My Childhood is a Liar

My childhood was a lie. A big fat lie. Like a lot of kids, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I couldn’t wait to get away from my parents. I couldn’t wait to make all of my own decisions. What happened to the “doing what I want when I want how I want and where I want” adulthood I couldn’t wait to get to?  What happened to that? My childhood was a big fat liar.

I’ve gone on and on about a lot of things that are surprising as we age. Well, I was surprised, anyway.  If last year was the year of children related horrors, this year is shaping up to have a completely different focus.

One of my best friends and favorite people lost her mom last week. She held her hand and loved her until she slowly slipped away. I kept her company with daily texts and support as she was there for me when my mom died. She also remembers the tiny shit show that happened after. We were going to get together at my favorite wine bar a few days ago and raise a glass to our parents and share memories. She had to bail as she had funeral arrangements to handle. I called another friend. When she arrived, she announced she had just come from her Stepdad’s funeral. We spent the evening discussing her trials. Then this morning, another close friend has lost a parent.

This is another ugly chapter in adulthood. While I can usually find the silver lining, it kind of sucks. You spend all this time growing up, getting a job, getting married, building a family, getting a divorce, building a new life and you are just about to enjoy your adulthood, when all hell breaks loose.  I was making plans for a fun retirement, and I may be caught up in a few things that will impede that fun. And, chances are, by the time I am done with all of that…I will be ready to attend the funeral I have already picked the music for. Yes, I have really chosen the music for my memorial/party, whatever. Have you heard some of the crap that plays at funerals?  If I hear Bette sing about being a bird again, I might lose it. And, while some of the other traditional songs are beautiful, they are just not my style. Besides, why on earth would I want the same songs from everybody else’s funeral?

My dad’s health is failing and his memory is going, going, almost gone. He has lost his will, I think and that is the hardest thing for me. Who can blame him, he has no siblings left and most of his friends are gone? His closest relative is his cousin and both are in such poor health, it is unlikely they will see each other again. He is in constant pain and spends many hours “doctoring.” He no longer resembles that Dad I had, physically or mentally. I’ve been grieving him a little bit for a long time. I’m completely okay with his decisions and plans. And, if he is ready to go, I must let him. He has taught me so many things in life, I guess now he is teaching me to die. Even though some of the best lessons he taught me are how to live.

I know this is a normal occurrence. I do. Your parents should die first. I am lucky to have had my dad for so long. But, now is the ugly stuff: dying, death, funerals, wills, estate settling, and a long (hopefully) future without any parents. I have never been “Daddy’s little girl.” I wasn’t spoiled like that. But, we have spent most of my adulthood very close. Who will I call when I don’t know what to do? The tears just started…so, done with this line of thought.

So many things have turned out be be lies. Next, I suppose, you will tell me that my face won’t freeze that way and I can get sick from not wearing a coat. 

I have started 20 blogs about the last few weeks. But, I can’t seem to get everything organised. So, I’m just going to throw out there where I am. And, oh yeah, I need an assistant.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!!!

Happy New Year!! 2016 had some tough moments……..but, for me, the bloodshed started in early December, 2015 with the death of Scott Weiland.  My friend and I discussed our shock at the time. His death was unexpected, but not surprising, really.  We discussed how you never really know anything. All the platitudes are true…..”you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone, only the good die young, the future is not promised, each day is a gift”…blah, blah…..I could go on…but, you get it. Anyway….it seemed like only a few days later when Lemmy died. That hurt too. We knew he was sick….just hoped he would dominate it like he dominated metal. And, then in early 2016…Bowie….okay….now it was starting to feel personal…my childhood was dying.  Okay….not really…..how can I explain?  Let’s see….if I were the type of person to record meaningful personal life events on my body…..I would have tats with all of these people for one reason or another. (Of course, the first one would have been of Andy Gibb….but, I digress.)

I know it is not rational to mourn the loss of people you don’t know….but, each of these people touched me in some way that I found significant.  We grew up together.  Or, it felt like we had. So…while I did not cry or attend funerals or memorials….I was sad. Noticeably sad. And, then …Glenn Frey.  RUFKM?  The Eagles is the one band to share one thing……my mother, my daughter and I are all big fans. I remember long road trips with my mom listening to that greatest hits 8 – track over and over and over…..(which is a joke, because 8 – tracks never ended or stopped……more digression.)

