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What Could I Say? Been There, Done That!

Yesterday, I was sitting on the front porch, enjoying the peace.  For once, no one was in my face whining that they wanted a drink, or food, or crying because they had a bruise from rough play.  The kids were actually getting along. Their brother had just gotten a new bed, and they were breaking it in. Their laughter was ringing through the open front door like an old favorite song.  Suddenly, I heard my husband yell, “Stop jumping on the bed!”  Their was fun interrupted, the giggles stopped, and silence rang through the house.

He walked onto the porch, looking offended, and asked me, “Do you know what they were doing?”  I couldn’t help it; I started to laugh the kind of laugh that starts deep down in your belly, the kind of laugh that tickles your chest and makes your body shake and tears fall from your eyes.  He stood looking at me, confusion plain in his face.  When I finally thought I had it under control, I tried to say, “What do you expect? Lucas just got a new bed,” but somehow, I just couldn’t get it out.  I started to laugh again.

What could I really say?  Jumping on your bed is like the ultimate childhood past-time.  Of course, these days, we have trampolines and Wii’s, and all kinds of virtual games, but then?  We had our beds.  I remember having the best kind of bed for jumping on.  The box spring was super stiff, with a firm mattress.  Man, did I ever get air on that bed!  Sometimes, I’d come close to hitting my head on the ceiling, and my stomach would get that wobbly ticklish feeling you get from a good laugh. My mom used to yell at me: “Tricia, stop jumping on the bed!”  So I’d stop for a few minutes, and then start all over again, especially if I heard her go outside for a few minutes.

It was even better jumping with a friend. One time, my cousin Lesia and I jumped on my bed for hours while my mom wasn’t home.  There was the double bounce, where we’d jump at the same time, and the uneven bounce, where we’d offset our jumps.  Really, I’m surprised we didn’t end up breaking the damn bed.  God, we laughed and laughed.  Suddenly, there was my mom in the doorway.  “What are you doing?!”  We immediately sat on our butts, looking sorry. “We were making the bed softer, Mom.  See, it’s already more comfortable,” I told her.  She shook her head, and said,  “Pretty soon, you’ll be sleeping on the floor!”  She stormed out of the room and we burst into giggles.  Is there any better feeling?

What was I supposed to say to my kids when I knew full well that they were jumping on the bed?  Was I supposed to yell at them and tell them not to?  Was I supposed to pretend to be angry that they were enjoying a wonderful past time, and making memories together?  Perhaps I should have been a good parent and encouraged them to go jump on the trampoline out in the yard, but somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to do that.  I couldn’t bring myself to be a hypocrite, when in my heart, I was on that bed, flying up into the air with them.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Parenting

 

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Live for the Living

The old cliche’s are all true.  That’s why they become cliche’.  They get over-used, to the point of becoming ingrained into our minds.  We’ve heard them all at least once; maybe more, if like me, you lived with an elderly family member as a kid.  Two things I always heard from my grandparents: “This too shall pass,” and “Life goes on.”  Well, I hate to admit it, but they were right.

Today marks the one year anniversary of the night my brother-in-law, Donnie, was killed on his Harley Davidson.  Truthfully, today is really no different for me.  I think about him every day, sometimes with a wry grin, other times with tears and regrets.  I remember the day of his funeral, my husband was on his knees, trying to breathe through the pain that crushed him like a car crushes a squirrel, and myself saying, “Life goes on, Chuck.  Live for the living.” 

At the time, it was the only thing I could think of to say.  But, in actuality, it was the best, and most true thing that anyone could have said. We settled back into our routines, back to school, work, diddled with our projects, cleaned our houses, and so on.  One day turned into another, and before I knew it, a whole year had passed.  The pain is still there, the sharp sting when I see the leather jacket he used to wear, or when I hear his laugh ring through my mind, or when I think about the race tickets he handed us, the day before he died. The pain is still there, but it does fade, just a little, especially when I remember that Donnie was so full of life, so full of attitude, and filled with a strength that could stand stubborn in the face of  disapproval.  He’d tell us the same thing.  Life goes on, so live it!

So, in honor of Donald J. Kinney (1968 – 2010), I would like to celebrate the living today.  There are so many people that have touched my life.  Some have picked me up when I was broken, some have held me up when I lost my strength, and some have pushed me forward into the unknown, when I might have gone backward into the safety zone.  Some have shown me love, others cruelty, but all have influenced my life, and have helped on this long, winding road that we call life.  I’m grateful for the living, and happy that I am among them.  I hope some day I will be able to influence someone else, the way that I have been influenced, guided, and inspired.  Live for the living, and cherish the ones you love.

RIP Brother, I’ll always love you and miss you like crazy!

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2011 in Life

 

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I Remember You

It’s no secret that I miss my brother-in-law, Donnie.  I’ve blogged about it, talked about it, written about it, and I’ve got a memorial tattoo on my arm.  A Harley symbol with three sets of initials, celebrating the special connection between myself, Chuck, and him, completed with Avenged Sevenfold wings.  It’s painful to look at, but it helps.  After all, he was involved in 90% of what we did, from working on trucks and riding motorcycles, to 4th of July fireworks and throwing hay bales all summer long, not to mention those quiet summer nights standing in the doorway of the garage, beer in hand.  Winter was a time for ice hockey, snowboarding, and drinking whiskey by the woodstove.  (Well, I drank the whiskey, the boys drank beer.)  The point is, he was always there. 

Afterward, I couldn’t even look at his chair by the stove.  The thought of it remaining empty for the rest of time brought a crushing weight down on my chest, and made it hard to breathe.  The garage was a nightmare for me, and the sight of a motorcycle could never fail to bring on the tears.  It’s gotten easier, but it never goes completely away.  We’ve been moving on, doing our thing, but in the back of my mind, I know that we are minus a member of our three-man crew.

Last week, when I hauled Chuck’s truck to the pulls, I turned to him with a sad smile.  “You know what’s running through my mind right now?” I asked. 

“That day you hauled the baler home,” he said, the pain evident in his voice that broke a little, just a little.

“Yeah,” I said, “He woulda really enjoyed this.”

The pain is always there, although sometimes it’s recessed in the corners of my mind, waiting like a snake to strike out at me when I least expect it.  We started haying last night, and as I jumped on the tractor, sitting on the fender while my five-year-old drove us down to the field, I was drawn back to a day when Donnie stood on the fender, teaching me to shift the gears.  As I stood on the wagon, ready to stack the bales thrown to me, I was taken back to a day where I was going down to the field with him.  He was holding a beer as he drove the Ford tractor down the road.  When we got into the field, he handed me the beer, told me to finish it.  Afterwards, he taught me to stack a hay wagon.  He’s always there.

The other day, my five-year-old, Lucas, handed me a rock he had written on.  “It’s Donnie’s name,” he told me.  “I remember him.”  What an amazing thing to hear from my son. I remember him too.  I remember the way he touched my life, and apparently, my two boys’ lives.  I remember every little thing from the last eleven years.  I’m glad that my boys remember him, and I’m sad that CC won’t. 

Sometimes I think the pain will fade, little by little.  It hasn’t even been a year.  Other times, I know better; I know there will always be a piece of us missing.

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2011 in Life

 

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