Wednesday, December 15, 2004

NY Journal # 21

Wednesday, December 15, 2004
I dont really
want to talk about it... which, of course means that i probably will. you know me well enough to know that much.
how many times have i said something like that, though? seriously. why do i write about anything? sometimes i really wonder. catharsis? sure, maybe, whatever. self-therapy...? ya, ok. but why do i subject anyone else to it? some of you may be asking that too (seriously, honestly, truly... if you do, ask me to take you off the list, i swear i wont be offended in the slightest). why not just write about happiness and smiles, or "flowers... and butterflies" (Ms. Drew Barrymore's favorite things)...? if only life were so singularly pleasant.
Maybe just an overview then.........
The week out west sucked. a lot. as expected. my dad was really not taking it well... a lot. as expected. very understandable, of course.
A friend of mine said of times like this, you have to be a parent to your parent[s]. And so I did. I have to say that that really got me through a lot of it. Trying to help my dad through his grief let me rise above my own, for the most part.
Sadly.. (or not) though, I found out I'm not a robot. And not being a robot, I -am- prone to grieve and mourn. To paraphrase something my dad said, the sadness comes from the lost potential my mom couldn't use, the years she should have had left. She was 58, fourteen years younger than my dad. She had future wives to meet and grandchildren to play with. She was a year away from retiring with my dad to Hawaii.
The funeral.. was... nice. is that the right word? The church it was held in is a replica of Christ Church in Boston, the Paul-Revere-lantern-signal church announcing the British were coming. Is that significant? no, not at all, but having been to the original in Boston, it was strangely reassuring... somewhat comforting in it's... structural familiarity. if that makes any sense.
My mom is entombed (or "encrypted"?) at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills, a hundred or so feet from Betty Davis, Liberace, Benny Goodman, Albert Brocolli (the James Bond producer guy) & some other formerly famous folks. Not that any of them benefit from their proximity to eachother of course, but it was enough to have gotten a "hmmph.. interesting" out of me.
The service itself was... nice. really hard to take, but nice. A close family friend, my mom's cousin and a close friend/coworker of my mom gave eulogies. All very, very nice. All reducing me to tears.
Luckily for me, the only things to truly break me down.. to tears at least, were the eulogies and a photo/video project that one of our family friends is putting together. Something about being confronted with the visual reality of my mom's life was overwhelming, to say the least. Photos of her as a kid, as a teenager, as someone my age. As a girl, as a wife, as my mom... It's interesting how you can project a sadness into the eyes of the people you lose.
Soooooo... I took home a sweatshirt of hers, her jewelry box, a few items of her jewelry to give to my future wife or daughter. Oh and my bible. Ya, you read that right. My bible from the Lutheran school my brother and I attended. My bible that... had a Garfield bookmark in it. Ya, i was a dork.
Soo... ya.. Whatcha gonna do? what's there to say really..? a very sad week. a very not fun week. a long painful ramble down memory lane. Not so much a ramble really, more like running a gauntlet, getting kicked in the shins along the way. no flowers and butterflies. no sunshine and rainbows.
And yet, in rememberance, we still managed to laugh and smile at times. We joked and told stories. We were consoled by others and consoled eachother. We lost a linchpin of our family. To be sorely, sorely missed, without a doubt. Like I couldn't have even imagined. But somehow... in some way,... call it gravitational cohesion... the family orbit tightens.

Friday, December 17, 2004
And now for something completely different........
my brother, who maintains recently made point to this page. if that is not the coolest, i dont know what is.
° in the 1960's, my dad was recruited by the CIA but turned them down. Ya. these are obviously the kinds of stories you hear and think "ok, how in the hell did i never hear THAT one before??" i mean, seriously. while in college, my dad was a big organizing factor in an Iranian/American-college-student group that hosted the Shah of Iran twice during his visits. He and his group also went to Iran and met with him at his presidential palace... the Shah apparently illuminating the merits of bringing their educations back to Iran and making Iran a better, smarter country. This I knew about... but CIA recruitment?
° 33° on Tuesday, 34° on Wednesday, 37° on Thursday, 29° today. puddles in the street are frozen (the ones that are water, at least. ahem) Snow cant be too far away. I'm practicing my giddy, snow induced giggling. I'm also simulating the formation of snowballs so my muscles aren't shocked by lack of the physical memory of how to do it. With Elizabeth not here though, I'm going to have to be throwing them at strangers and then turning around quickly to pretend like I've done nothing.
° my dad told my brother and I a story about how he had been driving in Northern California years and years ago, when a truck in front of him kicked up a rock and smacked the windshield of his car, causing a huge crack. that happens all the time, I know. Jump forward a few years, to driving in Arizona with an Iranian friend of his - my dad starts telling his friend about years ago, driving down a freeway, when a rock got kicked up and hit the windshield "right here" to which he points at the center of the windshield. Just as he did that, a rock hit the windshield exactly where he was pointing and cracked that windshield.
° My favorite comedy in the world at the moment is Mike Tyson quotes. He is quite possibly the most ridiculous, most hilarious crazy man in the world.
° Revelation Space is -still- the best book ever. I'm almost done with it, dont worry, I'll stop trying to get everyone to read it soon. (and probably start pushing the 2nd of the trilogy : )
° my 2nd christmas in New York. hmm. another birthday in NY. hmm. i already want to skip them both. luckily I have plans for xmas eve. sadly i have none for my b-day. might do a drink or two with a few friends Sunday eve. or might just stay in and watch fifteen movies, back to back. or i will go on a wild Denny's goosechase, getting as many free b-day meals as I can stomach.

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