judecorp: (love doesn't hurt)
It's my fifth fatherless Father's Day. Here is a picture of my father dancing with my Jennifer at my brother's wedding.



I think he would have dug Punk. (Who doesn't, really?)
judecorp: (mini me)
Happy birthday, Dad.
judecorp: (downcast)
So Father's Day is next weekend, and I'm finding myself at a bit of a loss.

It's been four years now since my father died, and now it's been two months (yesterday) since my grandfather died. I am so used to at least celebrating /something/ for Father's Day, and now what? It's been four years since I bought anything for my father, and now I don't even have to scout around for that perfect gift for Grandpa. Super sad.

Jen's father is alive (and well), but I don't usually take responsibility for that - she usually gets a card or whatever and I always concentrated on my side of the family. And I can't imagine not having Punk do some little Father's Day thing. I'm sure they will make something at day care (not sure; we started after Father's Day last year) and then what do we do with it?

My mother has been married to a man for 24 years. I do not consider him a father figure. Is that odd? This man has been in my life for 24+ years. I have never called him my step-father, only my "mother's husband." I did not live with them. I did not spend a ton of time with him. I saw my mother on Saturdays and John was often working. He was not parental; it was not his thing. He refers to himself as "Poppa John" WRT Punk. (Not to be confused with the pizza, I suppose.)

Should I send him something from Punk? I didn't last year. I have never sent him anything Father's Day related from myself. But when it comes to my side of the family now, he is the only grandfather-ly person Punk has.

That feels so odd to me. Fatherless on Father's Day. Punk has always been fatherless and I know how to deal with that, because we planned for that... but not for me.

Phooey.
judecorp: (invisible sandwich)
1. I always imagined that when my grandparents started to "show their age," my father and I would be there to support each other. Whoops on that one.

2. Jen got Punk to day care this morning and all of the doors were locked, and the day care provider wasn't answering her phone. We were really worried about her, as she is super responsible and that is just not like her. Jen took Punk to her job temporarily and I left work to go and get her. When I got her home, I checked the voicemail and there was a message from her husband at 6:30am saying that she was sick and needed to close the day care today. Whoops!

~//~

And an un-bummer:

When I got to Jen's job, I could hear Punk chattering away, so I followed the sounds to Jen's classroom. Punk was sitting on a swivel-chair in a row of students, colored pencils in her hand and streaming video from PBS Sprout on the monitor in her station. She had already eaten Jen's cottage cheese and one of Jen's student's banana. So umm, needless to say, she really didn't want to leave to come home. Heh.
judecorp: (downcast)
Yesterday my dad would have turned 61 years old. Happy birthday, Dad.

The thought of him never getting to be a grandfather never gets easier.

Three years

Jun. 2nd, 2008 07:29 pm
judecorp: (downcast)
Yesterday was the third anniversary of my father's death. I can't believe it's been three years already. So much has changed in those three years, it's amazing.

It's so surreal to think that three years ago, my brother and I were looking through a catalog of coffins to find one to bury my father in. A catalog. More like a binder, really. The funeral home director is a family friend and she was extra nice about everything, but it was still the most bizarre and surreal experience ever, trying to find a casket that would suit my father's taste and personality, even though he was dead.

Sometimes I still get the urge to call him. He hasn't been listed in my cell phone for a really long time, but the idea just comes to me out of nowhere sometimes, which makes sense because I tended to call him at random about this or that.

I still can't believe he will never ever ever get to spend time with my daughter.
judecorp: (downcast)
My dad would have been 60 years old today.

Happy birthday, Dad.
judecorp: (mini me)
It's World Series time again, baby.

Times like this, I really miss my dad. He would have LOVED the Indians/Sox games (he was a closet Indians fan because he liked underdogs, I guess; I also think he liked their politically incorrect hat) and he would be psyched about another Series run.

I hope you can still watch, Dad.

Two years

Jun. 1st, 2007 09:18 am
judecorp: (downcast)
Two years ago last night I did one of the most difficult things I've ever done - I signed my father's DNR. I spent that night completely unable to sleep, so sure the phone was going to ring with "the news" before my brother could get into town. I think at one point, while I was signing, I actually told the witness on the DL that my brother was scheduled to come the next afternoon, so, you know, they could, you know.

