I started this page to "get me a little random going on." Do you want to know the funny thing about asking to get a little random into your life? It truly doesn’t take long to find you and set in deep.
My Pebbles did a piece on why she is the way she is just a little bit ago. In typical Pebbles fashion, it was succinct, short and to the point. She came from a radically ‘family oriented’ family. I say radical because well, more on that later. Her family is seriously old school, unconditional love. Kind of like the Walton’s or something. I can see it even to this day. No matter what, they always put each other first. Over and above anything else, undeniably faithful to the end. Yeah, they could go at each other if the situation required, of course. Like she said, “full contact Badminton” was never out of the question. The funny thing is it didn’t matter that I was an “outlaw” at all. Once I passed the test or standard they’d set for their little girl, Fred and Wilma’s entire family welcomed me with open arms. Unconditional love.
To try and get the same ‘why I am’ piece done in some sorta form that will make any sense to anyone, I need to jump around in the timeline a bit. I’ll start with the end.
Current day: I love my father and everything he’s ever done for, or to me. He’s an exceptional grandfather to all the little screenings and the not so little, (or mini) mini-Pebs. The only thing mini about my baby girl these day’s is the occasional skirt, used quite successfully to drive her father into deeper insanity. Payback as they say! But more on that later. My father recently fought with and kicked, Cancer’s ugly ass. That’s the kind of man he is. I swear someone will be stupid enough to tell my dad he’s dying. Once they find the pieces of that poor bugger, Dad will have a good story to tell about it. Make no mistake about it, Barney’s no all knowing, all seeing and far bigger than life lord of all things immortal. He’s just a fighter. If it’s in his belief, no one can rip it from his soul. He will and has, fought for his very being. And he kicked butt as anyone that knows him would have expected. That’s just Barney.
As a kid growing up from say 3 to 14 years old, my Dad was “THE” Dad. We weren’t rich. Hell, we weren’t even close to it. We had a small house in an even smaller suburb of the city. What we did have though, was a Dad with the coolest job in the world, next to being a roadie for Elvis or The Beatles. Dad was Chrysler’s number one specialist during the late 60’s and 70’s. Can you say Muscle! At any given point in the year, hell, it was more like month or even week! We’d have a one off factory Hemi-Cuda at the house, or the very first Plum-Crazy/white interior rag-top Challenger ever run off the production line in Motown.
(it’s twin was used on Miami Vice, yeah it was in the driveway too!) In fact, the very first actual road miles ever logged on the original serial # 0001 Plymouth Superbird built and designed for NASCAR and the soon to be Petty dominance in the sport, were put on by my Dad. He needed a ride to get to a friends wedding in Oswego NY and the car was in his garage. Why not? The stories about crossing the border on a Friday night in a vehicle that at the time, must have looked like it belonged to NASA rather than a skinny little grease monkey from Canada, well they are amazing. He took a ton of crap for that too. The car was supposed to be back in Detroit for the show on that Saturday. I was only 6 ½ but you know what? I can still remember the scene when the brass came down to pick that car up. That was dad though. A friend was having something special happen, and he was not about to let him down.
Our problem my Dad and me, was that I turned 15. No doubt about it, I was an ass. I decided to pay my old man back for everything he ever did to me. When I look back, he did nothing ‘to’ me at all. He did everything for me. It was love, and it was unconditional. It was just damn tough love. He wanted me to grow up and mature into not only a man, but the man I am. Morals and drive for better things. It didn’t matter what it was, a thing, a goal or a desire. He taught me to fight for it. Too well it seemed. At 15 yrs old, I fought alright. I fought him, I fought friends and I damn well fought anyone that stood in my way of anything. Like I said, I was an ass. My father and I are now closer to each other than we’ve ever been. It just took me about 25 years longer than planned to mature to the point, where I could understand his message. Fight for it if you believe in it, love it like you’ll never see it again, and respect isn’t about beating something or someone down. It’s about standing up. Stand up for what you believe in and respect the fact that not everyone can, (or must) see it as you do. How you handle a situation when it occurs, helps determine how respect honours you as a person.
I have two sisters with families of their own too. We talk at Christmas. It’s a little sad but our differences are fundamental. I’m the baby brother and the least ‘educated’ of the three of us. I’ve almost always had what they considered, the better job. In their eyes, I get a shitload of lucky breaks. I know this, this is not my opinion. They will tell me to my face. They work hard and get little benefit, I luckbox my way into everything. That’s just how they see it. I of course dig in. I try hard not to anymore because I love to see them and the kids. But I can’t help myself when the chatter starts. Someone will ask what I’ve been up to lately and that’s it. I get to sit through an hour or so of details about how they see me getting to where I am today. It typically ends up with me getting to Fug it mentality, and I leave. They have no idea about my tenacity or work ethic. I choose to walk away rather than fight. I’m all fought out when it comes to family.
