It is rare to get rain in SF this time of year, but even rarer for it to be warm and a thunderstorm! We had one this past weekend. OMG It was amazing1
There aren’t many things I miss about the South, but the warm rain is definitely one of them. Rain here is often cold (and miserable). lol To get a warm rain and a thunderstorm is a rare treat. Sadly, I slept right through the thunderstorm part. Yup. It was all over by the time I woke up. I did get a nice walk in the rain though. I had to get Miss Daisy settled first. She tolerates it because where daddy goes, she goes, but she hates the rain. Afterwards, I took a leisurely stroll down to Starbucks to get my weekend caffeine fix. I took my sweet-ass time. I missed most of the rain but the tail end was light and just a delight!
I used to love warm rain growing up. I didn’t care if it was ‘stormin’, I like to be in the rain. Anytime it does happen here, I’m always reminded of one weekend playing with my older brother in the rain. We had that game where you run and standing slide as far as you could without falling. Of course, he always won. But that was never the point. I’m grateful I do have some fond memories of my childhood. Warm rain is definitely one of them.
It’s funny because people here worry about lightning from thunderstorms like people from the South worry about earthquakes here. And people talk about it for weeks afterwards. Weeks!
I’m sad I missed the bulk of it, but it was a lovely morning. We’ve been having a mini heat wave so the rain was a nice break from the previous day heat. It reached 96 in the city so I know the burbs were cooking. If nothing else, it put me in a good mood. I momentarily forgot about all the drama in the world right now. It was just me and the drizzling warm rain.
Continuing in the last vein of thought, I’m looking back over my life with my father. Much of it was harsh but in the end, I felt we made a strong closure.
My dad only passed in the last decade so naturally his memories are stronger in my mind and nothing has blurred. I remember the early days with him when my foster mom was still alive. I remember moving from Louisiana to East TX with an extended layover in Houston.1 I remember how happy my dad was to be in the country.2 I remember how he embraced our new life in the wilderness. He was a man alive and it was obvious he loved his life at that time. I remember him building our house. I remember being curled up in his lap sitting in the giant window overlooking the new wilderness we lived in. I remember him reading to me in that same window. His reading sparked my own love of reading and zest for knowledge. I remember him guiding and counseling me when I was plagued by nightmares and spirits. He didn’t make fun of me or make light of what I was feeling. I remember the pain in his face when my mom started getting really sick. I remember the nights after she died when he would pass out drunk on the floor in misery. I remember not understanding how someone so big and strong in my eyes was capable of tears. I remember the sadness that came after. I remember being left with my older brother while he worked longer and longer hours.
A couple years later, I can remember meeting what would become my new step-mother. I can remember seeing my dad smile again. I remember how that first year with her was warm and good. I can remember the birth of my younger brother and how happy it made him. I can also remember how hard he worked just to keep clothes on our back. I can remember seeing him so tired from manual labor he would sleep for a solid night and day to recover.
Unfortunately, I can remember the growing rift my step-mother forced between us. I can remember the lies she told him to prevent me from telling him what was really going on. I can remember the bouts of anger when he would lash out at me. I can remember the bruises that remained after. I can remember the day I came out to him when he hurt me like he’d never hurt me before. I can remember for the first time in my life being afraid of him. I can remember the anguish knowing he didn’t love me anymore and that in his eyes I no longer existed. I can remember wondering why I couldn’t be like his real sons. I remember the many years never speaking, never knowing if he ever thought of me.
I remember when he got sick, the kind of sick you don’t recover from. I can remember my brothers telling me to hurry back home before it was too late. I can remember seeing the husk of what used to be a strong/vibrant man, now ravaged by cancer. I can remember for only the 2nd or 3rd time in my life seeing my father cry as he told me for the very first time he regretted what he did to me. I remember seeing the relief that flooded his soul upon hearing I had forgiven him years before for all that he had done. I remember him telling me he loved me and that he was proud of the man I had become. I remember him not wanting me to go when I left to return to SF. I remember knowing in my heart that he would be dead soon. I remember the call sitting in my voicemail when arriving in SF that he had passed. I remember the relief I felt for him then and now. I remember being happy I could give him peace before he died.
Dad, I wish our time together had been longer. I wish we hadn’t lost so many years while I was growing up. I miss the bond we had when I was young and you were my shining light in the darkness of a big bad scary world. We weren’t the closest but I still remember the good that you gave me.
What I didn’t know at the time was this was when my foster mom was first diagnosed with cancer. [↩]
Which was even more remote than my home town, if you can believe it. lol [↩]
*This was supposed to be a post about both my parents but it evolved into a post about my mom. I’ll do a follow up post regarding my dad.*
It’s that time of year when I look back on my life. The anniversary of the deaths of both my adopted mother1 and father are upon me. While decades apart in occurrence, the calendar dates are weeks apart.
It pains me at times that the memories of my mother’s features are becoming less and less distinct in my mind. I can still see her in my mind but the image is a bit blurry now. Ironically, the memory of our time together is still very strong. I can remember spending hours just watching her sew. I can remember her humming while she cooked dinner at night. I can remember her consoling me when I would hurt myself playing. I can remember her feeding the chickens in the yard. I can remember riding in the back seat of the old car. I can remember how I felt when I realized at the ripe age of 5 she was sick, and not the kind of sick you get better from. I can remember begging her to hold on until I turned 7. I can remember her crying because her heart was breaking seeing me so innocent; begging her to stay, knowing she was powerless to do anything. I can remember after she died watching her family go into hysterics at the funeral. I can remember thinking, "if mommy is with god now, why is everyone so hysterical?" I can remember deciding I would never attend another funeral in my life2 I can remember going to her grave site years later begging her to take the gay out of me. (This was when I didn’t understand there was nothing really wrong with me.) I can remember crying on her grave, collapsing in a heap of exhaustion, because I felt guilty for almost taking my own life out of despair when I lost my first love. I can remember the sadness the day I realized I’d lived longer w/o her than I had with her.
Mommy, I still love and miss you. The pain of your loss has ebbed over time but I still remember the love you gave me. I remember when you had no reason at all to take me into your life, you took me with no questions asked and brooked no argument to the contrary from anyone. I’m grateful that before the years of torture and pain from my stepmother that I had a mom I can look back on with love and fond remembrance. And even though I can’t say I think of you as often as I did in those days, I still think of you. I still hold onto the good that you gave me. I hope that where ever you are you know that you made a difference in my young life.
No, NOT my stepmother. I almost never think of her and when I do there is usually a curse word on the tip of my tongue. [↩]