Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Graduate, Episode 2, The Dinner Party

After the graduation was over we all ran through pounding rain for the cars and back to my house. It rained off and on but my porch is covered and we were able to sit outside comfortably and have a cocktail and some cheese and crackers before dinner

What a cheesy couple...
I made Grandma's beef Stroganoff for dinner, a specialty of mine. I make it for Momo on her Birthday and usually a couple of other times during the year. It's easy and everyone likes it, at least they tell me they do and that's just as good. We had salad and bread and everyone seemed to enjoy dinner.

I was so thrilled just to have family around my table, in my house that I didn't even sit down, I took pics and made sure everyone was taken care of, just a throw back to my waitress days I guess. I was blissfully happy to have them all there with me and it couldn't have gone better. The conversation was easy and fun, the kids that were there didn't display any of that nasty teenage attitude that they seem to carry around with them in bags...

Not all the kids were there though, Kyle, Becca, Christy and Bobby (the "locals") were with their father who had flown in for just one day for the graduation. Bobby managed to put in a couple of short appearances and say Hi to everyone and Kyle stopped by between his dinner with Dad and his graduation shin dig that happened at a friends house. The Alaska people and their friends were with us however and as tired as they were from their overnight flight they managed to stay fairly sociable through the evening.

Around the table

So dinner was a success and folks started to leave around 9pm or so. It was a wonderful evening but the best is yet to come. Stay tuned for Episode #3, "The Next Day"

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Graduation Party, Part One

The Thoughtful Graduate...

Kyle in his cap and gown

The pics will be muddled because I'm a blog-website moron, the story starts below...

Grabbing a moment to have a little "livation" before going to the graduation


Slick and Denise from England

UD and Max from Ohio
I'm going to have to do this blog in pieces because there is no way I can get all of this out at once. So stick with me, it might take a while to get all the little stories told. First of all, about six weeks ago I started planning Kyles Graduation party. I had invited Don and Max to attend and they agreed to come! Really, they were going to drive all the way from Ohio to Arkansas just to see us and I was thrilled.

As you all know, I have been in my own house since last September, and my divorce was final a couple of weeks ago. During my marriage, I had little contact with my extended family and parties and reunions were NOT encouraged so this was a very big first for me. Even though I used Kyles graduation as an excuse to have this party, it was, in so many ways MY celebration of getting my life back. Don't tell Kyle, but it really was all about me....
The guest list for the graduation was this: Don and Max from Ohio, Dad from Tulsa, Mom from Bartlesville, Slick and Denise Durham from England and Jessie, Katie and Cameron (Jessie's boyfriend) from Alaska. The arrival of my daughters from Alaska was a huge highlight, I hadn't seen them in more than a month and they get to stay for five weeks with me. After they go back I won't get to see them again until Christmas so I have to make sure I get good and sick of them before they leave.

My preparations had been going on for quite some time. Several weeks ago I bought a patio table and chairs, I have a nice little covered patio and I thought it would be a nice place to sit plus we would need the extra spots for people to eat. My front flower garden was nothing but 4 ft tall weeds so for Mothers day I asked for a wheel barrow which I got from Becca and got to work. It took me four days to dig up the flower bed, pull the weeds, shop for and buy flowers and soil to mix in with the dirt and mulch. I was quite proud of it when I was done but my hands were so sore from the hoe that it hurt to clap at the ceremony.
I took Friday off to clean the house. Momo agreed to come in on Friday and spend the night so that she could pick the girls up at the airport on Saturday. I was up at six am on Saturday trying to shop for groceries and get all the details taken care in an attempt to minimize the panic that I knew would soon set in. People began to arrive at about 11:30 am. Everyone came in and got organized and went to lunch at AQ chicken leaving me and the girls, who had been on a plane for 15 hours, to clean up and get dressed for the graduation.

The Graduation itself was at the University of Arkansas, Bud Walton Arena (It is Arkansas...Walmart MUST be involved..) I took a few photos but left most of the pics to the others so I could actually see my son graduate. Of course, I got choked up at first. When they were little, I would cry at every school play, music program, whatever, even if they weren't in it. It's pathetic, I know, Lucas family easy tears....

