Sigh. And Then Sigh Again.

So. I said I wasn’t going to blog about my youngest brother anymore. I lied. Because here I am again. Maybe this is the last time I’ll use this space to discuss him – who knows?

~ ~ ~ ~ picture it, Christmas Day 2013 ~ ~ ~ ~

Christmas Day I get a text from my Mom. It’s a picture actually. Of my brother, his wife, and their two children. I think “oh, isn’t that nice, they sent my Mom a pic so she could see the kids.” But wait. I recognize the background. The picture is of them outside of my Grandma’s house. In Los Angeles. California.

So I text my Mom back the only thing I could “uh, is that X and his people? In California? At Grandma’s?????”

Yep, sure was.

My Mom said she walked in my Grandma’s house, said a general “hey, Merry Christmas y’all, let me put these cheesecakes down” and then she thought she saw my brother, but figured she was tripping.  So she went in the kitchen, put the cheesecakes down, came back and stood in front of my brother and said ” X is that you?” “Yes. How are you mother?” Here we go with this ultra formal foolishness…

Anyhoo, turns out that my brother called my Grandma’s house one day about a week earlier and my uncle answered the phone and told my brother that Grandma was in the hospital. Which he would’ve known if he, oh, I don’t know, talked to his family….So from what we gather, they decided to take a week’s vacation and spend it in California checking in on my Grandma and playing tourists when not visiting at the hospital. Back to Christmas – my mom and dad tried to engage him in conversation, he wasn’t having it, nor was his wife. They were polite, but distant. My Mom did say the kids are really sweet and friendly. So there’s that. At some point my Mom asked if they were planning on coming to the house. “No.” Sigh.

After about an hour, they wished everyone a Merry Christmas and rolled out. My Mom says she didn’t see him anymore while they were in CA. My Grandma or aunt would say “X and his family came by today,” but the extent of his visit with my parents was that 60 minutes or so on Christmas Day. (I told my Mom a few years back I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he’d done something along these lines – in and out without contacting them – guess I was right)

~ ~ ~ ~ Fast forward to Friday, January 3 ~ ~ ~ ~

My Mom calls and lets me know my Grandmother died. She asks me to call my brothers and let them know. So I call Brother 1 and tell him. Brother 2 doesn’t answer, so I call Brother 3 (X) who, of course, doesn’t answer. Brother 2 calls back and I give him the news. Then I tell him that I tried to call X and let him know, but dude didn’t answer and I didn’t want to leave a VM or send a text to tell him Grandma’s died. So Brother 2 says he’s just gonna call X at work and let him know. Which is what he does. About 10 minutes later my phone rings “This is X. I’m returning your call.” Sigh. “Dude. I was just calling to let you know about Grandma. But I know you know, so really, that’s all.” So he asked about my family and I asked about his. Then I told him I’d call him back with the details about the services, or if he preferred I’d send a text. And that’s when he tells me he’s not going to the funeral – he saw Grandma alive and has no interest in attending her funeral. I say okay, take it easy, and the conversation ends.

~ ~ ~ ~ Fast forward to today ~ ~ ~ ~

I just don’t care anymore. If we talk, we talk. If we don’t, we don’t.

At the same time, I do still pray for reconciliation between him and the rest of us.

I pray that God not harden my heart toward my brother.

I wish he and his family the best. I pray for them just like I pray over my other brothers, SILs, nieces and nephews.

I can’t believe he’s not coming to the funeral. I know some people don’t “do” funerals and I get that (but not really), and I know my Grandma doesn’t care if he’s there or not, but I think it’s disrespectful not to attend when you have the means to do so.

I think I’ve gone through most of Kubler-Ross’ 5 stages of grief when it comes to my brother and his self-imposed exile from the family – denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. I most surely have not been depressed over  his antics.

I’m 41. X is 30. I do know that life has a way of handing your ass to you in ways you’d never expect and that he’d better pray to God above that his family never hurts him the way he’s hurt his.

And that’s all I’ve got.

92

As you may remember, I went home in mid-December to check on and visit with my Grandma. She’d had a heart attack and while I had plans to go home this summer for a week or two, I thought that I’d better go on home and see about her – and I’m so glad I did! We had a great time visiting, she was doing well – for a 92 year old who’d just had a heart attack or two – and in good spirits.

Well, about a week after I came home, she was rushed back to the hospital as she’d had another heart attack. They’d treated her, released her and she was home. I told both of my parents that I wasn’t too pleased with the care she was receiving in the hospital – they released her even though she was having horrible chest pains.  On Friday my mother called me and told me my Grandma was unresponsive, the paramedics were at the house working on her, and they (my parents) were getting ready to head into L.A. to check on her. When my phone rang about 15 minutes later, I knew. It was my mom letting me know that my Grandma didn’t make it. Even though I’d been expecting the news, it took the wind out of me and I sat at my kitchen table and cried into the mug of tea I’d just brewed to calm my nerves.

