Sunday, August 16, 2009


Time is such a simple concept, kids get it when they're young, we all rely on it everyday in almost every aspect of our life, and even though it's our single most valuable resource we don't seem to appreciate it enough and so many of us take it for granted. "I'll have time later," "Not now I don't have time," "It's time for bed so stop having fun," and my favorite "time out" like you're stopping time in it's place. The boys normally do that when I'm about to slam them, throw them across the pool, or during an MMA event when Icarly is fighting Shelby Marks she just calls time out and nobody knows if that is against the rules or not. I love blogging, love spending time with the boys, love playing and watching sports, love just hanging with friends in almost any social situation, love seeing and talking to family via phone or even better during visits, and love potato chips, popcorn, movies, the female body, being outside, exercising my brain and what's left of this body, parts of my work, landscaping at home, playing, and most importantly as I tell the boys all the time I love loving. I love when they give me some sugar as Hope always put it.

So this weekend I decided while sitting at a picnic bench with some friends in my neighborhood (more on that later) that I'm not quite going all the way back to the old me but getting pretty close again. I'm done with the staying quiet at home and trying not to do too much shit because it's just not me. Being boring is boring and I'm not boring. I spent all day today working on the pool deck and in the yard while I wasn't playing with the kids and then decided to have an impromptu cookout. I called 5 sets of friends and 4 came over within a few hours (actually a couple had called me earlier in the day and I wanted to call a couple more but just ran out of time), I told them 4:30 to 5 and did not get back from the grocery store until 4:50 PM. Luckily they all know me well enough to not show up on time. We had 17 for dinner on the spur of the moment, and all I had to buy was buns, steak, and green beans. The rest we already had, my recycle bin is full of beer bottles, we ate like kings steak, brats, dogs, mac and cheese, pilaf, and thanks to my neighbors yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Everyone seemed to have a great time and that's just what I love to do. The boys enjoyed, and that's how I want to spend my time.

I have said many times on this blog that 2009 sucks and I just want it over. Hope passed, the economy sucks, I felt overwhelmed at times keeping up with everything, so I just wanted time to pass faster to get to the point that I knew I would feel better and be doing better. Rach was the first to tell me to enjoy the journey more, not concentrate on the finish line. She's right, I don't want 2009 to end, I want it to slow down, and let me catch up with everything I've missed. I want my boys to enjoy themselves and their friends more and most importantly spend more time with me. I rented a movie for the first time since before Hope passed when I was sitting at hospice for days on end and it was I Love You Man, a real bromance as I remember the previews said. It was okay, nothing compared to the Hangover, Fletch, Tommy Boy, the first Naked Gun, A Fish Called Wanda, Wedding Crashers, or any of the other classic comedies. However I could relate to the guy, trying to make new friends, fitting in with a new set of personal circumstances, etc. except for the part when the guy tongue kissed him after dinner. That part I don't relate to yet, but if my lack of success with women continues I might just try switch hitting.

A friend Judy had an awesome idea since my fam and some others are not playing any sports this fall we should just get together and play with our own kids. This last Sat morning was the first ever playground get together and it was great. We played soccer mostly, but brought footballs, frisbees, dodge balls (who doesn't love this sport from my generation, any chance to whiz a ball as hard as you can just for the chance to nail someone in the family jewels --- I remember Mr. Beeker at Audubon Elementary School when I first moved to Florida whizzing the ball as hard as he could at us kids. I remember nailing him at least once as he tried to leap over the ball but it rose because I threw side arm sometimes and I'm not sure if he was able to have kids after that experience.) We played rents against the kids and the kids of course dominated with the exception of a kick from Tom the entire length of the field. Afterwards all of the kids piled into Todd's truck to go about 500 feet to the playground.

Which of course got us onto the subject of when we were kids we all rode everywhere in the back of trucks. My brother even fell out of a truck once on the way to a canoeing trip. He seemed fine, we certainly didn't want that to hold us up from getting up there, and now that I think of it the fall actually explains a lot about his behavior and decision making over the last two decades. Now all you see in the back of trucks is the occasional dog and rent-a-bum day workers on their way to a job. Otherwise, and I'm not sure if it's against the law or not, it just doesn't happen anymore. Hell, you even have to wear a helmet bike riding, skateboarding, scootering (I think I just made up that word), and even horseback riding. Do they wear them sledding, snow boarding, and skiing now too? Pretty soon we'll have to wear them driving, diving in the pool, or playing on the playground. Not in my day, it was I hope you didn't get that shirt dirty when you fell out of the tree.

