Friday, January 20, 2012

This That and Me Dad.

Looky what I got yesterday!

Here's the love train that brought it to me....

Sandy and Larry - she brought me some beautiful citrus too.
Oh, how I love citrus!!

I ate the wheat noodles - I had to believe that the love in the bowl cancelled out any negative effects.
I did have quite a belly ache last night though.
Worth it - I felt so loved.

This is all I accomplished yesterday.
I had books to read, but my head hurt too much to comprehend.
I do believe I have bronchitis and a side order of a sinus infection.

Wanted to give you an update on the burger.
It's not changing.
It's two weeks old today.
I keep seeing things on the interweb about McD's burgers - several years old that look just like mine.

I keep thinking I need to make a homemade burger for comparision.
I'm begging you to eat real food!

I wanted to say more about my father.

I had to say more.
I feel that I may have disrespected my beautiful father, and for my conscious sake - I need to say more.

My father was beautiful to behold.
He had a whole John Wayne vibe about him - and he was funny as heck.
He'd lose sleep over things like fussing at me for wasting paper, or when a stray cat that was hanging out by our back door went missing.
In fact - he had a dream about that cat, and that it was at a shelter - he went to the shelter and it was indeed there - he adopted it back out.
Goodness lived in that man's heart.
That's what's so sad about mental illness.  You can truly see that the real person is locked inside.

As I said in a previous post - I never knew my father to be anything but kind, peace loving and so extremely tender hearted toward us all.

The man took me to the Dairy Queen on Indianapolis Blvd. every single night after supper. 
 Just us two. 
 Large cone. 
Bring it Daddy! 
I have a stinkin' suspicion it's why DQ feels like love to me to this day.

He took one little brown pill a day that resembled an M&M and my mom kept them on the highest shelf in the pantry to keep us out of them.

He went for monthly counseling sessions.
He was really managing his illness well.

He was a carpenter at the steel mills on the South side of Chicago.
He used to holler out measurements in his sleep.
I still laugh thinking of it.
My mom said he'd grab her legs thinking they were two by fours while he'd holler out '4 and 3/4's'.
Now that's just funny - I don't care who ya are.

My father adored my mother, and my mother adored my father.
You know my mom - gracious - if you wanted to meet an incredible woman - look no further - she was incredible.  There's not enough that could be said about her goodness.
You know she never spoke a bad word to any of us about my father?

Truly it wasn't until 1988 when things started unraveling.
Mom noticed it right away - I just noticed dad seemed extra chatty.
There were happy times in between the hard times.

What I really wanted to share with you was this - a note that a dear friend - Peggy - sent to me after reading the blog.
Peggy was two years older than me - and really more of my sister's friend than mine - but she lived next door at was at our house often as a child.
We reconnected a few years ago when the local paper featured my blog and did an article about keeping backyard chickens.
We've become friends all over again.
The gifts that this blog has given me are numberless!

In all the years, days and hours I spent at your house as a child and young adult, I would never have imagined your father as anything but a sweet, naturally peaceful man. Despite the episode early on in their marriage, there is no doubt in my mind your mother and father were anything but utterly devoted to one another and the gaggle of girls they were raising in that oh, so tiny, oh so tidy English basement apartment.
My father's history is similar...only he never sought help...and as such, as you know, most of our days as children were a living nightmare.

I am glad my only memories of your childhood home are those of feeling the love in that little apartment and being embraced and accepted. Your father and I constantly teased one another and your mother was a role model for the patience and understanding i initially copied in the early years of raising my own family. I'm so happy, grateful and fortunate your family accepted and embraced me as a kid. It truly made a difference and helped shape me into the adult I am today. I love you, my friend. Namaste. Namaste. Namaste. The divine in me bows to the divine in you.

My father leaves a legacy.
It's not a legacy of insanity, it's not a legacy of hurt, or pain.
It's a legacy of goodness.
It's a legacy of love and humor and the strength of the human spirit.
When you mature enough to look past your own pain, and see the pain others carry and endure - it's most often a beautiful, haunting thing.
My father was beautiful, and I'm oh so glad he was my father.
I wouldn't have traded him for the world.
In the sixteen years that life was insanity - I would have traded the situation - but not him.
I do believe it all happened perfectly, and it's why I'm as compassionate as I am today.
Be kind to people.
We are all hurting or struggling with something.


  1. Jayme, You said it so well everyone is struggling with the past or the present situation. But how we choose to accept the hard times and find some happiness is our choice. I choose to be busy thoughtful and have the best attitude I can. Hugs to you for being brave and sharing your feelings so openly, Cheri

  2. I am a new reader. I love your posts. Very inspiring.

  3. I never doubted that you loved your dad, you were just presenting to us a part of your life that you would have preferred not to have gone through!

