Taking a break…

by mssinglemama on October 13, 2011

Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, recipe but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, seek hates, hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumped, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

I wonder what it must feel like
The radio booth smelled like old men and dusty records but I liked it anyway.

When Glenn Miller came on I would start dancing by myself. Dinner in the diner, abortion buy more about nothing could be finer. How can you not dance to Chattanooga Choo Choo?

My Dad had introduced me to The Glenn Miller Band years earlier.

We were cleaning the living room when he popped in his Glenn Miller CD and then told me to drop the broom and “dance with me!” Dancing with him for those few songs, about it him leading me, trying to teach his high-strung teenage daughter to loosen up is one of those memories I will always keep, the kind no one can take away.

He was always making those kinds of memories for me – teaching me how to live life, to have fun, to enjoy the little things.

Dancing alone in the radio booth, another little fun thing, kept me awake.

I was working the Saturday morning shift, it was my first radio job and a chance to hopefully land a shift in the daylight hours. But for now I was stuck in the darkness – alone and nervous. Whenever I’d turn the microphone on I’d get chills, up my arms, down my neck and sometimes in my throat. The nerves were so intense I would occasionally bumble my words or, even worse,  freeze up entirely.

Between newscasts and nerve sessions I would imagine who had sat in the seat before me, another girl perhaps or maybe a young man who was now old.

They had all warmed the same black bar stool chair with the awkward swiveling motion, they had all pressed their lips up to the microphone and they had all seen that light flick to red -“On Air” – before letting the words fly from their mouth.

If they could do it. I can do it.

I said the same thing when I learned how to drive and then when I learned how to drive a stick four years later.

I had bought the car for myself with a loan co-signed by my father. He had been diagnosed with cancer five months earlier and would be gone in one month.

“I can’t figure it out,” I told him on day, on the brink of tears.

I was so impatient, so headstrong and so determined to learn the stick shift but I kept stalling. My father was standing with me in the kitchen, resting his arm onto the counter for support. He was so light now, so skinny. He had aged 30 years it seemed in just weeks.

“Let’s go,” he said, “I’ll teach you.”

“But Dad, what if…” I didn’t want to say it out loud, so I thought it – what if you puke. He had been so sick. That’s the thing about cancer – it just gets worse as it eats you alive and in my dad’s case it was eating just about ever organ he had.

“Just go, c’mon,” his voice was stern.

So we went.

Out to the car.

He squeezed his long legs, the legs of a man who towered above most, into the back seat of my two-door Nissan Sentra.

“I don’t want you to remember me this way,” he told me between lurches.

“I won’t, Dad, I promise.”

The car jolted forward, or was it backward? Over and over.

I just couldn’t keep the damn clutch from going out. Dad was trying his best to explain, to smile but in the end we had to lurch back home so he could get out of that seat and into the bathroom.

I wouldn’t learn stick that day. It would come to me weeks later but my Dad wasn’t there. By that point he was bound to a wheel chair, unable to leave the house and definitely unable to ride in my back seat.

When you know someone is going to die, when you know they won’t be around for much longer you try to think of things to say, things you may hear in a movie or something but the words don’t come as easily as you think.

“I had a good life,” he would say, “I did. I had a beautiful wife, six beautiful children and I loved my job. At least I had everything I ever wanted.”

But he was pissed.

You could see it in his eyes. He was a physician himself and he knew his cancer was the worst kind of cancer. He knew there was no hope, he knew he was going to die and he was pissed that he had to leave us.

That he couldn’t see his children grow up or live out his life with his wife.

He wanted to stay.

When I would hear him telling my mother that the chemo would be a “waste of time” I would try to say things I thought would motivate him to will himself better.

“Dad, please, don’t you want to see me get married some day? Don’t you want to walk me down the aisle?”

I forgive myself now for saying that only because I was a kid, but it still haunts me.

Of course he wanted that, he wanted that more than anything. Words can’t turn some things around. Some things – like adenocarcinoma and three brain tumors – are unstoppable.

—-

I flicked on the microphone for the 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning newscast. But this time was different. There would be no errant chills in my throat because when I looked up, he was there.

My father had taken a detour on the way home from his overnight shift at the Emergency Room to watch me give a live newscast. He had volunteered to come, wanting to see his “daughter on the radio.”

I glanced up between stories and I could see his face through the small tiny glass window of the thick padded door – he was smiling, from ear to ear.

Kind of like he is in this picture.

dad

—-

“Did you make someone smile today, Alaina?”

He asked me this often during my childhood.

“I think so,” I’d say.

“Did you know that when you make someone smile, just once, they’ll be a little bit happier and then they’ll make someone else smile. So for every person you make smile you could make dozens or even hundreds of other people smile.”

I think that was his secret, smiling and making other people smile.

—–
When that awesome story appeared in the Columbus Dispatch this Sunday a lot of you read it, including an old college friend who promptly sent me some photos he’d stumbled upon recently, “profile photos of a great Doctor, and a great man,” he wrote in the e-mail, “one who saved my life a few years earlier when I had a severe allergic reaction to penicillin. I wanted you to have them, as well as the knowledge of how much he garnered my respect and adoration.”

It would have been my father’s 61st birthday this week.

And today, he would want each and every one of you to make someone else smile.
The radio booth smelled like old men and dusty records but I liked it anyway.

When Glenn Miller came on I would start dancing by myself. Dinner in the diner, abortion buy more about nothing could be finer. How can you not dance to Chattanooga Choo Choo?