The other day I had city council meeting so Reese went from babysitter in the morning, to nanny in the afternoon, to Gran in the evening and when Gran was tucking Reese into bed he said the sweetest thing. "Dad did not get to play with me all day" in the most sympathetic voice for me possible. He was worried about me because I did not get to enjoy playing with him. That's exactly how I feel on those types of days as I'm sure all parents do but he actually gets it and put it into words. Amazing! He also said the other day out of the blue that he wants to see mommy when she comes back alive. Now we taught him growing up and I still believe that you leave your body but your soul continues to live and someday you are reborn into a new body but with your same soul. I believe this because I believe we've all had past lives. Now I don't think we were all famous people as so many like to talk about. That got me thinking though, how do I know this will happen, how long does it take if it does happen, does that mean Hope won't possibly be there for me when I eventually pass away, or do we all make up this shit just to make ourselves feel better about the unknown. I can tell you this with all certainty (and if you read my hospice letter or blogs after Hope passed you know it's true) that Hope left this Earth for a much better place the way she looked at me one last time, smiled, and then simply left her body. That moment was unforgettable as she had not opened her eyes in many days, smiled in weeks, and the peacefulness of the moment gave me peace in my heart.

Back to the boys as I wipe away my tears because the monitor is getting foggy, they had a stuffed animal party the other day. They gathered up every stuffed animal in the entire house and put them on the family room couch. They then began collecting my underwear, dirty or clean, from the entire house and started wrapping up the animals in them. They kept laughing and saying the animals like my underwear. So next time you come over and want to help out picking up a stuffed animal you may want to reconsider unless you want to touch my underwear. Now if that is the case please come on over ladies.

Speaking of underwear, the other night Reese was in the bathroom before bed and had pooped but did not ask me to wipe his bum. I asked him about it and he said I didn't need to. So we went back in the bathroom and sure enough he tried a bit to do it himself. Their was toilet paper and poop everywhere, on the toilet, on the floor, in the waste basket, on the rug, etc. I was furious and spent at least 30 minutes cleaning up poop on everything. He just said he did not think he needed to wipe. So I then quizzed him mercilessly about asking for Daddy or whatever safeside adult is with him to help, did you ever do this before ("No daddy, no" repeatedly), what do you do when you start school on Monday (his answer for the record at first was "not tell anybody.") So we went through why it's so important to get help even at school and that when he gets older he'll learn to do it himself and most importantly was to verify once again this was definitely the only time he had done it before ("yes daddy.")

At this point he's 30 minutes late to bed so I take him upstairs and make him pee one last time as we do every night and what do I find in the upstairs bathroom? That's right, but this time it's dried up poop and toilet paper all over the place. Do you have any idea how hard it is to clean up day old dried up poop? Well let me tell you it's that's some hard shit. I'm not sure if I was more mad at the rock hard stick to whatever surface you find poop or the fact that he lied to me about never doing this before. I just lost it, cleaned it all up, tucked him in, and then proceeded to call my neighbor and tell her the entire story. She laughed so hard that I could not help but to calm down. The next day the nanny was changing his bed and found a wadded up pair of underwear under his bed that had dried up poop in it. The nanny deserves a raise already and since I was not drinking anymore I think I pulled enough hair out to look like Ed O'Neill (Al Bundy from Married with Children). By the way I saw a preview for a new show where he plays an old man married to a young hot chick. That's what I'm hoping for, a 25 year-old millionaire temptress with bad eyes and no taste that will sweep me off my feet.

What else? Oh thank you Whitney after my last blog she brought me flipside crackers and triscuits as a thank you for watching her daughter a few different days as she set up her new classroom. One night I didn't feel like cooking so I took her two kids and mine to a restaurant by myself. The five of us had the coolest conversations and one uncomfortable trip to the bathroom because I could not leave any behind and she has one daughter. So there's five of us in the bathroom together, with only one urinal and one handicap stall. Needless to say that's just one more reason I'm glad I don't have a daughter.

If Lynn in Tampa reads this blog, please send me your e-mail address. I intentionally did not respond to your first comment on the blog because you were newly diagnosed and had only read enough of the blog to see when Hope was doing well. You had not read at that point that she did eventually pass away. I cannot respond to comments on the blog and I'd like to talk to you via e-mail or more to see if I can help you or your family in any way. Our situation was very unique, and we learned so much we just want to help others. Please contact me again so maybe we can help you. Hope and I are both in much better places now, and hopefully your family can do much better then us.

Time, I'm out of it for tonight. I really do feel good, like I'm back more then ever, and I'm going to spend my time the way I want to as much as I can. I've followed the path of craziness, boringness, and now I'm seeking out one level below craziness. I'm looking for love in all the wrong places (that should be a country song and probably already is) so I'm going to search inward and play outward with the boys. Time to go, my time is up, timeout, and it's time for me to move on. Hope like I tell you every night, I love you like water, I miss you, I must move on, and I am ready to do that hopefully when time gives me the chance. I'm holding onto the rest of 2009, it's going to be a hell of a fun ride.

