Coming into my own

The blog usually goes dark around July Fourth, and I mean that in any sense of the word you want to give it. I don’t often post and if I do, it’s pretty depressing, so why bother?

July 3 brought my great-grandmother Anastasia’s birthday (she would’ve been 100) and July 4, just as fireworks are starting to be shot off across the land, brought the nine-year anniversary of my grandmother Rose’s death. July 5 marked both the birthday and date of death for my great Uncle Stan, Anastasia’s brother.

It oftentimes takes everything in me to make it to July 6, so here we are and phew, am I glad that this particular anti-holiday is over.

I’ve waxed and waned over the failure of the healthcare system for every death that I’ve experienced, so I’ll spare you the Charlie Brown’s teacher routine and just say how glad I am that I knew these wonderful people, even if it was just simply too short a time to really get to know them.

I’ve never talked about Uncle Stan, mostly because he was some strange entity who lived on the farm with Aunt Josie. What little I remember of Josie was that she always wore sheer white tights and hadn’t shaved her legs in decades. I also remember that she claimed she bathed in Clorox, although I don’t think anyone could survive that kind of trauma.

What I remember most about Stan and Josie was that they talked about “kidnapping” me, of taking me to the farm because they never had any kids of their own and they would have loved to have me there.

Sad to say, I spent my youth pretty fucking freaked out over visits from Stan and Josie. 😉

Two weeks after my high school graduation, shortly after we lost Aunt Josie, Uncle Stan showed up on the doorstep with a cashier’s check for me. My grandmother had apparently told him how I had applied to several top-notch colleges and had gotten accepted to every last one. Only problem was, I didn’t have two dimes to rub together.

Sure, I got a full, one-year scholarship for the school I ended up choosing (for that very reason), but room and board wasn’t covered and I really wanted to socialize myself that first year. (Read: I wanted to get the fuck away from my family at the first-available opportunity.)

The amount of the check isn’t important — those of you who had your parents pick up the bill for college would say that barely bought you a semester. But to me, it was a million dollars.

My grandmother and I had many fights over that money … she wanted me to buy a car, live at home and find a job till I got married. *bwahahahaaa* I figured I had a genius-level IQ and a desire to make a difference in this world, so I was going to use it for school.

I ended up making the money stretch for a few years. I got lots of loans and grants and found that apartment living cost a third of what the dorms did. (Without having to buy a meal plan, I didn’t have to eat, so that helped!) I know some people around me were resentful because I got that helping hand, and I was sometimes forced into being generous.

I used the last of the money on a round of roommate roulette that meant I couldn’t finish my senior year on time. So I worked three jobs and saved and ended up having a year-and-a-half-long senior year when I did go back.

Anyway, I guess in the hustle and bustle of life, there are so many seemingly forgotten people at unmarked graves, whether via cremation or simply the family’s inability to afford a headstone. And I don’t want this world to not know that the people who have helped to shape me were here.

I didn’t get this far on my own. Yes, I fought every step of the way, but sometimes when things looked downright hopeless, a gift appeared out of the bloody blue, at the exact moment it needed to.

Along those lines, I made a friend this week. We both grew up in the same area, we both lived at the same apartment complex two years ago and never crossed paths, we live in the same area now, we both take our two cats to the same veterinary practice and to the same doctor, to boot. Plus she mentioned she’s been wanting to visit a new church, and oh gee, it’s the one I’ve attended for the past seven or eight months! We’re the same age and she’s about to inherit her mother the way I did. It’s just spooky, how someone can strike up a conversation and it’s like, how have we not met before this?

I was telling another friend that I’m more giddy about having a new friend than I am about getting a date. Dates are hell. Dates suck. I don’t care if there’s free food, as I am eating rabbit food these days anyway.

Dates are playing dress-up and pretending to be whomever it is that they think they want you to be, even though they don’t know what the hell they want and you really have to spend the whole time subtly grilling them on whether they’re really the victim they present to you or whether the common denominator in all their failed relationships is the fact that their dick won’t stay firmly in their pants.

You wonder whether they’re attracted to trainwrecks because they either have too much sympathy for people in need (ooh, aww, reminds me of me!) or because it allows them to keep the world at arm’s length and they are simply too self-involved to ever love anyone or anything but their PlayStation or Wii console.

Anyway, a FRIEND! Now THAT’S something joy-inducing. Someone to do things with, talk to, experience things together … someone who won’t tune you out while you’re talking because somebody with a nice rack bobs on by.

Don’t get me wrong … a good date DOES get the ol’ juices flowing. But in my quest to really, truly find out who I am and what I’m supposed to be, I’m jazzed when I meet someone who has either been where I’ve been or is headed where I’m going because that’s a signpost along my way.

This isn’t to discount the importance of people who have come along my path already … they were there for a reason. And while perhaps it’s my own doing (or lack of doing) that they aren’t traveling beside me right now, I have fond memories and a lot of gratitude that they showed me the next destination and, in their own way, prepared me for it.

And, in turn, I will replicate Uncle Stan’s actions to someone else who’s praying for a miracle, when I am in a position to perform one. That’s all it is, just a cycle of seeing who/what you DON’T want to become and instead emulating those whom you DO respect and admire.

And the thing about a friend? It’s just nice sometimes to have someone who’s right where you are, along for the ride. Even if we offer nothing but moral support to each other for a brief period, till we get to our next stop on the journey. If it’s the same stop, great. If not, so long and thanks for all the fish.

All right, time to pack and launder and work my eleventy billion hours and get no sleep and roll out to the ‘burbs to the airport and meetings meetings meetings and finally a reprieve. Bah. God give me strength to get through the next 72 hours!

Was this what I was dreaming of when I was working so hard to get into/stay in college? I don’t think so. But it’s sure not bad. I feel like I’m finally coming into my own, whatever that means. I feel like Anastasia, Rose, Calvin, Stan, Josie, Donald, Lenna and all the others who have left us during the past few years saw that I would go far, even when I couldn’t. I am glad they could see it then, since they can’t see me now. Or maybe they can.

I hope I’ve made them proud. And I’ve got a few miracles left in me yet. ….

Comments closed.