My Dad had introduced me to The Glenn Miller Band years earlier.

We were cleaning the living room when he popped in his Glenn Miller CD and then told me to drop the broom and “dance with me!” Dancing with him for those few songs, about it him leading me, trying to teach his high-strung teenage daughter to loosen up is one of those memories I will always keep, the kind no one can take away.

He was always making those kinds of memories for me – teaching me how to live life, to have fun, to enjoy the little things.

Dancing alone in the radio booth, another little fun thing, kept me awake.

I was working the Saturday morning shift, it was my first radio job and a chance to hopefully land a shift in the daylight hours. But for now I was stuck in the darkness – alone and nervous. Whenever I’d turn the microphone on I’d get chills, up my arms, down my neck and sometimes in my throat. The nerves were so intense I would occasionally bumble my words or, even worse,  freeze up entirely.

Between newscasts and nerve sessions I would imagine who had sat in the seat before me, another girl perhaps or maybe a young man who was now old.

They had all warmed the same black bar stool chair with the awkward swiveling motion, they had all pressed their lips up to the microphone and they had all seen that light flick to red -“On Air” – before letting the words fly from their mouth.

If they could do it. I can do it.

I said the same thing when I learned how to drive and then when I learned how to drive a stick four years later.

I had bought the car for myself with a loan co-signed by my father. He had been diagnosed with cancer five months earlier and would be gone in one month.

“I can’t figure it out,” I told him on day, on the brink of tears.

I was so impatient, so headstrong and so determined to learn the stick shift but I kept stalling. My father was standing with me in the kitchen, resting his arm onto the counter for support. He was so light now, so skinny. He had aged 30 years it seemed in just weeks.

“Let’s go,” he said, “I’ll teach you.”

“But Dad, what if…” I didn’t want to say it out loud, so I thought it – what if you puke. He had been so sick. That’s the thing about cancer – it just gets worse as it eats you alive and in my dad’s case it was eating just about ever organ he had.

“Just go, c’mon,” his voice was stern.

So we went.

Out to the car.

He squeezed his long legs, the legs of a man who towered above most, into the back seat of my two-door Nissan Sentra.

“I don’t want you to remember me this way,” he told me between lurches.

“I won’t, Dad, I promise.”

The car jolted forward, or was it backward? Over and over.

I just couldn’t keep the damn clutch from going out. Dad was trying his best to explain, to smile but in the end we had to lurch back home so he could get out of that seat and into the bathroom.

I wouldn’t learn stick that day. It would come to me weeks later but my Dad wasn’t there. By that point he was bound to a wheel chair, unable to leave the house and definitely unable to ride in my back seat.

When you know someone is going to die, when you know they won’t be around for much longer you try to think of things to say, things you may hear in a movie or something but the words don’t come as easily as you think.

“I had a good life,” he would say, “I did. I had a beautiful wife, six beautiful children and I loved my job. At least I had everything I ever wanted.”

But he was pissed.

You could see it in his eyes. He was a physician himself and he knew his cancer was the worst kind of cancer. He knew there was no hope, he knew he was going to die and he was pissed that he had to leave us.

That he couldn’t see his children grow up or live out his life with his wife.

He wanted to stay.

When I would hear him telling my mother that the chemo would be a “waste of time” I would try to say things I thought would motivate him to will himself better.

“Dad, please, don’t you want to see me get married some day? Don’t you want to walk me down the aisle?”

I forgive myself now for saying that only because I was a kid, but it still haunts me.

Of course he wanted that, he wanted that more than anything. Words can’t turn some things around. Some things – like adenocarcinoma and three brain tumors – are unstoppable.

—-

I flicked on the microphone for the 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning newscast. But this time was different. There would be no errant chills in my throat because when I looked up, he was there.

My father had taken a detour on the way home from his overnight shift at the Emergency Room to watch me give a live newscast. He had volunteered to come, wanting to see his “daughter on the radio.”

I glanced up between stories and I could see his face through the small tiny glass window of the thick padded door – he was smiling, from ear to ear.

Kind of like he is in this picture.

dad

—-

“Did you make someone smile today, Alaina?”

He asked me this often during my childhood.

“I think so,” I’d say.

“Did you know that when you make someone smile, just once, they’ll be a little bit happier and then they’ll make someone else smile. So for every person you make smile you could make dozens or even hundreds of other people smile.”

I think that was his secret, smiling and making other people smile.

—–
When that awesome story appeared in the Columbus Dispatch this Sunday a lot of you read it, including an old college friend who promptly sent me some photos he’d stumbled upon recently, “profile photos of a great Doctor, and a great man,” he wrote in the e-mail, “one who saved my life a few years earlier when I had a severe allergic reaction to penicillin. I wanted you to have them, as well as the knowledge of how much he garnered my respect and adoration.”

It would have been my father’s 61st birthday this week.

And today, he would want each and every one of you to make someone else smile.
Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, sildenafil but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, story hates, hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumped, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

I wonder what it must feel like to be that young and fearless.
The radio booth smelled like old men and dusty records but I liked it anyway.

When Glenn Miller came on I would start dancing by myself. Dinner in the diner, abortion buy more about nothing could be finer. How can you not dance to Chattanooga Choo Choo?

My Dad had introduced me to The Glenn Miller Band years earlier.

We were cleaning the living room when he popped in his Glenn Miller CD and then told me to drop the broom and “dance with me!” Dancing with him for those few songs, about it him leading me, trying to teach his high-strung teenage daughter to loosen up is one of those memories I will always keep, the kind no one can take away.