Tina freaking call me, Anna/Will get your asses down here and I'm thinking about your neighbor too, Ann-Marie I love you and I need you next weekend to go through Hope's stuff if you're ready, Rochelle it was great to see you even though I know you don't read this, Mom I love you and don't say it enough, Andrea I know you don't read this anymore for your own reasons but I will always be grateful, Gran and Grandmama the boys love you so much and we hope to make a trip up this year to see Grandmama, Rach keep Sister Hazel rocking, Jess and Joe you are about to initiate the most amazing experience of your life and none of us could be happier for the most deserving Mom I've ever known at the same time Pat and Danielle are close to doing the same, Gram and Gramp I still think of you every day and miss you at times as much as Hope, Sarah I think about you all the time too but don't make the connection like I should and there is nothing in this world I regret more, Dad I miss you even though you are still around, Dennis even though I never say it thank you for making Mom happy and giving us security in insecure times, Kurt I love you and you have helped me more then you will ever know, Luke you better get me Adam's e-mail address soon, Domingo and Marianne I'm sorry and I hope you are both in better places now, Shelby and Lauren I think of you guys all the time and wish I could do something to make it easier, Kari I hope you find your happiness in whatever your next adventure brings you, Kris thank you for calling, Maria I'm worried about you and want to help but I'm not sure what I can do (just know I think about you all the time), Christy your visit was inspiring and incredible, Scott and Amy we have to find a way to do it more often (and I have no idea if you guys read this), Whitney thank you for the lists and so much more, and to Natedog and Pieces I love you more than life itself and know that everything I do, I do it for you (I think I stole that line from Bryan Adams or was it Meatloaf --- by the way Hope and my song was Paradise by the Dashboard Lights by Meatloaf, if you don't know it download it and if you haven't heard it in a while play it again). That reminds me of the old BJ (bungee jumping according to Anna) 105 radio station call-outs, which is where I called to play "You're the Inspiration" by Chicago to Karen when we were dating in 5th grade. I still know every lyric to that song. Finally getting back to time, I wish I had more of it with Hope but also everyone else referenced in this e-mail tonight. I love you all and it's time I appreciate that more.

- Just Jake.


Anonymous said...

Yes, it is illegal to ride in the back of a pickup truck. Things have changed since we were kids. Just like the law regarding car seats. However, there are states that do not require helmets, and those are the ones that also have walk-up bars, and kayaks equipped with cup holders for beer. Hawaii and Michigan come to mind right off hand.
It is good to hear you in such high spirits and that you are ready to move on. Time is what you make it. Embrace it, and your time will be full of happiness and no regrets. No matter what challenges you may face in the future, you have overcome the hardest challenge of your life, and have come through it a stronger person. You now have a perspective on life you probably didn't have a few years ago. Maybe you could call it "Wisedome."
Carry on, and know you and the boys are in many thoughts and prayers. You are never alone, and only "time" will tell what is ahead of you.

Jenny said...

Wow. There is so much to respond to in this blog entry, but I'll just say this: You are a cool dude.

I can't believe you referenced BUNJEE JUMPING again after all the commotion it caused last time!

Pam Anderson said...

While living in Kansas I never made my kids wear a helmet while sledding in the snow. The best safety equipment for that adventure was the little loop on the back of my son's jacket; it caught on the bumper of the neighbor's parked car as my son went sliding under. The sled came out the other side and while my son was caught on the front. It was scary, but funny.

You are doing better than you think!

rach said...

I think about time a lot, too, Jakers. How we came up with the concept, and how our daily lives revolve around it. I like to think of our time here not in the normal context of minutes, hours and days, but as in this big, whole time in space and how lucky we are to be experiencing life. Trying to be present as much as possible seems to take the pressure of time away. (I hope I am saying this preggo mind has been acting up lately...and so as Sister Hazel, and at 3 in the morning. I should call you some morning, cause I know you will be up!)

I was thinking about you guys yesterday, as the kids and I were in the pool escaping from the heat(I am not complaining, I love the warmth!) Had a heat wave up North here, and our pool is actually 86 degrees!) Anyhoo, I was thinking about how much time you spend playing with your boys and how lucky they are to have you. I think it is fantastic that Peices "gets it" and thought you were sad that you didn't get to play with him that day.(By the way...I think what he is going through is probably normal with the poopers all over the place...he has always been such a mature kid for his age, and perhaps he is probably trying to figure out how to be independent?)

Stratty is the only one who rides in the back of the truck up here in Maine, and that is because she has had so much fun at Bruce and Renie's and is soaked from her hose-downs(unless riding in the back of the truck from Jess and Joes to Bruce and Renie's counts...and only because the tractor wasn't there to ride over in.)
You are doing great, and it sounds like the boys are as well. Keep it up, they are lucky to have you!
I think it is fantastic how much you appreciate the people in your life and tell them how you feel. It is inspiring!

Jennifer P said...

I'm so glad to hear you are doing well and enjoying your time with family and friends. I hope to see you soon! :-)

Myra said...

You have always been a wonderful Husband and Father. The boys are so lucky to have a Dad that loves and plays with them. So many of us wish we could have had that.

When I think of my girls and what they missed out on in their early years. I want to do so much for them. And you know they get it too. There are many times they say thank you for spending your money on us or I love you just becuase you care.

Love to you and the boys. Hope to see you all soon.

Daddy-O said...

Don't look now but we may be down there next weekend just in "Time" for Labor Day.