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A very merry 2phatgeeks Christmas and Happiest of New Years.

A very merry 2phatgeeks Christmas and Happiest of New Years.

Let’s face it.

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Merry Chersumss. Herp Derp.

2012 sucked, my friends. And I’m not talking just me–oh no–I lurk on your blogs (I’m reading them right now), I visit your facebook profiles and I ogle my Google+ feed. I don’t have the brain function, time, nor elegant words to reply to everything (There are one thousand people following me on Google+. Seriously. WTF. 1000. Half of them have to be daleks, right?) But I do read. And what I have read has made me severely pissed at 2012 let me tell you.  If I could, I would pull that fucking 2012 van over and there would be NO icecream. Ever.

But I can’t.

There are a lot of things in life that do not have a rewind button.  They are horrible things, heart-breaking things, sad things and angry things, they are dispiriting things with a side of haunting, and sometimes, they are just hard things and depression things with a side of not-enough-money things. You can’t really go back…but you can go forward.

Listen, I’m not going to tell you all about resolutions and why you should make them and why you shouldn’t and the good or the bad of all that and blah blah blah blah–I’m just going to say: let’s go forward together.

Let’s just hope.
Even if it’s a silly thing for hope. Like, “Gosh I hope I get extra pickles on my sub today,” or, “I hope that person-I-really-like-and-fall-over-my-face-whenever-they-look-at-me smiles at me today,” or, “I hope I can afford a pack of ramen today because I am so god damn hungry I have been side eye-ballin’ my hamster.” or “I hope that I don’t hurt,” and “I hope I will be okay today.”

 

Christmas time is a time of puppy torture.

Christmas time is a time of puppy torture.

Hope is a deceptively easy thing to have when you look at it in little increments. Sometimes I think people get bogged down with looking at too big a picture. They look at things like: I WILL WIN THE LOTTERY AND THERE WILL BE PEACE ON EARTH AND BEARS WRESTLING WITH ELVES FIND TRUE LOVE AND MARRY THAT MOTHERFUCKER and REDO THE WHOLE HOUSE or REPAINT ALL THE STEPS or LEARN JAPANESE AND SPANISH AND CHINESE AND FRENCH CANADIAN WHILE BELLY-DANCING TO DUBSTEP and I think: whoa there, dub step? And also that maybe we set ourselves up to fall too far.

Maybe, just maybe, we should hope for the easier things. Take baby steps. Climb our way out of a horrible year and find a reason to smile in the new one.

So here’s a baby step for you, okay?

  • You’re beautiful. I love your face, because it is your face and it’s facing the monitor and it’s reading my shit right now–that is so cool–
  • That also makes you awesome.
  • You made it through today. That’s pretty sweet.
  • Some strange fat lady on the internet is virtually making you awkwardly uncomfortable hugging you into her bosoms right now, okay?
  • Tomorrow, you’ll face another day and you will make it because you can.

So here’s to 2013 my loves. Here’s to us and the little things: ramen noodles and cat purrs and not succumbing to 2012.
I hope. I hope for you, for me, and for all of us.

A Letter I

A Letter I

It’s been a year.

I have written that sentence all week more times than I care, staring at a blank wordpress post page and trying to culminate thirty three years of my mother in one post. This is the ultimate task which I feel a real writer can face down and conquer…Writing a life in words and having the world understand.

I can’t seem to do this. No matter how many times I have written it and deleted it and re-written it and stared at a little black line that blinked and blinked and blinked, demanding, I can’t.

There’s so much I want to say but no way for you to hear it.

I have my tree up. I have the tinsel. My apartment is decorated. I miss you and look for you sometimes but don’t even know it until it’s too late. I’ll stand in the middle of my living room and puzzle out the christmas cards, the tree, the lights and wonder what am I missing? And then I remember.

You.
All I am missing is you this year.

