raíces

It goes without saying but sometimes it is necessary to go back to your roots. Originally I had planned on doing just that but as we all know, life has a way of throwing a wrench into the machinery. Come to think of it, that’s an interesting analogy considering Henry was a mechanic.

The day of travel started out smoothly, like having an empty seat next to me from Philadelphia to San Francisco. Score! But then I was met with road bumps like a beefy delay at my layover and getting stood up at the airport when I arrived to San Diego. When you’re traveling on your own, fighting back the emotions from having to deal with the loss of a family member, the only thing I hoped for was a familiar face to hug me when I came down the escalators and when it didn’t happen, I was that girl, crying into her cell phone wondering what I did to get served such a piece of a shit sandwich. As if I didn’t have enough in my head, the last thing I needed was to be let down AGAIN. I don’t know why I keep giving people chances when they continuously have nothing to give other than disappointment. It’s rare that I drop my wall for people and expose my vulnerability… I did and I was let down once again. Needless to say, I am done with that situation on so many levels it isn’t even funny. Luckily Spencer pulled the knight in shining armor, came to my rescue and promptly took me to Lalo’s for a burrito.

The next few days were a whirlwind of family time. Josh pretty much pegged it. Because I missed the services, I would be trickling in at a time where everyone was so done with crying and my arrival would feel like a cool breeze coming in through the window. It was in fact just that. I surprised the parents earlier than expected and even though they had a sad undertone, I never saw them break down or cry. The days leading up to the services were hard on everyone and my not being with everyone was a heavy brick of guilt for me. But now we were all under the same roof to just be a family even if for a couple of days.

This is the thing… I have my perceptions about what kind of a person Henry was and as things unfolded I came to a lot of realizations that those perceptions were not off base. It was nice to be validated in my feelings by people who knew him better than I did. Do I feel bad for judging him? Absolutely. But then again, he never gave me the opportunity to see who he was in order to change those perceptions. So Henry is gone and now I will never know the answers. I am still struggling as to whether I am mourning the person, what was there, or what never was. I may have stopped crying over it but the internal thought is still very much present.

I spent a couple days in Mexico with the Garcia clan… going back to CA was one thing but being in Mexico is another. There is something so strong about putting your feet on the ground where you have roots, to be surrounded by comfortable familiarity, to ingest the sights, tastes and scents where you can call it even with closed eyes. Soul healing. I was happy and the only thing missing was the rest of my triangle. Going back to the West Coast will be one of the best things we ever do for ourselves when the day comes. The sun sets on the Pacific and that’s just the way I will always see it.

Then the day came where we all had to part and make ways back to our respective corners of the globe. It was good to see them all and even if the time was brief I was reminded just how awesome my family is. It’s crazy, loud, multi-cultural and it’s mine. I need them far more than I thought and if Henry’s departure has left me with something it’s not to take them for granted cause who knows when the next domino falls.

I only had a small window of time for friends and thankfully I was able to have some time with Spencer, Jason & Eryc, who were amazing enough to open their homes to me even if for a night or 2. It’s interesting and somewhat symbolic that as I lost a brother, I got closer to a few of the men in my life. I felt loved and taken care of the entire time. Amazing what bonding over Slurpees, tots and The Oscars will do to you. I love my boys.

As sad as the circumstances were, it was a good trip full of perspective, lesson learning and some MUCH NEEDED sunshine. It was hard to leave but it had it’s course. Thankfully I had two cats, a sleeping nugget and two very happy boys to come home to – boys who were more than stoked for the bean & cheese burritos I transported in my camera bag cross country. The things we do for the ones we love.

I cannot wait for Spring because for a while now I have felt I was standing on the edge of something greater. It’s coming. I am not sure what “it” is exactly, I just feel it will.

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I didn’t take nearly enough photos because my headspace wasn’t “there” but the ones that made way to my camera can be seen here.

making peace

Over the past couple of days there have been a lot of developments that came to light as to who Henry was. My sister has been greeted with a lot of love, tears, respect by his friends and coworkers. Everyone had nothing but good things to say. He was someone to them and even though he was not in our lives the way we wanted him to, there was someone there. I am grateful that he had some form of love in his life.