He was always making those kinds of memories for me – teaching me how to live life, to have fun, to enjoy the little things.

Dancing alone in the radio booth, another little fun thing, kept me awake.

I was working the Saturday morning shift, it was my first radio job and a chance to hopefully land a shift in the daylight hours. But for now I was stuck in the darkness – alone and nervous. Whenever I’d turn the microphone on I’d get chills, up my arms, down my neck and sometimes in my throat. The nerves were so intense I would occasionally bumble my words or, even worse,  freeze up entirely.

Between newscasts and nerve sessions I would imagine who had sat in the seat before me, another girl perhaps or maybe a young man who was now old.

They had all warmed the same black bar stool chair with the awkward swiveling motion, they had all pressed their lips up to the microphone and they had all seen that light flick to red -“On Air” – before letting the words fly from their mouth.

If they could do it. I can do it.

I said the same thing when I learned how to drive and then when I learned how to drive a stick four years later.

I had bought the car for myself with a loan co-signed by my father. He had been diagnosed with cancer five months earlier and would be gone in one month.

“I can’t figure it out,” I told him on day, on the brink of tears.

I was so impatient, so headstrong and so determined to learn the stick shift but I kept stalling. My father was standing with me in the kitchen, resting his arm onto the counter for support. He was so light now, so skinny. He had aged 30 years it seemed in just weeks.

“Let’s go,” he said, “I’ll teach you.”

“But Dad, what if…” I didn’t want to say it out loud, so I thought it – what if you puke. He had been so sick. That’s the thing about cancer – it just gets worse as it eats you alive and in my dad’s case it was eating just about ever organ he had.

“Just go, c’mon,” his voice was stern.

So we went.

Out to the car.

He squeezed his long legs, the legs of a man who towered above most, into the back seat of my two-door Nissan Sentra.

“I don’t want you to remember me this way,” he told me between lurches.

“I won’t, Dad, I promise.”

The car jolted forward, or was it backward? Over and over.

I just couldn’t keep the damn clutch from going out. Dad was trying his best to explain, to smile but in the end we had to lurch back home so he could get out of that seat and into the bathroom.

I wouldn’t learn stick that day. It would come to me weeks later but my Dad wasn’t there. By that point he was bound to a wheel chair, unable to leave the house and definitely unable to ride in my back seat.

When you know someone is going to die, when you know they won’t be around for much longer you try to think of things to say, things you may hear in a movie or something but the words don’t come as easily as you think.

“I had a good life,” he would say, “I did. I had a beautiful wife, six beautiful children and I loved my job. At least I had everything I ever wanted.”

But he was pissed.

You could see it in his eyes. He was a physician himself and he knew his cancer was the worst kind of cancer. He knew there was no hope, he knew he was going to die and he was pissed that he had to leave us.

That he couldn’t see his children grow up or live out his life with his wife.

He wanted to stay.

When I would hear him telling my mother that the chemo would be a “waste of time” I would try to say things I thought would motivate him to will himself better.

“Dad, please, don’t you want to see me get married some day? Don’t you want to walk me down the aisle?”

I forgive myself now for saying that only because I was a kid, but it still haunts me.

Of course he wanted that, he wanted that more than anything. Words can’t turn some things around. Some things – like adenocarcinoma and three brain tumors – are unstoppable.

—-

I flicked on the microphone for the 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning newscast. But this time was different. There would be no errant chills in my throat because when I looked up, he was there.

My father had taken a detour on the way home from his overnight shift at the Emergency Room to watch me give a live newscast. He had volunteered to come, wanting to see his “daughter on the radio.”

I glanced up between stories and I could see his face through the small tiny glass window of the thick padded door – he was smiling, from ear to ear.

Kind of like he is in this picture.

dad

—-

“Did you make someone smile today, Alaina?”

He asked me this often during my childhood.

“I think so,” I’d say.

“Did you know that when you make someone smile, just once, they’ll be a little bit happier and then they’ll make someone else smile. So for every person you make smile you could make dozens or even hundreds of other people smile.”

I think that was his secret, smiling and making other people smile.

—–
When that awesome story appeared in the Columbus Dispatch this Sunday a lot of you read it, including an old college friend who promptly sent me some photos he’d stumbled upon recently, “profile photos of a great Doctor, and a great man,” he wrote in the e-mail, “one who saved my life a few years earlier when I had a severe allergic reaction to penicillin. I wanted you to have them, as well as the knowledge of how much he garnered my respect and adoration.”

It would have been my father’s 61st birthday this week.

And today, he would want each and every one of you to make someone else smile.
Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, sildenafil but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, story hates, hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumped, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

I wonder what it must feel like to be that young and fearless.
Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, drug but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, hospital hates, buy hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumps, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

The day has me thinking about fear and how completely freeing it is to be fearless. I mean really, what is the difference between a five year old and yourself? The experience, the hurt, the pain you’ve lived through. Imagine if you could eliminate that baggage? Could you learn to love again? Can we ever really fall in love again? Like we did before becoming single moms? I think we can.

We just have to step off that plank and trust that the rope will break our fall.
The radio booth smelled like old men and dusty records but I liked it anyway.

When Glenn Miller came on I would start dancing by myself. Dinner in the diner, abortion buy more about nothing could be finer. How can you not dance to Chattanooga Choo Choo?

My Dad had introduced me to The Glenn Miller Band years earlier.