I have come so far this year and I wish I could show you. I wish I could tell you and talk to you and have you be even more proud than ever at all the leaps and bounds I have made just in 12 months alone. Sometimes I feel guilty–that I’ve done all this and you can’t see it, can’t experience it with me. You can’t share with me my excitement and hope about getting a new home (and I KNOW you loved house shopping.) You can’t see how much better I am now that I have admitted to my depression and am getting treatment. You don’t and won’t know how much sweeter my life has been thanks to the people I have met and known online; you won’t see how horrible my tree looks with it’s rainbow colored tinsel that seems as if christmas–like a big, over eating cat, came and horked up festiveness all over it. You can’t laugh at how crooked it is from all the times Isis crawled up it, and you can’t see the way I’ve covered my apartment in lights.

I’m always missing you, every day. It doesn’t get better and it doesn’t go away. I just…have learned to cope.
Is this what it’s like when someone loses a limb? I feel like you are here. I should call mom. I should tell mom about…I bet mom would love this…Mom would like to know..And then I remember.

You aren’t here.

You are the puzzle piece that I will be missing for the rest of my life.
You are the first puzzle piece of me that I have lost, too, and the hole that you have left is so wide and so vast some days I don’t know if I can cross it.

Other days, I throw a rope and climb because I have to. I don’t want to, but I do.

I try not to be too sad, though. It’s christmas and you would be so mad at me if I were. There’s lights, there’s tinsel, there’s ornaments, there’s christmas songs and peppermint and we haven’t gotten them yet but hopefully your favorite rainbow-cherry-flavored candy canes. There’s going to be a firepit at my mom in laws for Christmas eve and we’ll have cookies and coffee and drinks. Each hour of this month I have stood in the kitchen, stilled in the bedroom, paused in the shower, circled the living room and frowned at the kitchen– what am I missing? 

I cannot believe it’s been a whole year.
I miss you.

Darlene Mae Noseworthy
April 1st, 1956 ~ December 11th, 2011

If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you. 
When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me. 

Kind woman, I give you my all, Kind woman, nothing more. 

Little drops of rain whisper of the pain, tears of loves lost in the days gone by. 
My love is strong, with you there is no wrong, 
together we shall go until we die. My, my, my. 
An inspiration is what you are to me, inspiration, look… see. 

And so today, my world it smiles, your hand in mine, we walk the miles, 
Thanks to you it will be done, for you to me are the only one. 
Happiness, no more be sad, happiness….I’m glad. 
If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you. 
When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me.

Mommy drinks because you Mel

Mommy drinks because you Mel

Click to donate toward Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

Click to donate toward Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

Things I did that probably scarred my mother for life & made her question my sanity:

  • Wander into a neighbors yard around four years of age and hand-pull up all of the pretty tulips because some idiot little boy dared me to.
  • Drink an entire bottle of cough syrup.
  • Eat dog treats.
  • Dump out an entire carton of eggs, alphabet cereal, entire bag of milk (Canadian, our milk used to come in bags. Baggie milk, represent’ wutut) and flour in the middle of the chicken floor. When confronted, innocently state, “Feeding Rusty!” (The Dog.)
  • Shave only a part of the dog with my father’s clippers and calmly state Rusty (dog) needed a hair cut.
  • Take shoes off in a neighbor kids’ yard. Forget where they are. RUN AWAY FROM HOME = LOGICAL DEALING COPING MECHANISM.
  • Throw up guts in the middle of the night in the kitchen sink. When asked, “Are you all right?” Reply between hork with a miserable, “yesBLARG.”
  • Sharpen teeth on a car window.
  • Fall face first out of car door, tangled in seat belt. Land in soft ice cream cone. Bawl that it’s ‘NOT FUNNY 🙁 🙁 🙁 STOP LAUGHING MOM. STOOOOP.”
  • Drink watermelon shampoo because it smelled so good.
  • Throw up in the middle of the night but not tell anyone.  SURPRISE?
  • Run outside with first training bra and hike shirt up to my neck to study it’s lacy goodness in the reflection of a car door. Wonder why mother & Aunt are dying of laughter.
  • Tell a french teacher she, ‘fucking sucked,’ at teaching french. Appear surprised when she gets sent to the principle and detention FOREVER.
  • Go through a three week phase of alternatively spiking hair a foot and a half into the air and flashing itty bitty titties for attention.
  • Take an $80 pair of jeans her grandmother bought her and CUT THEM INTO SHORTS.
  • Steal cigarettes
  • Skip school so much she gets suspended. Instead of telling father, Mother was willing to keep it secret. If her brat went out into the yard and hand pulled all the rocks from it. Acres and acres of lawn by the way.
  • Run away from home at 15, refuse to come home and scare her to death.
That and a lot more. And despite all of that (and the more) she never said she didn’t love me. She never said to anyone in family our outside that she hated me for the things that I did or ended up doing. She may have said as well as stated her disappointment; we never did get along before well after my 20’s because I never understood her–(until I grew up. Funny, that.)–it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter what I did, when someone asked her how they weren’t angry with me forever she said she just looked at them funny and asked, “How could I not? She’s my daughter. How could you not love your daughter, no matter what?”You don’t have to get along with family. You don’t even have to like them. There will be days when you won’t like yourself left alone family…I’ll admit there are some crimes as well as acts within family that can be unforgiveable. For the most part, you love family even when you want to kill them.

