Saturday, April 13, 2013

Employee of the Month

Last night Sam said me, "Mommy is Employee of the Month." I thanked him for that honor. Then a few minutes later he said, "Slugule Mommy.” (Translation: Slug Mommy) and proceeded to try. Ah, it was a fleeting honor at best. Or maybe it’s some kind of Employee of the Month initiation ritual.

Either way, Employee of the Month isn't all it's cracked up to be.  

If Sam is indeed my boss, he can be an irrational one. The volatile nature of the last two months is certainly evidence of that. Even during better times it's a job filled with unexpected ups and down: Some days I’m lavished with affection for the smallest deed; other days my Herculean efforts are met with indifference. Or worse.

Still, there are those perks. As Employee of the Month should, I have the parking spot closest to the kitchen. A good day is like basking in warm sunlight. I never lack for entertainment. And if you like the twists and turns "I sure didn't see that coming" mystery, a week at my house could be nirvana. 

There are those nights when I am certain I can't make it through another day; days when I've had quite enough. Sleep coupled with a new morning brings optimism for a string of good days.  

I don't expect a plaque for this recent recognition, though the words alone were kind of nice. Thank you, Sam. I accept the honor. I'm going to pass on the 'slugule' though. You can give that to Tony.

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

For Dad

“Ah, Jin,” I can hear him say. “No one ever said life would be easy. But you have to pick up the gauntlet. Life goes on.”

He taught me well. But right now I am having trouble remembering how to take those first steps without him. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew so much. I thought I had prepared.

I had him for so many years. Still, I am selfish. I want to hear his irreverent laugh. I want to watch him break into that slow, easy smile. I want to have coffee with the tall, rugged and handsome contractor from Massachusetts one last time. I want to hear a story about the wizard, the ancients, Roman soldiers and firing up his 88s. I want to know the warmth of his hand in mine. I want the comfort of his being so the world will feel right. I want to look into his eyes see them light.

I want to tell him that he was the best Dad. That I couldn’t imagine him any other way. That no one will ever make me laugh as he did. That for a very long time, the sun won’t shine as bright.

I can hear him say, “Ah Jin. Tomorrow will be better.” I know he is right. “You have to carry on.” I see his gauntlet laying before me but before I pick it up, before I take those first tentative steps forward it must be said, carved within the depths of my heart is a place where I will carry his voice. Where I will hear him say, "Jin! You’re here!"

And I will answer, "Yes I am. Always and forever."