Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

I got married. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner, but I couldn’t find the words until now. I think you would really like him. He reminds me of you in a lot of ways, but at the same time, he is completely different. His name is Chris and he has a son. His son falls right between my two in age and has blended in almost seamlessly. He is a lot like Pheobe. A wild imagination and a flair for the dramatic. He would have you in stitches.

You should have seen mom at the wedding. I had asked her to be a flower girl, a role she was not immediately thrilled with but you know me, I always have to stir the pot somehow. Instead of throwing petals or holding a traditional bouquet, I decorated a bubble gun with large silk flowers. As she walked down the aisle, she covered everyone in bubbles. You can only imagine how much fun she had doing that. Although I didn’t get to watch her do it, everyone said she was the best bubbler ever.  She wore a simple blue dress and looked beautiful. She would have taken your breath away.

Pheobe has grown so much since you last saw her, you would hardly recognize her. She is a true beauty inside and out. She was my maid of honor, a role she gladly took on.

I wish you had been there, Dad, but because you weren’t, Theo walked me down the aisle instead. He was a little confused at first as to why he would be the one walking me down the aisle, but soon got used to the idea. He stood so tall and was so proud as he waited to give me the sign that it was our turn. I had considered other people, like my brother, but ultimately I knew you would approve of Theo taking your place.

I wish you could have been there, Dad. I wish you could have been the one to give me away. I screwed it all up the first time I got married by eloping. An act I know you and mom were very unhappy with. I wish I could have found Chris sooner. Maybe then, I would have had my father there by my side. It has been hard without you here. You were on my mind every day leading up to the wedding. I don’t know if you heard me or not, but I tried to talk to you every day leading up to the big day. If only I could have heard your voice just once that day.

I know I’m not a little girl anymore, heck, I’m pushing 40 already, but being an adult always seemed easier when you were just a phone call away. I could talk to mom about things, but you know how she is, always quick to have an opinion. She means well and I value her opinion but you always knew that what I really needed when I called was to talk myself through the issue, finally coming to my own conclusion. Then you would give me some sort of advice most people wouldn’t expect from you. Somehow, you always made it better.

In any case, I could ramble on and tell you all the things I’ve wanted to tell you over the past three years but there isn’t enough time and I would never be able to get the words out the way I would want them. Just know that your little girl grew up a little more and you are missed by all of us. Although you aren’t of this physical world anymore, I know that you are here in spirit. I know that if you were still with us, you would be proud of all I have accomplished, who I have become, and the family Chris and I have created.

I will miss you always but I know you are always here with me.

Love, Foof

dad

In memory of my dad, Jimmy Fossett.

Touch Me And You Die

Most people wouldn’t look at me and say, “Wow, you’re fat.” Actually, most people wouldn’t look at people in general and say that. Unless, of course, the person saying it is a complete asshole with no compassion or verbal filter. I was casually dating a guy a few years ago and he creatively told me I was fat. His exact words, “You’re not exactly the most petite woman. You  know that, right?” Shortly thereafter I casually dumped him. Regardless of how big I actually am (pushing 200 pounds on a 5’6″ frame), my weight, coupled with my Northern European bloodline, make me and summer not the best of friends.

As soon as temperatures hit 80 degrees, my mom thighs stick together and rub like a Japanese Sumo Wrestler competition and my body swells as it retains all the water it can on the off chance I find myself in the middle of a desert. I look at the summer sun and sob. I will sit there and curse that yellow bastard until I realize I’m still standing outside like an idiot when all I have to do is walk five steps to go inside where the AC is waiting to greet me with open arms.

My fiancee hates driving me anywhere in his car because he doesn’t usually put the AC on. This means he has to put up with me moaning in agony as if I were on my last breath after a horrific, life-threatening accident all because I’m fucking hot. I’m sure this makes the three-minute drive to the store feel like an eternity. I’m not even sorry. This also explains why he looks at me with panic in his eyes before we go anywhere, and asks me which car we are taking. I know his internal monolog is saying, “Take her car, please God, take her car. Don’t let her say my car.” We may actually be one trip away from him making me take a separate car altogether. Which is fine, as long as I get to have the sweet cold air of the AC blowing on my overweight body like a chocolate fountain.