But we didn't get the call, and Dad held on until Rick got to spend a couple of minutes in the room, which was and still is a great source of comfort to me. They didn't always have the greatest of relationships and I just didn't want things to go down that way. Dad and I were always closer, I suppose, than Dad and Rick, and in fact, I couldn't really stay in the room at all when he was in the ICU because every time I was around, he got incredibly agitated. I was worried that somehow I would do him in, so I took a backseat to all of the other visitors and goodbye-sayers.

It's so hard to know, sometimes, that my Jennifer and I are only really able to be where we are today - with a house of our own in a new town and a baby on the way - because we lost my Dad. It's hard because out of everyone in my family, I think he would have been the most tickled on both counts, house and baby. Dad always wanted me to have a baby, and while he was cool with the fact that I told him it would never happen, I think he held out a secret hope. And I think he gets some pleasure out of being right, but I bet he wishes he had the opportunity to be a grandfather.

Now that having a baby is right around the proverbial corner and I can't imagine going back, I guess I have to understand that things happen for a reason and all we can do is go forward and make the best of everything. But that sure doesn't mean I don't wish I could have both, and I know we would have found a way to make it work. You sure didn't have to die to con me into having a baby, you stubborn, irreverent man. ;)

fathers day at fenway


I suppose in a lot of ways it's fitting that Jen and I are going to a baseball game this evening. It was somewhat of a coincidence, I suppose, but one of which I won't miss the significance.
judecorp: (downcast)
Happy birthday, Dad. 59. I can't believe you've missed two birthdays already.

I deleted my dad out of all of my birthday alarm type things. It was too much to get a million reminders that his birthday was coming. As if I might forget.
judecorp: (mini me)
While fun, the game last night was so, so painful. The Sox were just losing, losing, losing. They were down 7-2 in the 7th and by the time the 8th inning came around, the A's just kept scoring runs. So frustrating. When the A's had scored 6 runs in the 8th, we decided it was time to start ambling out of the park. And as we walked out, they got 2 more. *sigh*

It was kind of sad to be at the game last night. I've only ever been to two Red Sox games without my dad in my entire life - last night's and one time in 1998 with this dude from grad school. The last baseball game of any kind that I went to was when Jen and I took Dad and Grandpa for Fathers' Day in 2004 - Dad's last Fathers' Day. It felt weird to be there without him. I could just picture what he would look like there, what he would say to the players, how he would clap and when. I imagine him tossing encouragements to the godawful Sox last night, and every so often I would hear echoes of him throughout our section. "Come on, Manny, hit one for my kid," or "This is his time, he's due," or my personal favorite, the heckler of an unfortunate A's player named Perez who watched his batting average go from .098 to .095 throughout the game. "A 95 batting average? WHAAAAAA?!!?!?!" Poor Perez.

That was definitely a "for the television" game for sure, with the sticky humidity, the hot temps, the lack of breeze, and the dismal score. Not to mention the lack of Dad. But hey, it was a good time anyway. I sure can dig some baseball.

~//~

Heading off to the beach with Coworker Marti Maraschino and Coworker Funk. I think it's awesome that Marti Maraschino is all about calling people last minute to make plans. I can dig it. Also, Movie Club tonight. HIIIIIIII-YAH!
judecorp: (remember it)
I tend to gloss over events these days that years ago would have held much more weight, much more need for documentation. I don't think this has changed, I just think I have become more busy, more full of events. I wish for simpler days when I could ruminate on one situation, one event, one emotion, so it could be processed and moved along. Staccato blasts of chaos and drama have all but eliminated the possibility of this.

I would have written about the traumatic experience of taking Jen to the emergency room when she couldn't breathe from bronchitis, nearly a year to the day from when I went to a different hospital, in a different state, to be told that my father was not going to live. To sign DNR forms. To have only one hope - that nothing final happened before my brother could come to town. One year later I was in a dingy ER in Dorchester with my wife who was struggling to breathe, gasping on top of several new health concerns that had popped up in the last few weeks. Flashback City. I could have given a lot of life to those feelings, to that event, to the parallel and visceral memories. Instead the car got vandalized and our IUI cycle got cancelled.

