Tag Archives: love

Cautionary Tale

13 Feb

on October 26, 2014, my life changed in a way I truly never thought it would, I knew it COULD but like so many other carefree 44-year olds, I thought I was immortal.  I knew that I had health risks that made me more susceptible to having a stroke than most  other people and I also knew that I didn’t take care of myself the way I should have but this is all said in hindsight while I type with one hand because my left hand has not fully regained movement, especially fine motor skills. I had an Ischemic stroke which occurs as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. It accounts for 87 percent of all stroke cases.It affected the right side of my brain therefore the left side of my body, that’s the way it works, the side of your brain affected is opposite the side of your body affected. I never lost the ability to speak, and was walking within days in the ICU. my arm mobility was good as far as being able to move it up and down but my hand didn’t come back until December or so. The cause of my stroke was largely due to just not taking care of myself, I have to take medicine called Warfarin also known as Coumadin because I have a titanium heart valve and atrial fibrillation. because of this medication, I need to have regular blood tests to monitor the INR level in my blood. Coumadin is a very finicky drug and its affects can be lessened or heightened by the amount of Vitamin K ingested. Blood tests are required to determine if the correct INR level is being reached or if your diet and/or dosage of Coumadin should be adjusted. I stopped monitoring my Coumadin because it was nearly impossible to work full time, be a divorced mom and get blood tests regularly. 

Prothrombin time is measured in seconds. Most of the time, results are given as what is called INR (or international normalized ratio). If you are taking warfarin to prevent blood clots, your doctor will most likely choose to keep your INR between 2.0 and 3.0.

The night of my stroke was the Sunday before my very favorite holiday, Halloween. I felt totally normal, maybe a little spacey, maybe I was drooling a little bit, but I was able to walk around and sort of talk, my 13-year old was worried and called 911. luckily. He recognized the signs of stroke from a commercial.

STROKE

Suddenly 5 EMTs were in my house to take me to the ER, I was covered in glitter because I had been working on my sweet sweet mermaid costume for Halloween. I would have loved to see video of myself drooling, black t-shirt tied around wet hair. like a turban because I had just gotten out of the shower and I read that a shirt was better for your hair than a towel to dry it. I must have looked and seemed literally crazy because the EMTs asked me if I had anti-psych meds and asked my kids if I was always like this – um, nope only when  having a stroke. I got to the ER and went through all the tests there to confirm that I was having a stroke and they determined what kind  and gave me a drug they told me would break up the clot. so I spent a week in the hospital and then went on to spend 2 weeks in an inpatient rehab where I had extensive therapies, physical, occupational and speech.

I’ve been told I’m an inspiration, I have a joke in my set that starts, “being a divorced 40- something single mom  living in a college town, I have often thought of writing my memoirs titled “Cautionary Tale”, if I’m an inspiration at all be inspired to take care of yourself so you don’t end up having to be inspirational and you can just live your damn life as healthily and as  long as possible, I feel like a fraud because often the past several months all I’ve wanted to do is lie in bed and eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream but it wasn’t an option, my mom, sister and 200 other people including my two kids would never have let that go down.Be inspired by selfless people who do for others.

I have made enough mistakes to last a lifetime but I won’t beat myself up over this most recent one, anymore. I have learned from it and I am 22 lbs lighter since leaving rehab where I inexplicably managed to gain 4 lbs, while barely eating and exercising regularly.

My life will definitely be different from now on but different doesn’t automatically = terrible. I’m pretty excited about the changes, even though stroke is the number 1 cause of acquired disability in the country, I am not fully disabled, I am left with the deficits in my left hand and some cognitive issues, though when I told a close male friend that I am now extremely forgetful, cannot multi-task, and don’t have an attention to detail he told me he’s been like that his whole life, so yet another way I am stereo-typically male. I cannot return to work full-time but will be returning to work with children, on a part-time basis,  which is truly what made me the happiest in my professional life. I am taking the state mandated training online so when I am ready to find a job I shouldn’t have any problem. Its hard for me to buckle my belt which has become necessary because of the weight loss, so between my pants not staying up and the brain damage, I could have a new career in politics. I am seriously looking into designing an app for me and the other 3 million people on Coumadin, that tracks and logs vitamin K intake. My life is far from over so be inspired by that not my recovery because that was mostly luck and stubborness.

