On this day last year (2016), I had called the hospital to check up on my father. The RN station first patched me into the wrong room and I woke up a guy that was most DEFINITELY not Dad. Then, I called back and was told that he was transferred and was connected to the psyche ward… who THEN told me Dad was not there and transferred me to yet another RN station which hadn’t heard of him. After that, I just got in my car and drove like a bat out of hell to the hospital. It was 10 PM when I left my house.

Fortunately, Dad was in the same room right where I left him and was sleeping soundly. The RN saw me and gave me a report. He was fine. Stats were good. He was having a good night. I hanged out for about half an hour half-watching the TV before I decided that I should get out of downtown before the idiots start shooting into the air.

Though I was admittedly worried about him, I had no idea that was going to be the last New Year’s Eve I’d ever have with my father.

I’d love to be able to say “Thanks for good times, memories, and lessons, 2017!” but honestly, I’m not there yet. I might never get there.

Don’t get me wrong; some AMAZING things happened. My brother graduated from UD and was commissioned in the US Army two days after Dad left the world. Dad’s send-off was better than I could have imagined thanks to three faith communities and and army of family and friends, many of whom had never even got to meet him. One of my best friends got married and another had a baby. I got to help launch a church and help build a community with all sorts of awesome people who have done more than I could imagine. (They love Mom more than they love me, but I’m already used to that.) This Christmas season I got to perform with one of the most highly-regarded group of musicians in the area.

At the same time… I lost my father, my aunt, a cousin, and my cat. There have been the logistics and expenses of dealing with probate and everything spinning out from that. Friendships and relationships have been challenged and some have not been healed. I’m still struggling a bit with the whole “What’s next?” now that the caregiving thing has shifted.

And yeah… and I’m still periodically getting beat upside the head with the “Forty-year-old never-married/not-dating broke-@$$ failure-of-a-human-being with little or no social life who lives with and spends too much time with his mother” shit. YES. I’M AWARE. THANK YOU FOR REMINDING ME. Do I fit enough of the stereotype yet or should I get my comic book collection from my bedroom closet, scatter them all over the floor of my garage office, and take pictures?

(I almost did it, but most of them were bought in the 90’s during the comic book speculation bubble, so they really aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. None of the “Mint condition never opened” junk. I read those puppies!)

Okay… So I grabbed a FEW of them, dropped them on my door mat, complete with the salt I haven’t swept up yet. Yeah… I’m radical.

I don’t know about you, but I’m too wrapped-up in my own life to be concerned with someone else’s “personal failings.” I have my own which are far more than whatever I specified on social media or my blog. You tend to your splinter; I’ll tend to mine.

If you had an awesome 2017, I’m glad for you. I’m perfectly willing to celebrate with you (from the comfort and safety of my garage that I need to finish cleaning). If 2017 was a year of struggle and/or recovery, know that I am pulling and praying for you every step of the way. If 2017 was a year of pain and emotional hurt, then know that I am right there with you.

As far as 2017 goes, I’m just tired and ready for it to go. Bring on 2018.


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