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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Being Thankful

It's Thanksgiving. 

A few moments ago I got off a video call where my parents and my brother's family were celebrating Thanksgiving.

I'm here in Florida and missing them.

My father's health is still in question although he's doing well at this moment.   My mother, while she is my mother and I worry about her mental state and her ability to drive and take care of herself father passes.

I lie to them.   Tell them things are fine here at Casa De Wilson.  They don't know that I left my job in late September to learn how to drive a truck.   A half baked idea about finding myself, finding time to write (which I used to do a lot more of, and better...sadly you only get better when you write, and I've not been).

How it was a chance to get off the phones and away from things and look deep into myself and figure out exactly who and what I am.

It's complicated dear reader.   It's complicated.

Why is a 52 year old man still looking for and needing approval from his parents?

Our house is still up for sale, and we recently had a death in Susan's extended family.   I know she wants to be there, to be part of the lives of her friends and large family.

For me, I have mixed emotions about leaving Florida for the cold confines of Pittsburgh.  Part of me wants to go home, to be with my family.  To say goodbye to my Dad when that time comes, to be there for my mother.

To try and start some sort of relationship with my brother...and his adopted daughter.  We just got off the phone and my collection of children's classics is going to her.  They were given to me when I was three and I remember reading Black Beauty, Robin Hood, Heidi and Tom Sawyer growing up.  How those stories enraptured me.    Even now I hold these books with reverence.

They are 50 years old now, these thin blue volumes and the bindings are still good.  The pages slightly faded but the illustrations; looking almost like they were done with old wood blocks, are still fresh and clean.   On a whim I look online and find my books, my books!, for sale for over $100 dollars.   Two of the volumes are missing in that set, my set is complete and probably in better condition.

These were gifts for my kids.  It never happened that way.

I just hope that Avery, my brother's adopted daughter, develops a love a reading; a wonder for words and the worlds that they create.  That one day she will hold these books the way I do now, with nostalgia and wonder.  I touch the covers with love and respect.

Even though our house has not sold yet, we are packing things up to make it easier when that time comes, getting rid of things that we no longer use or need.  Sue's collection of Elephants, once numbering over 600, is being whittled down to sentimental items only.

Old Cd's, tapes, albums and yes; even old books are finding their ways into libraries and Goodwill stores.  The odds and ends that make up a life.  I hold a rare record in my hands and wish for a record player to here the notes of a long dead jazz trumpeter come to life once again, but I put it in the collection bin to take it to the local collector and see what I can put into my back pocket for it.

As much as I would love to keep an old Blue Note album, it is better that someone actually enjoy it before it wraps beyond recognition and repair buried in my closet.  Susan makes a joke about how she's glad it's not a Brown Note album which is an old joke only a music lover would understand.

She tears up over an old photo of her now deceased husband.  Scott was a good man.  Taking care of her and his daughter long after the divorce.  I always respected him for that.  It was what a man was supposed to do.  To care for those that he loves.

me in a horrid picture
It's later now, I raise a glass for the third year in a row for World Peace.  A tradition started on a whim by Pastafarians.  The rest of the world has stopped it seems.   I won't.   #pastafariantoastforpeace

I'm feeling mello and loved and oh so thankful.  I'm also feeling very sentimental as my Facebook memories remind me of rides that I took on this day and the best cat in the world. 

For my father and his being alive.  Even though I don't think I'll make it home for Christmas this year, I hope he'll make it through another.

For Susan, who stands by me and supports me.   Sometimes I wonder why.

For running water, for my home, for my cats that want to be petted at 3 AM when I'm sleeping, for friends, for everything.

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

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