Monday, June 28, 2010

There is no God...

I can say that with all conviction and know I'm right. Please explain to me how I'm wrong if you can. Now I don't believe there wasn't a God that created life but I don't believe there is a God that listens to prayers, controls your life with destiny like Hope believed, or has any interference with day to day or major life moments. You make your own way and good things happen to bad people, bad things happen to good people, and we all live in chaos trying to control our environment but every once in a while you get that "HOLY SHIT!!!" moment that reminds you how small you are. I know this because my 17-year old nephew just died suddenly in a single car accident (my old car) while driving from Knoxville to Florida to visit us and see some college campuses with his best friend. He didn't drink, do drugs, and was one of the coolest kids you could ever meet. I love Adam with all my heart and know that Hope is his heaven mama now taking care of him and his best friend. I got home a week ago after spending two weeks in Knoxville taking care of my brother, my best friend, and his youngest son Connor. My boys were right there with me for much of the time, 5 wisemen in one house but still one short of the perfect six-pack like our Christmas trip last December.

I love you Adam and when I spoke at your life celebration I meant every word of learning more about life and love over the previous two weeks through your and Justine's death than I did through my entire ordeal of losing Hope. Losing your wife after 7 years of battling cancer is one thing, losing your child in an instant at the peak of his life is so cruel and no just God could do that or have any reasoning for it. No way! Now I'm not mad, I just once again for the most horrifying reasons possible have so much more respect for life and how fragile it all is. I am so lucky, Nathan and Reese are amazing and I have so much to be grateful for. We all do, and I've researched enough about death to know that Hope and Adam are in a better place. Adam's younger brother Connor put it best when he said that he was glad his brother passed away with his best friend so they could be together. Leave it up to an 11-year old to put it all in perspective helping the adults cope with this loss. The whole ordeal has been overwhelming and is bringing back a flood of memories I had buried and hoped would never resurface. As I watch my brother go through similar pains as I did you just want to find a way to take it away but there isn't any.

I talked with a minister that was a former attorney of all things and he discussed with me 37 patients that passed away but were revived by doctors. Every one but one wanted to go back and described a beautiful light and peacefulness. The only one that didn't want to go back was abused by her mom and she saw her mom as she was passing on. That just reassures me I'll be back with Hope one day and my nephew too. I can't wait to be with my Grammy and Gramp as well, if you are a frequent flyer of past blogs you know they were like my other parents growing up and I think of them and miss them every day.

I haven't blogged in a long time because we have been so busy and I wasn't feeling the need all the time like I used to. I do love it so and think it will become routine again especially in light of recent events. We have 3 family reunions upcoming that I'm so excited about and my brother and nephew will be there for the last one. Thanks Broseph, we all couldn't be more excited that despite everything you are still making the trip. It will be only the second time I'll be back with my brother, step-brother, step-sister, and parents all at one locale since we moved out of the house so many years ago. My parents won't admit it now but they were dying for us to move out. I could go on for pages about the exploits and things we did to each other with four kids all in high school together within 3 years. A couple of my faves quickly was throwing my sister in the canal, competitive eating not only at home but also the very few times we went out to eat at the buffet restaurant Quincy's (my brothers used to compete who could drink the most too and the poor waitress would just keep bringing pitchers over), the horrible nicknames we gave each other and things we said just to get a rise, waking Kurt up by flicking his nose because he was such a heavy sleeper/passed out, and finally laundry. My mom gave up early on doing everyone's laundry and we had a handy side door on the garage. If you left your stuff in the washer or dryer and someone else was ready to do there's you would find your clothes on the side lawn and start over. Most other stories are not blog appropriate and whenever we start telling them my parents start blocking their ears and going LA, LA, LA, LA at the top of their lungs because they just don't want to know.

I can tell you I was never one to sleep much so sneaking out was routine, almost daily in the summers, and man you can get into a lot of trouble as a teenager out at 3 AM bored out of your mind. We used to move for sale signs and mail boxes from yard to yard including into different subdivisions. I always loved the thought of a husband waking up in the morning, honey did you put the house up for sale??? We toilet papered (TP'd) more than I can remember, but one of my faves was Janeen's house when she had Alane sleep over who I liked. The next morning we helped them clean up for some reason and then they cooked us breakfast. Another time they got us back and with shaving cream wrote Shadow is an ugly mutt on our sidewalk that stained into it and could be read for years. Now anyone that knew me back then knew I loved our dog Shadow more than any human. And oh yeah thanks Rochelle for always having girls I liked spend the night so I could be shot down by them. Hope had a hole in the screen of her window for us to touch fingers on the nights she couldn't let me in the back door. Her mom knew I was ther some times and never kicked me out. We were just watching TV as teenagers do, nothing more...Flipping a car, having police chase us, being approached by prostitutes, chased by dogs, tackle walking which defies explanation, having a gun pulled, and so much more that were things my nephew never did. Adam should be upstairs sleeping or drawing on his wall right now in my brother's house. There is no fucking way he shouldn't still be with us.

I went back and read my last blog from months ago so here's a quick recap since then:
  • We were successful in keeping the kids at their school after many public hearings, some political motivation, and way too many friends and families dispersed unnecessarily by bad choices by well intentioned school board members.
  • Both boys played soccer in the Spring and I coached both teams with more fun and new friends then is describable (I just signed both boys up for Fall too).
  • Natedog is playing basketball now and I'm coaching that team too, we are 2-0-1 with three barn burner of games. Nathan loves basketball most of all.
  • Both boys had amazing school years, Nathan loves to read, Reese is way ahead in his writing and reading skills thanks to the greatest teacher and nanny I could imagine, and both boys are about a head taller than any of their friends. Nathan is within a half inch of his 11 year old cousin Connor at only 8 years old, and they now share the same hair cut. While in Knoxville I shaved both of them and they love it! So now I am sunblocking their heads. Without my boys I would have no purpose, they are my everything which just makes me so much sadder for my brother...
  • Work is slow but relatively steady. I am able to spend much more time with the boys and am able to date to keep my staff together who are all dear friends and so much more than employees. It will kill me to have to make a change, I'm doing everything humanly possible including losing a lot of money to keep that going but it's just not about the bottom line in these times. If they read this I hope they know how hard I'm trying to keep all of us together as a family. I feel so lucky to be in the position we are during the toughest of times.
  • The Red Sox after a tough start are right back in the mix and beat the Rays last night, the Celtics made it to game 7 of the Finals and I got to go to the new Boston Garden for the first time ever to see series clinching game 6 against the Magic thanks to Jim and Jacie, the Noles got a new coach, and the Pats look prime for another run this year.
  • I stopped my psycho appointments but now Nathan is going to see her (remember Hope used to see her before me). He loves it and I couldn't be happier for him. I think some times after what happend with Adam I should go back, but we'll see how the blog helps for now. Kelly I love you for how you've helped my family and will never be able to thank you enough.
  • I am still half gay or at least comfortable taking over Hope's motherly duties including loving cooking, taking care of my plants/flowers, love my orgasmic kitchen mat, love my candles and was even telling a friend just today about trimming the wick to keep the glass from getting so black, bought new curtain holders, new area rugs, and am now thinking of replanting a garden in our yard.

The boys and I laugh all the time, and have been inspired by my brother in so many ways over the two weeks we stayed with him. The boys will draw on their walls when they are ready, they will try to make a stranger laugh or smile every day (I have this goal in every meeting/conference call I attend to make sure my client laughs at least once and with some of you it's difficult, you take things so seriously all the time), they will not take themselves too seriously from clothes to grades to music (if it feels good do it as long as you are not hurting anyone), and they will be wary of the Wise curse. Kurt told Adam a couple of years ago about the Wise curse. Son he said, you have the Wise curse just like your ancestors before you. Chicks dig us and there's nothing you can do about it. Kurt forgot about the talk and about a year later Adam came back to him and said Dad you were right about the curse! Unfortunately for me it seems to only be effective in TN, although my boys are showing some signs of early success in FLA.