    My dad has suffered mental illness. He was diagnosed after being placed in a nursing home. My sister and I were surprised to hear that what we just thought was Dad, was really manifestations of his mental illness! We are different people because of our experiences with him, but neither of us has ever doubted his devotion and love for us. He is nearing the end of his life now, and I can't tell you how comforting your posts have been to me.

    Thank you, as always, Jayme!

  4. Jayme,

    I didn't think you were being disrespectful to your father's memory. I had no doubt he was a good man. Same as my Da was. It's not one way or the other with any of us. We all have good and bad. We all are struggling with some hardship. I have to believe most are doing the best they can with what they've got.


  5. I don't think you were at all disrespectful to your dad. You talked about him in a kind and loving way. Your last couple of sentences are so true.

  6. ((sigh)) you had me crying and laughing today - again.

    I too can remember the medicine, my dad took -up high- out of our mom made sure he had his dose every night and he managed it willingly...knowing.

    My father was a carpenter/maintance guy, too and geez I just laughed out loud at the line about your mom's legs being like 2x4's ... but I don't think my dad ever did that.

    Aren't you grateful for the GOOD memories that far outway the sad and bad? I know I am.

  7. To this day I believe that my mother also had some mental issues, but nothing that I know of was ever diagnosed. Who's to say we don't all have a bit of crazy in us?

  8. When reading your post yesterday,there was no question of the love and respect you had for your father.Seeing his picture today portrays the man you describe,just a sweet man. Looks like the kind of person you just want to wrap your arms around and hug. Mental illness can be so cruel.Despite all that your family had to deal with,sounds like there was a lot of love in that home.

  9. I nearly missed these posts, emergency room visit has me all upside down. So much you carry with you Jayme and still you see sunshine most days. A testament to inherited strengths from both. My Dad's demon was alcohol but he somehow managed to be a good Dad for the most part. He once said I turned out pretty good, except for being a Republican!

  10. What a loving tribute to your father. I regret that your road was bumpy but I love that you have so much compassion. Hope my email to you, did not upset you. It was rather rambling.

  11. Me again! I'm not a person of few words! Just not enough space to say everything! No longer eat fast food after watching Food Inc.I encourage anyone who hasn't seen it to watch it.As for your hamburger...well,even wordy me is lost for words!Keep us posted.

  12. what an amazing journey that we are all on...on all levels things are culminating ...if you are feeling trapped, captured...the jail door is open are FREE TO WALK are safe...and it is time to actualize unconditional love and truth....that is true integrity and living an AUTHENTIC LIFE,,,live it don't talk about are so loved by Spirit and so needed on this Earth at this time to BE PRESENT and be happy...the time of suffering and being a victim are over....
    I had to share this message from My Spiritual Leader ( as I call her)
    It's so true for many of us..who need to move on..and LIVE our Authentic Lives..
    ~~Peace & Joy & HEALING & Love~~

  13. I am also a new reader and have already been inspired by your posts. I too have lost both of my parents (2 year anniversary of my dad's death is early Feb). I too believe that everyone has a story that would break your heart (as the lyrics for that song go) and that we need to remember that and be compassionate.
    I am new to the whole blogging community...have just started reading them and have just started writing one...thanks for so much!

  14. Beautifully said Jayme. You have been blessed by having him for a Dad.

  15. Jayme, never once doubted your love for your dad. How sweet of your sister's friend to share that with you...I'm sure it brought tears to your eyes.

    Hope you start feeling better soon. Hate seeing the cooper down!

  16. Thank you dear one for sharing. I try to be kind and it does strain my patience at times. Hugs.

  17. Jayme, As always thank you for your open and honest telling of your life's stories. Such a comfort to others and your dedication to your loved ones will be rewarded in time. God Bless you! A. Farrar

  18. Beautiful... your dad sounds a lot like you in many ways! Caring, funny and compassionate. I love the stray cat story. I am glad that there is now so much more awareness and less stigma associated with mental illness, but I think that, unless you have had personal experience, it is hard to grasp just how profoundly it affects everyone around the sufferer.
    Hope you will start feeling better soon!

    Kathy from Tasmania

  19. Damn Coop! You hit it out of the park again. Wonderful message and beautifully said. You are a treasure.

  20. Wow...I grandfather used to take me and my sister to DQ or 7 Eleven every evening when we visited summers...I cared for him when he had cancer...I have never grieved for him...occasionally a memory pricks a little hole and a tear or two leaks out! Thank You for making me think of him.

