This is not fair

Life is not fair.

This is not news to anyone. Just when things seem to be somewhat “normal,” the poverbial shit hits the fan. Here’s the bottom line: Nana’s sick. Nana’s really sick. Somewhere around two months ago my wife got a call from her mother. She explained that she had been having some recent abdominal pain and was going to get checked out. A couple of weeks went by without too much real concern, until we got word that her MRI came back and it wasn’t good. First they suspected chirrosis of the liver. No. Then after more tests, it was determined that she has stage 3 ovarian cancer. Jump forward less than a week or so, and she was undergoing major surgery. It lasted some 4+ hours, and when it was over the surgeon had removed both ovaries, a large portion of her colon, appendix, total hysterectomy. I think I might be not listing everything, but you get the idea. The cancer was wrapped around her colon, and the tumor was about the size of a grapefruit.

This was a Friday. Kathy was out there the following Thursday – and would’ve been out there a lot sooner, but life and money didn’t allow the timing to work. Ann was still in the hospital by the time Kathy got out there. Her total stay ended up at about 2 weeks – a lot more than expected. Kathy’s total stay was from a Thursday to the following Wednesday. All but two nights she spent sleeping at the hospital on one of those little chair-things. Not comfortable. Here’s the bottom line: Ann’s sick. Very sick. She’s facing intense chemotherapy and her future is uncertain. The surgeon said that after chemo, she’s got an 80% chance of remission. This is hard to believe for us. We are very aware of the severeness of this whole thing, and think that the Dr’s might be blowing sunshine up our asses.

I’ve never seen Kathy so vulnerable, emotional, and scared. It’s breaking my heart, too. All I want to do is fix her pain, and I know there’s absolutely nothing I can do. Nothing. This entire family is not ready for the brutality, the pain, and the horrible times that are ahead. I do. I know the pain. I know the loss. I know the helpless and hoplessness of watching a parent wasting away. It’s going to be even more difficult because of our distance away. Everytime we’re able to get Kathy (or hopefully all of us) down to see the Barnes’ – it’s a given that Ann will be looking very different each time. Hair loss. Weight loss. It’s all going to be so terribly hard to deal with.

In my opinion, the worst thing about having a loved one fighting a disease, is the cruel nature of time. When dad was slowly succumbing to ALS for four extremely brutal years, one of my most constant thoughts was how no matter how much I wanted it to, time continued to tick away. I remember thinking, “…if I could just stop or slow down the days/hours/minutes, maybe I can find some sort of peace that will help me cope with this reality.” I dreamt about this. I rationalized, bargained, wished, begged for the ablity to simply slow or “pause” life (whatever that means). Then one day I realized that this was me being selfish, and it hurt to acknowledge that fact.

::Summer’s Over & The “Routine” is Back::

It went way too fast!” That’s what my boys are currently saying about their summer vacation. I agree wholeheartedly with them. I’m almost in mourning over the fact that they’re starting 5th and 8th grade. The first day of school each year comes with a bunch of mixed emotions for me. This is even more so now because as they get older it gets harder for me to let them go a little more and a little more. Parenting is the most brutal, painful, most rewarding, most sentimental (for me at least) thing I’ve ever done. I’ve always taken their pictures on the first day of school every fall. Looking back at them over time, especially now (and again, for me b/c I’m such an emotional, sentimental sap), makes me both proud and profoundly sad, simultaneously. I hate feeling sad. I hate it probably more than most people, specifically men my age. It sticks with me too long. It makes me physically ill, too. Stomach aches, cramps, headaches, a sense of disattachment, it’s all pretty brutal. 

Top off all the stress, reminders, and attempts to get a “routine” flowing once again for two boys who are used to staying up *late,* sleeping in very late, and not changing out of their pajamas – I discovered a nice, big, fat nail firmly inserted into one of my car’s tires. I guess that I’m “happy” that I saw this today instead of tomorrow morning when we were on the way to the first day of school. That probably would’ve sucked. Although, as of right now, my fix has just been to put more air into the tire and be careful with it because there’s no steady/quick escape of air, so I can manage for a day or so. The lovely gentlemen at the tire shop told me that, due to the nature of the puncture, they are not able to simply patch this hole. Yeah, a whole new tire. I’m planning on getting a second opinion on that theory, though.