I haqve been writing and performing stand-up comedy for about a year, I have written material from this experience that I hope is funny,(some of which is in this post) I have no affect in my voice (meaning I sound pretty robotic) and my timing is terrible but my number one goal is  to get back up on stage.

Tomorrow is valentines day and I am valentine-less again this year but I have 3 gorgeous rented dresses hanging in my closet and tomorrow I will choose one and put it on and go to a fancy event called the Heart Ball where I am volunteering for the American Stroke Association and the past several months have shown me that I am absolutely surrounded by love every day of the year.

valentines day

Fight Like Hell, Baby Girl

13 Aug
Robin Williams

Robin Williams

 

I haven’t written anything on here in ages, and I apologize to my awesome readers for that. I have been writing, just comedy. I have been bitten in the ass by the comedy bug (yeah, sorry about that awful metaphor). When I’m not with my children, I’m either writing comedy, reading books about comedy, or performing comedy. I fell hard, and comedy, she is a cruel mistress (I’m sorry, it appears this post is going to be riddled with awful metaphors).

I have been fortunate in that I have surrounded myself with some amazing comedy mentors. I call the people (sometimes I refer to them as “kids” but not in a derogatory way, more in a I COULD BE THEIR MOM way, but we’ll stick with people) that I have gotten to know through workshops, open mics, actual gigs,  and Facebook posts, my comedy family, and they really are.  I have seen very little of the fabled cattiness that comedians can sometimes exhibit. I have found people who encourage me, nurture me, and have not ONCE made me feel like the oldest person in the room…and I am almost ALWAYS the oldest person in the room.

When Robin Williams took his own life, there was a collective gasp of disbelief across the internet. I, like many other people I imagine, first heard of his death on Facebook. I was actually practicing a set and was using my phone to record it. When I finished listening to myself, I clicked over to Facebook and was absolutely shocked at post after post proclaiming Robin Williams had died, apparent suicide. Immediately I got it.  I understood. I have always had a firm grasp on what drives my need to make others laugh. Classic case of chubby girl making the obvious joke before anybody else did. I have since embraced my body, but the need to make people laugh before they discover that I’m actually really boring, or stupid, or any number of other things that creep into my psyche on my darkest nights, lives on.

I’ve known days that were so dark it was almost impossible to see any light whatsoever. I felt like nothing would change. That this apathy was now my life. I would never feel any kind of joy, or even pain, nothing, ever again. Luckily, those days have numbered in the tens and I have an incredible support system in family and friends. I also sought therapy and was taking medication.

I don’t know if my depression was a case of nature or nurture, but I assume it was a mixture of both. I know my father, one of the funniest human beings ever to exist, fought his demons with all his might, and he battled them often.  I know if I could have chosen to NOT feel the way I was feeling, I would have chosen that. I also know if I had continued feeling the way I was for any length of time,  I would have felt like taking my own life was the lesser of two evils. I would have felt like my children deserved so much better and that I was like an anchor wrapped around them, dragging them down with me.

Now, two days after Robin Williams’ death, mental health professional (not really) and apparent mind reader (nope) and all-around asshole (absolutely) Rush Limbaugh, has said this about Williams’ state of mind when he ended his life –

“What is the left’s world view in general? If you had to attach, not a philosophy, but an attitude to a leftist world view. It’s one of pessimism, and darkness, sadness. They’re never happy, are they?

”Robin Williams felt guilty that he was still alive while his three friends had died young, and much earlier than he had. He could never get over the guilt that they died and he didn’t.”