I would like to think that in his own complicated way, he did care but kept his distance to protect us from something? To keep us from the life that was so different than ours?

He was viewed as funny, loving, he had a beautiful pitbull named Jake that he received to help his broken heart from the loss of another dog, he helped his friends, he cared. Somewhere in there he was a person and I just can’t for the life understand why he couldn’t be those things with us. I dunno. I am just trying so hard to come to grips with the fact that I will never know why.

Today is the day when it hit me. I let so much of the bad memories overshadow what little good I had to remember him by. There are several things that were good… he helped me get back on a motorcycle after a traumatic accident, he exposed me to heavy metal, he fixed my car when I was broke, we laughed about stupid shit when he was around. It may have been few and far between but it was there. Instead of holding on to the positive I let all the disappointment he handed our way become the forefront. I feel horrible for being so angry and negative about the whole thing. At this point it is just too late, he’s gone and all I am left with was “did I try hard enough?”.

Today my family will be saying their goodbyes prior to cremation. I will not be there with them. I feel bad for not being there but honestly, viewings are not something I have the ability to handle. I don’t want to taint what little memories I have of him by one horrible visual, a visual of the vessel that was so broken and couldn’t take it anymore.

If there is something good that is coming out of all of this is that I am learning so much about the kindness of strangers. The outpour from people who don’t even “know” me has been overwhelming, to the point of tears. It is also bringing me even closer to the family that he has left behind. I need to cling on to that, appreciate it while I still have it cause who knows what may come next…

Life is something that a lot of people take for granted. I have been near death myself on more than one occasion and something kept me here. I will be damned if I am going to waste another precious minute on complaint, disregard and disrespect for the life I was given. There is more to be learned here.

clover

The morning started off nice dare I say? Yes, it did. I woke up early and ran off to the store to get pancake mix. I made breakfast for the nugget & husband in the form of spiderweb & spider pancakes. Dude. I know people love to rip on Martha Stewart but the idea to put the pancake mix in a squeeze bottle and draw your pancake shapes on the pan? You end up asking yourself the ever loving question we all do when something is awesome, “Why didn’t I think of that!!?”. Well played Martha. Happy kid was happy! I made myself a pentagram and called it breakfast success.

For a while I have been eyeing the Clover Market and the stars finally aligned for us not only to attend but a gorgeous day to boot. 70 degree weather? Low humidity? AMEN. What is Clover? The love child of a well curated flea market + craft bazaar. So we piled in the car, wearing our Sunday’s Best (lots of black clothes) and headed out to Ardmore, PA.

On the way over there Josh got pulled over by a cop for going through a yellow light. The whole thing was so stupid… and then comes the most stupid question cops always ask, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”. “Uh yes ma’am, you saw me hand my passengers a crack pipe and I had my dick out of my pants”. Like anyone would ever throw themselves under the bus over a potential wrongdoing. So Ms. Officer runs back to her car with our papers, does the show, comes back and gives us the “you ran a red light” lecture and let him off with a warning in order to “not inconvenience him to have to come back to PA since we live in NJ”. Bogus call was bogus and she knew it. Josh just smiled, nodded, “yes ma’am-ed” her and we were back on the road. As we pull away we giggle at his obvious placation and he says, “Honey, sometimes you just have to put it in your mouth”.

Back on track.

Ardmore is a really cute area and the market was awesome! Lots of great loot. The antique dealers were my favorites for sure, although some of it was way overinflated. Skeleton keys for $10 a piece? I don’t think so. Now the lady from Little Shop Of Hoarders who had them for $1? YES. And what a great name for a business. Also did you know that typewriters and vintage thermos bottles are the new black? Ya don’t say.

