WhatI'veLearned

We are never truly Unique.

And that’s not such a bad thing.

We are made up of every person who was before us. Our tendency to laugh at awkward times. The way we stick out tongue out when we’re thinking really REALLY hard about something. These are all things people have done before us. Whether we know that or not.

My father for instance. I’ve never spent much time that I recall with him in my childhood. My only childhood memory of him is when he built me this play house outside, and a while later when I was running around in the yard and had gotten too tall for it… I knocked my self out on the door frame. He was the first to get to me, and bring me to my mother. I remember waking up to her screaming and furiously upset that this had happened… and terrified of the gigantic goose egg on my forehead. I still have the scar from that day.

My mother and father were not together for very long and when they did get divorced, my mother never received a dime in child support and I never saw my father again until I was almost 23 years old. All that time was spent wondering about him. Curious about every little thing. Not knowing if my odd sense of humor, or the way tap my hands when I’m bored were from him, or just a unique thing I learned. And while I grew up with my mother, we’d had such a strained relationship that I never got to see these things from her. I felt lost in the world. Not quite belonging anywhere, wanting to belong everywhere.

When I finally did have the chance to reunite with my father, I’d just assumed that I was just one big unique, lost, fuck up. And wasn’t expecting to find my self. Just expecting to find my dad.

The first thing I saw was an Obama poster in the entryway of his home. Then he mentioned that even though his hair has been grey for years… It used to be the same color as mine and would glint red in the sunlight just as mine does. -I’d thought for sure that was just from my grandmother, who had bright red hair. So I was destined to always have the Irish come out no matter what color I dyed it.

Then I noticed facial expressions. At least the ones I know I’m making. It was an eerie feeling to feel like you do actually see yourself in someone you do not know.

Then I stopped by my mother’s house after the three hour drive home. And noticed more about her than I’d ever noticed. And her hair glinted too.

From my grand father I have an awkward sense of humor. The goofy kind that sometimes not everyone laughs at. From my grandmother I have an attitude that DEMANDS respect. A can’t take no for an answer what the fuck is that look for kind of attitude. No reason I guess, just blame the red hair. From my mom, I have the tendency to chew my fingers while I watch tv, and even though my mom never reads… I do that while reading a good part of a book too. Everyone says I look just like my aunt Jane, and in some ways, they are right. I’m a little shy and out of place in a crowd, just like my Uncle Ron and my Cousin Ryan are. While in most ways we are opposite, I’ve been through similar life events as my cousin Gary. On many things, we can share and build a little strength off from each other, at least once every few years…

My need to make everything a joke, or at least make things that are heavy feel a little lighter is almost 100% my dad. Though more people understand where his jokes are coming from. I think this pissed my mom off a lot. Though in some ways I wonder if it made the hurt of her loss and watching everything she thought would be go up in smoke a little easier. This is something we’ll probably never discuss.

Everyone before me, is simply just my shadow now. A part of me that I’ll never get rid of, nor would I want to. Could you imagine walking around with out your shadow? I couldn’t imagine not being the person I am today. And I know I’ve got to be so many things from other people, who I don’t even know.

Now that the mystery of my father is gone (or at least lessened) I don’t wonder so much about me, and who I am and where I’m going. My shadow is always trailing behind me.

And maybe that’s what makes me unique.


God answers prayers… they just aren’t always what we really WANT answered…

Case in point. A month ago we noticed that we weren’t getting as much hot water as normal. We thought maybe it was a problem with the hot water heater. So two more weeks pass (hey, life gets hectic when you have two kids, go to school and work…) when we finally go to drain the hot water heater. We needed to go down into the basement/crawl space, it’s awkward and dark, to shut off the water pump so that we could drain it completely. We found that a pipe broke and was pouring hot water straight from out heater into the basement. DAMN!

Good thing for Homeowners insurance! And part of me thought about how cool it would be if they told us that it all needed to be ripped out! We might even be able to get a new house!! Gosh, that’d be SOOOOOO cool to have a new house!

So we had to shut off the water and two days later we finally go a hold of our ins company and have them send people out to clean it up and assess any damage. When they get there, we learn that the floor in that section of the house needed to be completely ripped out and replaced. Insurance first said they wouldn’t cover the replacement… Well, PART of my prayer was answered… just not the part I really WANTED answered. After the clean up crew gave pictures of this to the insurance company they finally decided that they would replace the floor, and here we are two weeks later. Basically living with my fiancee’s parents and no water in my house as were have yet to get the pump fixed and I have NO floor in my mud room, if you go to walk in there you would fall into my basement.

So, lesson learned! Sometimes the things we wish for are things that would actually make life more difficult than it already is. Some people wish for money, they think that with the ability to pay off bills or whatever and get what they want that they would be happy. But that’s now always the case, sometimes you have people constantly after you, wanting that money. Some people take it and invest it to hopefully make more money and can end up loosing everything. Some people wish to have someone to love and the person they end up finding uses them, or abuses them and in the end they are still not happy. Even less happy than they were while poor or single. In life, we get what God gives us, and God gives us the best things, we just need to accept them as the best things and take the cues he gives us to make things better.

Don’t get me wrong. Some people do have GREAT prayers that are answered and things end up being what’s best! But sometimes we’re being sent a message when our prayers aren’t answered the way we wished they would be.