Monday, December 24, 2012

Keeping with tradition

It was suggested to me that I revamp an earlier entry on traditions that was posted to another blog.. As I prepared to do so, an incident occurred,  rather a mother fucking motorcycle accident, happened, altering not only my sister's skeletal structure, but the family Christmas plans. 

So I opened the previous entry posing the question of, what is your tradition? We say we have them, and we try to adhere, but what happens that day the tradition stops? What do you do when the memory of a tradition is sullied by a death, an argument with a spouse, the wreckage of a family? Do we pick up from where we left off, or do we create new traditions? And in following with tradition, is the creation of the new one something that we want to pass on to extended family and/or possible products of procreation? 

Since senior year of high school, my family has participated in the distribution of a hot breakfast to the homeless at our local park on Christmas morning. My aunt, the saint of a woman, wanted to gift to those what little she could, as an appreciation to the life that she lived.  Her intent and goodwill was wholehearted as she  distributed over-sugared hot chocolate,  and coma inducing cookies to a group of diabetics. We were not deterred  The following year we were better prepared, flourishing with donations of freshly prepared breakfast, to well assembled care packs. The momentum of this tradition raged on, each year gaining more and more donations from all over the spectrum. Our homeless could choose more than just cookies and socks! We diligently participated in this event, planning and strategizing as the date approached. This “tradition” gained so much respect in our home that it completely replaced gift opening on Christmas morning.

The family participated for almost ten years, each year leaving a beautiful memory that we would share and recruit for the next year. But last year was a little different. As I entered the Safeway to retrieve last minute items, I received a call. "Come home now". *Click* 
Dad had been sick for a while, having only recently been discharged from the hospital. Although he had been cleared to come home in time for Christmas, there was something about him that didn't seem right. He was still marginally unresponsive. I pulled an asshole move and left the coca cola bottle in the tampax rack. I zoom down 11th street, finding myself in a race with an ambulance headed towards my house. 
"Shit, he fucking died while I had a fucking bottle of soda in my hand"  I hold my breath, counting to an indiscriminate number, as if this act would force the ambulance to drive in another direction. It didn't. 
But this is where the tone changes, because my dad didn't  die. He was sick, and we did spend Christmas in the hospital. The whole clan gathered in that hospital, and we all rallied to get my dad up and better.  But we didn't have to bury anyone, and we didn't have to equate Christmas with a death. So yeah, the tradition of handing out food to the homeless was temporarily set back, but we knew that next year we'd be able to make it up.

Well fuck, next year is here. And this year, with tears of joy, I can say again that we are not handing out food to the homeless, nor are we planning a funeral. 
My sister was in an accident that typically kills. She was hit by a car while on a motorcycle. Her pelvis is broken, her arm will need pins. But that girl, my sister, my baby, she is alive. And no, we are not passing out food at the park on Christmas morning. But we are going to all squeeze in to that hospital, annoy the staff with our presence, smother her with our good intentions while annoying and interrupting her rest.We are going to bicker and compete for her attention as we all rally to be with her and let her know that we love her and that we can't wait for her to come home. Because that is our tradition. We do it all, and we do it together. And when the one falls, we all link to get them back up. 

So maybe we broke from tradition, or deviated...yeah, lets say that one. But the fact remains that regardless of what we do, or where we spend the holiday, our tradition is to be together. 
And one day, ten years from now, maybe my child will be learning what it is to be a part of this tradition. Maybe they will be too small, or maybe they wont exist. But both my dad and my sister will be there, and the memories from those moments will cast a light over every memory, and bring a hope to future ones.

So tell me, what are your traditions that you follow, or ones that you’d like to begin?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Small words for the giant of heart

This morning I read an article regarding a Connecticut survivor's letter to his now dead friend. The letter's author, a boy of what I would imagine, is only six. Six years old. He has only just learned to write,and now he is writing a letter to his dead friend.
Rather than the list to Santa, this child penned a list of tears and shattered play dates. Rather than show off his new found penmanship, he is mustering the strokes on a piece of paper that reads, "I love you Jack", the four words that he will never utter to his friend again.
The letter, small words for such an enormous heart, resonated more than anything I had read the last few days on the shootings in Connecticut. It didn't paint a picture, didn't list the series of events. It was a simple letter, with simple words, and yet the message meant more to me than some well versed, adjective laced novel. It brought a cynical woman, who's taken the tragedy and politicized it on her FB and to any that would listen, cry harder, care deeper, wish for impossible peace.

You are my hero kid.
A Mother Life

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I can write, I swear

“Where the fuck am I going with any of this?” This is the question that remains constant. I am writing this statement, a failed blog left behind and a new one to start. How do I use and where will I take it? Will I be selfish when I ask you to guide me on this writing expedition? Are you here for amusement or are you here to direct me in this forum?
It’s been suggested to me that in order to be a writer, I need to actually write. Well shit, here goes. I am a writer. I rant and I cry as I type some words on a page. I bitch about my problems, and whine about my weight. I am a writer, because my fingers can pound a keyboard and complete a sentence. I am a writer because I own a computer and I use Microsoft word. I am a writer because my boyfriend bought me a set of red German notebooks and a fancy pen. I am a writer because I have a lot of shit to say.
 I am not published, and I am many times rejected. But I am a writer. I am here to amuse you, and use you. And maybe, after sticking to this, after publishing a blog or two, maybe I will get the hang of this. And then maybe, you too will call me a writer.
What are you, and why are you here?