Thursday, June 19, 2008

I knew if I was patient, something good would happen!!

So, yesterday was a good day...

For one thing, I always count it a good day if I can laugh. And if the sun shines. And if Mitchell offers me a vacation in the Smoky Mountains.....

Oh, I have been blessed, internets... Today I will not talk about sadness and death. I will not talk about demanding, lunatic husbands. For this one day I will not discuss frantic daughters who do NOT HAVE THEIR SHIT TOGETHER AND ARE LEAVING FOR GERMANY IN TWO WEEKS...

Today I want to talk about my family. And the extreme wonderfulness which they possess. Oh, yes, I have been blessed...

My father has definitely had his moments of supreme ASS-HAT-NESS. When I was very young, all he ever did was WORK. And when he was home he was tired and mean and grouchy. He didn't drink. He didn't use drugs. No, my dad's big addiction was work. He was a coal miner. So he worked hard. And he was an electrician. And a mechanic. He was a Union man. He was important at his job, and known for never EVER turning down overtime. He worked holidays and Sundays, and his birthday. He worked every time something broke or someone else was sick. He made a shit load of money. And he was generous with us.

But it cost him. Not only did he lose time with his family, time that he could never get back, he very nearly died in those mines, when he had a heart attack deep, deep underground. That ended his flush times, and made him, for a time, a very bitter man. He didn't like the idea that he could not work. The fact that his heart attack had blown up practically half of his heart meant nothing to him. He wanted to WORK!! Another stint in the hospital, another near death experience, and this time, my dad found some measure of peace.

He began to go to church. He studied his Bible, and he began to teach. He was a good teacher. This man who had only gone to school to the eighth grade had an almost unquenchable thirst for knowledge. He passed his love of reading on to me, his love of words, and the gift that some people had in putting words... simple words... together to create something beautiful, whether it be a story, or a poem, or a song. My dad knew real joy during this time of his life. He and my mother had friends, and they travelled a bit, they went out for dinner, they attended all the church functions. And behind closed doors, because my mom would DIE if anyone knew, they played poker for money... My mom whipped his ass and shared her loot by taking us out to dinner many times..

But then the world, as he knew it, crashed in and down upon him, and left my dad alone and destitute and afraid. This God that He had praised.. and served.. and loved.. He took my mother, he took her long before we were ready to lose her, and my dad was inconsolable.

Since that time my dad has done many, many things that have caused me shame. And anger. And guilt and sadness and misery. But he's been there, every single day, he's been there for me. I can make one phone call, and no matter how bad whatever it is in my life seems to be, my dad can make it better.

He's old now. He's sick. Time and life have left him tired and weak. But you let one of his kids need him. And that fire that burns inside of him will light him up, and you've never seen anyone with more strength, more fierce determination, more iron will, than my daddy.
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My brother Mark is... well Mark is seriously indefinable. He's the middle child in our family, and he was the one who was sick as a baby and in the hospital. Mitch calls him "Little Hole in the Heart." Mark is two years older than me, and as very young children, we were friends. He taught me to read when I was four. And I have not stopped since.

When Mark entered adolescence, though, he turned into a true demon. We couldn't get along for 5 minutes, and he spent DAYS thinking up ways to torture me. I know some of you have read things I've written about Mark in the past, and it IS true that he nearly set me on fire... He dropped a lit cigarette on my eyelid... drew army soldiers on the arms and legs of all of my dolls... made me start to smoke at the ripe old age of 10 so that if we got caught, I'd get in trouble too... and pinched and punched and kicked and teased me until I'm sure my mother never dared hope I'd live to be an adult.

But then Mark, because of Mitch, mind you, discovered drugs... and he was never the same after that. Somehow, it seemed that I was the only one who could see inside that hateful, mean bastard that he became, see my Marky way down in there, and I became very protective of him. It didn't matter how mean he was to me, and believe me, when Mark was a teenager, and HIGH, he treated me like the worst kind of foul shit... I believed in him... I was there when he needed to talk. I was there when he needed a favor... No matter what he needed, I tried my best to always do it for him.

This continued into adulthood. Long, long after it should have. I feel like I've been taking care of Mark my whole life. All during his marriage, I ran interference for him. Every time he fucked up, every time she left him or threatened to leave him, or kicked him out, I went to her and begged her to make up with him. I made excuses for him, I pulled him out of messes, I did everything I could possibly do to make his life better. I listened when he needed to talk, I made myself available 24/7 for him. After his divorce, my God, I nearly had a nervous breakdown. But he needed me, and there was no way I could not be there for him.

