Last night, Rebekkah told me she read my posts about Ella, and the comments everyone left for us. This surprises me a lot. What was even more unusual was how touched she was by how many people were grieving with us.Thank all of you who wept with us, encouraged us, cautioned us, and hoped with us. You simply will have no idea how much your words helped my family and me.
Of course, with all the sad stuff, I have been putting off telling you all about my trip to Austin, and the meeting between Dad and Michael. I knew trying to write while I was so sad would be useless and let’s face it, bleak, dark, and without hope whatsoever. I find it best to just skip trying to write about happy things until my mood matches, or at least until I wasn’t a pit of cynicism, discouragement, and anger, which generally takes me about a week to get a grip on.
So, let’s tie up some loose ends and together, we can just move…or limp, in some of our cases… forward with our lives.
What Michael Got Dad For Christmas
In Poor People Give Thoughtful Presents, I wrote about how Michael’s first year back in Dad’s life, he really pulled out all the stops and gave him the most awesome present ever. I gave Dad a goofy coffee cup. Well, Mike gave Dad his present in person while we were all in Austin, and here it was:
Dad and Michael Finally Meet in Austin, Texas
The reunion went a lot better than I really had expected it to. Dad is so different from how our stepfather was, and I wasn’t sure how Mike would take it. The devil you know and all that…. And Dad didn’t know what to expect from the very grown-up, successful middle-aged son he hadn’t seen in so many decades.
Being the link between them, I felt stressed about the whole thing. As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about. They are both grown adult men who can handle their lives without my help. Dad nagged Michael about his last name, and Michael wouldn’t let Dad pick up the check at any of the tons of restaurant meals we had. They seemed to find a rhythm quickly, and I found myself not as involved as I had expected to be. For those of you who know me, that is a really, really good place for me in any situation — on the sidelines.
I like “alone time”, and when I skipped going to the restaurant once, Dad was beyond appalled with me wanting to stay home alone, and Mike was afraid I was going “all bipolar agoraphobic like Mom”. As silly as it may sound, it made me feel a little warm and fuzzy knowing they were worried about me, and I only stressed for a few minutes over whether or not I am becoming agoraphobic. I rejected the diagnosis due to a lack of evidence and the faultless logic that anything that made me feel so peaceful, quiet, and calm simply couldn’t be that big of a deal kind of disease.
I then watched “Mike & Molly” episodes, ate Aunt Debbie’s leftover pizza from the night before, and painted my toenails. I loved every minute of it.
Mike is getting married soon, and we met Emily, his fiance and her adorable son, Leo. Leo called Dad “Gran-fodder” and pretty much locked up his place in Dad’s heart from the first minute. The camera crew and creative personnel were super nice, intelligent, and their enthusiasm for what they do for a living was really contagious. I hope one day I can support myself just by writing. To me, that is heaven on earth.
Mike got to meet a few of the extended family, but the real Mallicoat family reunion is going to be sometime this summer, when Mike can bring his three kids, and hopefully I can manage to gather mine together for at least a weekend together. This first trip was about Mike and Dad. Next time is about the rest of us.
I get over-stimulated pretty easily, and by the time Sunday rolled around, I was ready to go home. The train trip was not fun going back. Groups of passengers were belligerent, loud, and self-absorbed, including a religious one returning from a spiritual retreat. Children were coughing, crying, and pretty much out of sorts, like me. My ride to pick me up was getting complicated, and it had been mentioned to me that Ella was probably dead, and why. A guy working at Subway in the Fort Worth train station hit on me. I don’t live in Ft. Worth, so I was polite though non-committal. In return, he told me he had just been released from prison for serving 3 decades for a murder he had committed in the ’80’s. Wow. I really do attract a type, don’t I? I had no down time before returning to work, and I am now glad it worked out that way. I had less time to be depressed, pensive, and sadly cynical about life in general.
I adopted a German shepherd mix yesterday, and we are tentatively calling him Marcus. After all those dogs I worked so hard to place in homes, the irony of having to get another dog is not lost on me. I wanted to name him Cade, but Rebekkah hated it so much, I relented. He is 2 years old, neutered, and I adopted him from the Tulsa pound. He is beautiful, and just his presence in the house makes it feel different…less empty.
Dj adopted a chihuahua/German shepherd mix that isn’t as big as the squirrels outside, and has pretty much the same color fur and generally disgruntled demeanor as them as well. He thinks he’s a force to be reckoned with, even though he is constantly (and accidentally) being stepped on, kicked, and has to cry like a toddler when he wants to join the rest of his pack — Marcus and Sparrow — on the couch, until someone lifts him up there. He reminds me a little of a guy I used to know. :-)
DJ is still thinking up a name. We begin really working on our new house next week, which is three times bigger than this one, and plan to be in there by the week after. Good riddance to The Blue House. I have too many bad memories here.
Today, I discovered that Marcus has an interesting idiosyncrasy. I poured a couple of bowls of dry dog food into the large communal dog bowl. A minute or so later, I noticed Dj’s squirrel/dog and Sparrow sitting and watching Marcus use his nose to push all the food into a neat, organized pile at the top of the bowl. We all watched him do this, and then he ate the food and walked away. Evidently, our fascination and having a crowd watch him eat are old hat for Marcus. You just have got to love a dog with OCD!!
When Rebekkah got home today, I poured some food in the bowl again, hoping he would do it again…and he did!! He’s a little tiny bit mental, like the rest of us! Too cool.
There are other things, more complicated, less in focus, that I plan to write about soon. Today, I just want to leave this on a happy note, like Marcus and his weirdo eating routine, rodent sized dogs, and Dad having his son back again.