My mother never stopped loving me when a weaker person might have given up. I am glad she didn’t, otherwise I would have never grown into the woman I am today.



Help pay for Mel's tattoo in memory of her mother
Melissa Pence is wife to the husband and wife team here behind 2 phatgeeks. On December 11th, 2011, Melissa lost her mother to a long, difficult battle to diabetes. In her memory, Melissa is blogging 24 hours in order to raise funds for her through the organization: Step Out: End to Walk Diabetes, and for the personal goal to finish a humming bird tattoo on her right arm in memory of her mother.
This Banana Tastes Like Coma

This Banana Tastes Like Coma

Click to donate toward Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

Click to donate toward Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

I was a horrible child.

There. I said it.

I know that this comes to a great shock to all of you as my well behaved, mannerly, polite and lady-like posts as well as videos attest but it’s true. I didn’t just have a short phase of child’s curiosity where they rummage through everything in the house and snoop through all the places mother’s say, “Don’t go near that!” I frolicked there. In fact, as a child, I made it my toodler and early years goal to be awake and up well before my mother was with great, snooptastic excitement. My eyes would snap open the moment dawn blearily cracked one eye open between my blinds and LEAP from my bed cackling with delight. What shenanigans could I get into before my mother with her I-know-you-are-up-to-no-good-without-looking-Mom-Super-Power’s kicked in?

The moment I could waddle out of bed, apparently, on fat chubby little toddler legs I was out to pull the kitchen apart in a quest to whiten my mothers hair before her time. (My mother loved telling this story to everyone. Apparently it’s not just my dad that loved to embarrass me on occasion.) We moved to a base in Alberta that had low income and medium to higher income family housing. My mom and Dad, as a new family just married and just moved, were living in the lower income area: basically prefab homes/trailors from the late seventies with tin rooves and tin siding aptly named: Tin Town.  The trailor wasn’t too terribly small for what they needed, three bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom and living room.

Severe colds and bronchitis were a usual thing for me when I was small. I was sick with a rattling cough and my doctor had prescribed me a delicious Banana flavored cough medicine.  

So apparently this one morning during my cute-wee destroyer of kitchens phase, I decided that I was going to Go Where Mom Said Never To Go. The great mystical magical place that can only be looked upon from down below…The top of the Fridge–where all that delicious Banana goodness was placed.

The top of the fridge was also the place where my parents put the most amazing things. Things that I could not get to as a kid and thus made it 1000000% more interesting than any place that I could reach. With determination I viewed the great white obstacle in my way and formulated my plan. Somehow, at the tender age of three (maybe four?) I picked up a kitchen chair silently and carried it over to the fridge. Once it was placed with great stategry and forethought, I crawled atop the chair and hooked a foot onto the counter beside the fridge. Climbing from the chair to the cabinet made me tall enough to easily reach everything–a basket full of pens and highlighters, Tylenol, the dogs jerky treats (which I ate one. Hey, it was good enough for the dog…why not me? It tasted awful, by the way.) And lo and behold, shining in all it’s prescription white-bottle glory was the elixir of sweet Banana well within my grubby fingers. It’s white paper taped to its outside the dosage information which at that time, I could not read–I think my mother said it was two teaspoons in the morning and night–and I grabbed that bottle, opened it…And drank all of it.