I will let the photos speak for themselves…


We made out with just a couple small things, funny enough, most from the same vendor who obviously knows her spooky business. Josh wanted the raven, Reza wanted the rat and the rest of the little nuggets are mine. Can’t wait to put them in my curio cabinet that is currently in the refinishing process. But that’s another post…

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the rest of the photos here

coming up for air

(excuse the repost. my host did some work, site went down and my last entry got eaten alive)

It feels like it has been eons since I was last in this window typing up the goings on. Let me begin by apologizing for my absence, my lack of comments, birthday wishes, phone calls…. all of it. I have been trying to catch up on posts, and what little I read on facebook but I know I am missing something. I am sure someone out there is saying I am an asshole for being withdrawn but truth be told, I have been seriously overwhelmed and this little square of butter has been spread on a loaf.

The family took off to NYC this morning and we opted to stay behind. I would love to do NYC with Bee but adding my parents and 3 children to the mix and well, it can take a lot of the fun out of it. I think we all needed the change in dynamic anyway.

Things here have been good. Absolutely crazy, but good. The kids are either on their best behavior or acting like lunatics. Reza and Sai (the youngest one) poke at each other a lot which leaves Bee and I playing referee a good portion of the time. Since there are so many of us, all outings have to be on the low key side and even then, can still feel like a production. Pair it with a resounding IN THREE LANGUAGES…. English, Spanish and Japanese? You can imagine.

Liz was here for about a week and we had the opportunity to have a “girls only” day at Revel to hit the spa and have dinner at Amada. It was so necessary to have a little escape that didn’t involve kids and before the parents arrived. My father could just not understand or fathom why we did either of it so we didn’t want to deal with the 20 questions. This is the one and only shot of all three of us. In hindsight I haven’t taken nearly as many photos as I should be but carting the camera while wrangling kids can prove tedious. Besides, some moments need to be savored far more than they need to be documented.

Josh, Bee and I went to see Sigur Ros and it was nothing short of absolutely brilliant and perfect. Worth every penny and thankfully the weather gods delivered for the outdoor venue. The fact we weren’t sporting a case of swamp ass and the mosquitoes were at bay was an extra bonus.

The rest of the trip has just been outings up the street, to Philly to walk around and anywhere the train can take us. It has been low key in that sense. That many people and one car makes things a little harder to plan but Bee, Josh and I have been managing making things work.

Bee and I haven’t had as much one on one time as we would like. Kids and parents who are vying for her attention makes things difficult. Thankfully Josh is awesome enough to be on kid detail to let us escape here and there to go do sister stuff. The other night we took off to see the new Wes Anderson movie, Moonrise Kingdom. She loves his films and never had the opportunity to see one on the big screen. A massive storm rolled in that night and while we were at the movies, we walked out to an absolute downpour of raining sideways proportions. My umbrella didn’t help us much as we ran through the parking lot, huddled under it, laughing our asses off. We got into the car with soaked asses and proceeded to laugh even more. So far that moment has been the best memory of her visit.

Family vacations can be rewarding but there is just so much going on, I wonder if anyone is really enjoying themselves. My father is absolutely bored here and it shows. Honestly I haven’t heard him say one nice thing about anything. I wish I could do more but I told them there isn’t much to do here and even if we do do things, he complains a lot, especially about the cost of things, or the food sucks, it’s too far, etc. To be honest he and I have been butting heads most of the time. I have my ways and he is very set in his. I get the whole “they’re your parents” and the “they’re getting old” part, I get that! But I have never been a people pleaser that does things just to get their approval or nod. My father seems to have purposely been making offhand, off color and inappropriate comments about things in an effort to get a rise out of me and I, like the hotheaded person I am, have been falling for it which has only made things worse. Comments about Josh and I having more children, comments about religion and how it’s a shame Reza isn’t going to catholic school…. these are two things we are very firm on and no one, and I mean NO ONE, is going to coerce us into either. All he talks about are numbers, the cost of shit, how much it is in pesos and my personal favorite, arguing about things he knows absolutely nothing about. It sucks cause his age has only become more apparent this visit and I feel like a shithead for being angry or annoyed at things when in retrospect, their time here is so little.

