The 411

Let’s see who was paying attention during last weeks PR Monday when I said that I was posting it every other week during the summer……cause this ain’t no PR post.

Happy Belated Fathers Day to all those awesome dads! Hope my father-in-law had a wonderful day. I tried to make sure that Bob did as well but like he always does, he turned it around to make a nice day for me. We went out and bought a bunch of new flowers for my dads memorial garden area and finally placed his urn out with the new tree we planted for him. I cried a bit, I laughed a bit but mostly I just enjoyed being creative offline. Here is a pic. It doesn’t look like much now but by next year I am sure it will be bloomin beautiful (then we will probably move, lol)

I made Bob the Paula Deen french bread casserole recipe. I did it all by myself! Which explains why there were raw eggs still in the middle. The edges were yummy though. Progress!

For his gift we got him a professional deep fryer. He really wanted one. Sad, but true! I made sure and got the oil and chicken wings too. Wouldn’t want a melt down like at Christmas when parents forget the batteries! He was like a 4 year old girl with his first Easy Bake oven. I think he may start frying everything not nailed down. So much for my recent 10 lbs weight loss.

I am looking forward to going to Park City this weekend. Rooming with my ultra chic buddy Complicated Mama in a swanky two bedroom suite. It will be really nice to get away! Although it is my first flight since I became addicted to LOST so that out to be interesting.

Little guy has a string of appointments over the next few days. Not much else is going on…

A Year and A Day

Is how long it has been since my brother passed unexpectedly. I promised you all a long flowing post about it when I was ready. I never was until now.

I am the ‘baby’ of a strangely blended family. My dad (step dad in most peoples terms) had two daughters, my mom had 4 sons. They met when I was a baby and raised me together until my dad passed last month. I say I was a baby. I was more like an only child. The youngest of the blended siblings was 14 years older than me and lived with her mom. The youngest of my brothers was 21 when I was born. He was murdered that same year.

So, while on the outside it appears I had a large family the truth is it was me, my mom and my dad. The ‘baby’ of two parents in their early 40′s getting the chance to do things over again.

My brothers were more like uncles, my ‘sisters’ were not really a presence.

The third youngest of my brothers lived with us for about a year when I was in elementary school. That brother passed away  11 years ago.

But I never really had a sibling until Paul came to live with us on his 40th birthday. He was having a mid life crisis of sorts and decided to leave the East divorced and ready to start over. He stayed with my parents about a month or two and then found his own place near by. I was 15. He was a pain in the ass. Always around….sheesh! A bigger mommas boy I don’t think there ever was.

But as I grew up a strange thing happened. We actually became close. I started to understand his rough edge Jersey ways. I think he started to live with my stuck up princessyness.

As my parents aged Paul and I grew closer. Our need to take care of aging parents made us work together. We each had our roles and depended on the other to make sure everything was OK.

He adored my kids. He had ramps built in his home to accommodate my sons wheelchair (even though we rarely were in town). He became that quirky, lovable and gruff Uncle every kid should have.

And then one night he didn’t call my mom to say goodnight. Certainly odd for the mommas boy. He always called, no matter what sort of company he had over. He had a cold/flu though so we let it go. He didn’t call the next night and so first thing in the morning my mom went over. She found him in bed passed away.

I was watching SpongeBob with Carter when my mom called hysterical. I was home in Phoenix within a few hours. The following months were a blur.

I was not surprised to find that he had thought to protect both my mom and I in case something ever happened to him. He was that sort of son and brother. An ex Marine drill Sargent, tough as nails on the outside and soft as kitten inside.

A year later my world has been turned inside out. My brother and father both gone. A family home being sold. It has been too much growing up in one year for me. As much as I have struggled though I can’t imagine how my mom has buried two husbands and three sons. If I never attend a military service again it will be too soon.

Broken Heart

Last night my heart was broken into a million pieces. It was a night a knew would come but it shocked me none-the-less. Here is the conversation as I went to tuck Carter in last night:

Carter: “Mom, I know this might upset but I need you to be strong”

Me: “Um, okay, what’s up?”

Carter: “I am seriously thinking about giving up a story before bed each night”

Me: “WHAT? WHY? I can’t sleep without my story!”

Carter: “Well, I don’t know if I can either but I am thinking it is time we try”.

In my head: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Obviously with Connor being close to 14 that ritual ended a long time ago with him. But, it has still lingered around with my “baby”. I love my two boys equally, with all my heart yet, differently. I have spent so many nights praying that he be OK and listening to monitors beep away. I don’t think I could count all the nights spent in hospitals worrying while he slept if I tried. Our bond is just different. I guess maybe like two people who fight together through a war…

I have seen the signs coming. He is getting more and more independent. He is setting his own goals in therapy (occupational) and only wants to work on things that give him more independence. He is becoming much more aware of himself and girls! All of a sudden he has a greater understanding of his place in this world. He is maturing.

And yes, I know, that Carter has lingered in his younger years longer than most due to his ‘challenges’ and I should be happy to see him growing up a bit more but I am not ready to let go.

Guess it doesn’t matter if I am or not though.

Guess I will have to tell myself a story from now on. I think it will go like this…

Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Big Boy, Hello Little Man.