Father’s Day

Mother, mother

There’s too many of you crying

Brother, brother, brother

There’s far too many of you dying

You know we’ve got to find a way

To bring some lovin’ here today

–Marvin Gaye

While I have had the gift of not one but two fathers in my life, and still have the world’s best stepfather to look out for me, today I can’t help thinking about other people.

The fathers and mothers who have been separated from their children by our own government or by some other regime’s political or military hell storms. Children forever damaged without any reason but dogma. Religious, social or political whims. To meet a warped  agenda put in place by the ruling class to appease the biases of their followers. Or to attract new followers.

I think of all of the parents who have lost their children to prison or substance abuse. The children who have been abandoned either physically or emotionally by their addicted parents.

I think of the parents of children who have been killed in our nation’s epidemic of gun violence. Or the children who lose their parents to that same violence. To the parents of the children guilty of perpetrating those monstrosities.

I think of the parents of military men and women who lose their children in the defense of our country of of their own countries. Or the children who lose their fathers and mothers to that same violence.

Or, the parents and children who lose their loved ones as victims of those same wars.

We are–all of us–children, parents, or both. We all lose people we love in some way. Today, I think of all of my friends and family who have lost either parents or children.

I’m saying this badly, I know. But right now, when babies are being taken away from their mothers who are just trying to cross a border into a better life, when a father was so devastated by the loss of his children that he ended his own life…it’s hard to celebrate a Hallmark holiday.

At the park today, I walked and watched all the happy fathers teaching their kids how to ride bikes. The happy kids yelling “watch me, Daddy” while they did handstands. The tired dads carrying their hot, cranky babies back to the car. It was all wonderful to see. Safe, happy people. Taking care of their families. Making memories.

And it could become an entirely different life in the blink of an eye.

Be good to each other.

Be kind to people who have less than you do.

Show empathy to people who’ve suffered losses.

There is a phrase that’s been mocked. It has become something of a joke. But in times like these, I think of what Rodney King said during the riots sparked by the lack of justice in his court case against the officers who’d beaten him: “..can we all get along? Can we, can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?”

Can we? Can we all get along? Can we stop killing each other? Can we stop making life worse for each other? There are enough inevitable reasons for sorrow in life without inflicting more of it in the name of, ultimately, having more stuff. Can we work on making things better instead of making poor people’s lives worse?

We should celebrate every day that we have each other, because life is short and fragile. Those of us who have people do love need to make sure they know it.

Now.

Not just on their designated calendar day.

Still. It *is* Father’s Day, so I can’t forget to mention the stepfather I am lucky enough to still have in my life. It isn’t all gloom and doom. We have people here and now who we love!

Larry is the tough guy from Burns who cries at weddings. Who always made sure I had a working flashlight in my car in case of emergencies. Who has been wonderful to my mother, and to both me and my brother. Who has traveled the whole world. Who loves to talk about marijuana growing with my friends even though he doesn’t smoke it himself. Who love the Ducks.  Who makes sure the sprinkler system is perfect. Who talks to cats, and misses his two cats terribly. Who makes sure that I have a safe car to drive. Who loves his family.

We love him back.

Little L wants you to have a Bloody Mary

 

Love is a many splendored thing

You know what? I really want to give you a hockey puck.

–13

Expressions of love are a very personal thing. Some people use flowery language to express their admiration.  Some creative types paint their love, or put it into a song. Giving gifts as a token of esteem is also common–just ask the people at See’s Candy or Hallmark. Or Tiffany. Other people demonstrate love with acts of service like cleaning out the trash bins or taking out the recycling. Cooking is a classic way to show affection. Some people prefer demonstrating love in a more physical way.

Get your minds out of the gutter, people–I’m talking about kissing or hugging.

And yes, the things all of you filthy-minded people thought of also count.

I’ll have to cross-reference that book about Love Languages and maybe check with one of my Minnesota relatives, as hockey pucks have never been part of my experience of the languages of love. Perhaps it is more traditional in the Minnesota lake regions, like canoeing or gathering wild rice.