My Mother and I haven’t talked, (I mean really talked) for years. Outside of polite Christmas cheers and a happy birthday here and there, the conversation always ends up being about the weather. She made a choice several years back to be closer to my Ex than her own son. The toughest moment came about 11 years or so ago. Mom lives out in Alberta. She went out there with me when I went looking for work at the age of 18. She met her cowboy and has never looked back. I did my thing and headed back East. Mom let me know she was coming back to the area back then and I did what any good son would do. I set things up and got ready to make her comfortable and changed whatever plans I had made for that time. She never showed. She never called. I found out two weeks later, that she decided to go and see my ex, who I was in a very bitter and 3 year old divorce battle with instead. I found out from my 6 year old daughter who cried because I missed my mommy. I can tell you that that was crippling. I confronted mom about it. I wanted to clarify things. I was told that I needed to lighten up. There’d be other visits. That was her first time back in almost 14 years. She hasn’t been back since. The last time I offered to head out West and have a visit, “things were too crazy and the timing was bad.” I’d heard that on three separate occasions before. One time, the timing must have been really off for her. My ex was going to be there at the same time.
There are times that you go through where you just know trouble is on the horizon. Today I had one of those moments. As I was having a great time razzing Drizz about the upcoming blowout my Packers were going to be putting on his little purple people kissers, and thoroughly enjoying the same form of banter being laid on him by the lovely Mrs. Chako, I saw the e-mail address that had just appeared. It was my mothers address. The subject line read, “Don’t worry, everything’s just fine.” As I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand straight out, I tried to continue on with my task at hand. Like a beacon however, it would draw my eyes back to it, over and over again. It relentlessly flashed before my eyes, “Don’t worry, everything’s just fine.” I ended up dropping all of the Drizz bashing and The Wife supporting that I had been conjuring up and had managed to get down on paper so far. Instead you get this. This whatever it is, disguised as a post on a blogger's forum when all along, I've been trying to work things out for myself.
My mother had a “minor” stroke and is now under the grip of Bell’s palsy. I’m at a crossroads that has left me lost for a course of action. I sat here and typed this out, hoping that it would mysteriously guide me to the correct actions. The only thing I can come up with is to give her a call and ask how’s she’s doing. My fear, and a justifiable one it is because of multiple past experiences to back me up, is what if she say’s “I’m fine, don’t worry, how’s the weather there” and then hangs up. I get no point across. I get no satisfaction in knowing that she knows I still care. I know nothing different than I do now. How about the other side of the equation? What if she seems to come around because of this life altering experience and I am now the most important thing in her newfound life? Eleven years ago, she couldn’t or wouldn't drive the long 5 minutes up the road to at least say hi. In fact, she told her granddaughter not to mention her weekend long visit, “not even to her daddy.” How do you trust that?
I’m lost for words…………….. But it's 11:00pm local. That makes it 8:00 local in Alberta.
I’m going to call my mother. If for no other reason, it’s what my father taught me was right.
Whatever happens during that call, I'm going to call my Dad too. Back in October, Drizz reminded me of how important memories can be to each of us. I was so jealous of his beautifully written grandmother memory, I honestly couldn't tell if I cried in support of him, or out of regrets for me. I lost all my Grandparents at a far too young age. I think I'll ask dad to poor a drink, (large) get comfortable, and shoot the shit with me until the wee hours. Just 'cause we can. With any luck, mom will be willing to do the same some day.
I honestly don’t know if there will be more on this down the road. But the road is hopefully, a really long one............. and it could happen.
My sincerest thanks, for dropping by…….
*** Update *** *** the next day ***
Yeah…. I called my mother, as soon as I hit the post button last night.
Good news everyone. The weather is just fine in Alberta. I know you were as worried as I was about that.
The real good news is she’s going to be fine by the sounds of things. That’s what Cowboy Jim say’s anyhow. He hardly knows me, so why would he lie? I did get a “don’t worry” and the standard “I’m just fine” from my mother. They were followed by “what’s the weather been like there” and “I sent a pretty detailed e-mail. You should get it soon.” All of which was followed by that dead air that has become the customary sign of a conversation ending between us. I managed to squeeze in “I love you mom” before hearing the “OK” and a click.
Well I just got that detailed e-mail. It was forwarded to me from my daughter. My ex forwarded it to mini-Pebs, (and the entire rest of my mothers family) on Sunday night! The e-mail my mother sent me during the day Tuesday was a hack, cut and paste job. Sent only because she found out I’d run into the ex on that Sunday. I can hear it now, “darn, I better tell him now too.”
I called my dad and woke him up around 11:15 pm. I asked if he could talk and we both grabbed a drink. He had to be in to work at 7:30 and I was due to hear the alarm in only 4 ½ short hours. When he asked what I needed to talk about I answered, “anything.” We finally hung up at 12:38. Memories were laughed about, future plans to create new memories were forged.
To my friends,
Thanks for your concern, your good advice and your solid support.
And as always,
My sincerest thanks for dropping by….