Fox news Sheperd Smith, another person with apparent inside information,  said this –

“It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? You could love three little things so much, (referencing Williams’ children)  watch them grow, and they’re in their mid-20s and they’re inspiring you and exciting you and they fill you up with a kind of joy you can never have known. Yet something inside you is so horrible, or you’re such a coward, or whatever the reason that you decide have you to end it. Robin Williams, at 63, did that today.”

 

How dare these two windbags.  The level of hatred I had for Rush Limbaugh was already off the chart before these comments.  I consider him a sub-human at this point.  I would rather listen to this over and over again then to ever read or hear anything Rush has said.  He should not be a celeburty (little nod to the awful song linked above). He is pond scum.  Sheperd is a fox news personality. I feel like that says enough. He AT LEAST has issued an apology/explanation (which I’m sure was HEAVILY encouraged by his superiors), though at least it SOUNDS sincere and fuck it, I’ll take that.

Besides these two dumb-asses, I have been hearing that people are debating the validity of depression as an actual clinical issue. I wish I was more eloquent, but I’m going to go with what I know. This is bullshit.  It is counter-productive to what we should be doing, talking about the exact opposite. Depression and mental health issues ARE real clinical issues that should be brought from the shadows into the light and discussed. The stigma attached to depression and/or mental health issues is a real thing, just as real as depression and mental health issues themselves.

NOBODY knows how hard Robin Williams fought, nor what he was thinking when he chose to end his life. Not one of us, and it is irresponsible to pretend that we did. I would imagine that he felt there was absolutely no other option, and I GET IT. It’s a real thing, and I SINCERELY HOPE anybody who sees it as something that can just be fixed by waking up on the right side of the bed, or by just humming a merry tune, do not ever find themselves, or their loved ones, suffering from depression.  They are in for a world of hurt if they think it can just be shrugged off or prayed away or that it will just pass.

The title of this post came from something my mom told me when I was a child about an article she read about how girls who don’t fight during an attempted rape end up not being hurt, and those who fight are usually hurt. As she was reading the article she said, “you fight, baby girl. You fight like hell. You’re going to be hurt either way. Go down fighting.”  In the case of depression, sometimes finding the strength to fight is a Herculean task, and I want to believe that fighting makes a difference. I know many people who have found themselves on the cusp of the blackest chasm of depression, and they have, through whatever means necessary, beat it.  I am so grateful they did, but I also do not fault anybody who has not. I get it.

My mom was right then, as she has been so many other times. It’s going to hurt either way, go down fighting.

If you feel like you just need someone to talk to, there are several ways to reach someone.  Hell, you can talk to me if you want.

 Hotline and Helpline Information

 This is a Cracked article that I have shared many times that very powerfully and eloquently puts into words why funny people kill themselves.

 

suicide

A for Effort, but Louis C.K. Does NOT Speak for This Fat Woman

13 May

All over my Facebook feed today, I saw  posts referencing last nights episode of the FX show that I have just discovered, Louie.  I know, I am late in discovering the show, but in my defense, Louis C.K. really reminded me of someone who I disliked and I have been unfairly punishing him for having the face that he does, and while I respected him as a comedian and found him funny, I just couldn’t bring myself to watch the show.  I have forgiven Louis for being genetically cursed, and we’re cool now.

I DVR the show and hadn’t watched the episode and had planned to tonight. Today, thanks to Facebook and every site being connected to every other site, (really, I can’t tell who the original poster is, but if Huffington Post has something, then Gawker does, then Slate, then Jezebel might if it’s related to women, then Huff Post Women does…and it goes on and on) I saw that on last night’s episode, C.K’s titular character (every time I use the word TITULAR I giggle, then I make sure I am using it correctly, then I giggle again…because tit) is asked on a date by Vanessa, a woman who works in the comedy club where Louie works as a comedian.Vanessa is *GASP* a fat girl. A fat woman. She’s fat. Louie turns her down and they end up going for coffee and wandering around the city and getting to know each other where, depending on which site you read, Vanessa launches into a speech that is either “magnificent” and she gets all sassy and speaks for all fat women everywhere by calling Louie out on his shallow reasoning for not wanting to go out with her (which presumably is simply because she is fat) OR she gives a speech that is male apologist bullshit that was written by Louis C.K. himself (as the whole show is of course) that does nothing but make excuses for men like Louie who are taught by society to not want to date fat women.  Excuses and apologies.  If you don’t watch the show and you are confused regarding the name, Louis C.K. is the comedian/writer whom the character Louie…um…C.K. I think… is based, on the show called Louie.

