Tag Archives: Dad

My Running Shoes Carried Me

I am not a Godly gal. I’m just not. But there’s a poem that has always sung to me in the moments when I am needing to have faith in something bigger than myself. I think it was on a bookmark that I had long ago, I am certain that you are familiar with the poem – the poem about walking on the sand at the beach and noticing only one set of footprints. It is the last line that has always resonated with me. “The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you.”

Tuesday morning I saw my father before he went in to surgery. Tuesday evening I saw him again. He was still “sleeping.” (I still prefer to think of him as sleeping, not heavily sedated to prevent the inevitable grasping at his breathing tube.) I kissed his forehead. I held his hand. My dad has warm hands. Always. His hands were cold as ice. They weren’t my dad’s hands. I didn’t stay long. He didn’t know I was there and I needed to keep my game face on for my step-mother. This was not the time for tears. I returned to the waiting room.

“He is still resting. I told his nurse to give you all the details.”

We had to go in one at a time because Lucy was not allowed in the ICU.

I went back to my hotel room that night. Lucy fell asleep quickly and I spent the evening staring at the wall. We woke early, both of us. I’d not be able to see my dad again until 10 in the morning. So, I did the only thing I knew to do.

Long before I found the Unitarian Church I went to the church of Sweat. Crisis makes you return to your roots. I strapped on my running shoes and with a stroller not at all intended for jogging I took off down the streets of downtown Louisville. The familiar sounds of my playlist filled my ears and my brain stopped buzzing for a few minutes. Until my iPhone said “Distance .5 miles, current pace is 8 minutes and 30 seconds per mile.” No stress here, just running about a minute faster than I usually do.

Louisville is a pretty city. The people are friendly. Most folks waved at me, many stepped out of my way. I took in the sights. Big buildings. Theaters. Street Paintings. Churches. I sighed as I have so many times in my life and thought “I wish I had a church. I’d go in one now. And pray. I’d pray my fucking ass off right now.” (See? I am not a pray-er. I suppose you don’t actually “pray your ass off,” huh?)


20130610-224512.jpgI kept running. Another mile. Still another mile. It was a good twenty more minutes before I realized that I DO have a church. And what do you know, downtown Louisville has a pretty big Unitarian church and I wasn’t but a block away. Tentatively I knocked on the door. “Come around back if doors are locked” read a small sign. I am not one to “bother” anyone. Ever. And before my mind could stop my feet I ran around the back of the building and pushed my stroller up their handicap ramp and rang the bell.

“Can I help you?”


The voice of the woman on the other side of the intercom made my bottom lip start to quiver. “Umm. I was hoping I could poke my head inside your sanctuary for a moment.”

She replied simply “Why do you want to “poke your head inside?”

And then the lip quiver became a tear. And another tear. “Because my dad had surgery yesterday and I think it might make me feel better to stand inside your sanctuary for a moment.”

“Certainly.” That’s all she said. And she let me in.

20130610-224516.jpgMany Unitarian churches have a time in their service where members of the congregation are invited to share their Joys & Concerns. It serves to build a community and to give us a moment to share in the moments of one another’s lives that make up the valleys and the peaks. With Lucy in her stroller I walked to the front of the sanctuary and said quietly to everyone and no one “As many of you know my father had surgery yesterday morning. I will be going to see him this morning. If you’d hold him in the light and send me all of the love you can for the next few hours I would really appreciate it.” I closed my eyes and stood in silence for a few moments. I wrote a note in their book and split before I might have to talk to anyone. “Thank you! Thank you so very much!!” I called out to the kindly stranger that had let me through the door.

20130610-224625.jpgI went straight back outside and returned to the Church of Sweat. Two more miles. A shower and a quick breakfast. Before I knew it it was 10 am and Lucy and I were heading over to the ICU.

Dad was awake. He was giving his nurse a hard time about the flavors of jell-o he’d been offered. He was sitting up in a chair. He was chock full of tubes and painkiller’s but when I said “I know you had wanted to get your surgery done early in the morning but I am so glad it was postponed until the afternoon so that I could see you before you went in” he grimaced.

“Good, Kel. I’m really glad you were glad.” I laughed. He winced.

