Halloween Party

She’s not reading her fortune, she’s showing off her nails

My nephews, the twins, had a party. So after night fell I drove out east with my brother to crash it for a while.

My clown costume, something I picked up at the grocery store for a whopping $7.50, was not, as the package read – “One size fits all.” I could roughly manage making it a strapless haltertop-like clown suit, but that was senseless. So I tucked the arms inside the bottom part and walked around in red pants with white polka dots. Maybe I should’ve planned better.

Back to the party. They’d done up the place real nice, and the moon helped lend atmosphere to the makeshift graveyard set up outside.

My sister was a gypsy and niece, a french maid. Or is that just maid? I’m not sure what makes a maid french.

Good times. Great seeing all my brothers and sisters together, along with my niece and nephews.

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Food and stuff

Awaiting caption Coleus

Last minute call on Sunday revealed my mom was gonna cook up some food.

My brothers were there and we had burgers, corn on the cob (which I cut off the cob), baked potatoes that seemed genetically altered and steamed broccoli.

The best part? Tomatoes from the backyard. Perfectly red and heavy with flavor.

After dishes were done, I sat on the back porch and chatted with my mom a good piece. A nice breeze made all the beautiful plants and flowers sway a little while white butterflies flitted around.

PhotosI took few photos, and none of the tomatoes.

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My father’s funeral

(insert a photo that was not taken)

My father’s service went, as these things go, very well. I spent the night prior staying up til 4 am printing out photos for a collage. Less a collage and more of a gridded poster.

Rising with fright that I was late, I found a jacket and tie in my closet, by sheer luck.

The weather was wonderful. Like God wanted something to shine upon us.

Tears came and went. Never for too long as there were steady arms around the shoulder or laughter spilling over from a memory.

Family and friends filed through and my reservations about an open casket fell quiet as I saw his body look so well and peaceful.

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Get along

Skyla the pup, my brother and nephew

The day after my father died, there was some laughter between hugs and moments when one could catch myself or any of my siblings staring off into space.

My nephew brought over their new pug.

Death becomes distant when seeing a new life. Whether pet or child.

Aside from the flurry of activity brought on by the dog, though blurry might be a more appropriate term—this little one is fast…

I pondered.

My brothers and sis, we’re all cut from similar cloth, but we’re each very different in what becomes our defining characteristics.

Bob and his nurture and organizational zeal.

Tom with humor and strength.

My sister the emotional core.

And me? Aloof but bright? Perhaps.

We overlap though, one picks up when the other’s not there. When all’s said and done, we get along. And I’m real thankful for that.

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Robert Glass

February 7, 1942 – August 28, 2004

In a parallel scene, I was checking my brother out of the hospital and I think he’s going to be okay for now.

We almost made back to the other side of town in time.

My father passed with my sister holding his hand, as he reached outward with the other. Occasionally cupping it over his eyes as if he were searching the horizon, I’m told.

Breaths became labored until there just weren’t anymore left.

I’d like to thank everyone for their support over these past months.

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The first scan

Camping, unknown date and location

This is the first photo I scanned in tonight, trying to get the settings right.

There are boxes upon boxes of photos, albums, envelopes… This is going to take a while and I’m kinda super thrilled about it.

Digitizing family photos has been a back-of-my-mind project for a long time. I’ve tinkered with the idea of a family tree, but that’s daunting. I’ll focus on photos.

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Moonflower

The palest ink is better than the best memory.
Chinese Proverb

Spent the day with my brother, the evening with my mom, and staying the night at my sisters.

We’re going through old photos.

Either cameras got a lot better, photos don’t age well, or a combination of the two. Regardless, there’s been a lot of laughter and jabs about haircuts and outfits. Stories crop up about events and vacations.

Makes me kinda happy that I’m trying to capture the day to day.

Sure the punctuating themes of holidays and graduations are lovely to bask in years later, but I’m just as drawn to what is happening in the backgrounds behind the people. I like the random days.

The in-between.

There are stories everywhere.

This is something that happens

I made some horrible comment to my brother today about Dad—some careless, bitter remark, veiled in poor humor. And in some ways I wonder if I let some opinion escape.

Dad’s not strong anymore.

Perhaps I’m refusing to accept that he needs continuous care, just as he refuses to ask for it.

Always, with our stubborn pride.

Wondering if fate is etched into our hands, something we do to ourselves, or merely supposed.

This is something that happens.

Volumes

On the way home from my sister’s

Driving to the hospital, the crops are doing real good all around it appears. This summer has had some favorable weather and plenty of rain out here in southwestern Ohio.

I took my Dad over for a shot of some sort. Something to bring up his white blood cell counts, ravaged by the chemotherapy.

He was chipper even though walking too far winds him something powerful.

Essentially, the chemo didn’t work. He’s at an impasse now, whether to do another round of stronger therapy, or focus on approaches that consider pain management.

I wrote the other day about new fun words I’ve learned, and they were a poor representation of the wholesome good time I had that night. But now I’m having to come to grips with other phrases with definitions rooted in reality.

Hospice.
Quality of Life.

Things of that sort. I’m reminded of a line from the movie I saw yesterday, taken completely out of context. It was the mother of a gay son bursting from denial,

“Maybe I don’t want to know.”

Seeing my Dad in good spirits was enough to help me block out what is feared. Personally, I’ve lived with Cancer long enough, that I, by no means invite death, but I do not fear it.

I can recall the good stuff.

There’s volumes of it.

Life’s been relatively wonderful.

Even with the lows, the stubbed toes, the broken bones, and getting lost in the corn behind the house growing up— there was relief in finding the exit.

I think the worst thing I can do is forget the good parts.

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Father’s Day

Out the kitchen window

All my brothers and sister got together today to grill out and plant a garden (albeit late in the season) for our dad.

I was slow getting there, lugging all my laundry for freshening.

The weather couldn’t have been better and even Dad came outside to sit under the shade for a piece as we prepped the beds and planted tomatoes, beans, flowers and other things. He’d say things like, “It’s wearing me out just watching ya’s” and head back inside for a few.

It probably just looked harder than it was, one Glass family trait is the ability to sweat buckets.

Overall, a really great day. I ate like a pig with snacks every few hours. Cheesecake and American Chopper rounded out the evening before I broke my sister’s computer.

Spent the night, now getting ready to take my Dad to doctor for one o them scan things.

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