Every bit.

Now you have to understand children, this was the early 1980’s and child safety caps weren’t really around. The cough medication didn’t have a child safety cap and it was the food of the gods to me: overly sweet and overly flavored to hide the taste of medicine. I chugged that motherfucker like it was 18 year old scotch for two year olds, probably belched, wiped my mouth and climbed down. I left the empty bottle on the kitchen counter and went to go see what else I could destroy.

This is where my memory of events end.

My mother said she woke that morning with a heart-thumping start because it was quiet. Too quiet. Every morning so far in my youthful life I had gotten into something which would take my mother hours to clean up and so I had instilled the Toddler Fear into her early. She knew something was off. She said she rolled out of bed and shuffled to my bedroom but I wasn’t there. She then went to the spare room–nope, not there either–checked the bathroom because sometimes I liked to go through her make up…Nope, not there. She checked the kitchen and noticed that I was laying on the couch, sound asleep with angelic innocence. My mom said she made breakfast for herself, coffee, had her morning cigarette and put all the dishes away thinking that I just needed extra sleep. By the time she was done, she thought to herself that it was unusual for me to sleep in so late–so she went to wake me up. On her way out of the kitchen to the living room she saw it.

An entire empty bottle of cough syrup.

My mother said she was sure she tasted her heart in her throat and it didn’t taste like banana at all. She said she rushed over to the couch and grabbed my shoulders to shake me and yell my name.  I didn’t even flutter an eyelid. My mother said no matter how much she shook or how loud she yelled, she couldn’t get me awake. Frazzled out of her mind, she put on slippers and a coat and off we went to the hospital.

This is where my memory of events start again.

I haven’t a single clue what they did to wake me up but they managed to do so and the first thing that greeted my blurry vision was a hospital-grade standard blue plastic cup. Filled with a dark, thick liquid and a pretty pink straw.
“Drink this–” a man in a white coat said with a smiling lady beside them. My mother, anxious behind then with red rimmed eyes nodded. “–you’ll feel better.”
“Drink it all,” my mother chimed in behind them. Not quite awake and not quiet asleep I took the cup and took a big slurp.

Do you know what charcoal tastes like?
I do.
Charcoal tastes like sadness and poop. Possibly sad poop. Possibly poop pooped from sadness itself.

What ensued was possibly six and a half hours of screaming and crying because nobody wants to drink sad poop. Sad, chalky, gritty poop. But not only did I have to drink it and drink all of the cup I had to drink SIX CUPS OF IT. My mother, the doctor and that nurse worked like it was a hostage situation and they were bargaining for the lives of their hostages. They blackmailed me with promises of apple juice or orange juice if I would just drink one more cup of sad poop. My poor mother by the time it was over and we were driving home looked like someone had picked her up, wrung her out like a facecloth and hung her up to dry wrinkled and worn out.

It was late enough that my father was home when we pulled into the drive. Miserable and seeking sympathy for the obvious torture that my mother and the doctors had put me through, I put on my pout face and flopped dramatically with limp-slappy-arms into our house and sulked my way to my father.  My father, the wonderful, kind man that he was promptly took one look at my mouth and teeth and started belly-laughing. This did not help my mood any and I demanded that he stop laughing because I had just drank oodles of poop . You don’t laugh at that, Dad. You don’t.

He picked my sorry self up and carried me to the bathroom, turned on the light and hoisted me up under the arms to take a good, long look at my mouth. It looked like that I had taken a sharpie-marker to the entirety of the inside of my face. My gums were black, my teeth were black, my cheeks and tongue were completely ink-black. With my father laughing at me behind me I couldn’t help but join in. I did look pretty ridiculous.
He said to me, “I bet you will never do that again.”
He was right of course.