One more quick story and then I'll let the two people that are still reading this off the hook. We were bragging one day about skills we had taught our kids. One guy was talking about his son shooting a gun and all I could think about was Full Metal Jacket when they were putting together their guns in the dark and Gomer Pyle had that psycho look on his face like me back in the day picking up my laundry from the side yard after it rained. I told my friends that since we have enough hurricanes my boys have learned to tap a keg and open a bottle of wine for daddy in the dark in case the power is out. These are important life skills and Hope is so proud of me. If you want to nominate me for parent of the year I'll send you the application. Of course it was just a joke, but Adam and Justine taught me once again not to take life too seriously over the last two weeks. I love you brother and wish I could take the pain away but know it will take years. One day at a time as Rachel helped me learn. I'm not mad at God, God created life and gave me the opportunity to have my boys and to be with and love Hope for as long as I did. I just know he (or she --- that was for you Mom) is not up there listening to every prayer and picking and choosing each person's destiny. However I also believe anything positive in someone's life is good, so if you truly believe prayer or eating nachos is positive in your life, then it will help you. I'm starving so maybe some nachos will make it all better right now. I love you Adam, Hope take care of our nephew. I know I'll see you in the future...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lucky 13 and a new fetish

Well today would have been my 13th year married to Hope. We just missed out on 12 years falling 24 days short. You cops out there know what a baker's dozen donuts is (just a terrible joke --- which actually I made the other day when putting a proposal together for a police substation to someone with no personality and it turns out is an ex-cop, that was uncomfortable) and today would have been ours. Please know if I've offended you with a bad joke in the past it's just that and I'm an equal opportunity offender with friends, families, police, etc. If you're a first time blog reader I'm very sorry and if you are a police officer please go back and read previous blogs about how much I love and respect you guys and how I think you're underpaid (that's all the asskissing I have in me right now). I've actually been so busy fighting this redistricting of our school trying to keep my kids at their current location, work's been crazy, friends in town, basketball, etc. I didn't even realize over the weekend January was ending. So my day started out like any Monday until I got to work and scheduled my first appointment. Then it hit me right when I was in the middle of trying to do 3 things like that feeling in the first SAW movie when he cut his own leg off. I felt numb, almost like I just cheated on her for not remembering sooner.

I struggled through the day and being busy helped. I had a late meeting so I didn't get home until after 7 PM. The kids had already eaten at a fundraiser for their school (better be next year's school too if we're successful) at Sonic so only I had not eaten. We decided to go to one of Hope's favorite restaurants (Longdoggers) and I ordered the Mahi sandwich she always got and the boys split two huge chocolate desserts (thanks for the idea Traci) that Hope would have been proud of. One of my fave pics of her and the boys was them attacking each other over a mountion of chocolate dessert at Uno's with forks. If you've ever seen gymkatta, an old school movie with Olympian Kurt Thomas running around a village using his gymnastics to save the world in a death race through a village (what town village in the iron curtain didn't have uneven parallel bars and a pommel horse in it's center just in case a gymnast needs to fight off (or pummel --- see what I did there with the play on words???) an entire village of zombie like pitch fork wielding villagers trying to stop a race to the death in order to save the hot princess). Anyway the battle of forks between Hope and the boys always reminded me of that movie. If memory serves his name was John Cabot, damn I'm full of useless information if that's right. It was a classic low-budget cold war movie and Kurt Thomas was all of 5'-4" tall so watching him fight professional wrestler types (you know bodies like mine) was hilarious. Although the best all-time professional wrestler cast in a great movie has to be Andre the Giant in the Princess Bride. If you haven't seen that movie in a while check it out again. I know that's a tough call comparing it to Hulk Hogan flicks or the remake of the Longest Yard but I'm willing to just throw controversial things like that out there. By the way I have to say Burt Reynolds and William Shatner's rugs are looking better all the time. Burt Reynolds, Hope, Pee-wee Herman, and I are all proud graduates of FSU (Jim Morrison attended too but oddly dropped out due to drugs, kind of like Randy Moss).

Speaking of Superheroes the Wonder Twins have always bothered me. They were the two weakest superheroes and I think the only reason Batman kept them around (admit you have to know Batman was in charge at the Hall of Justice) was that their Monkey Gleek (BTW Dora totally ripped Gleek off with Boots and if I'm Hanna-Barbara I'm suing her bilingual butt) always provided the belly laugh as they all stood around the Hall at the end of the episode. And why didn't the wonder twin that didn't have to be something water related just become Superman? You know two Supermans would have kicked some serious ass! Instead they would choose a gorilla or giraffe and use their long neck. Superman would have just flown up there not reached his neck out. Under my tutilidge (no idea how to spell, help a brother out Tina?) they would have been so much more. I would have even whooped that monkey Gleek (Maria it is everything I can do not to put in a joke about you here after you stood me up this weekend but I'll be good --- for now) into a superhero. Just saying...

I mentioned redistricting because it's taken a ton of our time up lately. Many meetings, writing and signing petitions, e-mails, phone calls, texts, etc. I've been nominated to lead the charge for my subdivision of 740 families but have had so much help it's been amazing. I've made some really good friends along the way and met so many other great people. Just my luck so far they're all happily married or have good taste and won't give me the time of day. Feb 9th is the big vote by the schoolboard and we'll be there in force fighting to keep our kids in their current school. On 2/10 I hope I'm blogging about spending 6 more years at Longleaf. Maybe that bottle of champagne I mentioned in the last blog will make its way out if we are successful and all those mom's that want nothing to do with me will at least help me enjoy that. That does remind me of some advice from my brother and a friend. That was that any women that are attractive and single without a divorce (or otherwise long relationship break-up) my age are nuts! There's only one exception so far I've met but generally I think that's good advice. Another was that if I try to go to bars and pick up women to hang out by the women's restroom. When you see a woman run into the bathroom and come out a long time later with some vomit on their blouse they're "almost ready." Thanks guys, with friends like you I'll be back at the altar in no time.

That reminds me of a conversation I had at work. Now most of you know that I'm about as laid back as they come with everything but work and the kids. Well everyone at my office has the same attitude (work hard but play harder) so we have some pretty bad conversations that would make even Toby on the Office cringe (Hope has to want to strike me down by letting things go as a former HR person). I always just yell out lunch break so I'm not liable when the conversations go south, that works doesn't it (I honestly don't really want to know)? Anywho, today I received an e-mail with a newspaper article about how staring at an attractive set of breasts is healthy and they compared it to exercising for a half hour. It gets your juices flowing like the workout. So if you catch me staring please let me finish up my ten minutes so I don't have to workout that night. I'm a health nut that's all ladies. My office manager somehow didn't agree I should be sending that out to try and keep our health costs down, I think she just wants men to die young (the article said they could live 4 to 5 years longer by doing this). In fact the other day we were talking about buying a new vehicle when I used the term pedofilish to describe a van I saw (you know the black or white one with no windows except maybe the tinted moon in the back with the old school A-Team style, just not as cool). I think I invented a new adjective you should see in Webster next year. Along those same lines another co-worker told me the other day I was a ken doll to her. So my nickname goes from Fancy Prancy Nancy (see previous blogs for reasoning) to the gender neutral ken doll. I wonder how many others feel that way about me? I think I'm offended but not quite sure still. Hmmm.

Now someone that wasn't gender neutral but I'm still not sure which gender hit on me a couple of weekends ago. I was at a gay bar with the Mozz for his last night out before he was flying out the next day to a new job half way across the world (how we ended up at the gay bar is a long story but it actually was not on purpose and we learned about wine alchohol there as apparently it's a way to get around having a liquor license as it's half the proof and tastes fruity, kind of like the guys in the place we were at --- you had to see that joke coming). We were supposed to have 3 other friends join us (two women FTR) but all 3 bailed as the night went on. We were sitting at the end of the bar with my back to the wall when the Mozz went to the bathroom and left his barstool. I was texting someone when all of a sudden a man/woman that reminded me of the man hands episode from Seinfeld (it's not a twist-off) was leaning over his stool talking to the bartender. I was busy texting but before I knew he/she was rubbing my leg furiously and probably could have pulled it off like a turkey leg if he/she wanted to.