Recently, in an argument, she told me that she was really hurt by that evening in the hospital, that I wasn't there for her in the way she wanted. I didn't hold her hand much, I didn't whisper comforting things. And I felt horribly guilty, and sad, and undeserving of compassion for my own pain, for my own situation, for the acknowledgment that it must have been terribly difficult to be in the ER that night, just a year later, with yet another near and dear next to the monitors and machines. And I guess in some ways that shows more than anything else how out of sync and out of touch we have actually become in our time in Boston, with the trials and tribulations that seem to be neverending around these parts. That's sad.

I suppose I shouldn't watch maudlin Logo programs On Demand about old lesbians dying of cancer. At least not this early in the morning at the start of a beautiful Saturday.

I want my old life back.
judecorp: (goodbye for now)

dadgrandpa
Originally uploaded by judecorp.
Jen and I had just moved to Boston a few weeks prior, but we splurged and spent gaggles of money that we didn't have (we didn't have jobs yet) to get 4 tickets to an afternoon Red Sox game - Father's Day presents for my father and grandfather. Grandpa, Dad, my brother and I caught at least one Sox game every summer with the Freemasons and numerous games in Pawtucket (Red Sox AA team) when I was a young person. The Masons stopped taking trips when I was a teenager because it was getting too expensive.

At the time, it seemed so important to do this, to buy these tickets and convince my dad to drive my grandfather up, because we didn't know if we'd ever get another chance to go to a game with my grandfather. He's 88, after all, and though he is pretty healthy you just never know. We didn't want to miss an opportunity to have a Fenway Father's Day with Grandpa and regret it later.

I didn't know how wrong and how right I was. The Sox finally won a World Series in 2004 and the team was positively on fire. The crowd was crazy. We had a great time. It was the last Father's Day gift I would ever buy for my Dad.

And I think it was possibly his favorite.
judecorp: (mini me)
I can't believe it's already been over a year since he's called me, since I saw him smile, since he gave me a hug. It's hard to imagine that the time has flown by, especially with phone calls, since he used to call and harass me all the time. About television, about not calling, whatever. Amusing banter. I can't believe it's now been a year since we gave up almost all of our weekends to clean out the house and make sure my grandparents don't get too lonely.

When I saw him a year ago, yesterday and today, he was a bloated shadow of who he was, a mess of tubes and wires and beeps and false breaths. He was a stubborn man who didn't really understand that going to the doctor is admirable and waiting things out is foolish. It seems so crazy and yet not crazy all at the same time.

We definitely had our ups and downs throughout our time together, but our time ended on ups so in a way that's all that matters. I'll always remember the time we sat on the short-lived patio when I was 18 and he apologized for letting his anger get in the way of his parenting, when he said in the same breath that he was and has always been proud of me. I remember the first time he gave Jen a hug, and when he asked her to dance at my brother's wedding so that he could try to make her feel better about my grandmother's insensitive comment. I remember being perched on his shoulders, endless baseball games, that crazy trip to New York when our cabbie hit Jimmy DiPardo on the butt, riding on the gas tank of the motorcycle when I was too small (and too young) to occupy the back seat. Most of all, though, I can always remember how much he loved me - and know in my heart that it was true.

You weren't the greatest dad, but you were MY dad, and I can't believe I've been missing you for a whole year already.
judecorp: (love doesn't hurt)
My Jennifer is awesome. She spent a good chunk of last night freaking out on my behalf because I was so pale that my lips were white after the whole triple-sticking fiasco. And this morning she woke up enough to hold me and tell me that I didn't ruin everything by messing up the shot. (Someone elsewhere online told me they think the Ovidrel needles are freakishly dull. I'm starting to believe that's true.) She was excited when I told her that I got a positive pregnancy test to show that the trigger was in there. She sweetly answered my, "What if this screws up my monitor?" randomness with, "We'll buy another one." She's the queen of the quick answer.