louis ck

As a fat woman myself, and one who has tried to preach body acceptance and being comfortable in one’s skin, fully realizing that picture looks different to everyone, I was excited to watch the show so that I could form my own opinion on this groundbreaking episode. I assumed it would solve so many problems that exist in the world today regarding body image and fat shaming. I hope your tongue is firmly planted in your cheek when you read the above. I don’t think Louis C.K. has the ability to bring about that kind of change, but if he DID, I would welcome it (and he’s right about common core testing too).

I liked the episode, as I do most episodes of Louie.  However,  Vanessa did not speak for me.  I don’t “blame” the men like Louie who have turned me down, as Vanessa does, and of course there have been men who have turned me down. I don’t now, and don’t as far as I can remember, look at my weight as anything other than what it is. This is my body style, this is my body.  Right now,  I am on the heavier side than I am the most comfortable, but not by much. The thing is, for whatever crazy reason, I don’t land on my weight as a reason to be rejected. I just feel like there are SO MANY other reasons why someone would turn me down (and yes, that’s funny…but it is true). I assume if I’m flirting with someone and they are not reciprocating that they don’t like brunettes, or that I snorted when I laughed, or that I was just too sarcastic for them, or that I looked disturbingly like their mom or ex or someone they despise, or more often than not, that they are gay. Me being plus-sized is really towards the bottom of the list of things that I feel badly about, even though everywhere I turn it seems that people are telling me I SHOULD feel badly about it.

I have mixed feelings about the character of Vanessa and the speech overall. I feel like her character does tend to reinforce the stereotype that fat girls are desperate, and should basically bribe someone to be interested in them. In the episode, Vanessa gives Louie a couple of hockey tickets that are said to be worth over $1000.  She does this because she is leaving her job at the comedy club and she wants to do something nice for Louie. When she gives him the tickets, he asks her out for coffee, even though when she asked him out before he turned her down. Vanessa and Louie laugh and have a good time until Louie tells Vanessa she’s “not fat” which sparks the speech linked above.

vanessa

I want Vanessa to be a bad ass and realize that browbeating some guy to hold her hand who doesn’t want to is beneath her, but she’s only 30-something, it took me at least another decade to get that.  I also want Louie to see her for the seemingly funny and feisty woman that she is, and not just her body type. On the other hand, perhaps Louie wasn’t turned off by Vanessa’s weight at all. She comes off EXTREMELY desperate, and maybe that’s what did it. Whatever the reason Louie wasn’t into Vanessa, I want Vanessa to realize that just because he isn’t, there will be others who will be.   I have a physical type that I am drawn towards, but all bets are off if that person can’t make me laugh. Who knows what Louie’s type is and what his triggers are. Human beings are complicated. He is ALLOWED to not be into her though, and she is ALLOWED to be pissed off about it, of course.

I like seeing people who look different from what we are used to seeing on TV, absolutely. I WANT us to get past this obsession with body types. I don’t know if people will think differently about women who are fat because of one episode of Louie, but I do think it’s probably a good thing that so many people are talking about this episode. Fat shaming is a real thing that actually exists, and that is ridiculous. I’m still waiting on the fat woman character who is incidentally fat, it is not a plot point, not anything she is bitter about, it just is who she is. She can be a giant mess in other ways. Maybe she’s divorced, and has two sons. Maybe she’s trying stand-up comedy. Fine, that’s me, but I would be a fantastic character. Think of all the people I would annoy because I refused to be concerned with my weight. It would be so much fun.