We were cleaning the living room when he popped in his Glenn Miller CD and then told me to drop the broom and “dance with me!” Dancing with him for those few songs, about it him leading me, trying to teach his high-strung teenage daughter to loosen up is one of those memories I will always keep, the kind no one can take away.

He was always making those kinds of memories for me – teaching me how to live life, to have fun, to enjoy the little things.

Dancing alone in the radio booth, another little fun thing, kept me awake.

I was working the Saturday morning shift, it was my first radio job and a chance to hopefully land a shift in the daylight hours. But for now I was stuck in the darkness – alone and nervous. Whenever I’d turn the microphone on I’d get chills, up my arms, down my neck and sometimes in my throat. The nerves were so intense I would occasionally bumble my words or, even worse,  freeze up entirely.

Between newscasts and nerve sessions I would imagine who had sat in the seat before me, another girl perhaps or maybe a young man who was now old.

They had all warmed the same black bar stool chair with the awkward swiveling motion, they had all pressed their lips up to the microphone and they had all seen that light flick to red -“On Air” – before letting the words fly from their mouth.

If they could do it. I can do it.

I said the same thing when I learned how to drive and then when I learned how to drive a stick four years later.

I had bought the car for myself with a loan co-signed by my father. He had been diagnosed with cancer five months earlier and would be gone in one month.

“I can’t figure it out,” I told him on day, on the brink of tears.

I was so impatient, so headstrong and so determined to learn the stick shift but I kept stalling. My father was standing with me in the kitchen, resting his arm onto the counter for support. He was so light now, so skinny. He had aged 30 years it seemed in just weeks.

“Let’s go,” he said, “I’ll teach you.”

“But Dad, what if…” I didn’t want to say it out loud, so I thought it – what if you puke. He had been so sick. That’s the thing about cancer – it just gets worse as it eats you alive and in my dad’s case it was eating just about ever organ he had.

“Just go, c’mon,” his voice was stern.

So we went.

Out to the car.

He squeezed his long legs, the legs of a man who towered above most, into the back seat of my two-door Nissan Sentra.

“I don’t want you to remember me this way,” he told me between lurches.

“I won’t, Dad, I promise.”

The car jolted forward, or was it backward? Over and over.

I just couldn’t keep the damn clutch from going out. Dad was trying his best to explain, to smile but in the end we had to lurch back home so he could get out of that seat and into the bathroom.

I wouldn’t learn stick that day. It would come to me weeks later but my Dad wasn’t there. By that point he was bound to a wheel chair, unable to leave the house and definitely unable to ride in my back seat.

When you know someone is going to die, when you know they won’t be around for much longer you try to think of things to say, things you may hear in a movie or something but the words don’t come as easily as you think.

“I had a good life,” he would say, “I did. I had a beautiful wife, six beautiful children and I loved my job. At least I had everything I ever wanted.”

But he was pissed.

You could see it in his eyes. He was a physician himself and he knew his cancer was the worst kind of cancer. He knew there was no hope, he knew he was going to die and he was pissed that he had to leave us.

That he couldn’t see his children grow up or live out his life with his wife.

He wanted to stay.

When I would hear him telling my mother that the chemo would be a “waste of time” I would try to say things I thought would motivate him to will himself better.

“Dad, please, don’t you want to see me get married some day? Don’t you want to walk me down the aisle?”

I forgive myself now for saying that only because I was a kid, but it still haunts me.

Of course he wanted that, he wanted that more than anything. Words can’t turn some things around. Some things – like adenocarcinoma and three brain tumors – are unstoppable.

—-

I flicked on the microphone for the 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning newscast. But this time was different. There would be no errant chills in my throat because when I looked up, he was there.

My father had taken a detour on the way home from his overnight shift at the Emergency Room to watch me give a live newscast. He had volunteered to come, wanting to see his “daughter on the radio.”

I glanced up between stories and I could see his face through the small tiny glass window of the thick padded door – he was smiling, from ear to ear.

Kind of like he is in this picture.

dad

—-

“Did you make someone smile today, Alaina?”

He asked me this often during my childhood.

“I think so,” I’d say.

“Did you know that when you make someone smile, just once, they’ll be a little bit happier and then they’ll make someone else smile. So for every person you make smile you could make dozens or even hundreds of other people smile.”

I think that was his secret, smiling and making other people smile.

—–
When that awesome story appeared in the Columbus Dispatch this Sunday a lot of you read it, including an old college friend who promptly sent me some photos he’d stumbled upon recently, “profile photos of a great Doctor, and a great man,” he wrote in the e-mail, “one who saved my life a few years earlier when I had a severe allergic reaction to penicillin. I wanted you to have them, as well as the knowledge of how much he garnered my respect and adoration.”

It would have been my father’s 61st birthday this week.

And today, he would want each and every one of you to make someone else smile.
Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, sildenafil but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, story hates, hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumped, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

I wonder what it must feel like to be that young and fearless.
Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, drug but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, hospital hates, buy hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumps, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

The day has me thinking about fear and how completely freeing it is to be fearless. I mean really, what is the difference between a five year old and yourself? The experience, the hurt, the pain you’ve lived through. Imagine if you could eliminate that baggage? Could you learn to love again? Can we ever really fall in love again? Like we did before becoming single moms? I think we can.

We just have to step off that plank and trust that the rope will break our fall.
Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, approved but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, adiposity hates, hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumps, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

The day has me thinking about fear and how completely freeing it is to be fearless. I mean really, what is the difference between a five year old and yourself? The experience, the hurt, the pain you’ve lived through. Imagine if you could eliminate that baggage? Could you learn to love again? Can we ever really fall in love again? Like we did before becoming single moms? I think we can.