So now LG and I are getting ready to fly home to celebrate my Grandma’s life. And celebrate we will! Though it hurts to no longer have her here with us, I can’t be too sad for too long. My Grandma lived a long, happy, blessed life and blessed so many people during her 92 years on earth. My mom remarked the other day that she just realized she had her “mother-in-love” longer that she had her own mother (46 years vs. 40).

My Grandma lived in South Central L.A. She lived there before it was “the hood,” during the gang wars of the 80s and 90s and while my parents begged and pleaded with her many many times – particularly after my Grandpa died – to move out to suburbia with them, she always refused and said “when God gets ready to call me home, he’ll find me at 53rd and Broadway.” And that, is exactly where she was when she was called home.  She died like she lived – on her own terms and that makes my heart happy.

RIL Grandma!

 

 

Jackson, Memphis, Dallas, SoCal, …and Back!

So, at the last minute I decided I needed to go home and check on my Grandma. I started looking at ticket prices and the only numbers popping up on my screen were $979, $1125 and other such nonsense.

I said “Look God. I want/need to go home and see my granny. And I need this to happen for about $300. So I went to Price.line, put in $300 and the next thing I knew, my trip was booked. I did a happy praise dance right there in my office!

Thursday I worked half a day, then hopped in my car and drove to Memphis (cheap tickets aren’t always the most convenient…). After battling Memphis traffic I found myself at Psonya’s home where I chilled, watched Scandal, learned that those little Hawaiian roll sandwiches floating around on Pint.erest really are quite tasty, and slept.

Friday, I got up early in the morning and flew out. After a quick layover in Dallas, I was back in SoCal grinning in my mama’s face. We went home, hung around with my dad and middle brother (he came in from AR), shopped a little and then headed to L.A.to see my Grandma. She was surprised and happy to see me. I was happy to see her and find that she was doing soooo much better than she had been earlier in the week. We visited for a few hours, went to Roscoe’s for chicken/waffles, then back to the house.

Saturday my brother – who is training for a marathon – suggested that since it was his off day from running we all take a little walk. Cool? Cool. Except. I put on yoga pants, a tshirt and the only tennis shoes I packed – my Chuck Taylors. My dad came out of his room with hiking boots, a walking stick, water strapped around his waist, a hat, and shades. Sir. Where are you going?!?!? We all walk outside and he makes a move toward the car. My brother shouts “it’s a set up, don’t get in the car!!!!” Like a fool I get in the car. My dad drives us to some mountain trail where we proceed to hike up and down a trail for the next hour. -_-. I can’t believe I fell for the okey doke. But, it was a good little hike and as soon as I get the feeling back in my legs I’ll let you know. Brother and I then went to In-N-Out for burgers. I will fall off my “no beef” bandwagon for them! Straight hometown nostalgia. My mom and I then went and got Thai massages. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Thai massages are the bomb! Now, they’re not really relaxing affairs – those folks stretch and pull and knead you all kinds of ways. Gives new meaning to the phrase “hurts so good.” But when they finish? Whew Lawd! Greed dictated that I stop by Taco Nazo and have one fish taco, which I did. I was still full from my burger, but I had to have one! Then back to L.A. to visit my Grandma – at home! That’s right, they released her from the hospital and she’s back at the house. She’s happy about it as are we all! Only God knows what tomorrow holds, but right now, all is well in my world and for that I am thankful! Thank you for your prayers!

Sunday we got up at the crack of dawn, headed to the airport and two flights and a three point five hour drive later I was back home. So glad to see Smoochy and LG! Smoochy left for work about minutes after I got home, I think LG caught me up on how she’d spent her weekend and the next thing I knew, my alarm was going off and it was time to get back into the swing of things.

How was your weekend?

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Psonya & Aidan!

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Roscoe’s! (Not as tasty as it used to be. I hate when that happens!)

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My brother. The most hot chocolate drinking grown man I’ve ever known!

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Before our “walk!”

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In-N-Out. That’s what a hamburger’s all about!

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Un taco pescado por favor. Muy delicioso!

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Until next time!

-_-

Saturday morning LG and I went to the grocery store good and early. I wanted to get in, get out, and hunker down in my toasty warm house the rest of the weekend.

Now. I am not a big purse carrier. I carry a crossbody bag at the most and just keys and a card or two at the least. Saturday I had my crossbody on with my puffy jacket over it. This is important…

LG and I are standing looking at something when she scoots closer to me and whispers something. I don’t hear her, so I ask her to repeat herself.

LG: Mama. Why are you standing like that?

Me:  Standing like what? What are you talking about?

LG: You know, with your nuts poking out like that.

