The Day of the dead
Tom: Your sons are missing you. You underestimated your impact as a father. Their love, their anger, their confusion, and their feelings of failure. To your plight is all overwhelming to them. I understand your struggle- Father’s Day. That was not all about you that culminated into the rest of your demons. Now you are released. You are at peace.
My father was stationed on an army base in Stiltgart, Germany for a year. I was 9 years old. My mother, older sister and I spent a month with him over Christmas. When holidays were celebrated at home in MN, we’d cut an evergreen tree down to decorate with mostly store bought ornaments. In Germany, we bought a small tree and made our own decorations- little people made of beads, with flower hats.
First Christmas after our divorce- alone. Kids with their father. The snow was beautiful.
Working in animal rescue, as rewarding and important as it is, is constant heartbreak. #adoptdon’tshop #spay the way
Every year we spend Hanukah with my dad’s side of the family. My mom’s side is very gifted musically but my dad’s side has very little musical talent. So whe we sing the prayers they sing off key and it makes me happy because I love hearing people try even if they know it’s not perfect.
We started to celebrate the holidays differently. Some continued to buy so many gifts- I wanted more minimal celebration. No room for differences. Misinterpreted- sad. Now I spend the holidays in Central America with immediate family, which I LOVE!
Creating art in the studio down the hall.
Every year on Christmas my brother and I get up earlier than my parents so we have to wait at least an hour before opening gifts. We either end up playing with our dogs or playing a board game.
Every year I remind myself of the few days after Christmas when I decided to pull a cut off of the NYC euthanasia list to foster to adopt- I wound up adopting her myself. Since I really DO NOT like the holidays- thinking of this sweet kitty’s life saved makes the season bearable.
When I was 8 years old, we were putting up the Christmas tree as a family. When reaching into the box to grab a branch, the plastic needles of the tree poked my finger. I loudly screamed “the Christmas tree porked me!”. I didn’t understand why my my parents and siblings laughed until they cried.
I started playing guitar at age 12 and after annoying my parents for the next 3 years learning and cranking it up, I was given a sweet surprise by my dad when I was 15. It was late one weekday night, and he popped into my room and said “I have something for you”. I went into the living room and there was a guitar case with the words “Martin” on it. Now there was a Martin guitar I had fantasized to own for years. First thought “oh this is another hilarious dad joke”. Maybe he boughtthe Martin guitar case and put a crappy guitar in it to get my hopes up. He said “open it”, I did, and there was a Martin HO.28 guitar of my dreams sitting before me. I think after the excitement, hugs and smiles, I played that guitar all my life. Performed with it at weddings, stages, recorded with it. I will never sell that guitar. It reminds me of the love and support of my dad and who he is to me. The best dad in the world.
I was 8, stowed away in the closet and journaled about all the ridiculous conversations I could overhear through the door.
Christmas, 17 years old. I hovered around the oven for warmth. He told me “you’d be warm if you’d just eat.” I died a little more inside that day.
When I was 6 years old, my oldest brother (18) and I walked to the mailbox one mile from our home on a cold Christmas eve. We retrieved the mail and walked back to the house shivering down the icy/snowy road on a dark cloudless/starry night. When we got home, my brother announced we had seen Santa Claus in his sled in the sky. I went along with the story for a little while wondering with a puzzled look what I missed.
As a young boy I asked my aunt to buy me a vintage pulp magazine called “Marvel Science stories” #1 from 1938. I still own it 39 years later and am still very proud of it. Thank you Auntie Dianne.