Obviously that got my attention so I turned and I really wasn't sure if it was a man, woman, or somewhere in between and I could not tell you with any certainty which direction they were heading. Shoulders were broader then mine (I know hard to believe with my bulk), hands bigger then an Avatar (see the pop up to date culture reference, I don't only live in the 80's you know), and I'm staring up to it. I had a few drinks at that point and can't recall how the coversation went but I was backed up against the wall remembering that I would never be so happy when Mozz got back. Now I have gay friends, had no problem being in the bar, believe everyone should choose whatever makes them happy, and even think some people are born gay and it's not just a choice or an environmental thing. I say that with some conviction because of some kids I grew up with. When we left there was a group outside because it was a great evening (remember we live in Florida in January) and as we walked away they were calling after us like construction workers to a woman. I think I turned back and blew them a kiss but that part of the evening was getting fuzzy. The Mozz can drink me under the table and I was trying to hang, which of course I regretted the next morning.

One more point about that evening, wouldn't you assume Mozz and I were a couple? He went to the bathroom for just a couple of minutes and I was instantly being manhandled (literally, now that was funny!). Are there no rules of hitting on another guy's man in the gay community? We have dicks before chicks and other rules so what's the deal in the gay community? Help me out in case I switch teams due to lack of interest from the other. Are lesbians the same way? Maybe this was an unusual incident and we all follow the same rules. I have never once in my life been hit on by a woman in a bar and I've spent some time in them in years past (single and married years) but one of the first times ever at a gay bar I'm manhandled (that still cracks me up BTW). Go figure, maybe I'm on the wrong team. Help me out, am I considered a good-looking gay guy? I've always felt and written before I feel like a lesbian trapped in a man's body so maybe I'm missing something here. Fancy Nancy, plants, cooking, decorating, candles, my orgasmic kitchen mat, hmmm again...

A friend just told me about a group on Facebook that got my attention. It's called "I've Seen Jake Wise Naked." Lucky for you it's a wrestler in NC and not me. I was afraid for a couple of minutes it was a friend or family member trying to get revenge on me for blog comments. This guy wishes he had my abs, pecs and chest. That reminds me that over the weekend for a class assignment for Nathan I had to go through old pictures to show what he looked like growing up. It was really difficult because of course Hope was all over the place in different levels of health and happiness. I had almost forgotten how strong she was the first go-round losing her hair and eyebrows, some of our trips, and some amazing moments only a family can share. I cried a lot but it felt really good as that was the first time I had gone through old pictures. He brought them in today along with a letter that I wrote and Reese wrote to read to the class. I almost made a copy and sent in the letter Hope wrote to Nathan when she knew she wasn't going to survive. However I thought that was too much to share with a 2nd grade class. I've read the letter twice now and it makes me ball like the Ray Liotta ER episode (some things just get to you and stick with you --- that one was about my dad). She has so much love for our children and I know is right here with us trying to fork her way into their desserts.

I promise I'm wrapping this up. Finally my new fetish. I never go to the movies but did see Avatar 3-D. If you haven't seen it do before it leaves the theaters. However the only thing I could think of was again the manhands episode on Seinfeld watching these giant Amazon aliens manhandle humans. Any movie you root against mankind you know it's good because they have written a story so well you root aginst yourself. I now want an amazon mermaid woman that's a great mom to sweep me off my feet, and if she's bi-sexual with a taste for animal porn all the better. Now how hard can that be to find? Maybe I should lower my standards a bit to just an amazon mermaid, the kids have been babied enough they'll be fine at this point. Lucky 13 doesn't quite feel that way today, but I know I'm a lucky guy. Happy anniversary Hope, I know we'll always be together and as we discussed I'm trying to slowly move forward too. Maybe after this blog I just cut out any female readers from the dating pool --- ahh they probably lost interest reading in paragraph 2 so I could be safe...

-Just Jake.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


So here I sit, boys just tucked in, plants all around me trying to keep them out of the cold, wanting to avoid bills, listening to a new double CD of Michael Jackson called This is It that's excellent, followed by 10,000 Maniacs Live, a double live CD of Sister Hazel, and probably my all-time favorite album (damn I'm old I still call them albums! --- that would be like my kids calling them VHS or Atari) Counting Crows August and Everything After. Isn't everything after August the best time of year anyway? I think so as that's when the heat starts to let up here and right now a little heat wouldn't hurt. We are in the midst of the longest cold snap I can ever remember in my 25 years of living in FLA (It's funny because I still say I'm from New England even though it's been over a quarter century since I lived there --- maybe it's because except for the Noles that's where all my sports allegiances lie or because most of my family still lives there) and tonight is supposed to be the coldest night of the year. The Pats were absolutely crushed today by a much better Ravens team. I hate to say it but I think the dynasty is coming to an end. We have the wrong mix of young and old right now and Wes Welker getting hurt was the final blow.

This is always the toughest part of every day. Sitting alone in the quiet except for Michael singing. I often get on the phone and talk to some friends/relatives to not feel so lonely, get things done from work to the house to bills (still avoiding because this blog is so much more important right now). I still almost never watch TV except for a few big sporting events so it's not like that's filling a void. The only TV shows I try not to miss are House and the Office. Family Guy is another favorite but I just don't seem to catch it as often as I'd like. I wish so much I could be like Hugh Laurie at work but that just doesn't seem to work for anyone but him. I'm thinking about picking up the cane and old school Nikes though. I know one of my top goals needs to be comfortable by myself and I think I've made huge strides. Hope used to tease me that I couldn't be alone with myself because even if I was in the car I'd be on the phone with her or someone. I actually enjoy now listening to the radio or CD's again instead of always being on the phone in the car. I just have this lonely feeling in my gut too often at night right now.

Some nights I have a couple/few glasses of wine and that seems to make it feel better, but I've been cutting way back on that lately. Self medicating is not the answer as much as it feels good. Someone I consider a very good friend even though I have a hard telling them that gave me a book called Post Secret - Confessions on Life, Death, and God. It is a collection of secrets revealed anonymously about life, death and god. My friend thought it could really help me relate to others. I've always tried to do the same with this blog, just put myself out there with the honest raw hard feelings I have. Some times I feel great, other times the blog is the only thing getting me through moment. I have a bottle of champagne sitting in my fridge right now left over from New Year's, so I'm waiting for the right moment to open it. But how sad is it to open it alone.? I thought about doing so 366 days after Hope's passing but by myself??? That adds to the loneliness, even the little things you want to share with someone.

Don't get me wrong, I love my boys and share everything with them. It's just that certain things are for taller people and I probably should cut back on the amount of alcohol they're drinking. My mom was single for 9 years, I'm not sure I can handle that. Nathan would be 16 and Reese 13, probably neither one of them excited about spending a lot of time with me at those ages. Right now they say things like, Dad did you know you are a superstud? Something tells me that will diminish in the future. I just read a friend's philosophy on teaching and it knocked my socks off. The passion you could feel in the writing about something that is honestly boring to most really got to me. The dedication she felt just oozed out of the essay like the Festivus episode on Seinfeld where they aired out grievances and showed feats of strength (Festivus for the rest of us was the line I remember best). I'm just not feeling that way about much anymore like I used to except of course the boys. I have my moments, but they are not sustained like they used to be.

It's been a while but I used to always ask for my old self back. I have me in spurts and feel so much more clear headed now I think I can find that inner drive when I need it but it's just not there as much as it used to be. Maybe I'm more drained becuase I am taking so much more on right now (that's what my psycho tells me --- for example I just don't get to come home once in a while and not tuck the boys in, or not cook dinner, or not do homework, or just take 10 minutes for myself until they're in bed). It's probably a combo and the size of my corpus callosum killing me right now as I want to figure it out. I find myself when at home checking e-mail or texts all the time when I'm even in the middle of something. In the past I would have been annoyed by such things but now I feel like I'm desperately seeking some interaction with others. It makes me sad that I'm not at the point yet hanging by myself is satisfying (don't get me wrong sometimes it is --- yeah I couldn't leave that one alone or myself for that matter --- damn there I go again) but maybe I won't. Either way I know I'm one lucky MF'er (that's old school not text shorthand) to have of course the boys but also so many loved ones be that friends or family. Sometimes my heart just flutters kind of like when you go over a steep hill or hit that drop on a rollercoaster when I think about the friends, family, teachers, etc. that are part of our lives. Other times are like, well like right now.