Mom is a crybaby

Kyle getting his diploma

My with my girls and Momo, ready to go

It's fuzzy, I know, but it's him
The ceremony was a typical graduation, about an hour of pure boredom with 30 seconds of wild excitement and cheering. We were all a little confused by the speech, given by a car salesman who never went to college. I kept wondering where Obama was, surely MY baby was important enough to warrant his presence and words! But I guess not. We walked through the pouring down rain to get back to our cars.
I am so happy and grateful for everyone who came to the graduation. I hate to go to them and for others to suffer through one for my child is just amazing to me. Just getting Kyle there was a challenge. He didn't want to walk at all but I made him. If you could have only been there when I first found out that he turned down his invitation into the National Honor Society and then refused his honors collar and the cord he should have worn for his AP classes. He actually graduated with a 3.8 and college credit for four classes. He didn't think it was "fair" for some to look smarter than others when they were all graduating. I guess I didn't hit him hard enough with the "LIFE isn't fair" hammer when he was growing up.....
Anyway, this is only a small part of the weekend, stay tuned for episode two, "The Dinner Party"

Monday, May 4, 2009

"D" Day

I really don't want to do this blog but I think I have to. My divorce became final today. I can put off blogging about just about anything but the title for my blog, "Tracy Takes Over" is all about taking my life back and starting over again so I guess this is about the most important day for me to write.

I had to take a friend with me to the court house, someone to verify that I have lived here for more than 90 days so I had my friend Denise there to support me. I don't know why my electric bill wouldn't work as verification but they wanted a body so they got one. If I were Amy I would have captured everything from the closed courthouse parking lot to the judge with my camera but I'm not, so I didn't.... You will have to settle for words.

We went before the judge at 8:30 am, the whole thing was pretty quick. My lawyer asked me a bunch of questions, the answer to most of which was "yes". Stupid shit, like "Is your name..." and "Are you married to..." I was really scared that I would cry. Not from being emotional about the whole thing really but just because it was an ending and endings are usually sad.... I was afraid that my emotional side would break through and betray me but it didn't. I made it through the actual process just fine and the moment that Denise and Tina (my bloodsucking lawyer) and I walked out of the room I started waiting to feel excited. I'm still waiting.

I thought that I would be excited, or really happy or really sad or SOMETHING....I was just sort of numb but wanting to share the news with others, perhaps to speed the onset of the emotions that I knew were coming. I posted the divorce on facebook from my Blackberry and texted some people to let them know it was over. I got some really encouraging comments and great responses but I remained unmoved, maybe even "plastic" would be a good word, that feels about right. Plastic, may be even wax, cold and solid but able to melt if the conditions are right.

It reminds me of another time in my life when I had a very detached view of my own feelings, back in about 1999 I had a young guy who worked for me, he was 19. He had worked for me at Stage (Ron's company) since he was 16 years old and we were pretty close. I knew his Mom, his family, his hopes and aspirations, almost everything about him. His name was Doug and I really loved him, like he was my own son. He died from an accidental gunshot wound to the neck at a party right before New Years Eve. My grief was almost interesting to me, I watched my way through it as if I were an outsider doing a case study. I could feel, but the observer in me would take over and I would encounter the feelings with thoughts like "well now, that's interesting, feeling that way...." Little things, like having to term him out of the system, making him ineligible for rehire seemed wrong but clearly he would never be rehired....

By the way, I have still not seen my way clear to erase Grandma's phone number from my cell... Seems that I have a little problem letting go.

Anyway, the feelings are similar, loss and sadness that I can't seem to feel, or face. I came home from work just as soon as I could get away, about 1:30pm, put on my PJ's and haven't left the couch since. I am waiting, just waiting. I know that I am waiting for something, but I don't know what it is. I put on my old ring and took a picture of it. It didn't come out very well or I would share it for you, I also took a pic of my new ring, a black metal band with the peace symbol on it, much more my speed than what I had before... and symbolic of the new peace I've found in my life.

It's very hard to feel happy about the dismantling of 18 years of your life, almost 19. If I'm happy, that means that I wasted 19 years of my life on something that was futile and a bad decision. That is almost unbearable, that I threw away my youth, my life on something that was wrong. If I'm sad, then maybe I did something wrong and the divorce was a bad decision and maybe I should have tried harder... Get it? I'm so screwed up that I can't let myself face the reality and see what I really feel..

The moral of the story is this: I know that the storm is coming, it always does. I gave it an opportunity but my timing was wrong. I should stop trying to control my feelings and just let them come and they will, probably in the middle of my next yoga class. For now, I'm here, I'm plastic and I'm waiting.....