One thing Bee and I have absolutely put our foot down on, this is the last time we do this whole “everyone piles into one house vacation” for quite some time. We have our own family units, we both love to travel abroad and as much as we love to see one another and our parents, we need US time. Thankfully we agree on this cause we already are getting the “you need to come to Mexico next summer” comments. No way or how. Sorry!

Let’s see, what else?

I finally got fitted for a bra and let me tell you, when that woman said “F” I about shit a brick. Big tits are so overrated. Thankfully I scored on a great deal on a new tit harness that lifts and separates better than Moses did to the Red Sea. AHHHHHHHHH! I am trying not to fret cause as the weight comes off, the boobs go with it. I can’t handle being so top heavy.

Before the family came, I got to spend another weekend with Griselda and I got into an exchange of words with some gross Joizey broad in the movie theater. She pitched an absolute fit when I asked her to put her phone away cause she was texting in my face. “EXUCUSE ME? WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY TO ME?!!!”, then proceeded to call me a bitch. Girl blew up and I was furious, I seriously wanted to dump my water bottle on her crispy, forever 21 clad, bathed in far too much designer impostor perfume ass. But then I thought about my having to call my husband from jail…

“Josh? hi… uh, yeah… I assaulted some broad while we were watching Magic Mike. Can you come get me?”

If I am going to get hauled away by the po po it isn’t going to be while watching a cheezy movie about male strippers. And yes, I went to see it… sometimes mindless entertainment where men are objectified for once is totally necessary.

On a whole other note, Josh and I scored a ridiculous deal on airfare and well, we are San Diego bound this Fall. I already booked hair appointments and another sitting on my sleeve. We need to see our people! Praise jeebus! let the Mexican food floweth in my moutheth. Not before I spend a month busting my ass at the gym and on the bike cause it is not easy being good with your diet with a house load of people. oof!

This weekend will be all about relaxing, quiet time, catching up on emails, cards, phone calls…. necessary.

How are you?

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the rest of the photos can be viewed over on the flickr set

Enrique

It’s one of those things, I have been far from you for quite a bit of time. I am lucky if I get to see you once a year but it doesn’t mean I don’t care or wish that things could be a little different. Mexico is where you heart is Daddy and I would never keep you from it.

Despite the fact you drive me nuts when you want to talk about money and you pretend to hate the computer yet still ask me to look things up for you, I cherish those moments when I call and I can hear you light up over the phone. Getting to bond with you about what shitty movie you went to go see is the highlight, like the time you went to go see “Woolberry” (Wolverine) and how much you love El Espartackoos (Spartacus). I *still* laugh about that.

You’re so kooky Don Enrique, but behind your wall of eccentricities and sternness, you are a soft man who really loves and provided for his family the way a real man should. A real man, not the way these half assed wimps that nowadays want to call themselves “father” and only pale in comparison.

I haven’t seen you in two years but that will soon change when you come spend 3 weeks with us this Summer. I am looking forward to it cause time is a luxury we all cannot afford and what little I get with you needs to count. Even if you insist on going to the grocery store and partaking in gross Hungry Man dinners and complain about the cost of everything.

I know you will probably never see this cause not only do you not know how to use the internet but you hate having to use your Ingles, but I wanted to put it out there cause I too, with my rough exterior and wall of protection, am a softie at heart. I truly wish you could comprehend just how much you meant to us over the years. You did the absolute best you could and it is all I could have ever asked for.

Feliz Dia Del Padre Señor. Eres el chingon de los chingones.

floye

Josh’s grandmother and Reza’s Great Grandmother lost her battle with cancer this afternoon. She had been sick for a while now and by the time they found it, it was too advanced. Being such a graceful woman, full of Southern charm, she chose to accept her fate and go, knowing her life was lived the best she could.

Having lost all my grandparents by the time I was in my early 20’s, I adopted her as my own. Always making sure she had flowers and treats on Mother’s Day, calling her, sending her Christmas cards and photos of her great granddaughter. She always acted like we “didn’t need to” but I knew it made her smile and that’s why we did it.

I hope Aubrey and your sons were there to greet you when you got there Granny. The world is a sadder place without you in it and I am going to miss you deeply.