Painful Reminders

June 16, 2006 § 13 Comments

Story Corps made me weepy this morning.  That’s not unusual, but the theme centered on this weekend – Father’s Day.

As I walked around the shops and glanced at advertisements, they all reminded me of Father’s Day sales, what to get dad, how about something he’ll love, etc.  Lucky kids who still have their dads ponder what to get him, how to spend time with him, brunch perhaps?  Grilling?  All painful reminders. 

My father was traveling on Father’s Day in 1997.  The family all made plans to celebrate and give gifts when he returned.  I painstakingly picked out two shirts that he really wanted.  Daddy was a big guy, so I made sure to track them down in the specialty big &tall stores for him.  But I never saw him alive again.  He suffered a heart attack in his parked car halfway to his destination, and he suffered second-degree burns sitting in that hot car in the Texas sun (it was hours before anyone had found him).  By the time we got there he was unresponsive and on life support, and we had to let him go.  After he died, we flew home only to find our much more empty house filled with wrapped and unopened Father’s Day gifts sitting on the table.

That Story Corps interview was of a daughter interviewing her dad, and I just sat there and couldn’t think of anything I wouldn’t give just to have one more conversation or word with him, to tell him I miss him…  So forgive me if I’m bitter and sad this month.  They’re just painful reminders of the empty space in my heart.

Do Not Go Gentle

May 12, 2006 § 2 Comments

It will be 9 years this summer since my father died.  Some days the memories are happy and funny, but then some days it’s hard to get the ache of sorrow and grief out of my chest. 

It’s still hard to talk about him, especially to those who’ve never met him.  Whether the memories are happy or sad, tears well up and I breathe a little heavier.  How do you describe the most wonderful, loving person you’ve ever known?  How do you describe the sudden loss and the years of grief without your best friend?  He’s the man who made me, shaped me, from where I get my stubborness, my love of learning, my compassion for others?   We all search for understanding, but I’m not sure anyone can ever truly know me without having known my father.

I didn’t say much at my father’s funeral.  I chose to read a poem rather than a eulogy, one that I read to him silently while he was unconscious and on life support that last father’s day weekend.  One that pleads for him to not go gently.  And he didn’t, as he still clings to me even though we’re parted by death.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
 
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green
bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

It’s a girl!

February 9, 2006 § 3 Comments

(My sister’s fetus, that is)

A girl!

Another Ming!

Hoorah!

We Are Family (plus one!)

November 24, 2005 § Leave a comment

I can’t hold it in any longer…

THE MING HATH SPAWNED!

No, not me silly. I am going to be an aunt! Yes, my sister and brother-in-law (well, mostly my sister) are preggers. I’m so excited about the little fetus it’s ridiculous. Oh, and the fact that my beer belly is going to eventually look smaller than her baby belly.

Good Lord

June 27, 2005 § 4 Comments

I’m going to a wedding in Charlotte in October and finally looked at their wedding website…

FIFTEEN PEOPLE IN THE BRIDAL PARTY.

Daddy

June 19, 2005 § Leave a comment

Daddy

How exactly are we related?

June 13, 2005 § 1 Comment

An email from my sister:

On Saturday, I went to the PBR-Professional Bull Riding Tour at the TD Waterhouse.  It was really neat!

Mom loves the hooch

May 25, 2005 § Leave a comment

This is a pic Mom sent me of her and her beau at the Jack Daniels Distillery in Tennessee.  I’m sure he’s wearing his NASCAR cap.

“Don’t freak out over the live things in the fridge, okay?”

May 4, 2005 § 2 Comments

Whackadoodle weekend was a little more uneventful than expected.  My sister and her husband rolled into town Sunday afternoon, followed by my mother and her boyfriend in the evening.  The boy and I showed them around Midtown, the West side, and Virginia Highland.

We planned on eating at Six Feet Under, but found the restaurant was closed due to a plumbing issue.  I was all kinds of excited to eat my dinner from a bucket, so I pouted for a while.  In our scrubbiest duds, we headed over Inman Park and found ourselves dining at Wisteria.  It was my first time, and I was impressed with the food and service.  The other patrons, however, were a little disturbed by our flip flops, the fact that my mom’s boyfriend had to be reminded to take off his NASCAR hat, and that my brother in law guzzled down six crown and ginger’s in a matter of 15 minutes.  My mom wanted seafood, so we convinced her to order the skate without telling her what it was.  After we placed our orders, my sister and I simultaneously began yelling, "It’s like a stingray!  A stingray!"  I admit it was a little much, but apparently after spending $300 on dinner, rednecks are always welcome.

The next morning we went to the West Egg for breakfast, which always confuses me since I always forget they only have table service on the weekends.  My sister and brother in law continued their trip up north.  After explaining all the options to my mom, she decided she only wanted to visit one place in Atlanta:  Chinatown.  The problem is that Atlanta DOESN’T HAVE A CHINATOWN.  Yes, Chamblee has a scary looking mall called "Chinatown" but we only stayed there for a couple of minutes to take a picture.  I took them down Buford Highway between Doraville and Chamblee to my favorite Asian market, Ranch 99, and showed them a few of the meat section’s LIVE specialties (don’t worry, I only came home with crawfish).  Later that evening the Meeting of the Moms took place at our pad. My mom completely ignored the boy’s very southern mom and her every effort to start a conversation, instead keeping her attention fixed upon the tv.

After many apologies and sending everyone AWAY, the boy and I shook our heads at everything that transpired.  I began laughing as we both lay on the bed staring at the ceiling: 

"What?"
"It’s not that I’m embarrassed by them in that ‘oh my god my family is just so weird’ way.  It’s just that I’m so tired of explaining it to people, so I just stand by and watch, too."

Whackadoodles in the ATL

April 26, 2005 § 3 Comments

Team Whackadoodle is rolling into the ATL this weekend, prompting me to make some plans and outlined agendas.  They are really just on their way up to Nashvegas for a family trip that I fortunately can’t make due to work commitments.  However, I’ve convinced them to stay for a couple of days.  Mom and her boyfriend will be staying with us, and my sister and her husband finally listened to my advice and will be staying at The Highland Inn.  I really want them to experience the city that I’ve come to love.

The city that I’ve come to love.  Not touristy things like Underground Atlanta or, god forbid, the World of Coke.

So here’s the short list of options.  We’ll definitely walk to Piedmont Park from my place at least once.  ATL people, what else am I forgetting?

Centennial Park
Oakland Cemetery
Botanical Garden
Cyclorama
Virginia Highland & Little 5 Points neighborhoods
Dinner at Six Feet Under

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