There's even a few of you out there that still read my painfully long blogs and then of course wish you could get the last 15 minutes of your life back. I love my boys, I love my friends and family, and I know I'm so lucky to have the life I have. Hopefully at some point I'll find someone to share it with. Maybe I have and I just don't realize they're it yet. I'm not always the fastest on the uptake. Well I was hoping to keep this blog shorter so I'll close with a couple of boy updates.

Natedog won his first basketball game 10-2 (almost a shutout) and the kids had an absolute blast most importantly. We've got 9 kids (5 play at a time) but they all had so much fun and were great. We may make a run this year, we've got an incredible team from what I can tell. Of course it all comes down to coaching (I wish, we've just got great kids!). I also just signed both boys up for spring soccer ($193 combined and signed up to coach both). I can't believe I'm going to try and do this again but I love coaching them so much I'll punish myself again with an impossible schedule. That should stave off some loneliness. I'm going to go pay bills and read others secrets about life, death and God. The first example I read was "I am a Southern Baptist Pastor's Wife. No one knows I don't believe in God." At least if I do find Ms. Right I won't be able to keep any secrets from her because it's all on the blog.

I e-mailed some friends this weekend two Jake Genius ideas of the day and it seemed to fall flat but I'll share them here right now anyway. I think I've blogged before about my idea for a restaurant where everything is served on a stick. I think it's genius and will take off. Burger King is now copying my idea with funnel cake on a stick. I'll have to add that to my menu but in the meantime just think about the possibilities. How much fun would spaghetti be on a stick, or healthier fare like bacon wrapped fried hot dogs which I hear is all the rave with rednecks right now. Eating off a stick just takes you back to your childhood and being a caveman or cavewoman or caveperson (I'll bet they never had to correct themselves back in their day). Who doesn't love that big freaking turkey leg you get for like $9 dollars at the fair? BTW for dinner tonight because we had a late lunch while watching the Pats gets stomped the boys both had two bananas each and popcorn. When putting my name on the father of the year plaque please use my middle name "is" (one more BTW was that I actually went through a short period when Hope was pregnant with Natedog that I wanted his middle name to be is, how cool would that have been? --- at least he would learn to fight at a young age).

My second idea is to play board games with squishies. You can play Sorry, Monopoly, Pachisi, Life, you name it with squishies (if you don't know what they are you don't have young children obviously --- they are basically little pencil topper animals that squish in your hands and my children have hundreds of them at $0.25 each). They don't play video games anymore at restaurants arcades, only the damn squishies. Andrea must have fed my kids $5 each this weekend because I keep finding them in crevices everywhere (not mine for the record, around the house silly). Alright this blog is long too, sorry about that Will. At least I'm not feeling lonely right now, but I am feeling like some flipsides or hummus along with that glass of grape juice I had avoided until now. Hope's been gone 368 days (but who's counting) and by the way my alarm has not acted up again since her 1 year anniversary night with virtually the same weather conditions every night. Nolan good luck with your surgery tomorrow on your arm, I can't wait for your sister to get here at 5:30 AM. It's the least I can do, your mom helped me more times then I could ever repay. I love you Roo, and Ann-Marie you too (note the correct spelling of your name --- don't get used to it!) for everything through 2008 much of 2009 but especially last Thursday. I am a lucky guy...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One Year --- No more firsts!!!

Can you believe it's already been one year today since Hope left her lifeless cancer riddled body and flew free of anymore pain (unless of course she reads my blogs still then the pain continues) in her life that contained way too much for any single person on this earth only 36 years? Well the day started very strangely for the Wise boys. It was right at midnight (i.e. the day Hope passed away) last night when I was getting ready for bed except two teacher friends working on essays for an award they had a chance of winning (now please explain to me why when you're up for a major award as both of them are you have to write a five-page essay just for a chance to win? I think I would say thank you for the nomination but I'll just assume I'm not winning and save a couple evenings of my life for my kids, friends, video games, whatever!) that kept us texting. If any of you have been at our house we have an alarm system that beeps every time you open a door or window across the house or in our detached garage. It tells you "kitchen door open" or "upstairs window open" (that is how I'll keep my boys from sneaking out, but I'm sure they'll learn some type of bypass so they can sneak out like I did so many times growing up. I think walking the streets at 3 AM is a right of passage every growing boy should experience and if you can sneak into a girl's window or backdoor bonus. FTR that never happened with Hope and I just in case any relatives still read this --- of course her mom knows better).

Anywho, right at midnight one year from Hope's passing all of a sudden my alarm says "garage door open." Now I have a detached garage referenced earlier so it freaks me out. I'm thinking some homeless person is looking for a warm place to sleep because we are having record low temperatures (believe me I'm on top of this because of my poor plants that my neighbors call my other children --- I love them almost as much as my brother and his strange kinky coy pond in his backyard) or it's just a coked out mass murderer that can't tell the main house from the garage so he'll be at the back door soon (now please ladies don't be upset I assumed the mass murderer was a man, I know all too well that you can kill just as easily it's just over the course of a marraige with nagging that it normally occurs --- sorry that sexist remark was courtesy of Dennis just to get my mom all riled up). So I freaked out a bit and turned all my external lights on hoping to scare anyone away. Then I hear the "garage door open" again and start to really freak. I decided then to set my house alarm so opening any doors or windows would set off the very loud siren alarm and in a few minutes it goes off telling me someone opened a door again. I turned it off right away not wanting to wake the kids.

Now I'm needing to go check the garage to make sure nothing is up or if something is confront him but I won't leave the kids alone in the house. So I decide to wake up my neighbors on the coldest day of the year and Rich my new superhero is kind enough to wake up and come over in the cold. We search and find nothing at all so he goes back home. Two more times after he leaves the same message goes off, "garage door open." I'm now thinking it's some kind of short or other problem and this will go off all night so I'll never sleep. I can turn it off but just in case it's something real I don't want to. So I then decide to set the alarm one more time and if it happens again the alarm goes off hopefully scaring anyone off. This time though I'll just let it sound off and just let the kids know if they wake that everything is ok. Knowing this would happen because it had been doing so now for almost 90 minutes straight I decide to watch Family Guy DVR'd. It was the episode when Peter gets amnesia (I think every long-standing comedy show has to have an amnesia episode per FCC regulations) and so Lois teaches him about sex again. He likes it so much he brings home another woman and asks her to leave so they can enjoy this newfound sex thing. So she moves the kids out and ends up with their giggity-giggity neighbor Quagmire before Brian (the talking dog) goes back to Peter to help him fight to save their marriage only to find out that a chicken that he fights with all the time knocked his amnesia away about 3 days ago and he was liking the bachelor life (if that's not your typical Happy Days/Cosby Show sitcom I don't know what is).

You just have to love that freaking show!!! Anywho again, I watched the entire episode and nothing happened with the alarm. If it was a short, the wind, the cold or anything except a person it definitely would have gone off again. It could not have been a person because we searched everywhere possible. So unless someone has a better explanation since Hope promised to haunt me and it was at midnight exactly one year from her passing I can't imagine what else it could have been. Damn I'm too wordy telling a story, but I think it had to be Hope just letting me know she was here.

So I had no idea what to do with today. It's obviously not a celebration day like her birthday or Mother's Day. I decided to let the kids got to school and I went to work this morning. For lunch I met Hope's three best friends in Florida (Jen is her best friend outside of Florida no doubt) Man-Marie (sorry that nickname will always crack me up), Roo, and Cheryl for lunch. We stayed for a couple of hours telling old stories including many that took place in hospice or at our house between hospice visits and they ended it sharing a piece of chocolate cake in her honor. Ann-Marie and I then went to Taylor Park in Rockledge next to Wuesthoff hospital that had hospice in it where we spent a few different days walking during the toughest of times in 2008/2009. We have a brick paver carved with Hope and my name in it with our wedding date so we visited our brick (it was a present from Mom and Dennis when we got engaged while living in Rockledge in a duplex). We sat there on one of the coldest days of the year with the sun beating down on us like it was the middle of summer as we each pealed layers off just to keep cool. We could just feel Hope's presence as we must have talked and cried for an hour or more.

