better to have some amount of soundtrack.
  42. Books! Paper (and screens) with words that people have written. I love getting lost in stories, and I'm so glad there are so many good ones! 
  43. Owning so much less stuff. I know where things are! I can find things! 
  44. What memories I have. There's some swiss cheese style holes in there, but I'm glad I have what I have. 
  45. Being appreciated for what I can do, and - for the first time in years - not feeling huge stress about the things I can't all the time. It's non-zero, but so much better (and mostly in my head, I suspect). 
  46. Stability.
  47. Tears.
  48. Awesome massage therapists.
  49. Learning to talk about my internal experience in more useful ways, with people who are interested in it and willing to hack it. 
  50. People who let me (and, uh, mine) poke at their brains - out of love! 
Ok.. I think that works. Whew!


Time. Is marching on.

Hi Dad,

If my memory is correct, today is the 7th anniversary of the last time I spoke with you. I'd been hard to catch, running around like a madwoman, but Mom had kicked me to call.

I told you what was going on with me - whatever Halloween plans I had, how work was going, the stuff you always wanted to know. You told me about Molly's soccer games, your new camera lens, an interesting set of flights you'd done.

And you told me how proud you were of me, of what I'd done that year. That you thought I was amazing and brave to have done all the things that year held - working on a ship, starting a crazy job on zero notice and flying to Spain right away, building my world a little more. And how much you loved and missed me.

I thanked you for my birthday present - an ipod, which had taken a while to turn up - and we talked about how technology had progressed to that.

But, see - while you told me such awesome things, I didn't think to tell you how much I love you, how thankful I am and always have been that you chose to be my daddy. I know you knew these things - but I always regret, just a bit, not telling you right out.

These are the sorts of things that do change how we communicate. I try to be more open with telling people how I feel about them, how I appreciate them. The six of us (your kiddos) never hang up the phone without saying "I love you!". The one time it's happened in recent memory, there was an immediate text of it. We learned. Regrets are hard, and some can be avoided.

Anyway. We're doing great. I'm incredibly happy in my new home, with this part of my family. Charlo is amazing, teaching and mentoring and making amazing music with your mandolin. Alex is pulling it together, figuring out how to take care of himself and find stability. Molly... Molly is just awesome. She graduates in December, and continues to change the world. Becca's happy in Flag, loving and working and learning. Drew is graduating in spring, and looking at colleges. They're amazing and loving and wonderful. You'd be so happy and proud.

And Mom is doing really well. It was hard, but somewhere between then and here, it came together and works.

But we still miss you. And love you. Always.



Moving Purgatory

I'm moving, state to state. I have chronic illnesses. And, remember, part of why I'm moving is lack of support network here.

Yeah, this whole packing thing is being a fascinating thing to go through. I've had some help (surprising help, even), but less than was promised. My sisters - who really wanted stuff I'm getting rid of - haven't called, much less turned up to take things. I get the truck tomorrow.

I still have part of my room, the kitchen and the bathroom to pack. Plus getting rid of the stuff my sisters claimed to want but never turned up to deal with.

I dislike moving at the best of times. This? Not the best of times. That said - it will happen, I will get there, with my stuff, and it will all be ok.

Oh.. and my introduction was published over on The Band today.


Quiet Voice

I secretly believe that I don't have the right to be sick, hell, if I just had enough willpower, I wouldn't be.

Thus, I'm endlessly frustrated with myself for being in pain... And constantly being humbled by the pain I can't ignore.

I'm the responsible one. The one who can do anything, because I think I should. The one who rarely takes a break from the unconscious tracking of everyone around me- manifesting in caretaking, so it could be worse.

I am these things, in part, because I am me. And, in part, because I don't recall ever being anything else. I started being 'another parent' to my siblings by the time I was 8 or 9, and babysitting half the kids in town by 11. I wonder, though, how much is one and how much is the other. Did I do these things because i was especially suited for them, or am I now suited for them because I had to do them.

I suspect it was my way of coping with abandonment, too. To make sure I don't abandon others. Only trick is learning the air mask rule- getting better over time.

Wow, did that go off the tracks.