I’m two events and two families away from completing BYP’s 2017 year! That’s insane. You want to know what else?! In an attempt to refocus on “me” I’m going to share this (because, I’m pretty proud, and I think I should be…and also, my dad would be ecstatic); MY BUSINESS HAS DOUBLED in revenue. Oh my word I sit here in the exhaustion and passion and absolute gratification and self-respect because somehow we’ve done it and we’re still right side up (with only one “asleep” parent and one self-hospital visit).
We’re making it. In feeble attempts to “do” Christmas, we’re making it.
We had dinner with a dear friend a couple of weeks ago… It was the first time since my dad was *really sick* that we’d done anything “out” with friends. It almost felt foreign, but as I’ve sat in self-guilt over friendships that have drifted over the last year(s) in the aftermath of taking care of my dad, I reveled in the resuscitation of these dinners that have (for almost ten years) brought me so much joy. Because in some of my grief, through the tears that have me utter words like “I just want my daddy..” I’ve also yelled to Trey, beckoning for time so that we can “friend” with our friends again. I’m so glad he heard me, love you Baby.
So we “friended.” We talked about future, and of course the past 3 months, and inevitably the current now. As I talked… and talked a lot… I found myself saying how mad I was at my dad (because clearly it was up to him) to die in the thick of my favorite time of year. Maybe that’s why I have this need to play jazzy BB King music that’s got so much mood in those trumpets that I’ll never be able to hear them again without thinking of my dad and how grinchy I feel despite “making it” … It’s like, “BRING ON THE CHRISTMAS, JESUS. FILL THE ROOM WITH SPIRIT.. but just so you know, I’m still mad. And um, yeah, I plan to be moody until this feels right.” and then He whispers something back to me (through you all) that it might never be right, but at least it will be easier… so// BB KING and DUKE ELLINGTON and LOUIE PRIMA it will be, Michael Bublé will have to wait. And so will Celine, and yes even… Mariah. [ps can you sense my mood through capitalization? If not, read that last part again.]
I blare this stuff. BLARE IT. Because, I’m making it. Literally making. We’ve hung those classy garland things that take up way to much room down in storage. We even taught Jackson and Brayden a PG version of mistletoe-ing. There’s a tree that’s decorated in our living room, and I think there’s even presents underneath it all thanks to my aunts who do everything in their power to help mom and I “make-it.” So we are.
In this venture of “making it,” I’ve been organizing. I like to think of organizing as part of my “phoneix” days, where I’m given hope as I restore my mental health and sanity. When I say garland takes up too much room in storage; you have no idea. Last year, that probably wouldn’t have been such a bad thing. This year, I can’t take it. So. Our basement is in complete organization-seeking shambles. Disarray I tell you. But as if I wasn’t mad enough at the situation of timing, I found this.
I’m in this classical phase, heaving through photography. Like– what does that even mean? SO.MUCH.BLACK.AND.WHITE. If you ask my clients, that’s probably always been me. Maybe I’m just noticing the timelessness more.
I’m thinking this photo was taken in the 1930’s. 1930’s! My dad sitting on my grandfather’s lap in front of that Christmas tree with tackie garland (which by the way probably DIDN’T take up much room in storage and ps did they even have storage back then??) …resting in the arms of his father…
I also found this picture. 1. OLAN MILLS. 2. holy mullet. 3. that freakishly ugly doll that is part of the backdrop. and 4. me; leaning into my daddy. And while this photo isn’t my tried and true, highly preferred, classical black and white, it’s timeless.
I know not everyone does or didn’t have a great relationship with their dads… I didn’t always either… But there was time and I did. And what perfect imagery, of a daddy’s purpose–my dad’s purpose.
Some of my last conversation with my dad included words like, “You made so many of my dreams come true…” to which he responded, “Well honey, that’s what Daddy’s do for their little girls.” God, I miss him so much.
So I’m leaning on his spirit. His Christmas Spirit because he had so much of it to give. And I’m relying on these timeless reminders that are helping us “make” Christmas just like we’ve done Christmas in years past. We’re decking the halls with photos like these and beholding more timelessness:
Like the end of Christmas where Papa B has on his slippers and little boys are playing with new toys.
Beholding the letter on the tree– he wrote me one every year. PS I LOVE how my dad never gave into the commercialized Christ-mas. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to fall short. Let that be a lesson. Parents- write your kids letters this year. They’ll be cherished long after you are gone. I’m writing a letter to our unborn child(ren) this year. Damn you infertility.
Beholding my super sexy husband and the way standing next to him makes me feel safe and comforted.
Beholding the ways I leaned into my dad long into adulthood so that I could continue to do it– even when he’s gone.