Oh what a night

We brought in the new year (and decade) hanging out as a family. We worked together making good food. Played together. Mellow evening. J fell out around 10, M made til I put the tamales away, round 1:30am.
Today we all slept late, till 10am. Can't remember the last time I did that.

More chillin' and cleaning and enjoying the labors of the new year's eve. I got to do a massage on a grateful client in my office where my business partner surprised me with some enhancements to the place.

My paternal grandmother used to tell her kids that whatever you're doing on the the first day of the year will be what you're doing the whole year. I'm stoked on that.

sorting it out

We saw Terry yesterday. Even after the rough conversation she and I had on the 24th, I called to wish her a merry Christmas on the day. I had informed my Aunt Sylvia we would be visiting Terry, during my Christmas call to the Carrasco household, and would like to come see her and my grandmother. I gave her a time-frame to expect a call while we would be in Hemet.
When I called in the designated window of time, I got voice mail. I still have not received a call as to what may have kept us from being able to visit.

Terry gave me a photo album that I had given to my dad for his birthday. These are two of the photos from it.

My Christmas with the family this year went down appropriately. I cried only in moments when it seemed my tears would either go unnoticed or during an exceptionally moving moment. While on a walk to the garden it came to me, how to handle my restless thoughts of dad and what to do when I feel I ought to be doing something for him. Time will tell how it will work out.

It is over. It was different. This side of change is much easier than the anticipation side. My life will always be different without my dad being alive. I'm trying to accept that more each day. Different isn't unmanageable. Different seems to simply be different.

A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall - Bob Dylan

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin',
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin',
I saw a white ladder all covered with water,
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin',
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,
Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',
Heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',
Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, who did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
Who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony,
I met a white man who walked a black dog,
I met a young woman whose body was burning,
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow,
I met one man who was wounded in love,
I met another man who was wounded with hatred,
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
And, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest dark forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',
But I'll know my song well before I start singin',
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Matthew 3:11

It was suggested to me, by a close friend to do something special on Christmas in honor of my dad to help me get through this holiday without him.
I'm baking cookies and Christmas shopping and giving to my clients as I try to come up with an appropriate activity or moment or something to acknowledge my pain and sadness at this time for my dead dad.
When I think of all the Christmases of my childhood, and think back to the very recent holidays of my life- the man traumatized me. There are few happy, positives I can bring to mind when I thing about the holidays as a kid. Yes, I had magical mornings opening presents. And yes, I remember the joy in my mother's face when she opened the gifts from us kids. My dad sometimes took the whole family out to cut down our tree. We would walk through acres of trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains to chose it. Dad would saw it down, allowing us kids to each take a turn at the trunk, slowing coming to possess it.

There are many more larger spans of memory that engulf what Christmastime was, when mom and dad started drinking. Any warm and fuzzy memories are washed with fear and anger and disappointment.

Maybe I'll go plant a tree. I don't want the day to turn into some project which ruins the day for everyone else. I'm also thinking, fuck it. My energy into this entire notion has preoccupied me for hours upon hours and has taken up so much of my time, I'm a bit drained. But will I regret it? Will I look back and wish I had taken the time to do something for him? I have so many regrets when I think of him.
The friend who made the original suggestion said she goes for a walk on the beach on a day that was special to her dad. And this is something she and her dad never did. I realize I can do anything, even if it's just pulling out a picture and allowing myself to cry for a while.

To do something he would have liked to do would be to go fishing or hunting. To work under the hood of a friend's car in the garage listening to eight tracks. Dad liked to just watch a football game with a beer in hand, uninterrupted by kids. He liked to play cards or dominoes while munching on chicharrones. He liked flying kites and riding bikes. He liked to watch It's A Wonderful Life and I do to. Maybe I'll just watch it again and think about how he might have felt when he watched it. I like to think it made him feel hopeful. Like there was a chance that he could be George Baily and that made him feel good. When Christmas comes, and my dad is still dead, I hope I can keep perspective. This must be the hardest bullshit I've had at me yet.

preparing for the holidays

Most of this year's pictures are on the laptop, so I am in the process of uploading them so I can download them on the computer with a creative program, the computer in the garage.
I'm finding that all the pictures and all the conversations they conjure up, all the moments that come to mind are cataloged in my brain as 'Before Death and After Death' of my dad. Some of them, like the ones that I very much would like to use because they include so much family, are the most hazy in my mind. Taking the kids on a plane? I hardly remember it- how the fuck did I do it? The memory barely exists. The time frame is so incomplete in my mind.

Each day passes and it is much easier than the previous. I'm room mom for second grade. I'm helping with art every Thursday for four hours. CCD Wednesdays. Reformatting the screenplay. All to keep my mind busy. Insanity to distract me from the insanity.
I'm looking forward to the holidays. Halloween is the kick off for us. I've watched It's A Wonderful Life several times this year already.

Some damn show I've been watching had this seen where the asshole main character tells his wife that all grief is, is a person wallowing in self-pity. It felt like a slap in the face when I heard it. That line stayed with me. I hate it and I treasure it.

Yes, there is much coming up. Now we know for sure that we will be remaining in our home, so along with holiday crap, there are household projects I've had on hold that I can now busy myself with. J wants to have a baby book like M's. Another project I have not had time or funds for that I'm looking forward to. This projected in particular I'm looking forward to the most. The pictures from J's first year are full of happiness and joy.
Getting tired. I've been wanted to write here for a few nights- glad I finally did.