 

Good as NEW

20 Feb

good as new

It is well-documented that I have had my share of broken hearts.  This blog became way too “Dear Diary” for a while, but when I need to process something, I write, and I needed to process my feelings about tumbling headfirst into something (someone) that ended up hurting me and I wrote about it at length and made everybody uncomfortable in the meantime but if Taylor Swift can turn her heartbreak into songs that make her a lot of money then why can’t my blog do the same? Yeah, it can’t. I cannot guarantee that I won’t devote a large portion of this blog to future broken hearts, but I can almost guarantee that there WILL be future broken hearts, because YOLO. I think I am reaching the age where I will not be able to use YOLO and not sound silly. What? I reached that age 20 years ago? That term wasn’t even around then.  I think I see the point.

While I am absolutely over the particular situation that plunged my blog into having the same emotional maturity as a Sweet Valley High book, and in fact, me and the guy I tumbled for (no, not Boy George) are friends, when I was going through my little melodrama, I kept hearing the same things over and over. Those things were said with the best of intentions (hopefully, or some of you really hate me and are passive aggressive jerks) but they were just not helpful.

In the interest of being helpful and friendly (though who am I kidding, I just told someone I’m not getting any friendlier and I have nothing and nobody to blame. I was born this way. Like Lady Gaga) I thought I would compile an easy to use list of things that are acceptable to say to your friend who is nursing a broken heart.  To make things easier on me, I will be using the pronoun HE.

  • Instead of saying – You dodged a bullet, which did nothing but make me feel like a HUGE masochist because at that time all I wanted was to be shot with that particular bullet over and over again, try saying I PROMISE, you will feel better. I am here to listen. Time will help. Let me buy you a drink/ice cream/clothes to soften the blow. 
  • He  is acting like this because he got scared of the powerful feelings he was having for you. While I do particularly enjoy this one, because it lets me live within the delusion that someone was so damn enamored with me that they would rather thrust themselves onto the sword of douchebaggery to try and drive me away rather than just face up to their feelings, their oh so strong and real feelings for me, I have sadly seen the movie He’s Just Not That Into You enough to know that is probably not the case.  Saying this makes you sort of an enabler and it is not helpful in the long run.  Try saying I PROMISE, you will feel better. I am here to listen.  Time will help. Let me buy you a drink/ice cream/clothes to soften the blow. 
  • Telling someone you were way too good for him anyway is kind of like the first bullet (HA…bullet about a bullet). At the time it is usually said, it’s difficult to wrap your head around the fact that someone deemed not good enough for you, was at that very moment rejecting you. It’s like Inception or something and I still have not seen that movie but I will continue to reference it when I feel it is appropriate.  So this means I am actually not even good enough for the people who are not good enough for me? This leaves me with no options whatsoever as far as dating. Those who are not good enough for me don’t want me, those who are too good for me presumably don’t either. This is the definition of Forever Alone.  Try saying I PROMISE, you will feel better. I am here to listen. Time will help. Let me buy you a drink/ice cream/clothes to soften the blow. 

Perhaps you are noticing a trend. In all seriousness,  my friends did an excellent job coaching me through my broken heart(s) and holding my hand and letting me angrily text them that YEAH, that guy IS acting like a jerk, and I DO deserve better, and I DID dodge a bullet, but I had to come to those conclusions on my own.

Being the one with the broken heart sucks, but being in the position of helping a friend try to recover from one is not very fun either. You all were right, I feel better, and in part it’s because you all were there to listen to my incessant rambling.  Also, I couldn’t help but notice that there was a disturbing lack of drinks/ice cream/clothing bought for me in my time of need. It’s okay, you can catch me on the flip.

thank_you_for_being_a_friend

PS  – I so greatly appreciate every single person who tried to make me feel better and cheer me up at that time. Every comment those blogs received, every text message, every Facebook message, every Tweet.  Thank you and much love to you all.

