One Year Later…

Today is the first anniversary of my mother’s death.

Because I am a terrible son, I completely forgot today was September 4th, and Mrs. Earp had to remind me. I miss my mother very much, obviously, and she spent so much time with the kids – especially Kevin and Julia. They would both get excited when she came to babysit, because she would bring her tablet. The kids knew they would be playing video games on that thing the entire time mom was there.

My kids have only one grandparent left – Mrs. Earp’s mother – and I sorely wish the others were still with us. Today, like every September 4th, is a terrible day.

I don’t expect to be posting about mom every September 4th, but I am embarrassed and ashamed I forgot today was that awful 2020 day. Thank you for indulging me today.

Twenty-Four Years

Today is my 24th wedding anniversary.

On this date twenty-four years ago, on a scorching hot August day, we got married in a church fifty yards away from Mrs. Earp’s home. Mrs. Earp’s relative was going to drive her to the church, but we noticed he had a flat tire. It was her last chance to run away.

A family friend drove her to the church and everything went as planned. The reception went by way too fast, and afterward, family members met at Mrs. Earp’s house to decompress.

In the years since, we’ve had ups and downs. We have four great kids, but lost three of our four parents. Mrs. Earp has a job she likes, and I now hate mine. The kids are getting older – which is both good and bad – but overall things have ben well above average.

With the shoulder issues, the basal-cell cancer, and the stress of work, I try to remember we never know when we’re going to leave this mortal coil. That said, it’s probably a good idea to live life to the fullest, and be happy with the time we have.

Uncle Grandpa

So, my sister was not content with having an only child, so she and her husband decided to have another.

Can you imagine having two kids? What kind of psycho would do such a thing?

Brooke Cathleen Suboleski entered the world on July 24th, at 8:26am. She weighed in at 8 pounds and 13 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long.

I’m entirely too old to be an uncle again, but I am old enough to yell at my sister, who had to have a C-section. She actually thinks she can attend her friend’s wedding in a few days. Yeah, good luck with that.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I wanted to wish all the moms out there a happy Mother’s Day. It’s effectively the only day of the years where you can relax while everyone attempts to help out in the house.

It’s a bittersweet Mother’s Day for me, since it’s the first without my mother. The good news is Mrs. Earp’s mom is coming for dinner, and she is the closest thing to a mom I have anymore.

Here’s wishing all you moms have a terrific day, hopefully with family by your side. Unless, of course, you don’t like your kids, then you can stay home, eat junk food, and have a few adult beverages.

Jeanie Remar, 1940-2021

My Aunt Jeanie passed away yesterday morning due to complications of Covid. She was 80 years old.

(She’s left-center, white blouse. I’m at the end on the left, two down from my Dad, the redhead.)

Aunt Jeanie was my mother’s older sister, and while she always told me Jeanie was a terror when she was younger, she decided to give her adult life to God. Sister Miriam Jude Remar became a nun and served the Lord for her entire life.

Aunt Jeanie was an old school nun. She would chastise us when we were younger if we said something awful – which was often – and was always good for the Old Wives Tales. Her favorite was, “If you raise your hand to your parent, God would freeze it there for the rest of your life!”

She also had her hilarious side, like when we celebrated my Uncle Ray’s 60th birthday at the horse racing track, and she was betting on the ponies like she was a mob boss.

We hadn’t had the opportunity to see her much lately, mostly because she was transferred to Connecticut. She would always send cards and letters, telling us what was going on. and asking how everyone was faring. I heard she caught the Covid right around the day my cousin’s son committed suicide, and I put it out of my mind, thinking she would get through it.

Sadly, that was not the case.

Aunt Jeanie will be cremated, and they will have a service for her in Connecticut. There will also be a service here for the family whenever these Covid restrictions are gone.

Aunt Jeanie is the third member of my family to pass on since September, and today is the six-month anniversary of mom’s death. I am starting to wonder if the Lord is punishing me and my family. I know Aunt Jeanie is in a better place – she was dealing with dementia, just like Mom – but three relatives in six months is a little much.