Maybe I'm just exceptionally sentimental right now because my body is all full of hCG and I just watched the last episode of Seventh Heaven. Man, those Camdens make me want to shout my love from the rooftops, apparently. And think about random sentimental things.

We're getting pretty close to the first anniversary of my dad's death. And I miss my dad. There's rarely a day that goes by that I don't think of something he would want to know about - stupid things, mostly. And tons of experiences I wish we'd be planning right now - like maybe another trip to Yankee Stadium for a Red Sox/Yanks showdown, or that cruise he said he wanted to plan someday. Heck, even imagining what sort of infuriating off-color remarks he would make about our babymaking process makes me wistful.

The sad truth, though, is that my dad's death is what's making this whole endeavor truly possible. Well, Blue Cross Blue Shield is helping, too, I suppose. But the little things he's left behind for us allow us to think about things like maternity leave and expenses. And that's huge. I always knew I'd never be the recipient of some outlandish inheritance - we're simple folks, after all - but I never imagined I'd be gifted with the ability to lay a foundation for two hand-to-mouth married girls to coast by on this rollercoaster.

And I know he didn't plan it this way, and I know that given a choice, we'd all prefer his presence to his safety net. But part of me seeks comfort in the fact that he's in all of this somehow, that his hand has dipped into the well of this process. And I think he'd be pretty effing excited.
judecorp: (my sunshine)
Another early morning in Dot. Someday when we "Spring Ahead," maybe I'll be able to sleep past 6am. That would be nice. Still, it's nice to be woken by sunshine. Sunshine and cats.

Jen and I spent a good portion of yesterday trying to find a draining kit for a waterbed. Talk about frustrating! The store people at all of the stores looked at us like we were crazy. Today I'll probably try calling a furniture store that actually sells waterbeds and see if they have info. I found part of a draining kit at Dad's house but the most important part (the pump part that sucks the water out) was missing. We bought a hand pump at one point out of desperation and after nearly an hour of pumping, we'd probably sucked out a gallon of water TOPS. So that's out. So frustrating. Effing waterbed, I hate you.

We spent another Sunday bagging and boxing all of the random crap that the auction people left behind at Dad's house. It's simply amazing how much stuff is in there, seriously. How one person could amass so much... stuff... it kills me. We probably have 40 garbage bags stacked in the dining room right now, and tons of boxes of housewares in the other room to donate. At least all of the food has gone to the food pantry, the kitchen appliances have been scrubbed out, and all of the cabinets are empty. It's funny how even when everything is gone that you can /see/, there's still all that other stuff hiding in things like cabinets and drawers. Packrats are the devil.

I'm looking forward to the day when Jen and I can spend a Sunday together without cleaning out a house... and not because of some lame excuse like illness or a blizzard.

Have a great Monday, kids.

Reunion

Dec. 21st, 2005 09:34 pm
judecorp: (jude & jen)
Ugh, I wish I could stop coughing. That is really getting annoying and my voice sounds so craptacular. Yuck.

Yesterday morning when I didn't go to work, I was tooling around on the internet and decided to check classmates.com, which I do about once a year. I had a message there from this girl I used to hang out with in junior high school. She'd contacted me once before through classmates a couple of years ago, but this message was from August and was something like, "I heard something about your dad and I want to know if it's true, please tell me how I can get in touch with you!" And so I wrote back with my e-mail address and a little note that said, "To whatever you heard, the answer is yes." So now she has started e-mailing me, which is cool.

So one of her e-mails said that she'd talked to my brother a while back and heard I got married. So I wrote back and said that yes, I'd gotten married right before my dad died, blah blah blah, and I attached one of the photos Patti took of Jen and me, and made some other chit chat. I got another e-mail from her this afternoon congratulating me on getting married, and asking about what my last name is now, and the best part was, "So what's your man's name?"

Holy crap, I laughed so hard I nearly pooped my pants.

I wrote back, "I don't have a man, silly, I have a wife! And her name is Jennifer. And I'm sorry that I assumed that you knew that but I just realized that I never thought about how far back you might have talked to my brother... because a million years ago I was married to a dude named Aaron who still lives in Ohio and just bought a house with his girlfriend. Oops."