We then went our different ways and I drove past our old duplex in Rockledge and our first house in Viera. I then joined another friend Jon at one of her favorite places in the world Wickham Park where we spent more weekends then probably anywhere else except home hiking, playing soccer, frisbee golf, playgrounds, birthday parties, Christmas lights, boy scout camp, etc. I then went home and spent the rest of the night with the boys before I took Nathan to his basketball practice where I coached. As I tucked the boys in to bed (now remember every night we hold mommy's picture and tell her our favorite part of the day) we talked about what we missed most about mommy. Reese said her hair, hands, hugs, eyes, and love. Nathan completely independently said her love and hugs.

It's now 12:20 AM and Alabama just won the national championship (congrats Jen! and sorry all you Tebow lovers) which is where Hope grew up in her early teens. Tonight is basically the exact same weather conditions and wiring for that matter so I'm waiting for the alarm to go off. However, it's not still one year since Hope left her lifeless cancer riddled body so I don't think I'll hear it at all. I really hope not because my neighbors aren't home. The whole day I felt strange, again not mad, not too sad except for a couple of emotional moments, but just kind of numb going through the motions. Now that we've survived and at times thrived through the first year, there will be no more firsts without Hope! That's right, no more firsts in 2010!!! We have made it through her first birthday, mother's day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, anniversary of her death, groundhog day, and Tiffani Amber Thiesen's birthday so it can only get easier from here. I personally made it through without any huge gaffs I'm aware of like getting remarried, becoming gay and forgoing women, selling the house, business, or kids, etc. I think I've got my wits about me most of the time now and the fog has lifted. That feels good, the boys and I are in a groove.

What does this mean for 2010, who knows? I'm ready for anything, I've survived what I hope is the worst that can be thrown at me, our boys are doing so well I absolutely glow every time I think about them, and there will be no more firsts! I have to work tomorrow, the kids will go to school, the weather will stay cold, Nathan has his first basketball game Saturday, and my friends Shondra and Cheryl will celebrate their birthdays on Saturday. Our life, your lives, and the world will go on tomorrow like it's just another day. It's not for us, it's the first day we will no longer have any firsts without Hope. We will always love and miss her, she will never be forgotten as my wife, first love, and my children's mother, but I think everyday will make it a little easier. I hopefully am slowly not being THAT guy anymore, people aren't thinking as much before they speak around us, and we are just another single parent family making their way through the world as we know it. I think Hope visited me again last night because she promised to haunt me, the alarm tonight is still silent, and now that it's been one year I can hopefully make good decisions again. I love you like water Hope, one year later and that has not diminished. I am trying and will eventually move on, but you will always be my children's mom and the first love of my life. Despite their young age, you will never be forgotten by our boys and I am making sure of that.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"Size Does Matter" - Quote from my family

Well I haven't blogged in quite some time and that's mainly due to our ridiculous schedule we've been keeping over the holidays. When you last tuned in I had my worst break down I have ever had on Thanksgiving night. It was much worse then when Eli Manning magically escaped the Pats' pass rush and then David Tyree caught the impossible pass to ruin their undefeated season. It was just a tiny bit worse then when I saw Daisy Duke in the Dukes of Hazzard reunion show, some memories need to not be impacted. Joe in my family explained that size does matter in an e-mail response to the last blog and that I shouldn't be upset when I don't understand things because my corpus callosum is smaller then in women's as studies show so us men are slower to catch on. In case you don't know the corpus callosum (ok I had to look it up) its the bundle of nerve pathways that connects the two sides of the brain. Now mine are further delayed by hops, barley, cabernet grapes, and hot sauces so I don't even have a chance to figure things out quickly. Please keep that in mind ladies when I'm not fully understanding (or distracted because you're talking while the game is on, a rerun of Saved by The Bell, or I'm trying to pretened I'm looking at only your eyes) your feelings because of my small cc (as I refer to it while texting). BTW, WTF is up w ur cc? U r slow.

Now a miniature sized version of our lives over the last 5 weeks. After Thanksgiving 6 friends all with kids went without short people to Gainesville to watch Bobby's last ever regular season game and Tebow's last home game (if you haven't seen me lately I'm still wearing the black eye goop under my eyes with hand picked bible passages --- I think Hope had one of those books in the house, at least I think we have a couple of real books in the house as I'm not 100% sure unless it's Star Wars Legos or my personal favorite snakes that will scare the potty out of your dad). We had an absolute blast and if it wasn't for me being quicker on the uptake we would have even stolen a stuffed animal mascot from a liquor store. If you don't believe that story e-mail me and I'll show you the picture. I am going to refrain from naming anyone so Judy does not get in any trouble (ah yes the same lap dance Judy that put me in my place on New Year's Eve by telling me I'd know it when she gives me a real lap dance). I love that only the married woman seem to show the most interest or at least find me as harmless as ever for good reason. We had to scalp tix but ended up with row 7 10-yard line seats at face value so it couldn't have been better. Maria got to go to her first college football game ever and I think she was more interested in the dog dressed in UF clothes then anything else but if you're a regular blog reader that won't surprise you. Thanks Whit and Ed for setting the whole thing up, your dad has an amazing place and I bought myself the same kitchen mat for Christmas because it feels almost like an orgasm in my legs every time I do dishes now. Anyone want me to wash your crystal? Please!!!

After that weekend Monday was Hope's birthday. I kept both kids out of school and we had a wonderful day at Hope's favorite them park Sea World followed by Lego Land and T-Rex restaurant at Downtown Disney. It was the perfect way to spend her birthday, just the three of us. I also had my parent/teacher conferences for both boys. I want to say so much more about them but I know teachers at the schools at least used to read the blog so let me just say I love Nathan's teacher's name and now know where it came from, and found out that Reese touches his penis too much at school. I know his teacher personally and we've even been out socially before as you may have previously read, so I quickly told her that we actually don't stop doing we just try not to be so obvious. So Reese is working on not touching his penis so much when people are paying attention. Otherwise both boys were given rave reviews and Nathan's teachers were funny in that they thought they'd have to give him so much extra attention and time to get things done but they've been thrilled that hasn't been the case at all. They come first no matter what I told them, it has to be that way.

Then I had just a crazy time trying to take care of presents, work, the boys, house, bills, etc. before our 9 day trip to New England from 18 Dec to 27 Dec followed by a week of brother Kurt staying with us in FLA. I was on my game with unbelievable help from Jamie, Traci, and Shelby at work. I bought and they wrapped/shipped all my gifts that were small before my trip, and anything big secretly made it's way under the tree while we were gone thanks to Gran. The boys wrote letters to Santa with their wish lists and letting him know they'd be in Maine. He found them big time including a DS game for each and filled up stockings. Our trip included meeting brother Kurt and his two kids (ages 16 and 10) at the airport where we had rented a Lincoln Navigator complete with heated and air conditioned seats that worked like my ass was sitting on a heating pad. We visited the following all before Christmas:
  • Brother Scott and his wife/two kids for my birthday which included tubing on a ski hill with a tow chain followed by 15 inches of snow that night and more sledding on a hill by their house with two jumps thanks to the plows as we went skidding across his road.
  • Then Stow Mass to see an Uncle Cliff/Aunt Lois, 5 cousins, great aunt Kitty (my favorite grammy's sister), and 2 nieces/2 nephews including new baby Trevor that was quite a load and we had a blast with. That included one of the most entertaining and unique Yankee gift swaps where only one person put all the gifts together --- it was really cool!
  • Then Westboro Mass to see the town we grew up in where cousin Keith put us up and put up with us for three nights in a row. It's amazing how much things like our old house, school, the graveyard we grew up playing in (thanks mom), old sledding hill etc. have actually shrank over the years. There must be some scientific explanation that Joe can give me since I'm so upset size matters all of a sudden.
  • Then Holliston Mass to see my sister, her mom and two sisters/one brother, my step mom and her husband in their almost 300 year old house that Paul Revere famously rode past yelling something about the British invasion --- yes the Beatles were arriving.
  • Then Framingham Mass to see my dad, 95 year old grandpa that still works and golfs (too damn bad my dad was adopted so you guessed it, I don't get any of his genes), and sister again. We spent the day catching up, eating, drinking, eating, drinking, and bowling. That night was highlighted by Nathan throwing up in the bathroom of the restaurant we ate dinner in (please keep in mind the previous winter trip up north he caught pneumonia and Reese was on a neutralizer so them getting sick again was my worst nightmare), said he felt better, then ate an ice cream sunday with no signs of wear.
  • Finally we went to Maine to see an enormous amount of family including aunt Renie/uncle Bruce, cousins Jess, Luke, Brad, with all of their spouses, multiple children apiece, and Jess's extended family that we love as much as our own (except Danielle after this trip and I'll explain why) including 4 more cousins with most of their spouses. There we had more snow, more fun, and our family Christmas that was unforgettable.
  • Christmas day Kurt had to leave with his two kids but we stayed a couple of more days.

