I Need an Editor. Or Something. . . Forgiving. For Real.

A few years ago, I was writing an obituary for a friend’s father who had passed away suddenly.  As many of you may have noticed, I do alright with the writing part of things most of the time, but I’m not quite so skilled as an editor*.  So, you shouldn’t be too surprised at the fact that I accidentally put the word “believed” where “beloved” was supposed to go.  So the first line read: “Mr. Bob Kennedy, believed father of Teddy and Linda Kennedy. . .”  Suddenly it seemed like not such a bad thing that Mr. Kennedy’s ex-wife hadn’t shown up to help her children handle the arrangements. 

(I spent the weekend with Mr. Kennedy a couple of years earlier when his son Teddy got married.  We were both just-outside-the-inner-circle participants in the wedding.  My ex was the best man and Mr. Kennedy was the now sober  and present father.  I am quite certain that Mr. Kennedy absolutely laughed his ass off over the whole thing.  I mean, he valued his children more than men who never went without them sometimes do.  But the whole thing was pretty rich.  He would have seen the humor.)  

I keep thinking about that story, because I keep thinking about her – the former Mrs. Kennedy.  Continue reading “I Need an Editor. Or Something. . . Forgiving. For Real.”

The Prophetess of Doom and Gloom

I met a woman a couple of months ago who may have saved my life.  At the very least, she brought a much needed spark of laughter and joy into a dark time.  And I don’t even remember her name.  She was a short woman, with slightly beaver like teeth, but it was a faux-masquerade ball at the local science museum for geeky adults and she was wearing a sequined mask, so I never saw her face.  I went because not only am I a geeky adult, I’m also a member of the museum so it was free.

In the course of talking I mentioned that I had 5 kids and was separated from their dad.  Turns out she was divorced as well.  I listened to her story and expressed sympathy for her painful experience.  And then she turned to me and said, “well, and I hate to be a Debby Downer here, but you do know you’re never going to get another man again.  Not with 5 kids you’re not.  No way.  You’re going to spend the rest of your life alone.”  At which point it took every ounce of self-control for me not to burst out laughing.  Who says something like that?  What is wrong with this person?  How do you even respond to something like that?  Do you burst into tears, confess your fear of being alone forever and let her shake her head knowingly at the shame of it all?  If you try to protest that you’ll be OK she’s just going to assume you’re in denial and maybe humor you.  I could have told her she was rude, but she was such a character I hated to see her leave in a huff.  I told her I hadn’t started processing that aspect of my loss yet.

Now, if this had been all the woman said, that would have been enough to make it worth my drive out that night.  But I will take it that God knows my sense of humor and put this dear woman in my path that night.  Continue reading “The Prophetess of Doom and Gloom”

An Aspiring Dumb Aleck Speaks

When I was a kid, every time one of my parents said, “don’t be a smart aleck” I had to supress the mighty urge to respond, “would you rather I be a dumb aleck?”  (I’m pretty sure my attempts at repression failed more than once.)  Even worse was when my dad would get frustrated with me and tell me, “ah- you just think you’re right.”  Well, yeah – of course I think I’m right.  If I thought I were wrong, I would change my mind.  Duh.  Change my mind if I’m so wrong.  (At this point my father is saying to the monitor: “finally – she tells it like it really is!” To which I must simply point out that I was a teenager who never drank, smoked, did drugs, went to parties, dated or had sex.  And I was usually on the honor roll and attended mass daily.  The challenges of raising me could probably be viewed as the parenting equivalents of first world problems.)

My favorite people have always been the ones who I could crack wise with to my heart’s content.  Part of the bond I always shared with the qxh (quasi-ex-husband) was the fact that I could say almost any outrageous over-the-top thing that popped into my head around him.  Which can create its own complications.  I had to sit him down a couple of years into our marriage to explain that we don’t actually live in a sitcom and if he didn’t tone it down, he was going to find himself in the middle of a family melodrama with no batteries in the remote. 

Last night I attended a divorce care recovery group where it was recommended that we make a list of what we have lost in divorce.  One of those things for me has been having a place for my personality to just sprawl out where ever it wanted to go.  Continue reading “An Aspiring Dumb Aleck Speaks”

I asked God to hit my husband with a bus

It has long been a practice among those who want to learn how to pray to pray a psalm each day – preferably by starting at the front and working through them in order.  When you do this, you find that some days the psalm speaks to you and some days you are praying someone else’s prayer.  Which is as it should be.  The point … Continue reading I asked God to hit my husband with a bus

I am not the Pioneer Woman –

For the 3 of you who do not know, The Pioneer Woman is Ree Drummond, a homeschooling mother of 4 who lives with her husband on a working ranch.  She has an enormously popular blog, is a talented photographer, cook and writer.  She is beautiful and stylish and has great taste.  Her kids and her house are comfortably imperfect, but are never so out of … Continue reading I am not the Pioneer Woman –