I haven't heard anything back yet. Heh.
judecorp: (mini me)
Happy birthday, Dad. We sure do miss you around here.
judecorp: (downcast)
Never fill in a bunch of friends/relatives into those "Birthday Reminder" e-mail thingers. Because then you'll get a million reminders about your late father's upcoming birthday. And really, who needs that?

We were supposed to go to Mindy's holiday party today but we never quite got around to doing everything we needed to do in the morning/early afternoon so we could go. I spent a good chunk of time in the morning chiseling the huge-ass hunks of ice out of the parking spot so we have a nice clean area for the car, but by the time it got to be that "we should seriously start getting things together if we're going to that party" time, we still hadn't done anything else we were supposed to do, like pick up Jen's dry cleaning or wrap holiday gifts or write out more holiday cards or get a Christmas tree. So we decided to skip the party instead of figure out how to frantically get this stuff done when we got home. Plus, we were in terrible moods which doesn't really make for good party-going. So, bummer.

I realized today that two of the holiday gifts I ordered online must have gotten lost in the mail, since the website said they were shipped on 12-01 and the USPS tracking number came up as a bad number. So I had to talk to customer service and they have to put a trace on my package, which takes up to 10 business days, so I had to cancel the damned order because those lost items needed to be wrapped and mailed to NJ and SC. So now we have to find new gifts at a store somewhere so we can start mailing out these packages. Also bummer.

I did so many more holiday cards while watching "A Very Brady Christmas" that the pen/marker I was using is completely dried out. Sucks, cause I still have more cards to do. I found all of the received cards from last year and so many freaking people moved that I don't know what I'm going to do. I found a couple of people's updated addresses on LJ but I don't really have the energy to go on an address hunt. After the cards I cleaned up a little bit and then started making a big vat of chili to take to Coworker Gina's tomorrow for the Survivor finale. Jen started the laundry so there's not so much to do tomorrow, because tomorrow's shaping up to be a day of pain:
Get up early, put the crock pot of chili on, run to some store or other looking for replacement gifts. Go to RI - wipe dad's computer clean, bring monitor and TV to grandparents' house for them, bring china to grandparents' house for storage, load car full of more of my/dad's stuff that is coming to live here, tidy up a little more in preparation for estate folks, visit with grandparents briefly, run back up to Boston to get chili and stuff together, go to Gina's, come home and finish laundry.


This is definitely a "Bah Humbug" holiday season for me.
judecorp: (strange place)
We had a fairly productive day at The House of Dad. It's getting to be the time to have the house cleared out by the auction folks, so Jen and I went to start packing up the things that are /not/ going to auction. We put aside a bunch of pictures and things that my [livejournal.com profile] smurfbrother wants, and then packed a couple of boxes of things that we want (or that we're not sure who's going to get but won't go to auction, like photo albums). We took everything that's going out of the attic, and we started packing up the stuff that's worth keeping in the basement. The big feat, though, was packing up my great grandmother's china, which we will be keeping. I knew there were a lot of pieces but I /really/ underestimated. There were dinner plates, salad plates, dessert plates, bread plates, saucers, soup bowls, and coffee cups. FOR 16. Yes, sixteen. (!!) There was also one pitcher, one covered bowl, one creamer, one sugar bowl, one gravy boat, and two platters.

We were wrapping in paper and boxing for a LONG time.

So when we ever own a house, we can have a huge dinner party and invite 14 of our nearest and dearest. Isn't that insane??!?! (I thought it was a service for 10.) It's not our favorite pattern ever, but it IS pretty, and it's a totally complete set, and it's in fantastic shape, and it's heirloom quality, and, well, it's FREE. So that's a plus.

We also took home the parking meter lamp, which is going to look so kitschy fab someday next to the blue glass table and the blue chair with red velour seat that we dragged down from the attic. Oh, ridiculous junk, how I love thee!

So, yeah. Not the best start to the day, but I have to say that unlike a lot of our arguments in the recent past, this one was incredibly productive. Really, if we're going to have arguments (and we ARE), they should really all have some sort of productive end instead of just hurt feelings. Yes.

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