When you’re a bit overweight like I am, summer helps you discover all these hidden parts of your body you didn’t even know had sweat glands. Like my belly apron. I had no idea I could sweat out a shot glass of sweat from there just by looking at the sun. You want me to sit in a lawn chair…outside…at the beach? There are another 2 ounces. Walking in the sun makes the back of my knees sweat. Suddenly it feels as if my armpits have moved down to my legs and I spend the entire walk wondering why I didn’t put antiperspirant behind my knees…again. It’s not long before my shoes start to fill with sweat droplets, causing them to squeak and cause blisters. If I were to lay out in the sun, after 5 minutes you would think someone had snuck up on me and sprayed me with the garden hose. 10 minutes, I’ve basically melted into the chair, never to be seen again.

That’s all just because of heat. Add in the humidity and I basically turn into a Disney villain on crack. Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, and sure as fuck, don’t TOUCH me. Touch me and you die. I am not afraid of going to prison because someone touched my skin or tried to hug me when it is humid out. I don’t even let my children touch me during these times. I will look right into their dark brown eyes and tell them to piss off. They can touch me again in October.

The only time I enjoy the heat is when I am in the water, preferably a lake, river, or the ocean. Even then, you won’t typically see me above the water. I am usually the one floating, doing my best impression of a Sunfish or Harbor Seal. I have actually reached a body size, mainly because of my monstrous breasts, where I am able to float upright without the use of a floatation device. I don’t even have to spend money on a fancy river tube, I could just float down the river using nothing but myself. I have basically become a buoy and I am ok with that.

So, until the air grows crisp again and I can wear clothes without feeling like I’m wrapped in plastic wrap, I’ll be sitting in the AC or shade, dreaming of the days where I can build a snow chair. One I can sit in throughout the day with my Bailey’s and hot chocolate while wrapped in a winter jacket, snow pants, and my latest crocheted scarf. If you need me, I will probably be in my room talking to my jeans and sweaters, telling them how much I miss them and how will be together again soon.

Do What You Love

As adults, why do we keep settling for jobs that don’t make us happy? My father used to tell me that your job wasn’t supposed to make you happy, and for the lonegst time, I believed him. I kept pushing through jobs tryong to figure out if they make me happy or not. Then I would remember that my job wasn’t supposed to make me happy. So, I would settle into different possitions and be miserable because that is what I was supposed to do.

 

As I sat miserable at work, I would try harder and harder to fill my home life with things that made me happy. I found an amazing man who agreed to spend the rest of our lives together. Happy. That man came with the best bonus son anyone could ask for. Happy. My two kids have grown into resposible, mature young people. Happy. Rooster crows and duck quacks are my alarm clock. Happy. I get dog snuggles whenever I want them. Happy. I have FIVE goats. Happy. My homelife has made me happier than I could ever imagine. But, no matter how happy I am at home, I am still miserable at work.

For the past five years I have spent 40 to 50 hours a week sitting at a desk with minimal face to face interactions with people. I have become complacent, overweight, and miserable. It used to be only Monday mornings where I would be filled with anxiety, dredding to go to work. Now it’s every day. My complacency has caused me to faulter on my attention to detail and work ethic that I’ve always prided myself on. Despite all that, I keep pushing along.

About a month it hit me. I spend half my time at work and commuting. That means half of my life is spent in misery. Is this REALLY how it’s supposed to be? Was my dad really right in what he said? Am I really destined to be in a job I hate for the rest of my working career? I love my dad with all my heart, and he taught me some amazing life lessons, but I’m going to cal bull shit on this one. There is no way I am supposed to be miserable in my work. Therefore, I am going to do everything I can to change my current situation.

I have no idea what I am going to do, and I know it won’t happen over night, but I am going to get my shit together and find something I am passionate about. Maybe it will be working in retail again. Maybe it will be working in healthcare, dealing with patients. Maybe it will be wokring for myself. I have no idea. Whatever it is, I refuse to be miserable doing it. I need be working with people and having face to face interactions with clients. I need to be active. I need to be HAPPY at my job. I WILL be happy at my job. I am going to do what I love.

Valentine’s Day Bull Shit

Ok, so you hate Valentine’s Day…we get it. Someone pissed in your Cheerios and now you’re all kinds of upset. It sucks to be you, truly. All you have done for the past week is bitch and complain about how single you are, how you won’t get any presents, how stupid the cards are, and how you should show someone you love them all the time. I get it.