So anyway, here we go! The 2015/16 school year has officially begun. My babies are now in 5th and 8th grade and I just CANNOT believe that fact. As a matter of fact, that fact has been tearing at my heart for the last few weeks. Time is precious, and it is not plentiful no matter what anyone says. I’ll be taking my annual “first day of school” pictures in the morning, then I’ll be dropping them off at school. Then on my way home – I will put my hand to my chest, feel my heartache, and start to choke back tears. At this, I can almost guarantee, I will fail. I’ll hide behind my sunglasses and tinted windows and hope nobody sees me. There’s a tiny bit of relief in knowing that I’m not the only sap who will be choking up though.

Fall is officially here! Well, sorta. Almost. Routines are back, and with them football, school, crisp weather(!), pumpkin-everything, hot coffee, spice, chili, and seasonal beers. My favorite time of year, without a doubt! Yes, I’ll horribly miss *not* hearing that damned alarm every morning at 6am – but alas, it build character right? 

Now I have to go crap the whip and attempt to get these kids in line, cleaned up, and in bed at a decent time tonight. So with that we begin another school year. I don’t like change, I don’t like watching my boys grow up so fast, I don’t like waking up early, but I know that the structure is needed and that vacation has to end eventually. **sigh.** Let’s get on it.

Here’s What’s Up in My World

So, I haven’t really updated my blog in…uh, forever. SO much has happened since my last update that I don’t think I could even catch this thing up if I wanted to. As a result, I’m just going to begin this update, and the future entries from here. My personal journal(s) have been my go-to for my writing. This is pretty much by design. Some of the things I have to say, that are on my mind, are just not for public consumption. 

Continue reading Here’s What’s Up in My World

Not Exactly What I Had Imagined

I attempted to get this blog post out yesterday, but it just didn’t happen. I think I was mired in a pity party about getting old, and feeling old. Not my best post ever, so bear with me. Here it is:


It’s my birthday, so I’ll whine and bitch and moan if I want to. Kind of a boring day which, come to think about it, probably was what I needed. There are days that it’s easier than others, to be a stay-at-home-parent. I don’t really know what I expect out of life now that I’m in my next decade of life (that sounds better than the alternative), but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t that I would’ve thought of. I remember on my 25th birthday, thinking “well, that’s the last birthday that I’ll actually have had something to look forward to.” Meaning what? What I mean is this: 16th birthday was the driver’s license; 18th was getting to vote and play scratch-off lottery tickets; 21st was obvious(!); 25th was finally getting a huge discount on my car insurance. So that was always the “joke” – after my 25th birthday there isn’t really any other one to look forward to, per se. Obviously this was just me being my typical smart-assed self, however, I have to admit that it’s seeming to ring true on my birthday this year. What I do know is that I am not aging gracefully. At least not in my head I’m not. My physical issues have taken a toll on me. It’s hard to be optimistic a lot of the time, and that’s a relatively new thing for me. I’ve always had a certain zest for life, taking it one challenge at a time. But now I have trouble with whatever the current challenge/stressor is that I’m dealing with because I get worried about the next one(s) at the same time. This compounds the stress. This doubles the fear. This messes with the optimism. During the next year I hope to be able to get a handle on this. Fear of the future is normal, but it shouldn’t be all-emcompassing.

I am a lucky man. I am happily married and helplessly in love! I have great children who I get to spend lots of time with, and be a fundamental part of their formative years. I would like to thank everyone for wishing me a happy birthday! Thank you to my family. And a special thank you and I love you to my sweet wife, Kathy! Here’s hoping that the 41st time I go around the sun will be the best one yet.

Parental Sentimentality, “The Ache” of milestones :: Perceived midlife crisis :: Male “junk” mishap on Fox31 Denver :: Last Day of Winter, 2014 :: Random Ron’ness

70 degrees two days ago with wind of 40-50 mph. 29 degrees yesterday with snow and high winds. 65-ish degrees today and sunny. This is Colorado in the Spring. Gotta love the weather in this state!