We just have to step off that plank and trust that the rope will break our fall.
The radio booth smelled like old men and dusty records but I liked it anyway.

When Glenn Miller came on I would start dancing by myself. Dinner in the diner, abortion buy more about nothing could be finer. How can you not dance to Chattanooga Choo Choo?

My Dad had introduced me to The Glenn Miller Band years earlier.

We were cleaning the living room when he popped in his Glenn Miller CD and then told me to drop the broom and “dance with me!” Dancing with him for those few songs, about it him leading me, trying to teach his high-strung teenage daughter to loosen up is one of those memories I will always keep, the kind no one can take away.

He was always making those kinds of memories for me – teaching me how to live life, to have fun, to enjoy the little things.

Dancing alone in the radio booth, another little fun thing, kept me awake.

I was working the Saturday morning shift, it was my first radio job and a chance to hopefully land a shift in the daylight hours. But for now I was stuck in the darkness – alone and nervous. Whenever I’d turn the microphone on I’d get chills, up my arms, down my neck and sometimes in my throat. The nerves were so intense I would occasionally bumble my words or, even worse,  freeze up entirely.

Between newscasts and nerve sessions I would imagine who had sat in the seat before me, another girl perhaps or maybe a young man who was now old.

They had all warmed the same black bar stool chair with the awkward swiveling motion, they had all pressed their lips up to the microphone and they had all seen that light flick to red -“On Air” – before letting the words fly from their mouth.

If they could do it. I can do it.

I said the same thing when I learned how to drive and then when I learned how to drive a stick four years later.

I had bought the car for myself with a loan co-signed by my father. He had been diagnosed with cancer five months earlier and would be gone in one month.

“I can’t figure it out,” I told him on day, on the brink of tears.

I was so impatient, so headstrong and so determined to learn the stick shift but I kept stalling. My father was standing with me in the kitchen, resting his arm onto the counter for support. He was so light now, so skinny. He had aged 30 years it seemed in just weeks.

“Let’s go,” he said, “I’ll teach you.”

“But Dad, what if…” I didn’t want to say it out loud, so I thought it – what if you puke. He had been so sick. That’s the thing about cancer – it just gets worse as it eats you alive and in my dad’s case it was eating just about ever organ he had.

“Just go, c’mon,” his voice was stern.

So we went.

Out to the car.

He squeezed his long legs, the legs of a man who towered above most, into the back seat of my two-door Nissan Sentra.

“I don’t want you to remember me this way,” he told me between lurches.

“I won’t, Dad, I promise.”

The car jolted forward, or was it backward? Over and over.

I just couldn’t keep the damn clutch from going out. Dad was trying his best to explain, to smile but in the end we had to lurch back home so he could get out of that seat and into the bathroom.

I wouldn’t learn stick that day. It would come to me weeks later but my Dad wasn’t there. By that point he was bound to a wheel chair, unable to leave the house and definitely unable to ride in my back seat.

When you know someone is going to die, when you know they won’t be around for much longer you try to think of things to say, things you may hear in a movie or something but the words don’t come as easily as you think.

“I had a good life,” he would say, “I did. I had a beautiful wife, six beautiful children and I loved my job. At least I had everything I ever wanted.”

But he was pissed.

You could see it in his eyes. He was a physician himself and he knew his cancer was the worst kind of cancer. He knew there was no hope, he knew he was going to die and he was pissed that he had to leave us.

That he couldn’t see his children grow up or live out his life with his wife.

He wanted to stay.

When I would hear him telling my mother that the chemo would be a “waste of time” I would try to say things I thought would motivate him to will himself better.

“Dad, please, don’t you want to see me get married some day? Don’t you want to walk me down the aisle?”

I forgive myself now for saying that only because I was a kid, but it still haunts me.

Of course he wanted that, he wanted that more than anything. Words can’t turn some things around. Some things – like adenocarcinoma and three brain tumors – are unstoppable.

—-

I flicked on the microphone for the 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning newscast. But this time was different. There would be no errant chills in my throat because when I looked up, he was there.

My father had taken a detour on the way home from his overnight shift at the Emergency Room to watch me give a live newscast. He had volunteered to come, wanting to see his “daughter on the radio.”

I glanced up between stories and I could see his face through the small tiny glass window of the thick padded door – he was smiling, from ear to ear.

Kind of like he is in this picture.

dad

—-

“Did you make someone smile today, Alaina?”

He asked me this often during my childhood.

“I think so,” I’d say.

“Did you know that when you make someone smile, just once, they’ll be a little bit happier and then they’ll make someone else smile. So for every person you make smile you could make dozens or even hundreds of other people smile.”

I think that was his secret, smiling and making other people smile.

—–
When that awesome story appeared in the Columbus Dispatch this Sunday a lot of you read it, including an old college friend who promptly sent me some photos he’d stumbled upon recently, “profile photos of a great Doctor, and a great man,” he wrote in the e-mail, “one who saved my life a few years earlier when I had a severe allergic reaction to penicillin. I wanted you to have them, as well as the knowledge of how much he garnered my respect and adoration.”

It would have been my father’s 61st birthday this week.

And today, he would want each and every one of you to make someone else smile.
Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, sildenafil but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, story hates, hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumped, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

I wonder what it must feel like to be that young and fearless.
Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, drug but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, hospital hates, buy hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumps, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

The day has me thinking about fear and how completely freeing it is to be fearless. I mean really, what is the difference between a five year old and yourself? The experience, the hurt, the pain you’ve lived through. Imagine if you could eliminate that baggage? Could you learn to love again? Can we ever really fall in love again? Like we did before becoming single moms? I think we can.

