If you’ve thought the last almost-eight weeks have been nothing but depression and sob-fests over in Ali-land, you would not be far off. This has been a seriously bleak time.
But despite losing Daddy and being thrown into a logistical nightmare that includes commuting from Merritt Island to Orlando and Melbourne, seeing Mia ride a roller coaster of healthcare, and picking up more dog shit than I ever wanted to see in my entire life, there have been a few really bright spots in all of this.
And so, to change the tone on this site for just a brief moment, (and I do mean brief), I’d like to tell you about some things that have made me laugh…
- When we thought we were going to lose Mia only a week and a half after Daddy, I stood in her room brushing my hair and I was almost knocked over by feeling my Dad’s voice in my heart saying “This woman can’t even give me two weeks of peace in the afterlife?!”
- When we saw Mia in ICU and she was finally able to respond, I pulled out Daddy’s iPad and asked her who she was posing with in a photo from 2010. It looks like some random band dude and we couldn’t place him. She didn’t answer WHO he was. But when I said “He looks like he parties… does he party?” Her eyes got wide, she nodded big, and mouthed “OH YEAH!”
- Vince and I knew Mia and Daddy were gun enthusiasts and we had a good idea that they were “preppin’.” But none of us knew the spare guest room had been converted into a full-blown bunker and that there were guns and knives stashed in nearly every available surface. When we found our 6th handgun in a box at the top of the closet labeled “Photos and Important Documents,” we had to laugh.
- Daddy installed a wall safe in the house. We had to look EVERYWHERE for it – under every photo, behind every piece of furniture – and the only reason we even knew it existed was because we found the instructions to install on the surface of the “bunker.” It was behind a pretty big picture and when we took it off, it’s clear Daddy missed the studs in the wall at least twice before finally getting the right spot. Oh to imagine his frustration with that…
- Cari went to see Mia a few nights ago to say goodbye before heading back up to North Florida. I forget what Cari said to her, but I’m sure it was something sweet like “make sure you get good rest for me,” or “I need you to calm down so you can get better.” Mia mouthed, quite clearly, “Shut the fuck up.” hahahaha!!! (She mouthed “I love you” later to make up for it, but it was still hysterical.)
- We found the original drafts of their wills that clearly state “it is recommended that wills be drafted for each spouse at the same time, with all children in mind, to prevent sudden onset of Wicked Step Parent Syndrome.” LOLWUT?!
- I’m starting to plan Daddy’s memorial and thinking of stating, “in lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to the National Rifle Association or The Republican National Committee. C’mon, you know it’s what he would have wanted.” No, seriously…
- And finally, we found Daddy’s Playboy Club and Casino membership cards, with little bunny stamps marking each month he went to the club, from the years 1975 through 1982 – yeah like, eight freakin’ YEARS! And I was born in 1982!! Daddy!!
And oddly enough, there’s been a lot more. Cari and Corey, Vince and Cliff, my Uncles, even (and especially) my co-workers; everyone has kept me laughing. Sometimes that laughter turns into tears, sometimes tears turn into laughter.
But there’s not too many memories I have of Daddy that don’t end up making me smile.