While a hockey puck may not be a token of love that I have previous experience with, it still made me tear up. Yes, I know that everything makes me cry. Still. I think it is romantic in a very personal and quirky way that my hockey loving guy put a hockey puck under my pillow. I think it’s even more romantic that it’s not a new one. It’s been used. It has some dings in it. It’s like us. It’s not new and shiny, it’s been around and it’s still here.

He also wants to teach me about the things he loves.  Important things like how to ice skate like a hockey player, and how to cross-check without being caught. (I’m not sure he knows that he’s teaching me  how to cross-check yet. He may think I need to know things like how not to fall before letting me have a hockey stick. He is romantic, but also very practical and safety focused.)

If someone takes the time to draw me a diagram of a soccer field and a hockey rink and tell me what the players do and how the two games are similar and different,  it isn’t nerdy–it’s love.

OK, OK. It’s nerdy. Maybe even very nerdy. I like nerdy. It’s also love though.

He may have some work to do on getting me to love soccer…he’s trying though. He enlisted the help of a random stranger in a tap house a few weeks ago. The other day he made me fill out a World Cup bracket. Now he wants us to print out our brackets and put them on the fridge. I threatened to draw little hearts on them. This morning he woke me up and said “I have great news–some random soccer teams you have never heard of are playing tomorrow at 6am!” (I have paraphrased slightly)

I smiled at him and went back to sleep. I still don’t care about soccer, but I will be happy to learn about it if it makes him happy. I will not be getting out of bed to watch though. There are any number of things I will do at 6am, but watching soccer is not one of them. Not even as a token of love.

He also does things like tell the cat how awesome it is to have a girlfriend with a great ass. How can you not love someone who extols your virtues to your cat?

Playing up to my vanity is never a bad idea.

Oh, and the World Cup brackets?

I picked Nigeria to win, and I have no idea if that was a good pick.

Random thoughts

While I love being at home rather than at work, especially given what work is like right now, it is less fun when I have multiple surgically inflicted stab wounds.

I really enjoy mentioning the stab wounds.

People are stupid. Or maybe just colossally unprepared. I am in a few online bariatric surgery groups, and I am perpetually surprised by the questions people ask. It’s like they’ve had this major surgery without even reading the most basic information ahead of time. “What are we allowed to eat now that we’re home?” “When can we go back to work?” “What is a protein shake?” “Why have I only lost 7 lbs this week?” Some of these people should have their stomachs put back until they’ve done some reading. Especially the ones complaining that they have “only” lost some huge amount of weight.

That being said, I am also one of the stupid people. I have a call in to my surgeon’s office because I don’t remember which specific date I am supposed to return to work. I’m sure my boss expects me to be back at some point. I have 3 different dates written down.

PJ Harvey is wonderful.

My cat is useless at domestic chores, and 13 is excellent at them.

Routine maintenance on a Lexus is stupidly expensive.

Autocorrect wants to capitalize the weirdest shit.

I am simultaneously surprised that I am doing so much better than I thought I would be after 9 days and that I am still prone to hitting a wall and needing a nap. Yesterday afternoon I took a 5 hour nap and then went to bed at 9:30 and slept all the way through the night. I never take naps!

There is a limit to how many classic films even I can watch in one day.

I never get tired of Bette Davis.

If I get a rotisserie chicken so 13 has real food for dinner, I am very sorry that I can’t have any of it, and I compensate by not letting the cat have any of it either.

I am not a very nice person.

When recovering from surgery, it is important not to be consumed by world news. Particularly news involving the person currently occupying the White House.

It is a lot harder than you might think to get 68 ounces of fluid and 90gms of protein into your stomach when it’s the size of a banana.

If you swallow more than you should at one time, you will be very sorry.

My refrigerator is filthy.

I’m going for a walk now, rather than face the filthy fridge.

Filthy Fridges would be a good band name.