A few details on the trip, my mom and Dennis joined us at the first two and last stops. On Christmas morning Nathan woke up first, collected all of the stockings, and then numbered them from youngest to oldest explaining that the youngest were the least patient and should open their stockings first. My aunt Renie was wearing a negligae (no idea how to spell that word) that revealed everything but she was wearing it over her jammies. My favorite present was the breathspray that said feel like a canadian, succumb to the dream, and had the goofiest white guy smiling on the box that I've ever seen. It was 6 degrees the first morning we woke up, we had two major snow storms while there, we borrowed a ton of clothes but just couldn't have had more fun. At every stop my boys were amazing, almost no complaints, playing with cousins everywhere they either didn't remember or hadn't met, had many nights of minimal sleep, and could not have made a dad prouder. They both said it was there best Christmas ever. Kurt's kids by the way were equally amazing with mine and everyone else. It's not easy at 16 and 10 to do the family trip thing. We gorged ourselves at every stop and my liver is still floating from that trip and the following week with my brother. I think New Year's Eve was our slowest night of indulging if that tells you anything --- I felt like Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas if that tells you anything, except I didn't get Elizabeth Shue.

Back to why I don't like Danielle anymore, any regular reader of the blog knows my cousin Jess adopted Maeve from China. Well it never dawned on me due to flawed math and family tree growing that somehow I'm now a great uncle. While I've always strived to be great I realized I was starting to get old now despite all my childish behavior and denials. I did turn 37 on this trip, still feel like I'm 20 though. I did have a few extremely difficult times the worst of which was on my birthday when I felt like I was having an anxiety or almost heart attack that night. My two bros talked me down and I was over it relatively quickly. Then came Christmas eve during one of the most wonderful family gatherings possible, I had to run off by myself where my cousin Luke caught up with me and really got me through some tough moments. On multiple evenings but especially Christmas night Uncle Bruce/Aunt Renie had some amazing conversations about Hope, life in general, and they really helped me get through some tough emotional times. Even Sunday morning the first time I got to visit with Jess/Joe alone, we only had a short amount of time but they were also so caring, loving and understanding when I needed it. I had a lot of great talks with so many others, but those in particular really stand out at my toughest times being a lot of firsts without Hope. Of course that was the entire reason behind the trip, to not be here!!!

Before I forget, I cannot thank so many people for sending us holiday cards. Please understand there was just no way I could do it for the 2nd year in a row but I so appreciate everyone that sent us one. I had one friend hand me there's a week late (no problem I understand a thing or two about being late) and another that arrived today called a new year's card. That's brilliant, I'll have to remember that trick. I have a ton of stories from my travels and FLA visit with my brother, many of which cannot be repeated in mixed company but my fave was our fishing trip with two of his buds from high school...

Against my better judgement I decided to tag along. Well we got out a few miles from where we put in and quickly found the shallowest section of the river with absolutely no fish. Our motor started overheating so we decided to fish for a while. After a couple of hours of killing brain cells (thank Hope it was a gorgeous day because otherwise I may have lost it) and catching nothing his buddy Brian that "borrowed" the boat finally decided we could not run the engine any longer. We tried to talk him into calling his buddy he "borrowed" the boat, trailer, and even truck from before we finally realized he had stolen it. So we saw a couple of vehicles on a dirt road north of KSC so we paddled over there as close as we could get where Kurt and I took our pants off and went ashore. We found a truck with three drunk teens inside (we did get our pants back on before then) and a completely full bed. They begrudgingly let us sit on the tool box in the back as they told us they were racing some friends. They then hauled ass down this dirt road as we held on for our lives over huge holes and hairpin turns while we braced our legs against a cooler and clutched the tool box beneath us. I kept yelling at Kurt, "tuck and roll when we're thrown!" At one point Kurt turned and tried to yell at them, "sorry but we're still here!" Somehow we made it back to the "borrowed" truck and trailer and drove it back.

That was the easy part. The rest consisted of falling into the river, making a makeshift coquina rock boat ramp that I still have cut up hands from, almost running out of gas, not eating the entire day, fearing the rusted bumper was going to be dragging behind us, and then for some reason going back to his bud's house that "borrowed" the boat/truck/trailer and meeting his neighbor that smelled worse then when Hope used to clean Cody's and Mocha's anal sacks. Now that's true love for a dog by the way. My favorite two quotes from the day were when I had my pants off and was getting off the boat before the tool box truck ride I turned back to Kurt's buds and said, "thanks guys always a pleasure catching up with Kurt's friends. So what are you doing tomorrow?" My second favorite was his bud that fell in the water and drove the "borrowed" truck back to his house only to start bitching about the driver's seat being all wet. He was still wearing the soaked shorts he fell into the water with and had burnt enough brain cells over the years that he didn't realize why the seat was wet. Any kids reading the blog don't do drugs and stay in school based on this story alone. That reminds me of another moment on our Mass trip when I saw a roofer in single digit degree weather, a really strong wind, on top of a 1:2 or steeper pitched roof when I turned to the 4 kids in the back of the Aviator and said that's why we tell you to stay in school kids.

Even though it's been a while I'll wrap this up. I think everyone loves favorite quotes from kids so I always try to remember my kids' for the blogs whenever I get to them. The first one was just this morning as we ate eggs, bagels, toast and bacon for breakfast (yes I am enjoying cooking now and have been accused of being a girl by many of which Shondra is the worst because I've also gotten into candles and my plants around the house --- all of which are currently wrapped in towels and sheets because we may have a freeze and I have to protect my other children that I nurture so) when Reese asked me, "if we switched brains would you no longer be colorblind and would you like chocolate?" I told him yes, and what a cool question that was. Then Nathan spoke up, "then you'd have Reese's brain and would have to go to school in pre-K. That would be hilarious Dad to see someone your size in pre-K." All I could think about was the parent/teacher conference when I couldn't even fit in the chair and of course Billy Madison.

Another time Nathan was flipping through a GQ magazine I had in the house (it was a gift from my sister just for the record --- although this one had Tom Brady on the cover and I've been further accused of being a girl or having a man crush on Tom but in my defense who wouldn't when you've got 3 rings and it should have been 4 along with being so damn attractive, ANYWHO) when he asked, "why do magazines have so many naked people in them because it seems inappropriate." I loved the words as I remember him saying them and then I explained that nakedness sells. I then asked him, "it got your attention didn't it?" Another night we were watching Where the Wild Things Are at the movies and Nathan and Reese kept saying Dad no handfuls because you take too much. Then Reese turned to me like he'd discovered Lego's for the first time and said, "only I can take handfuls because look at my small hands." I loved it, rationalization at its best at only 5 years old.

The one I remember the most was also from Reese just at a casual moment during the day, "I love you daddy more then anyone except Mommy but that's because she's dead and I miss her." I just cried and hugged him and said I hope you always love mommy more then me. He may not have any real memories of her but dammit he'll remember his mommy no matter what. As for me, I've had some tough times from Thanksgiving through even today. I was kind of bummed out today putting Christmas decs away because most of them have memories with Hope, pictures of Hope, or actually say Hope on them. Thursday this week is the one year anniversary of Hope's death. Nathan's basketball team that I'm coaching has practice, not sure if I'll be up for that. It's our last practice before our first game on Saturday so hopefully I'll be there. I gave myself one year before I made any changes of substance so stay tuned to see what I do or don't try. Nothing planned right now but I also have put many things off worrying I wasn't in the right state of mind yet.