What you don’t get is that this day actually means something to some people. However, you shit all over their little heart filled day so you can feel better about your current situation. Let’s take a look at why this day of red, white, and chocolates is so important.

  • Chocolate: Women need chocolate to function much like men need steak. Can we live without it? Sure. Is life better if you give it to us? Abso-fucking-lutely!
  • Cards: They’re dumb and we don’t need them to function like normal humans. However, have you ever noticed how horribly most men describe their feelings? Let’s be honest, 80% of them are shit at it. Therefore…cards. Hallmark does fabu job at putting words in their mouths…words that won’t land them on the couch again this week.
  • Lingerie: What says “I Love You” more than a push-up bra, crotchless panties, and a piece of string up her ass? Pretty much nothing. Don’t deny it, men. If your woman walked into the bedroom tonight wearing see through anything with her nipples showing, you would want Valentine’s Day every fucking day of the year. Also, women rarely get headaches when wearing lingerie. You’re welcome.
  • Flowers: They wilt. They die. Dumb, right? Well, kind of. I’ve said this about flowers before, it’s not the actual flowers that mean something, it’s the act of getting them that means something. It means that someone took a moment out of their busy day, thought of you, and then acted on that thought. That’s pretty fucking cool because how often do people actually ACT on their thoughts? Other than serial killers, not very many people. She doesn’t like flowers? Fine. Whatever. Remember what I said about chocolates?
  • A night out: Sure, you can go out any night and, chances are, you will probably have a better chance getting a reservation at that place she likes any other night as well. Unless, of course, Metallica is in town. But answer me this, how many places are set up to be all romantical shit every other night? That’s right, none. They probably won’t have that Prosecco she likes either. Suck it up, dude, and take her out. You can complain to your fellow penis people about it on the 15th.
  • Oral sex: Steak and a blow job day is on the 15th. I think you can take the plunge into her nether regions for a few minutes on the 14th. She will thank you tomorrow.
  • Sex: I don’t think I have to explain this one, but as a warning, if you don’t do at least one of the things above…you’re probably not getting the sex tonight and you can kiss your steak and a blow job tomorrow goodbye as well. Whispers: Lingerie doesn’t cause headaches.

Basically, all roads lead to sex and sex is important to couples and booty calls and one night stands. Our world revolves around sex. THIS is why Valentine’s Day is so important to some people. Some of us want to get our rocks off tonight. Some of us NEED to get our rocks off tonight! So, while you’re all over there getting pissed off at people for being in love on a Hallmark holiday, remember we’re all just trying to get laid over here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shave my everything because I’m planning on a little V-day lovin’ tonight.

OES: Old Egg Syndrome

I need to explain something to all of you. It’s something I feel goes unnoticed on a daily basis by the majority of people, but it’s plaguing more than most people realize. I’ve only just come to terms with the fact that I myself am struggling with it on a daily basis. Because it is my struggle, it is also my family’s struggle because they have to live with me. This struggle is called “Old Eggs Syndrome.” I am now in my 6th month of being 37 and Old Egg Syndrome has taken hold of me and my life. It makes me confused, anxious, and weak.

Symptoms of OES include:

  • Weeping when seeing pregnant women
  • The urge to adopt all the cats
  • The urge to adopt all the dogs
  • The urge to adopt all the rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and chinchillas
  • The urge to hatch chicken eggs in your kitchen
  • Rubbing your belly when someone talks about babies
  • Feeling your ovaries try to lash out when you ovulate
  • Excessive hugging of small children who aren’t yours
  • Excessive morning kisses for your own children
  • Holding your 10-year-old like a baby
  • Failing at reminding your 7-year-old what it was like when she was a baby
  • Fighting the urge to suddenly let all your kids sleep in bed with you because pretty soon they won’t even try to come into your room unless they are looking for your hidden whiskey stash
  • Asking your kids if you can  hang out with their friends while they all still think you’re a “cool mom”
  • Insisting your kids listen to your 90’s grunge playlist because Kurt Cobain was the shit
  • Staring at your old maternity photos in bed while sobbing into your wine glass after the kids go to sleep
  • Talking to all dogs like they are toddlers
  • Cradling your bottle of wine before opening it
  • Warning your significant other when you are ovulating
  • Wondering if this will be the last time you ever ovulate
  • Thinking you’re having a hot flash every time you break a sweat
  • Wondering if your IUD is destroying your ovaries

I see pictures of babies, and I want all the babies. I see pictures of goats, and I want all the goats. I go to a friend’s house where I am approached by their dog…I now want all the dogs. I sit on my couch at night thinking back to the cat I saw at the animal shelter last month and can picture myself covered in all the cats. This morning my left ovary whispered to me, “Time’s almost up,” and then kicked me.