I said “And thanks for being awake, I am just barely keeping my shit together here, and you know it is all about me, right?” He held my hand. His hands were still cold. But he was back. My dad.

Faith is a funny thing. I have spent the better part of my adult life thinking I didn’t really have any. But then I needed it. And damn if something didn’t carry me.



Man Cave

I am a firm believer that every man should have his own Man Cave.  This is not always possible.  But it’s a great idea if there is any way you can swing it.  Before you convince yourself that this is a belief I have only recently begun to have in the last few days (since deciding to become a capital H Housewife) I should mention that the Man Cave is not just for the man.

The Man Cave benefits everyone in the family.  “Wanna listen to shitty German metal bands, Dad?  Feel free.  Let me invite you to spend the morning in your Man Cave.”

“You like that painting do you, Dad?  Go ahead and buy it, sweetheart.  It will look lovely in the Man Cave.”

MQD had a Man Cave in our old house.  We had a three bedroom.  One for us, one for Em and one for MQD’s desk, his creepy painting, his porn-addled single guy computer and his Don’t Tread on Me flag push-pinned to the wall.  It was perfect.

And then we moved.  To our Grown Up house.  And we have three bedrooms.  One for us, one for Em and one that is theoretically Lucy’s, but it is actually for the grandparent’s.  The Guest Room for now, but frankly, a new baby brings just one kind of frequent guests.  Grandparents.

We no longer have a Man Cave.  I campaigned briefly to turn the shed in to the Man Cave.  But it fell on deaf ears.  Occasionally we discuss getting a new shed, and wiring it.  And then I start to get jealous, and say we need TWO sheds if it will actually end up an auxiliary living room in the back yard.  Indoor/outdoor carpeting and a window unit air conditioning unit and it starts sounding like a dream come true.  Add in a thrift store couch, a mini fridge and a three foot tall bong and suddenly I’m in college and foot loose and fancy free… I need only step in the back yard turn up the Beastie Boys and…. Sigh.  I got lost there for a moment.  Mom Caves are a totally different animal.  They exist only in the recesses of my mind.

And really the main reason every house needs a Man Cave is because  the rest of the house is Mom Town.  Let’s face it.  I don’t get to ban the rest of the family from any of the rooms.  I pee with the door open and frequently entertain a guest while pooping. But much of the house is my domain.

And now sometimes there are moments that I think “Damn, I wish we had a room for weird shit that I know Mike will LOVE.”   Today I wished I was that footloose gal with expendable income and a boyfriend that had his own place.  Because I saw something that I wanted to buy for this boy I am crazy about.  He would have been over the moon.

Not only do I not have $60 to piss away, but there is no Man Cave in which to store it.  MQD, you’ve probably already guessed what it was.

For now, just know I haven’t forgotten.

I went to the mall today.  And I wanted to bring this woman home for my husband.  But sadly we don’t have a spare bedroom or a basement. Some day, my love.   Some day…

The Man in the Red Suit

So I am veering from my original course just a bit.  Not every post this month was about an ornament, but it was about Christmas, at least tangentially.

And you can’t talk about Christmas without mentioning the man in the red suit.  And if you happen to live in Bardstown, Kentucky (Bourbon Capital of the World!) then Santa Claus looks an awful lot like this.

And if you don’t happen to live in Kentucky and he still looks familiar… it’s because Santa Claus also happens to look an awful lot like this guy.

Merry Christmas, Dad.  You taught me that it IS next to impossible to keep a secret where a good gift is concerned.  So I blame you completely for my being a last minute shopper. I can keep a secret for a few days.  But if I bought Christmas gifts in November there’d be no stopping my mouth.

You taught me to pick up the trash as we unwrap presents.  Even though as a kid I thought this was absurd, the trash patrol mid Christmas morning unwrapping, as a parent I do it.  I can’t help it.

You taught me that it is perfectly okay to trick your kid on Christmas morning.  I will never forget the Christmas morning that I thought I really didn’t get a bicycle.  Because you left it in the laundry room until we were all done opening presents.  I never had to ask whose idea it was to do that to me.  Your cackling gave you away.

You are the biggest kid I know.  And I love that you spend December in a big red suit making Christmas for the children in Bardstown.