So…..this was getting ridiculous.  ( I am not going to go through the whole list…so, stick with me……) The Eagles were on my bucket list. I had missed their most recent tour due to funds and a promise to “go no matter what” next tour.  Well, damn. Not sure if they would tour or not now……but, I am kind of a purist.  You need to have the essence of the band there…..(at the very least) or I won’t go. The Eagles are not the Eagles without Glenn Frey. This made me sad and angry (at people, money, divorce, courts, etc) and not sure what else. It is at this precise moment in time that I find myself at some silent fundraising auction.  And, there on the table is a guitar….signed by most of the Eagles (Okay….more purist…no Randy Meisner….now I have ventured into music minutiae for most of you….) and NOBODY is bidding on it. I have had 2 super strong but very tasty drinks on an empty stomach.  I think it is my job to start the bidding….just to get it rolling…but, surely…..someone will outbid my tiny little $1800 in order to own this piece of American history?  Surely.  

Ha!  I am definitely not Shirley. Nobody outbid me.  And, I didn’t care. I missed their concert dammit…I was getting the damn guitar…because NOBODY OUTBID ME!!! (I don’t have $1800 laying around to buy a $200 guitar with sharpie marks on it. I don’t have $18 laying around for the same thing.) I had buyer’s remorse for a little bit….but, I really got to thinking……..I could have gone to the show and taken my mom and daughter for less than I paid for that damn guitar.  Which would have been great for many reasons but, mostly because my Mom has passed since.

So…….I decided.  Life is short. Enjoy it. Eat dessert first……blah blah….Okay really…..if there is something I want…..I spend a little time evaluating my level of want, cost, etc.  If I will regret not going…then, I need to bite the bullet and find a way to make it happen (whatever it is….concert, dinner, trip, shoes, shot glasses, whatever).  

It is at this precise moment in time that I find myself at work, reading a review of the most recent GNR show in Las Vegas.  I had thought it was a one time reunion.  I was incorrect. They were on tour.  Well, hell…..tickets must be sold out, right?   No, they were not. I could score some fairly good seats in the next 2 minutes for the low low low cost of $275.

Each.

You have to buy 2. So you don’t have to sit and experience this alone.

Even if you have no one to take.  Well…that isn’t fair……I have plenty of people to take….but, who will appreciate it $275 worth? And, don’t forget driving, parking, food, drinks, dinner…….(I skipped the souvenir….hahaha). But, $275 EACH?  WTF?  And I was under pressure….because I just knew if I didn’t buy tickets right this minute…they will sell out and there will never be another tour and, and, and…..well.  I bought them. Life is short.  And, then I called the one person in the world I thought would not think I was out of my mind. He works in radio, is a musician, lover of music, and manages bands and organizes tours. His reply, “We were just discussing this at work…..what does the person look like that would spend that much money to see that band?”

Me….that stupid person would look like me. I blamed it on Glenn Frey and the damn guitar.

It really has been on ongoing process for me. For the last few years, I have been giving up expectations, setting goals, and being thankful for EVERYTHING!  People probably think I’m the village idiot..walking around happy all the time with a big dumb grin on my face….but, I don’t care.  I’m happy. I’m not judging.  I still get disappointed and sad…but, not as often.  Seems when you spend so much time being thankful and working towards goals, that is what happens……you are happy and content.  Well.  That is what happened to me. Not everyday is a warm sunny beach. But, the beach, on a crappy day, is still the beach. And, I LOVE the beach.

And, that is the very long explanation for why I didn’t hate 2016.  I had a great year. I was thankful for all experiences…I achieved some goals…….I sat around thinking how happy I was.  Have I discovered the key? The key to being happy?  I am a fairly happy person anyway. But, this year…..I am sooooo happy. 2016 cut my childhood away in tiny little slices…..and, then it died. Maybe it needed to. Maybe because of all of this. Or in spite of it, I became more present this year. AWESOME!