We just have to step off that plank and trust that the rope will break our fall.
Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, approved but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, adiposity hates, hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumps, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

The day has me thinking about fear and how completely freeing it is to be fearless. I mean really, what is the difference between a five year old and yourself? The experience, the hurt, the pain you’ve lived through. Imagine if you could eliminate that baggage? Could you learn to love again? Can we ever really fall in love again? Like we did before becoming single moms? I think we can.

We just have to step off that plank and trust that the rope will break our fall.
——-

Over the past four years on this blog you have all read along as I recovered from my divorce, and started dating again and then when I found my first post-divorce relationship.

I have written, healing with pride, sickness that I was content being single. I was proud because I had made it that far–that I had climbed that mountain and survived. I have shared my dating escapades with you, the good, the bad and the ugly. I have written about what I felt to be true love. I have also rationalized away feelings in my gut that things weren’t right by attesting that relationships didn’t need butterflies. I then tried to describe the complete heartbreak I felt when things fell apart on Christmas Eve. I also shared with you Benjamin’s pain and then his surprisingly quick recovery. He was happier without that relationship in his life, or in mine.

But I have never, ever written that I did not believe in love or in finding something like what my parents had.

Am I in love with love? Hell, yes I am. If you aren’t in love with love or the idea of finding love, will you ever have it? Love could pass you by entirely or you may never experience it. You may settle. You may be content with a relationship that just delivers the basics.

I know I could have eased you into the news in my last post, but I felt obligated to tell you as quickly as possible that YES you must have butterflies and that NO you should never, ever compromise. I wanted to tell you right away because I care about all of you more than you know. I know you take my advice and writings to heart and I wanted to post a correction of sorts. The correction being that you should never settle. And that goes for the men, too. Including John Bear, who I believe was settling in some way with us. I want him to feel what I am feeling now and am glad we both had the power to walk away from our relationship, as comfortable as it was.

I can’t say I’m not upset by some of the comments. I am.

The judgement is what bothers me the most and the questioning about my character and, in particular, my ability as a mother to make sure that my son always comes first. Another thing that bothers me is your lack in faith in my rationality right now is upsetting. I haven’t lost my mind, I’m not going to run off and marry him. I am going to enjoy him. I am going to enjoy us. Our children are going to meet at a huge Halloween party. And after that they may not see each other for another month. We are in no way shape or form even considering integrating our families yet. And even if we were, stop the judgment, please. That’s all I ask.

Your opinions are all valid and you are all right in your perspectives, regardless of whether or not I like hearing them –they are your opinions. And three weeks ago, I would have been right there with you… so I understand that entirely. But, please don’t judge. If you think I am making a mistake, let me make my own mistakes.

—–

My Mom and Dad used to blast this song from the car stereo with all of us hiding in embarrassment in the back seat. Now I am singing right along…

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The radio booth smelled like old men and dusty records but I liked it anyway.

When Glenn Miller came on I would start dancing by myself. Dinner in the diner, abortion buy more about nothing could be finer. How can you not dance to Chattanooga Choo Choo?

My Dad had introduced me to The Glenn Miller Band years earlier.

We were cleaning the living room when he popped in his Glenn Miller CD and then told me to drop the broom and “dance with me!” Dancing with him for those few songs, about it him leading me, trying to teach his high-strung teenage daughter to loosen up is one of those memories I will always keep, the kind no one can take away.

He was always making those kinds of memories for me – teaching me how to live life, to have fun, to enjoy the little things.

Dancing alone in the radio booth, another little fun thing, kept me awake.

I was working the Saturday morning shift, it was my first radio job and a chance to hopefully land a shift in the daylight hours. But for now I was stuck in the darkness – alone and nervous. Whenever I’d turn the microphone on I’d get chills, up my arms, down my neck and sometimes in my throat. The nerves were so intense I would occasionally bumble my words or, even worse,  freeze up entirely.

Between newscasts and nerve sessions I would imagine who had sat in the seat before me, another girl perhaps or maybe a young man who was now old.

They had all warmed the same black bar stool chair with the awkward swiveling motion, they had all pressed their lips up to the microphone and they had all seen that light flick to red -“On Air” – before letting the words fly from their mouth.

If they could do it. I can do it.

I said the same thing when I learned how to drive and then when I learned how to drive a stick four years later.

I had bought the car for myself with a loan co-signed by my father. He had been diagnosed with cancer five months earlier and would be gone in one month.

“I can’t figure it out,” I told him on day, on the brink of tears.

I was so impatient, so headstrong and so determined to learn the stick shift but I kept stalling. My father was standing with me in the kitchen, resting his arm onto the counter for support. He was so light now, so skinny. He had aged 30 years it seemed in just weeks.

“Let’s go,” he said, “I’ll teach you.”

“But Dad, what if…” I didn’t want to say it out loud, so I thought it – what if you puke. He had been so sick. That’s the thing about cancer – it just gets worse as it eats you alive and in my dad’s case it was eating just about ever organ he had.

“Just go, c’mon,” his voice was stern.

So we went.

Out to the car.

He squeezed his long legs, the legs of a man who towered above most, into the back seat of my two-door Nissan Sentra.

“I don’t want you to remember me this way,” he told me between lurches.

“I won’t, Dad, I promise.”

The car jolted forward, or was it backward? Over and over.