My kids already tore my stomach muscles and gave me arthritis in my hip, but my ovaries don’t seem to give a shit. They just keep pumping out little old eggs like it’s nobody’s business. Other people drink because of life’s stresses and struggles. I drink to shut my ovaries up. The struggle is real. So, if you know someone suffering from OES, do at least one of the following:

  • Buy them the world’s biggest box of condoms
  • Buy them a vibrator that will put all penises to shame
  • Call them every time your baby wakes up in the night to remind them what no sleep feels like.
  •  Offer to pay for their hysterectomy
  • Bring them all your poopy diapers
  • Keep them drunk until they are done with menopause

Frick and Frack

When I was younger, a lot younger, we used to have two ducks. Their names were Frick and Frack. Although my memory is most likely skewed, seeing as how I couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 years old, I do have a memory of these two ducks. My mother used to talk about them constantly, she still mentions them from time to time.

In my head I picture them as two feathery ducks following my mother about the yard, quacking joyfully. Frick and Frack, her two loyal ducks. Now, years later, I can’t help but think of the waddling pair when I look at my two children.

My two children, as they joyfully quacking at each other as they waddle their way to the bus stop each morning with their bulging backpacks. My two children, as they follow me through countless grocery and department stores. My two children, my little ducks.

It’s because of all their human waddling and quacking that I’ve started referring to them as Frick and Frack. Each time I do I magically jump into my head and envision my mother with her two joyful ducks following her around.

Granted, my ducks are not always joyful. In fact, when they are together they are often quite miserable. Squabbling, yelling, making each other cry…an all out verbal cage match during most waking hours. The only peace I get is when one is engrossed in the Xbox  and the other is envisioning themselves as a Teen Titans Go character. Even then my little ducks can’t let go of the previous argument and come to me looking for resolve and validation.

It is then that I magically jump back into my head and envision a lovely candle lit two duck dinner that I get to enjoy all by myself.

Snapped back into reality, mainly because I’m out of wine, my two little ducks are suddenly quacking joyfully again. Waddling around the house with their imaginations running wild like only Frick and Frack can.

This is parenting, folks. It’s all about the rollercoaster of emotions and duck dinners. The moral of the story: Children are like ducks. Unfortunately, you can only eat one of them when they piss you off.

 

Tomorrow my work, in conjunction with the pediatric unit at the local hospital, is hosting a garden memorial service for families who have lost children. I currently work at an organization that hosts families with children going through medical treatment. This covers children who are born prematurely, children who have been diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatment, to children who are the victims of accidents. Every family is going through their own struggles. So many have happy endings, and it warms me. However, on the rare occasion, a happy ending isn’t in the cards for these families. Tomorrow is for these families. 

I love the fact that my work honors families who have gone through great loss. I love the fact that we are able to give them a little ray of sunshine in their moment of sorrow.

I have hugged these families. I have listened to their stories. I have cried my silent tears for them.

Through all of this, I find myself struggling. Struggling as I sit at home, holding my children. Holding my healthy children.

Today I found myself looking at my children trying to imagine what it would be like if they suddenly weren’t here anymore. Trying to imagine, comprehend, what all these families have gone through. I suddenly felt guilty because I am blessed to be able to hold my children and kiss them before bed each night.

What do I say to these parents who are missing a piece of their hearts? How do I hold them in my arms and tell them it will be ok, when I can’t even begin to comprehend what they are going through? 

I love my job, and I love being able to help sustain a place of comfort and refuge for families. So, tomorrow I will do what I am good at. Tomorrow I will open my arms and remind those families what my work is all about…them.

Blessings to all those who have lost a child. May you find peace. I will always be here with open arms to embrace you as you heal.