Me:  WHAT?!?!?!?

LG: When you stand like that your nuts poke out.

Me:  Dear God.

Me:  LG. First of all, I don’t have nuts.  Girls and women don’t have nuts. Boys and men do. But wait! Don’t call them nuts. They’re called testicles. And that’s my purse poking out from my jacket, not my alleged nuts. Why are we having this conversation? God help me. Who have you been talking to about nuts? I mean testicles? Do you know that’s not considered polite conversation? You can get in trouble for saying that. Lord. I’m rambling….

LG: My bad.

Seriously?

I have a 21 year old second cousin (I’ve never met her) who is currently 5 months pregnant. She’s my cousin’s daughter and was given up for adoption when her grandmother who cared for her (my aunt) died. Get all that? Okay, good. Anyhoo, she and my mom (her great aunt) have been trying to establish a relationship…

So. She’s 5 months pregnant and somehow or another she invites my parents over to her apartment. Where she has nothing. No furniture, no dishes, no paper goods, nothing. My parents, being the lovely people that they are, offer her a bed, a set of dishes, a table and two chairs. My mom also tells her she has plenty of friends with a lot of stuff they want to get rid of and she would ask them for things if she’d like. This chick tells them she “doesn’t do used, so no thank you.” My parents were like “Okaaaaaay…you sure?” She tells them yes, she’s sure. She has standards. In addition to not doing used, she wants things that match – a bedroom suite, a coordinated living room set, etc. etc. Alrightie then.

I guess this is where I should mention she has no money, no car, lost her last job and is currently selling Cut.co knives making $15 for each presentation. So far she’s made 3 presentations. To my mom and two of her friends.  I’ll do the math for you – she’ll have $45 whenever she catches the bus to go pick up her check.

I shall also mention that in addition to  saving up for an apartment full of new furniture, she also has her eyes on an iPad. Ma’am. You finna have a baby. Get your life.

Fast forward to yesterday (when she did the Cut.co presentation to two of my mom’s friends). My parents repeat the offer to help with furnishings. She turns them down again. Not only does she not do used, but there’s no way she could sleep in “that little bed.” My mama was like “you do know you’re sleeping on the floor right now, right? You are 5 months pregnant – it’s not going to be easy to sleep on and get up off the floor pretty soon.” Girl declines again. My mama must really be mellowing out, because I can’t believe she’s offered help as many times as she has. My mama? Naw. Now we are not a cussing yelling screaming people. But we know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em and when to walk away. So surprised my mom hasn’t bounced!

So. My mom offers the girl some lunch. The girl accepts. Then says “wait. I forgot y’all don’t eat meat. Are we going to the store?” My mother (who I may nominate for sainthood!) was like naw, we are not going to the store. I can make you a sandwich – peanut butter or   tuna. Then. Oh yes, there’s a then – the girl says…are you ready…”what kind of tuna?” Girl, is you crazy?!?!?

Somehow the child is still alive. My mama (!!!) says “so, we just bought a new set of dishes. We have boxed up the old set, would you like them? They’ve been on the back porch, so you’d need to wash them off, but they’re really nice dishes.” The girl then asks my mom if SHE has gloves so that SHE – my mama – can wash the dishes before she accepts them. Bwahahahahahahaha!

My mom says “look. I’ve been trying to deal with you like you are a child. But I see I’m going to have to talk to you woman to woman. I don’t care what you do. I don’t care if you take the furniture or sleep on the floor the rest of your life. Take the dishes or don’t take the dishes – I care not at all. I’m not washing a darn thing. Eat or don’t eat. Drink all the juice you want and end up with gestational diabetes (my mom told her to ease up on the juice/increase water intake). I’m through.”

Then the child asked her for bus fare. My mom gave her a ten.

You already know she asked for change right?!?!?!?

iCannot with these dumb arse youth of today. I simply cannot.

Really dude?

Almost as soon as LG and I pulled into the garage today Smoochy ran out, told us how glad he was to see us and told us he’d just heard & downloaded a new song he thought we’d both like.

That “new” song? Blurred Lines by Robin T.hicke.

Sir. You are late as all get out. But you’re right – we both like it and to prove how much, we shook a tail feather right there in said garage.

So good to be home!

This Is The Part No One Tells You About

Just when I think I’ll have nothing to discuss with y’all on a lovely Monday morning my child comes through for me. And when she comes through? She comes through!

Being the responsible, electronics savvy parent that I am, when I gave LG my old iPod I set it up to where she cannot buy/download any apps, music, etc. without me entering my password ’cause that’s what good parents do, right? Riiiight.

So Saturday afternoon LG comes bouncing into my room and asks me if she can buy an episode of a TV show. I tell her we need to check her iTunes balance and if she has enough money, she sure can. We check her balance, she’s got $5, the episode costs $2.99. I confirm that’s really how she wants to spend her money and I get ready to enter my password.