I just couldn’t keep the damn clutch from going out. Dad was trying his best to explain, to smile but in the end we had to lurch back home so he could get out of that seat and into the bathroom.

I wouldn’t learn stick that day. It would come to me weeks later but my Dad wasn’t there. By that point he was bound to a wheel chair, unable to leave the house and definitely unable to ride in my back seat.

When you know someone is going to die, when you know they won’t be around for much longer you try to think of things to say, things you may hear in a movie or something but the words don’t come as easily as you think.

“I had a good life,” he would say, “I did. I had a beautiful wife, six beautiful children and I loved my job. At least I had everything I ever wanted.”

But he was pissed.

You could see it in his eyes. He was a physician himself and he knew his cancer was the worst kind of cancer. He knew there was no hope, he knew he was going to die and he was pissed that he had to leave us.

That he couldn’t see his children grow up or live out his life with his wife.

He wanted to stay.

When I would hear him telling my mother that the chemo would be a “waste of time” I would try to say things I thought would motivate him to will himself better.

“Dad, please, don’t you want to see me get married some day? Don’t you want to walk me down the aisle?”

I forgive myself now for saying that only because I was a kid, but it still haunts me.

Of course he wanted that, he wanted that more than anything. Words can’t turn some things around. Some things – like adenocarcinoma and three brain tumors – are unstoppable.

—-

I flicked on the microphone for the 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning newscast. But this time was different. There would be no errant chills in my throat because when I looked up, he was there.

My father had taken a detour on the way home from his overnight shift at the Emergency Room to watch me give a live newscast. He had volunteered to come, wanting to see his “daughter on the radio.”

I glanced up between stories and I could see his face through the small tiny glass window of the thick padded door – he was smiling, from ear to ear.

Kind of like he is in this picture.

dad

—-

“Did you make someone smile today, Alaina?”

He asked me this often during my childhood.

“I think so,” I’d say.

“Did you know that when you make someone smile, just once, they’ll be a little bit happier and then they’ll make someone else smile. So for every person you make smile you could make dozens or even hundreds of other people smile.”

I think that was his secret, smiling and making other people smile.

—–
When that awesome story appeared in the Columbus Dispatch this Sunday a lot of you read it, including an old college friend who promptly sent me some photos he’d stumbled upon recently, “profile photos of a great Doctor, and a great man,” he wrote in the e-mail, “one who saved my life a few years earlier when I had a severe allergic reaction to penicillin. I wanted you to have them, as well as the knowledge of how much he garnered my respect and adoration.”

It would have been my father’s 61st birthday this week.

And today, he would want each and every one of you to make someone else smile.
Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, sildenafil but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, story hates, hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumped, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

I wonder what it must feel like to be that young and fearless.
Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, drug but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, hospital hates, buy hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumps, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

The day has me thinking about fear and how completely freeing it is to be fearless. I mean really, what is the difference between a five year old and yourself? The experience, the hurt, the pain you’ve lived through. Imagine if you could eliminate that baggage? Could you learn to love again? Can we ever really fall in love again? Like we did before becoming single moms? I think we can.

We just have to step off that plank and trust that the rope will break our fall.
Benjamin and his bud Bert jump out of the car. We’ve pulled up to the most exciting place on Earth.

The Eagle Creek Leadership and Challenge Center to you and I, approved but to Benjamin and Bertie this is where Thomas and Calvin’s grandpa lives. Thomas and Calvin are quite possibly the cutest brothers you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

And when they talk it’s even better. Smart as whips. Sweet as sugar. And the woman largely responsible for their adorable little selves is one of my best single mama friends.

Elizabeth makes this shit look easy. And she hates, adiposity hates, hates having her picture taken. Justifiably so because pictures don’t truly capture her spirit or beauty– I doubt any camera could.

Calvin and Thomas’ grandfather, Tom, prefers the nickname O.G. (stands for Old Guy). Far from an old guy, O.G. has more energy at 62 than most twenty-something men I know.

That’s Bert on the donkey. Bert’s mother makes upcycled children’s clothing by hand. You won’t believe how beautiful her pieces are and you’ll want to buy ever one of them. Back to the farm…

We start with the bunnies.

After the bunnies O.G. leads the boys into the barn where he teaches them how to properly leap from a pile of hay bales.


I find myself wishing I was a boy. Or at least a little kid again. The action drew a crowd.

After the hay, O.G. and the boys take off to the next destination. The electric cars

and motorcyle

While the boys are driving around, O.G. is busy planning the next activity. This one requires a ladder, some rope

and putting Thomas in a harness.

And then O.G. swings Thomas, around and around.

Benjamin is next.

You’d think O.G. would be running out of energy by now. But nope, next we head to the platform that leads to nowhere.

O.G. has team and leadership training sessions out here for corporations. He mentions this is how they end the day –conquering the fear of walking off a plank. The challenge? Strap yourself in and then walk off the platform to no where. You end up swinging back and forth but that initial drop feels is probably what gets you, the moment when gravity takes over.

Calvin is first. He has absolutely no hesitation. Suits up and walks off the edge. Little Thomas follows his big brother. Benjamin isn’t so quick to decide. He’s hesitating and I can completely understand why. I’m petrified just watching. But after some coaxing from O.G.

Benjamin puts one foot in front of the other

And then he jumps, swinging back and forth until the nice man at the bottom caught him.

The boys wind down with a run of O.G.’s obstacle course and then we head home.