Now onto the important news. This is officially {NSFW} as well…so consider yourselves warned. The local Fox News affiliate channel was covering the news yesterday afternoon, reporting on a tragic news helicopter crash in Seattle, WA. For some reason they were showing a Twitter feed from various users that were apparently commenting on the terrible news at hand. During this very brief scrolling of tweets, some strange pictures began airing…the first was a picture of Johnny Depp in the Edward Scissorhands get-up, next was some strange meat-loaf-looking thing. Then…then came the crowning moment: Put bluntly…a FULL male frontal picture flashed on screen, on LIVE television! The word “epic” does not do this justice. Here’s the link, you have been warned! I have dubbed this one of the quintessential moments in Denver television news of all time. ‘Nuff said.

What else? Oh, I think both my body and my brain are officially undergoing a mid-life crisis. No, there’s not going to be a red sports car purchase in the near future (although I certainly would if I could!), but I have definitely come to a place in my life where I’m thinking about, and relating a lot to my father when he was this age. I remember it well, actually. This is a strange time in my life. Watching my boys grow up before my eyes is very difficult for me. On one hand it makes me so incredibly proud to see the young men they’re becoming. On the other hand it’s *the* single most painful, heart wrenching experience I’ve ever gone through. I know I’m not the first parent to feel what I have dubbed “The Ache” – but I’m a pretty emotional guy to begin with, and let me tell you, there’s not a day that goes by that this does not affect me. I feel The Ache in my soul. It’s better some days than others, but it never stops. Every milestone, every birthday, every rite of passage (per se’) as they grow up is something that I cherish. I am sentimental to a fault. Anyone else feel like this – especially any fathers out there? Ugh…anyway.

This blog entry should give everyone a small bit of insight into my mind, and all the tangents therein. My brain never shuts off, this can be a liability more often than not. Feel free to comment or message me, FB me, Twitter me, email, smoke message, text…pretty much anything but faxing me. I draw the line at the facsimile.

I hope my ramblings have been entertaining. Buh bye.

Quick update, etc.

Haven’t updated this blog in a while. I’ve been being anti-social, and only writing in my personal journal on my iPad. There are just some things that shouldn’t be publicly posted in this day and age, right?

The 2013 Christmas “season” went well for us this year. My wonderful wife had to work on Christmas this year, unfortunately. Nurses pull the short straw every third year or so when it comes to working holidays. Some years it’s Thanksgiving, some it’s New Year’s, some – like this last one – it’s Christmas. So we had a pretty mellow 12.25.13, but fully celebrated on the day after, down at Mom’s house. It was a packed house with lots of presents and spoiling of children all around! New Year’s Eve was non-eventful. We managed to stay awake until after midnight, too! That gets harder and harder every year.

More recently we all were on the Superbowl kick due to the Broncos kicking ass all season. Yeah, then we know what happened after that. The big game spanking the Broncos took reminded me of Elway in the mid-80’s. K had to work (of course), but we lucked out, and she got off early that Sunday, so that was nice! There was a HUGE amount of junk food going on, too. We had chicken, dip, chips, cheesy little smokies…all the necessary items for a proper Superbowl party. At halftime the attitude in my house had changed drastically. I had cracked a beer right before kickoff, and that same beer was sitting next to me at halftime…getting flat and warm. I had grand plans to make the traditional queso at the break in the game. This didn’t happen. My appetite was completely gone. The massive amount of food on the coffee table sat there, getting cold (or warm, depending). The obligatory beer was poured down the drain and replaced by a “rally beer” that was nice and cold. I was ready for second half Bronco optimism! Alas, this beer too, was dumped down the drain as we witnessed the stink-fest of a “game.” Me and my boys (one of them specifically, who will remain unnamed) then choked back tears, and pretty much crawled into bed early that night.

Anyway, that was our early February doings. My oldest has been involved in a spelling bee at his school, and made the first cut last week! We are going to the high school tonight for the second round of spelling – a written, then oral bee. If he passes these, he goes to districts!! We’re excited parents, and will be taking lots of pictures and video of the event, so we can remember this moment (aka: embarass him when he’s a teenager!).

That’s the small update that I have for right now. It’s quite far from complete, but it’ll have to do for now. I’m going to try to be diligent, and post more often, I promise! I have a TON of things to say lately – go figure. Maybe in my next blog, I’ll write about the latest Filth Industry concert that we had last Friday. I’ve got a ton of pictures to post from that show, too!

That’s it for now.