Except that I accidentally hit a button which takes me back to a search page in the app store. And in that little space where you type in what you want to search for – I guess technically it’s called the search bar -  I see this:  g a y s e x.

Let that marinate for a minute. Your minute is probably going to be more pleasant than mine was ’cause I’m pretty damn sure I stopped breathing during the moment I took to gather myself.

So I say…”so, er, ah, LG, about this in your search bar…uh, er, what’s that all about?”

She says: “Oh, I think that’s just something I searched for when I was like 3 or 4.”

I say: “Yeah…except you didn’t have this iPod when you were 3 or 4, so I’m pretty sure you’re not telling the truth.”

She says: “Oh, well, I may have looked for it when I was 8.”

I say:  “You’re 8 now LG.”

She says: “Oh, well then that’s probably something I just searched for.”

Hot damn.

Me:  “Why were you searching for g a y s e x?”

Her: “Some kids at school were talking about it, and I didn’t know what it was, so I was researching it like you tell me to do when I want to know more about something.”

Jesu Christo I need a drank!

Me: “Well, okay. But if you have any questions about s e x – of any kind – you need to ask me or Daddy. Those kids at school don’t know what they’re talking about and that’s not the kind of thing you want to learn from the internet or an app. So you need to talk to us. Okay?”

Her: “Yeah, okay. Do you want me to ask my questions now or when I’m a little older?”

Where’s my damn drink? Didn’t I say I needed a drink?!?!?!

Me: “You should ask questions whenever you have them. Do you have any questions now?”

Her: “No ma’am. I’m good. But if I think of some I’ll ask you. Thanks!”

And off she skips down the hall to watch an episode of some damn D.isney show while I need a drink, prayer, and a sabbatical.

This is the part no one tells you about when it comes to parenting! Oh sure, lots of advice about which bottle to use (Avent), how to burp a baby (small circles with a little pressure), and where to send them to preschool (God’s best little Christian school) but no one ever told me one damn thing about talking to an 8 year old about g a y s e x.

Jerks!

…and if there’s any part of you that wants to say “hey Nerd Girl, technically y’all didn’t talk about g a y s e x…” don’t. Mmmkay?

 

 

Summertime and the Living is Easy

  • I get hype for summer every year! And then I remember I’m a grown woman who doesn’t get two months off from anything. Boo!
  • LG’s last day of school was Thursday and much like her mama, she is hype for summer and all of the activities that it brings – we’ve already been to the pool once and since I was going to have to do her hair anyway, she spent most of yesterday splashing herself with the water hose.
  • Saturday we went to a cookout at Smoochy’s uncle’s house. Man, look, we had all kinds of fun! I rode a four wheeler – that thing was awesome! I laughed the whole time I was on there. I see why people love them so. LG took a ride or 5 and now of course, Smoochy wants one. Nah man.
  • I also managed to find a hula hoop and got some serious hooping in. I had so much fun that I ran out and bought myself a new, weighted hula hoop. I plan on whittling this midsection on down!
  • LG spent most of Saturday night playing with crawfish. I don’t think she realized they were going to be a part of her dinner later on :)
  • Smoochy was home Saturday, most of Sunday (he did a quick run to LA), and until about 6:00 yesterday. Nice!
  • The 100 black men of Jackson are doing free swim lessons for the kiddos this summer. Thank y’all very kindly! Wish they were doing free ones for adults as well. I have got to get my swimming game up to par.
  • My goal this year was to read all the books I have in my Kindle app. Not sure that’s going to happen since I’ve got over 100 books in there and have only finished 30 and we’re halfway through the year.
  • I don’t know why every weekend can’t be a three day weekend. I promise I can get all my work done in 4 days.
  • What reader are y’all using for blogs now? My job is cracking down (again) on extracurricular websites and a lot of  blogs are blocked :(
  • Bought the cutest striped maxi dress at Target Thursday. Thinking about going back and getting it in every available color.
  • My brother called me the other day and sounded slightly winded. Turns out he’s getting in shape for our upcoming vacay – my dad – bless his heart – will not so subtly point out when one is getting a little thick around the middle and aint nobody got time for that! I laughed. And then told my brother I’d been thinking the same thing and stepped my workouts up a notch!
  • Anyhoo, how was your weekend? What’s your favorite part of summer?

 

crawfish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, she is good and well terrified of new experiences…or not :)

ride

11 + 3…It’s Our Anniversary!

Happy 14th Anniversary to Brother Smooch and me!  :)

Right before he walked me down the aisle out the patio doors, my father told me he thought I’d chosen well. I do so agree!

Through it all, I have been incredibly blessed to have my sweet, loving husband by my side. I pray that God continues to bless us and our marriage.

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