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Thursday, July 24, 2003

Talking to myself and feeling low. Sometimes I'd like to quit, nothing ever seems to fit....

So, finally, the long-awaited meeting with the pastoral staff. After all that's gone on in the f*&ked-up lives of Charlie and Renee in the last 7 months, you would think there would be some breathing room. Although there have been some really great moments of comic relief (last night was a classic...ask the Tinman and Pickle Girl about pink energy drinks) provided by the offspring. After a conversation with Ave about how Batman is behind in his family "legacy" of having impregnated someone by the time he's 20 (Kudos to you Batman!) and how in my eyes, he's a walking miracle standing in the face of generations of "trickle down effect", I thought to myself..."Hey, I'm a damn miracle myself! And Charlie's a miracle! Geez, I should be thrilled that my kids aren't anxious to leave the nest. It MUST be an ok place to be, despite those "Don't you roll your eyes up at me, and don't walk away when I'm talking to you" days.

For all the crap we've been through, here we are, trying to stand between our kids and the scriptural horror of "the sins of the father being visited upon the son." I think we've done ok in that respect. I mean, seriously, you CAN'T raise such amazing kids if you're the piece of trash you've been brainwashed into believing you are. If you're a liar, a deceiver, a person of no character, no integrity, can you then raise really great human beings? Can you? We'll give big points to inherent goodness for people like Bobby, Charlie, and me. But when it comes down to procreating and raising a person of value, there has GOT to be more than just a pat on the back. You gotta put down your baggage and throw away the crap and pick out new luggage. Designer luggage. Custom made. All brand new. The A, B, and C Designer line is completely original. NOT my mother and father's line, NOT his mother and father's line, it's OURS alone. For whatever flaws the line has, and there just aren't many, there are a myriad of reasons that this particular line will be a best-seller. It IS the finest quality. Handcrafted, well-loved, an heirloom legacy. No one can ever take THAT away. Ever.

At the last of the five funerals, I wept and thought to myself what a great loss this is. A beautiful woman, a much loved wife and mother, an amazing soul. And Charlie and I both commented about the contrast between the 200 to 300 people filling the church for Nora Teresa Gonzalez Maher, and the lack of that for Jimmy Lee Huffine. As the mass went on, I could feel so many things; sadness, reminisence of childhood cathecism, familiarity of worship by rote, corpus christi communion, and then joy. When the celebrant (priest) said that he could imagine that when God saw Nora coming He said, "Well done, thy good and faithful Nora...well done." I haven't stepped into a church and felt joy in a long damn time. But I felt them this time. I buried my face in Charlie's suit jacket and felt his arm hold me tight. There is no question that she will be missed and there will be a hole; a HUGE, gaping hole, where Nora Maher once lived. But like Petey Smith, her life was CELEBRATED by those who adored her. We want them back, but if we cannot have them, let their loving memories stay with us. When it is my time, I pray that what I leave behind are loving memories, and that the heirloom legacy that I left here will go on to create fonder memories because Charlie and I existed. Because we loved where love was difficult, because we cared when care was scarce, because we showed them how to return that and gave them a safe place to be. Because in a thankless job, someone still wanted the work and took the position and gave 110%.

Yesterday, I got the love letter of love letters. It's an amazing feeling to know that you are loved and appreciated by the man you choose to spend your life with. When it is about the relationship between the two of you, it's one thing. But when it is adoration or admiration for your place in a legacy, it's icing on the cake. I love cake....

Hi Pua,

Thanks for the Times obituary on Mrs. Maher. While I was reading the obituary, I started thinking about motherhood in general, mostly because of the list of children and friends that were part of, or made part of the Maher family through Mrs. Maher. As I thought about the influence she had been on her kids, I started to think about the influence you have had on our kids. I thought about the conversations that you and I had in the early years of our being together that were related to how we would like to raise our children. The will do's and the won't do's of raising kids, the want to do's and the need to do's. We discussed so much about what we wanted to build into our kids lives long before there was ever a hint of a child being on the way. And then, there they were. I was also reflecting back on the changes that were made in our lives, but mostly your life, to accommodate these new members of our family. I thought about all of the work you did to prepare for them, the changes you made with regard to a career and how your personal aspirations were put on hold so you could care for our babies. Wow! And then you went to work on raising our children. In thinking about all that you have done on their behalf, all that you put aside for them, all that you gave up to be there to add value and character to each of their lives, it became all too apparent to me once again, what a wonderful and dedicated mother you have been. You have done so much for them even if they don't always know it. And you have also, as Mrs. Maher did, added to our family through your love and the open arms you have extended to their friends. A woman that puts her children before herself, before all others, and even before her relationship with her husband ( if necessary) is truly a woman to look up to, to love, and to desire. A woman like this should have the praise and admiration of all of those that surround her. In this time of reflection, I again realize what a fortunate man I am and have been. I also realized how few the praises have been that have been directed to you because of our family circumstances and circle of friends. I know your heart must long to hear the words, "well done daughter, friend, sister, loved one." And you deserve to hear them because you have done well. You have done very well, you have made a difference, and your efforts have been true, sacrificial, and noted. I am sorry that there just haven't been enough praises to help you understand that it is true. Thank you for all that you have done as a mother and a wife. I love you and want you to know that I'm proud of all that you have done, especially when you consider how much baggage that had to be shed and how many changes that had to be made for this to have been possible. You have turned around a generation and have given your kids a foundation to build on. I love you. And I thank you with a grateful and full heart.


Thank you for the cake, Chooch. I couldn't have done it without you.

As for the pastoral meeting...if I must face the accusor for peace to return to me, I can do that. I can do it because I have nothing to be ashamed of and everything to be proud of. Joy comes from within. How can I have an empty heart when I have "cake" like this? :o)


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