I’ll Stick to my Own Rules, Thank You

8 Dec

the rules

I just wrote a post a few days ago about being a “leaper”, meaning, someone who jumps in wholeheartedly with both feet into love, and how this is all well and good until you find yourself jumping into a swimming pool void of water, then you’re there, alone, with a broken heart, but that in the end, it is worth it and that I will ALWAYS be a leaper.

Sadly, I find the very nature of any kind of broken heart, whether it’s after 20 years, or 6 months (and mine falls in the 6 month category. What can I say, I fell fast and hard) is the equivalent of being on a roller coaster. Not the most original metaphor, but it is accurate. I could try to make it more timely and say that it is like being on a flight simulator, but I think roller coaster does the trick.  I am not feeling very much like a leaper right now, unless that leaping is a swan dive out of polite society to live humbly with my children, never speaking of dating again. Just hanging it up. Never mind. I had a good run. Let’s just call it a day.

In one weekend I have gone from feeling pretty okay to terribly sad to literally Googling “Does he miss me?” which let’s face it, is pretty pathetic (according to Google he probably does, so  thanks for that Google.) Google also directed me to brush up on The Rules. Remember this book? Back in the 1990’s you couldn’t swing one of Madonna’s pointy bras without hitting some woman who was RAVING about how this book changed her life and helped her nab the man of her dreams. All she had to do was behave like an entitled spoiled princess, and this presumably was the milkshake that brought all the boys to her yard.

I have never been much for rules in general. Blame the fact that I’m an Aquarius, and it is constantly the dawning of me, but besides obeying the very important rules that accompany flying (listen to the damn flight attendants) and obeying crossing signals (BIG RED HAND MEANS DON’T WALK), I consider myself someone who doesn’t take kindly to being told what to do for the most part.

I recently re-read The Rules and by recently, I mean within the last 2 days, not broken heart related exactly, but I found it when unpacking and gave it another go. Hell, maybe I could learn something, since I seem to suck so much at all things romantic. Very soon after starting to re-read it, I remembered what I disliked so much about it when I read it the first time, back when it came out, and now that I am the mother of two boys, it’s even more apparent. This book presents men like they are, for lack of a better term, dumbasses. Women come off no better for we are sorceresses just spinning our webs and waiting to ensnare some poor hapless dumbass to call our very own.

An ongoing theme in the book is that we women really have no say in our own romantic lives. I should wait for the man to contact me, I need to be vague, I need to remain as neutral and non-interested in the man as possible. This book is essentially the EXACT opposite of who I am as a person. I am a wear my heart on my sleeve oh my god you’re so funny please think I’m funny and let’s be in love together for as long as we are then let’s part and have good feelings about each other and not regret anything.  While my flavor of milkshake seems to be of the “thanks but no thanks and good luck to you in your future endeavors” variety, I have more respect for men as human beings than to adhere to this particular set of rules.

If you live by these rules and swear by them,then more power to you. Good for you.  I admit, there are a lot of things I should work on. I am a work in progress. I will never be someone who just stops growing, though right now I’m stuck in the maddening head space of all of a sudden not feeling smart enough or pretty enough or kind enough or cool enough or sexy enough, because of one person. One person who was nothing but nice, which sadly doesn’t make it any easier. Something I don’t think I need to work on though is how to be more aloof. Screw that. I will stick to my assertion that someday, even sans rules, someone will join me in my heart on my sleeve oh my god you’re so funny please think I’m funny and let’s be in love together for as long as we are then let’s part and have good feelings about each other and not regret anything kind of love.

Of course, tomorrow may be another feeling all together, but that’s okay. I have my own set of rules and they haven’t failed me yet –

1) Be kind
2) Love yourself
3) Embrace whatever feeling you’re feeling and know it is okay
4) No shame or guilt for authentic feelings

As far as rules for “man nabbing”….no idea. None at all.  I think the best I can do is abide by my life rules and not forget that even though I am a work in progress, that I am enough right now, dammit. Right this very second.

day onew

Happy Birthday, Bob

25 Mar

Tomorrow will be the first March 26 in many years that I will not be calling my closest friend to say, in a terrible Carol Channing impersonation, “Happy Birthday, Bob.” His name was not Bob, it was Brett, and tomorrow he would have been 43.  He died in a car accident this past October and I have thought about him every day. Not all day every day, but every day something has reminded me of him.