This Thursday please take a moment to think about Hope. Think about how great it was that her soul left her broken down body that had no quality of life left in it, how amazing that moment was per my previous blogs as I was able to experience it with her, how she affected your life in the smallest ways or much bigger just appreciating life, her eyes filled with more life then any other person I've ever met except maybe Reese who has the same eyes, and then just for me as a special favor either call or go hug and kiss a little bit harder your closest loved ones. Think just for a moment what it would be like without them and appreciate so much what you have and what they give to you every day. We are doing great, we are loving life, but we miss Hope everyday and will especially on Thursday of this week. Hope you made me a better man and I'm doing my best to pass on all of your lessons to our boys. One year, it's been foggy and eye opening across the board. I feel like the luckiest man in the world and that's because of everything Hope gave me, mainly a lifetime of memories in only 20 years of being together but more importantly two amazing new souls that will always be with me. Those boys are my everything!!!

-Just Jake and sorry this was so long.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A New Beginning

For the first time ever tonight, I was angry. No reason behind it, I was pissed. I sobbed uncontrollably, yelled, punched, kicked and basically just wailed. It was the first time I was angry and it just came out of nowhere while I was watching a rerun from 3 or 4 weeks ago of House. I don't know why, it started around 1:00 AM and it's just now subsiding at 1:52 AM. I dont' get it, I haven't been angry for so long and all of a sudden I go from honestly sobbing and wailing out loud uncontrollably to being mad. I'm not mad at Hope, I'm not mad at God (I get accused of that all the time which I've blogged about), I didn't have a bad Thanksgiving, and yet I'm still angry all of a sudden. I walked out to the road in my boxers and just stared at the stars. It's cold outside for the first time in a while and I didn't give a shit. Before I could even get back into the house in the middle of my driveway I doubled over and just started sobbing again. What the fuck is up with me??? I'm pissed at me, feeling like shit, want someone to make things better.

I cannot get hold of my emotions and normally I'm good at that. I can't rationalize what I'm doing, saying feeling, you name it. I feel sick to my stomach but I'm fine, I want to punch something but don't, I don't want to drink or eat anything, I just want to feel better. I don't know what would do that. It's cold outside but I won't close the door next to me. I want someone to come by and rescue me, but I don't know what I need. I want to call someone but don't know who to call. If I did call someone I don't know what to say. I feel like I'm being tortured for someone's amusement.

I know I'm so lucky. I have so many loved ones in my life. I have great friends and family. The boys make every moment worthwhile. What the fuck happened tonight?!? I can't explain it as it's a first for me. I feel much better now after typing this, my breathing has slowed, anger has ceased, and now I feel a little more like me again. Now I kind of feel stupid and don't want to post this. Why did I start typing my blog when I was at my worst? Do I want to share, am I just looking for sympathy, will this scare away anyone interested in me, am I finally just going through a normal phase that I normaly should have sooner? WTF??? No one will probably ever read this. One year ago today I think I realized Hope was not going to make it. Maybe this is just normal grieving after so much time.

I'm not sure what to think right now. I want to call someone and talk but I'm just not sure who that should be and it's now 2 AM. Not because of the time but because of the subject matter. All I want is for my boys and me to be truly happy again. I keep thinking I'm close and then something like this happens. Maybe I just need some sleep, maybe I just need a woman, maybe I just need more time, maybe it's some combo I haven't figured out yet. The sleep is way behind, the rest I need to work on too. I'm not going to publish this until morning, because I'm just not sure about it. I've never edited my thoughts on the blog, maybe this will be the first in the morning.

8 AM now and I feel fine. I'm not sure even with some distance now what happened to me last night. I feel better now and I think that's because of what happened. I'm going to UF to watch FSU probbaly get blasted with some friends and no kiddos today and I'm really looking forward to that. I'll miss my boys, but they're in the best of hands looking forward to their play time with others. My mom hasn't been feeling herself for a little while and I think she doesn't let on to how badly she's really feeling. I worry about her but like she's done for me respect her space and privacy when she seems to want that.

Monday is Hope's birthday, the boys and I have some special plans that does not include them going to school. They dont' know it yet, just that I have a surprise for them. Between the massage crying and last night, I think it's extreme healing for me. Still not sure if I'll post this, it's just me trying to feel better when I couldn't really talk to anyone. Not that I think that would have helped last night either. I don't know, it was so intense, just me and my feelings, anger for the first time. The feeling is completely gone, no anger at all this morning except wishing I got a little more sleep last night. Go NOLES, maybe Bobby and my boys can shock the world and make Urban and Tebow cry and wail.

I think I just figured it out, it was delayed response from something that happened earlier in the night. Last night before I left my Mom's house she was not feeling well and laid down. I went in and talked to her for a while. It was deja vu, she was laying in the exact same bed as Hope last year when I think I realized for the first time she was not going to live. I remember my Aunt Nancy in and out of the room a lot just like last night. I must have just had flashbacks from the worst weekend of my life last year. Now exactly one year later my mom is laying in the exact same place and way Hope did. I'm powerless again, willing to do anything to take the pain and discomfort away but not able do anything. I don't know why I didn't think about that sooner. That makes sense, and I feel even better now. I think I really needed that last night, and maybe the anger was just frustration in being powerless. You always want to be the superdad or superspouse or superson that can take on the world and for most of my adult life (many would argue against me even becoming an adult yet and they have a good point) I have been able to do so. Wow, I really feel better now. That had to be it.

Man this blog thing is really doing the trick. My psycho tells me all the time how great it is. She said I started healing long before Hope even passed by doing it and always feeling whatever was hitting me at the moment. Anyone that reads knows I let it all out when it hits, especially in front of the kids. They need to see that and be able to express themsevles the same way. I think they do and that's part of the reason they are doing so well. I feel like I have a new beginning this morning, a fresh start only 1 year out from knowing for the first time I was going to lose my wife. I think I am going to post this one, I think the readership has fallen off anyway and even some of my best friends and family tell me they can't read it anymore. It was never for anyone else but me and hopefully one day something the boys will be interested in. The day after Thanksgiving I feel like I have so much more to be thankful for then I did yesterday. I love you Mom, feel better and know I'm here as much or as little as you need me to be. Truly, THANKS!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sacrificing Virgins, Mermaid Cake and She-Devil

Now you have to stay tuned with a title like that. It will suck you in like a Dirt Devil, but nothing like a She Devil. I only mention that because one of the comments from the last blog about my pregnancy referenced She Devil. All I could think of was the late 80's movie with Roseanne Barr and if you weren't sure her acting was bad enough on the TV show waste 90 minutes of your life renting this one. Amazingly I remember Meryl Streep even being in it, please explain that combination of casting. I think it's the opposite of when when Rosie O'Donnell was in A League of Their Own (a great movie BTW) because she was such a terrible actress but they had her play an obnoxious gum smacking New Yorker it actually worked. I remember Rosie when she used to host VH1's comedy stand-up show on late night TV and I thought she was horrible back then. Somehow she even competed with Oprah for a bit. Now I would be remiss if I didn't mention Oprah retiring in a year after 25 years. Those of you anywhere near my age don't remember when she wasn't on TV when Donahue was all the rage. I think she actually ate him. I'm sorry that's terrible but because Hope loved Oprah and Kirk Herbstreit more then me I guess I still have lingering anger issues. Of course I thought of her as soon as I heard the news, I'm sure she knew before I did. I actually think she decided to stop haunting me even though she promised to haunt Oprah, Gayle King, and Kirk. Oprah didn't make enough money with Harpo Productions so now it's on to OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. I'll be the first week she breaks every cable TV program record. Goodbye Monday Night Raw and the Closer, hello Oprah which could pass for a professional wrestler. Now in the red corner wearing the pink and I'm every women tights (oooohhhh I shudder at the thought) from Parts Unknown (I think Baltimore actually and don't ask me how I know such useless information, I'm sure Hope tattooed that into my brain) weighing in at 1/6 of a ton (not a stretch for her) the reigning heavy heavyweight champion of money of the world, the Oppulent Oprah.