Mark has never been one to return the favor, so to speak. I know that if I need him, and if he's not busy, high, broke, or otherwise encumbered, he will try to help me. But more often than not, I don't rely on Mark when I need help. However, having said that, let me say this: I know, without doubt, that if anyone were ever to hurt me, Mark would take the worst kind of vengeance on them. I know that if things ever become so bad between me and the Husband that I am in fear or need a place to go, Mark's home is open to me. I know that he worries about me. I know that he loves me. And that is enough...
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Mitchell... He is my white knight. He is my safe place, when my world gets crazy. He will tease me and bitch and moan and make my life hell, but behind all that, he will make things better. He will see that I am rested and pampered and cared for. Mitch is the caregiver in our family, though it's a title he doesn't necessarily like, or want.

Mitch was a scrawny little thing as a kid. But a more beautiful smile you've never seen. It's funny that I don't remember so much about him in my mind from those early years. Of course, he was seven years older than me, so pretty much my earliest memories of him were as a teenager. And God, he was a prick. Like the time mom and dad left him to baby sit me while they went to the grocery. Little Hole in the Heart got to go with them, the sniveling little shit. Mitch made popcorn and told me not to lift the lid. I was FIVE, what do you think I did? I immediately jumped on the couch and tried to pretend like I was asleep. When he saw the mess I'd made, he spanked my ass and THEN he made me pick up every kernel, FROM THE FLOOR, with my teeth.

He could also be alot of fun. On another one of my mom and dad's trips out, with Little Hole in the Heart in tow, the sickly little bastard, Mitch unwrapped one of Mark's Christmas presents and we played Rock 'em, Sock 'em Robots for hours. Mitch always knew what everyone was getting for Christmas. He could unwrap a gift in seconds, play with it, put it back and re-wrap it, with NO ONE EVER KNOWING he'd done it. I loved those Rock 'em, Sock 'em Robots...

Mitch was weird as fuck, too. He used to make me bite his feet. More specifically, I had to bite his heels. What the hell he ever got out of that is beyond me. And here is how stupid *I* am. I DID IT!! Not only that, I gave ENDLESS back rubs, for which I NEVER received the $1 a minute I was promised. UGH. God will one day punish him for his cruelty...

And he taught me to dance. We had this whole dance routine, and it was cool as hell. But, since I was seven years younger, it's not like I ever got to go out and dance it anywhere with him. He also taught me the BUMP, and let me tell you, babies, I can bump with the BEST of them. Although currently, anyone bumping with me is in danger of getting bumped into next week...

Still to this day, Mitchell can talk pure shit to me, make me mad enough to kill him, and then smile that smile that totally melts my heart. He's our jester, doing absolutely anything for a laugh. He will dance, he will sing, he will make himself the fool if it will make you laugh.

And he does nice things for me, when he thinks I need them. Like the trip to his house in May. When he sent me to the spa for a massage, and a pedicure, and a facial.... And like the trip that he just called me about yesterday, to the Smoky Mountains, where he's rented an awesome place, with a jacuzzi, a hot tub, pool, video games, a COMPUTER, a pool table, and so much more I can't even remember it all....

But lest you think I am the LEACHIE sister from HELL, it isn't Mitch's money that makes me happy. (Although how stupid would I be to turn it down?) It's being with him, and Miss Katie (Hi Kate! You look very beautiful today!!). It's laughing and talking and teasing and having NO ONE demand that I do anything. Having no one tell me I'm not doing anything right, or that I'm not working HARD enough, or that they want a divorce because I didnt' do DISHES or PUT OUT on a regular enough basis....

Mitchell is my happy place... I wish I could share more of him with you. He'd be your happy place too....

6 comments:

the planet of janet said...

YAY!!!!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Well, I reckon this explains you, quite a bit. Poor baby.

Sleeping Mommy said...

You are indeed blessed sweetie. I envy that relationship you have with your brothers. I used to think I had it with my step-brothers but they've pretty much abandoned me since I got married 9 years ago.

Assholes.

Bina said...

I had a brother like Mark. Just evil and took great enjoyment out of toturing me, like the times he would hold me down so my sister with Down's Syndrome could beat me up, or the time he punched me so hard I passed out. Yea, like that.

But, I have no one like Mitch, you lucky dog you!

Burfica said...

My sister and I are very much like you and mitch. We tortured the hell out of each other when we were younger (she's 7 years older than me) But now, we are all each other has.

Dory said...

I shiny sequin heart Mitchell :)