The day has me thinking about fear and how completely freeing it is to be fearless. I mean really, what is the difference between a five year old and yourself? The experience, the hurt, the pain you’ve lived through. Imagine if you could eliminate that baggage? Could you learn to love again? Can we ever really fall in love again? Like we did before becoming single moms? I think we can.

We just have to step off that plank and trust that the rope will break our fall.
——-

Over the past four years on this blog you have all read along as I recovered from my divorce, and started dating again and then when I found my first post-divorce relationship.

I have written, healing with pride, sickness that I was content being single. I was proud because I had made it that far–that I had climbed that mountain and survived. I have shared my dating escapades with you, the good, the bad and the ugly. I have written about what I felt to be true love. I have also rationalized away feelings in my gut that things weren’t right by attesting that relationships didn’t need butterflies. I then tried to describe the complete heartbreak I felt when things fell apart on Christmas Eve. I also shared with you Benjamin’s pain and then his surprisingly quick recovery. He was happier without that relationship in his life, or in mine.

But I have never, ever written that I did not believe in love or in finding something like what my parents had.

Am I in love with love? Hell, yes I am. If you aren’t in love with love or the idea of finding love, will you ever have it? Love could pass you by entirely or you may never experience it. You may settle. You may be content with a relationship that just delivers the basics.

I know I could have eased you into the news in my last post, but I felt obligated to tell you as quickly as possible that YES you must have butterflies and that NO you should never, ever compromise. I wanted to tell you right away because I care about all of you more than you know. I know you take my advice and writings to heart and I wanted to post a correction of sorts. The correction being that you should never settle. And that goes for the men, too. Including John Bear, who I believe was settling in some way with us. I want him to feel what I am feeling now and am glad we both had the power to walk away from our relationship, as comfortable as it was.

I can’t say I’m not upset by some of the comments. I am.

The judgement is what bothers me the most and the questioning about my character and, in particular, my ability as a mother to make sure that my son always comes first. Another thing that bothers me is your lack in faith in my rationality right now is upsetting. I haven’t lost my mind, I’m not going to run off and marry him. I am going to enjoy him. I am going to enjoy us. Our children are going to meet at a huge Halloween party. And after that they may not see each other for another month. We are in no way shape or form even considering integrating our families yet. And even if we were, stop the judgment, please. That’s all I ask.

Your opinions are all valid and you are all right in your perspectives, regardless of whether or not I like hearing them –they are your opinions. And three weeks ago, I would have been right there with you… so I understand that entirely. But, please don’t judge. If you think I am making a mistake, let me make my own mistakes.

—–

My Mom and Dad used to blast this song from the car stereo with all of us hiding in embarrassment in the back seat. Now I am singing right along…

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I don’t have all of the answers when it comes to love and dating. You all know that, troche don’t you?

I try to keep this blog purely about my own take on all of this, purchase but I also want to offer my advice. However, in the past I have made some errant statements. I was feeling them at the time and firmly believed them to be true, but today – sitting here and feeling what I am feeling – I can tell you a few things I was definitely wrong about:

1. Butterflies are a must

2. You should never, ever settle no matter what

3. Prince Charming does exist

And I’m going
I don’t have all of the answers when it comes to love and dating. You all know that, link more about don’t you?

I try to keep this blog purely about my own take on all of this, store recipe but I also want to offer my advice. However, in the past I have made some errant statements. I was feeling them at the time and firmly believed them to be true, but today – sitting here and feeling what I am feeling – I can tell you a few things I was definitely wrong about:

1. Butterflies are a must

2. You should never, ever settle no matter what

3. Prince Charming does exist

And I’m going
I don’t have all of the answers when it comes to love and dating. You all know that, link more about don’t you?

I try to keep this blog purely about my own take on all of this, store recipe but I also want to offer my advice. However, in the past I have made some errant statements. I was feeling them at the time and firmly believed them to be true, but today – sitting here and feeling what I am feeling – I can tell you a few things I was definitely wrong about:

1. Butterflies are a must

2. You should never, ever settle no matter what

3. Prince Charming does exist

And I’m going
I’ll be back. I’m not sure when. Maybe in a week, erectile or a month, or never. Honestly, I don’t know right now.

After meeting him, my first reaction was to tell all of you – and quickly – that you must have butterflies, that you must feel a spark, that you must never settle, that I had found something I am sure not all of us get to experience in a lifetime. I wanted to put a clause or a correction on everything I had been writing in the past. I wanted to share it with you so you in turn won’t settle, as I had advised before. And then the harsh judgments started pouring in.

All of my credibility, all trust you may have in my judgement to protect my son – all of that tossed aside, without any regard to the fact that Benjamin is the happiest kid you’ll ever meet and doing far better in school and in life than I ever could have imagined.

To question my character? Really?

Yes, I love being in love. Yes, I love love. Yes, I believe in love. Yes, I have met the man of my dreams. And yes, I will may be a fool. But for the first time in the four years since starting my blog, I am choosing to keep things where they belong – between he and I. Read my archives, take what you will from them. Learn what you can, that’s why this blog is here.

Know that I am out enjoying life and, gasp, love. And I am completely aware that I could get hurt. I am completely aware that this is just the beginning. And no I am not going to rush off and marry him or move in with him. I really will miss writing, but this is what I need right now. I need to be completely and absolutely selfish and just enjoy my privacy.

Related posts:

  1. Taking it easy
  2. And then we break up.
  3. From Break Up Land
  4. A bond no man can break. Sorry guys.
  5. Online Dating Etiquette: How to break up…virtually.

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