I started typing this blog last night but just got too tired to finish it so hopefully I'll wrap up tonight. I was inspired by the fact that after I tucked the kids in I did my usual quick conversation with Hope at the top of the stairs before I made my way down. As I passed each picture of Hope and the boys in the house I noticed something. I then started to go into each room out of my way to the Flipside crackers (I really should be getting some royalties from them) and looked at each picture of her with the boys more closely. What I found that really upset me was that the kids looked much younger in every picture. Then I started thinking that all of the pics were back when she was feeling good and doing things with us. That was a really long time ago and even though she passed only in January of this year it really got to me. I was responding to an e-mail from a friend Judy when I just started crying thinking about it. All of a sudden Nathan is standing next to me telling me he's thirsty and then immediately starts telling me he knows why I'm crying, it's okay, and gave me a hug. I'm telling you kids have more sense of their surroundings then any adult.

Another strange thing that happened to me recently was during my monthly non-happy ending because I hate when they're over massage last week, all of a sudden she just got started on my neck and it started to throb. Then the other side started to throb even worse. I started having an anxiety attack and only became more stressed. I then started crying and wasn't even really thinking about Hope. I've had probably a half dozen massages since she passed and nothing like this happened before. I had to ask her to stop, sat up for about 5 minutes or so. and then finally laid back down and was able to continue. That was the most stressed feeling I've had in a long time and it was during a massage! Please explain that one to me.

Thanksgiving weekend 2008 was the worst weekend of my life. Not only did we just horribly suffer through the actual day with Hope not even able to get up and later she admitted she knew the cancer was back but didn't want to ruin the holiday, but that was followed by almost her entire family at our house on Friday to celebrate her birthday early and I was so busy I didn't even notice how poorly she was doing that day, then Saturday morning I realized I had to take her to the hospital. Will and Anna were still in town so they took the kids. We checked into the hospital and by the time they completed all the tests on her and had the results only 6 hours before her 36th birthday before they even spoke I could tell the cancer had taken over and she didn't have long to live. I was so worried about how she'd take it that's all I could think about. I asked for something she could take to calm her down, a doctor and nurse to come in with me, and when I told her she calmly just shook her head and said she knew. She always knew her body best and I don't care what anyone tries to convince any of you in the future if you know something is different then what they tell you don't let them go in the wrong direction. Hope always did that. So this weekend I'm planning on being remorseful some because of last year, but mostly looking forward to starting a new tradition for the three Wisemen. Her birthday is Monday this year and I'm taking the kids out of school and hitting Sea World and hopefully the Gaylord Palms Ice Spectacular or whatever they call it.

This year is still very warm and humid down here. However the other day it was cool enough to open up the house so I started opening all the windows that hadn't since spring of last year. That's when I remembered I had to do the dead frog clean-up. That's when I have to go into each window and dig out the dried up dead frog that somehow got between the screen and window at night but couldn't get out. Come morning they dry out and I get to clean them all up. You've got to love the smell of nepalm (no idea how to spell --- who knows the movie that quote is from?) and dead frogs in the morning. I had to sell my Jeep earlier this year and this is the time of year I miss it most. It was an extended Wrangler with a soft top and there's no better time to have the Jeep on the road. I hope the 16-year old little punk driving it around appreciates it took me 34 years to afford that vehicle. Kids nowadays, that's a whole other blog for another day.

Hope's brother's daughter had her baptism the weekend before last. With all the travel, family reunions, school festivals, birthday parties, etc. we've had over the last month plus I just couldn't make it over to Tampa for the festivities. My sister-in-law I think was worried that I didn't go because it was a religious ceremony. Now please understand and I would love to have a much deeper conversation with anyone about this, but for the purposes of the blog I do believe in God and that God created life, I do believe anyone considering or following a religion should study the history of it before or at least at the same time as the teachings of it, I did not go to church much growing up because Sunday was the one day a week my dad watched us, and I think religion is great for so many people but to date is not an important part of my life. I also don't believe you have to pray to God or go to church to live an angellic life that is positive and helps so many others. Maybe some day that will change, I have been to quite a few churches in my time liking parts of each one, and I do believe anyone that tries to convert others into believing as they believe is a bit narcissistic. Look at the 100's or 1000's of religions across the world and why are you so sure yours is correct and a few billion other humans are wrong? Just something to think about. And one more time because I'm asked this quite a bit, I have no anger toward God at all because of Hope's passing. I don't think God picked her out of the human race and chose for her to have cancer as some kind of example or anything else. At the end all I wanted for her was to pass away so she could leave her failing body and let her spirit be free. I have no anger at all over any of this, just relief now and thanks that it all happened the way it did. She immortalized the strongest soul I will probably ever encounter, but it was her time to move on when she did.

Back to my point, and I do actually have one from time to time. I told Hope's brother and his wife that I have no problem with going to church, attending a religious ceremony, just because I said penis and vagina at Hope's celebration doesn't mean I don't respect churches or their services, and the only ceremony I could think of that I'm against is sacrificing virgins. Don't go wasting a perfectly good virgin for some silly ceremony to honor God. I'm pretty sure he (or she --- that was for you Mom) is either not paying attention or is going to get really pissed at anyone involved in the sacrifice. I do like the fact that after some really long services they let you eat a wafer (or cracker or whatever the proper term is) and drink some wine. I do the same thing when I need God's strenght I eat some Flipsides (come on Nabisco, give me some props) and drink some grape juice as I like to refer to it for the kids.

I am drinking plenty of grape juice during my pregnancy to help the devil child inside me build up strength. I think my hummus and popcorn dinner tonight really helped him and/or her out too. I think I'm starting to show a bit and I just want to thank all of you for not saying anything. There's nothing more uncomfortable then asking a man when they are due with their demon and then finding out they're not even pregnant. I really appreciate the respect you guys show me that way. Unfortunately it's an immaculate conception and no hot chick involved. I bring that up because Nathan one night when he was with my mom said something about hot chicks. Now mind you I never speak like that around him so I have no idea unless he's reading the blog where he heard such a thing. My mom didn't miss a beat though, she asked inquisitively "What do you think a hot chick is?" He immediately answered a pretty woman that men like to loook at. I was blown away by this conversation, his answer was absolutely perfect and he already has so much more class then his dad.

Speaking of hot chicks I was at another kid's birthday party yesterday and I realized my mermaid fetish was out of control. First of all ladies I was very upset none of you showed up with a tail on Halloween to show me a pretty woman that this man would like to look at. Anywho they had a mermaid cake and all I could think about but didn't dare say because none of the parents know me well enough was that scene in the first American Pie movie when Dad walks in on Jason Biggs (Jim Levenstein if memory serves) humping a pie because he was told it was like having sex. I just wanted to try the same to see if that would satisfy my mermaid fetish --- sadly it didn't and by the way I'm no longer allowed within 1200 feet of the Crane Creek park according to the Police report. How can they really enforce that anyway? By the way, that movie launched one of the all-time worst acting careers for Elizabeth Shannon (Nadia) but I'll still see anything she's in rated R. Wow, now that's a woman that men like to look at.

I know this weekend will be tough including Thanksgiving, memories of the worst weekend of my life just one year ago, and Hope's birthday but I'm actually looking forward to it. I was supposed to catch up with a friend tonight but that didn't work out ultimately, tomorrow night I have a friend coming by after the kids go to bed that I haven't caught up with in too long so I'm looking forward to that, Wed night we have a ton of friends/family in town coming her for dinner after we have a pot luck and close the office earlier in the day, Thanksgiving tradition at Mom's, Friday up to FSU/UF game weekend where I get to see if I can track down Kirk Herbstreit because Gameday is going to be there, Sunday back home before taking the kids to Sea World and hopefully the Gaylord Palms on Monday for Hope's birthday. We're busy, having fun, loving life, and even though we have our moments we know Hope is right here with us enjoying it all as well. Let's hope our Noles can keep the game close this weekend and I'm going to have a cookie decorating / please help me decorate my house with Christmas ornaments party like we did last year and Whitney and Tom have to put up the NOEL (spelled NOLE at my house) letters in the front yard.