Goodbye Aunt Jeanie. We all love you very much.

Happy Birthday Erik!

Today is my middle son’s birthday, and day two of our three birthdays in six days event. Erik is seventeen today, which means he can finally watch R-rated movies. (As if he hasn’t already been seeing them.)

Erik is a stresser. He stresses about everything; school, sports, video games, you name it. That said, he also does exceedingly well in school – he earned First Honors for the semester – is a very good lacrosse player and was an amazing soccer player – and he dominates video games. I assume he gets the stress from me, since I stress about anything and everything.

The Chinese Wuhan Virus has taken its toll on him – he lost an entire lacrosse season in 2020, and lacrosse practices now are often virtual – but he’s making the best of it.

The boy is wicked smaht, is very active – he goes for ten-mile bike rides often – and is, for the most part, a terrific son. I sincerely hope he enjoys his gift, as it took me forever to find.

Happy birthday, Erik. We love you!

Happy Birthday Mrs. Earp!

Today is Mrs. Earp’s forty-something birthday, and the start of the Earp Family’s Four-Birthdays-In-Six-Days event.

I met Mrs. Earp in high school, as she was my friend’s sister. We hung out at her house often, and she and I became friends. Eventually the friendship turned to dating, then dating turned to marriage, then marriage turned to four rotten, sarcastic kids.

Kidding, kidding! Sorta.

We’ve been together for almost 29 years, and married for almost 24. Like most couples, we’ve had our ups and downs, but for the most part it’s been a fairly steady ride. I’m considering getting her bupkis for her birthday because I just bought her a car. Think that’ll go over well? Nah, me neither.

Happy birthday, Mrs. Earp. I love you.

Hug Your Children

Today, I will be attending a viewing for an extended family member. It will be my fourth funeral since March. I’m not going into too much detail, but a young person in my extended family committed suicide on January 5th. The family member was only eighteen years old.

Since the original lockdowns in March, the suicide rates in my division have skyrocketed. People are losing their jobs, losing their freedom, and losing their ability to cope. Sadly, some decide they have no other choice, and they think the only way out is to end their lives.

To say this is a terrible tragedy for our family is a gross understatement. The family member was a terrific kid, a great surfer, and a brilliant person. I cannot fathom what the parents – also great people, by the way – must be feeling right now.

Hug your children. If you know someone having difficulty during the lockdowns, this is the site for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today would have been my mother’s 75th birthday. Instead of celebrating the milestone with her, we’re mourning the ten weeks since her passing.

The entire situation is infuriating because all this could have been avoided. The Chinese Wuhan Virus restrictions kept my mother isolated in her nursing home room, unable to have interactions with other people. She was lonely, wasn’t eating, and lost thirty pounds. For that, I blame despicable New Jersey governor Phil Murphy.

Don’t even get me started on mom’s broken hip, which no one at the home has explained to us. There are a lot of people who should be shouldering the blame for my mother’s passing, and I’d like to think they would receive judgment in the next life; starting with the Chinese, who I am convinced released this virus to cripple the world’s economies.

Of course, none of this will bring my mother back, and I have to live with the memories of twelve-hour shifts in her hospice room, essentially waiting for her to die.

My mother was a good person. She shouldn’t have had to deal with all this trauma, and she shouldn’t have had to pass away without her family by her side. I miss her every moment of every day.

I know you’re in a better place now, mom. Hopefully you are enjoying your birthday.

Mom Works In Mysterious Ways

Mom’s viewing is set for later this afternoon, and while it will be sorrowful, it is nice to know mom is still looking over us. The picture above and below are from Friday night, hours after she passed away. It was one of those sunsets you occasionally see in the summertime, but not a common occurrence.

I just happened to pass by the window, saw the sight, and immediately called Julia over. Julia’s favorite color is pink, and while this may sound borderline insane, I think mom had a hand in this; as if she asked the Big Guy to paint us a scene for her passing.

I don’t know; maybe it’s a coincidence, but I believe otherwise.

I’ll have regular posts tomorrow morning.