  21. Amen and Amen. Oh that we would only be nice to one another.

  22. Jayme

    Two wonderful posts. Having been raised by a mother with mental illness, it took getting older to say and believe,"she did the best she could with what she had."
    Now it's up to me to do the same. I never doubted your love for your father as I have deep love for my mother. Life can be so hard, but there are blessings in the tough stuff. Thank you for your blog.

  23. Our relationships with our parents are oh so complex aren't they? When my father passed away, I gave myself much solace by repeating often that I was lucky to have had a wonderful father for so many years. There are plenty of folks out there who have precious few positive memories of their parents, so I was among the lucky ones.
    Your reminiscences about your Dad and Mom show just how much you loved them. It doesn't always have to be roses in order to be a garden and most of us know that!

  24. I don't think your prior post was disrespectful of your dad at all. I was left with the impression that you loved your dad dearly and that he was a kind, caring man who loved his family. He would be so proud of you and your tribute to him. I'm sure he is smiling down at you. He may not be here in person, but he certainly is with you in spirit!

  25. Just had to let you know how much I love reading your posts. You are really an inspired writer.
    I never thought you were being disrespectful to your father. In fact, I understood completely as we seem to share very similar circumstances. My father also suffered from mental illness. He was a wonderful, tenderhearted man and we all adored him (and he was devoted to his family). He went through alot in his life and sometimes I think his compassionate heart and sensitive nature caused him to experience everything (good and bad) a little more acutely than everyone else. Anyway, I wanted you to know that your love for him was apparent and this post was a beautiful tribute. Thank you for your honesty, compassion and humor.


  26. Beautiful Tribute. You are just being transparent to your loyal friends here in Bloggy land. It's what sisters do. And then they gather round and do girl huddles...hugs and tears and laughter. *RELATIONSHIPS! Your sharing enables others to share their similar experiences that they otherwise might not have... It becomes a YOU TOO??! moment...It's a release and what a breath of fresh air to be "allowed" to do that and not be judged in any way. Mental Illness is a BEAST. I know you have even more compassion for those who live with it in their family because of your life having it woven a child. I once said something to my second son about having regrets for mistakes I made as a mom, or we made as parents when raising our kids, and he responded with the wisest and most loving words... "MOM...God gave you guys to us as OUR parents...No body is perfect...and God used both the good and the bad to shape us into the adults HE wanted us to be. The bad was only meant to bring about something good in us...So when God is in charge...ALL things work for good the BIG picture. RAH! Love my kids. Hugs to you Jayme. You and your sharing help many! xoxoxo FEEL BETTER! *(what sweet friends!!!)

  27. Jayme- mental illness is truly an ILLNESS!! It does not describe the PERSON with the ILLNESS!! You are so blessed to remember BOTH sides of your father the good and the bad! God Bless you and now that now that your father is in heaven- all the illnesses are gone and he truly is at peace!

  28. I love this post Jayme, so honest, so open-hearted. Your father would well up with love and pride and relief, to read this post... these words that come from your soul. Beautiful.

  29. You are the beautiful person that you are today because of your past. People who have no struggles or pain? Pffffftttt. No breadth or depth. Give me a person with reasons that they are real, anyday. Love you!
    xo, Cheryl

  30. Great post - and I like that your writing is so uplifting - even though there were surely negative moments, negative days. Bless you, girl.

  31. I love how graciously you share yourself. It's a brave and noble thing to do. I am in the throws of "my dark days", (as I call them) and your stories have helped me so much today. I am always saying, "This too shall pass." Thanks for the reminder that there is hope for the future, and for the reminder to appreciate the now, even if it's dark.

  32. You just "know how to say it" Jayme ~ God bless the memories of your sweet Dad......


  33. Jayme, your posts are so beautifully written. I'm having some hard times at my house too (like some of your other readers) and you inspire me in so many ways. Thank you for your words!


  34. What a wonderful legacy!
    It saddens me that there is such a lack of understanding about mental illness. Perhaps someday people will regard it in the same way they regard physical illness - that should be the case.

    Beautiful post.

  35. I would almost drive all the way to Indiana to have some of that soup. Gah.

  36. Simple beautiful! Thank you for sharing. As a mom who struggles deeply with mental illness and did not until after my children were born..I know how painful it is for me knowing what lies ahead for sux.

    Thank you fir your gentle and kovng memories of your father.

  37. as someone who lost their father too early in life, this was a beautiful post. my dad suffered bouts of depression, and(now) questionable scitzophrenia . he died drunk driving. but the notes he wrote me, what people say he was like with me. that's waht tells me what kind of man he was more than anything. he was a beautful soul. i hope our dads are having a gluten free piece of pie together in heaven!


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