The story of why we would say “Happy Birthday, Bob” to each other, like so many of the things we would say to each other, started long ago. For some unknown reason, Brettcarolchanning was watching a birthday salute to Bob Hope. Carol Channing, with her Kewpie doll face and perfectly coiffed hair, wished Bob a happy birthday in that unmistakable voice of hers.  For some reason, Brett relayed the story to me and we latched on to it and for the next 20 some odd years or so we would say it to each other. I would say it to people who had no idea what I was talking about.  My sister, who was also close with Brett, would say it too.   We both still do.

There are SO many stories and things we would say. We would just have to look at each other and say the word “escargot” and know what the other was referring to. It is cliché, but it truly feels like a part of me is gone.

We met in high school when he asked me if I would help him hang his campaign posters, to be elected class President. I was the new girl in school and up until the time he spoke to me, nobody had really paid me any attention. Brett lost that campaign, but he gained a friend for life. We shared a love of Gone With the Wind, Grease, The Lost Boys. We weathered high school storms together. We got into spats.  We would make up.  We went to the beach. We had parties. I cannot imagine what my high school experience, actually my life, would have been like without Brett.

Brett was hilarious and one of the smartest people I have ever known.  We had several classes together and we would sit next to each other. I always got into trouble for laughing at something he had whispered to me.  He never got into trouble. I remember studying with him and he would barely open the book and he would pass with an A  and I would eek out a C.

statlerandwaldorfWe were the perfect modern-day comedy duo. He used to say we were Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets. Two crotchety cynical old farts who ripped on everybody else. Never mean-spirited, but that was our shtick.

After high school I got breast reduction surgery. My boobs, that were the source of much teasing and jokes, by everybody, would finally be smaller. I didn’t tell anybody, but Brett knew and he brought me flowers with a card that said something about there being LESS of me to love.

We went to Europe together and got into the biggest fight in the history of our friendship. We were back a few weeks when he sent me a letter apologizing and I apologized to him and that was that. We didn’t hold grudges. When I was acting like a brat (and I was often) he would call me on it but he never made me feel like I WAS a brat.

We grew up together and through all the worries and stress that comes along with becoming adults, we still laughed about all of the old stuff.  He was there when I was in the deepest darkest hole I had ever been in and I was crying to him about the horror story my life had become and he just looked at me and said “but you’re Amy. You’re awesome” and somehow hearing  that from him helped. It helped a lot.

Brett was the most physically striking person I have ever seen and I would forget that until someone who had never met him would comment on how amazingly handsome brettdrivinghe was. Black hair, green eyes, very tall. We lived in Orlando together for a summer and I told him to go work at Disney as a Prince. He could have but he had wanderlust that could not be quelled by Disney World.

Brett graduated with honors from high school. He went on to the University of Florida and then UF Law School. He passed the bar but did not practice law because it was not where his heart was.  Brett worked in green construction and was passionate about travel. I was so jealous of his freedom. He was fearless in my eyes.

There are so many other memories that I wrap myself in and so many things I wish I could do over. If I had known that the last time he was in Florida would be my last opportunity to see him I would have figured out a way to see him. I know Brett knew I loved him. And I know he loved me. I just want more of him. More time.

Nothing I write will ever be able to do him, or our friendship, justice. He was an amazingly special person.  Tomorrow, at the suggestion of his sister, in honor of Brett, several of us all over the world will be planting a tree, or in some cases, a tree will be bought in his name.  I think it is a lovely way to remember someone who, to borrow from Steel Magnolias, will always be beautiful.

bretttree

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