I don’t think my mother was particularly pleased with my fathers reaction–but as I hinted at, I learned a valuable lesson that day.

If you drink too much Banana cough syrup you coma and when you wake up they make you drink the poop of sadness.
My parents learned to hide all medication until I was much older.

I never–as far as I remember–ever had any medication that ever tasted good ever again. Every time I take a spoonful of cough syrup that tastes like ass, I remember the charcoal and suddenly everything tastes like roses and sunshine.

Never got over loving Banana though.




Help pay for Mel's tattoo in memory of her mother
Melissa Pence is wife to the husband and wife team here behind 2 phatgeeks. On December 11th, 2011, Melissa lost her mother to a long, difficult battle to diabetes. In her memory, Melissa is blogging 24 hours in order to raise funds for her through the organization: Step Out: End to Walk Diabetes, and for the personal goal to finish a humming bird tattoo on her right arm in memory of her mother.
My grandmother carried a kitchen sink.

My grandmother carried a kitchen sink.

My mother would put me in dresses–velveteen numbers with white lace at the neck and skirts hems. Pink with white polka dots, white leotards or pantyhose and little shiny shoes. I was forever staining them with grass and mud and being far too hyper–I often felt like I drove my mother to drinking on more than one occasion. When I got older, I had less and less interest feminine things. I tried putting make up on everyday but the effort was often wasted, I felt–constantly having to take care of it and the routine was boring. As well, as a teenager I stopped caring. In my 20’s it was a luxury I couldn’t afford.

Included in that was my disdain for purses. I found them clunky, uncomfortable with straps continuously slipping off shoulders–I’d forget them or lose them momentarily, causing panic. They were just something extra to carry…Why would I want that? For nearly two decades I chose to use a man’s wallet instead.

Until a few years ago.

Men’s wallets didn’t hold enough, I felt. I got myself a pretty, hot-pink women’s wallet that had room for a cheque book, many cards, money as well as change. It had a handy little strap too, so I thought, “That’s not too bad. Not too purse like.”

But then later that year Grandma Pence bought me a Disney Tinkerbell purse….and then that’s when it really changed. I started carrying that thing around with me even when I was visiting family. I got a lot better obviously at not forgetting it, and they were handy. I thought to myself, “Now, I won’t fill it with everything.” My grandmother and my mother were notorious for having everything in their purse. Needed a drink of water? Collapsible drinking cup. Have a headache? Tylenol. Cut your finger? Band aid  Hole in your pants? Travel sewing kit. Runny nose? Kleenex. Upset stomach? Tums. Keys to the outdoor basement cellar? Huge key chain. I am convinced my grandmother had everything in her purse, including the kitchen sink. My memories of my grandmother and eventually, my mother having everything in their purses however brought several memories of both of them digging madly, for minutes and in some cases nearly an hour, through all of that junk trying to find just one thing. And I told myself like hell I would become like that! I didn’t have the patience anyway and most likely I would take out an entire starbucks out of frustration trying to find anything in a purse where everything was sucked into the black hole of dark-purse-bottoms.

So I just kept the little Tinkerbell purse. I’ll be safe, I thought. There’s not much room for it to get out of hand, I comforted myself with.

This is where my purse would begin to do that evil maniacal laugh thing.

But I think purses have a dark power. A dark power to draw things into them. Because first it was simply my pink wallet and a pen. And then it was my pink wallet, a pen, and a glasses cleaning rag. Then I thought, Well, maybe I would like to listen to something, and I added my ipod nano. Then it was, well I might need to write something down, so I put  a small note pad in…And soon I realized that my small Tinkerbell purse was full to the brim and sadly, I begrudgingly admitted I needed another  purse. A bigger purse. But not a douchette sized purse that could hold a small child and entire computer–as that was my worst nightmare of purses–but at least, a little bit larger of a purse. I started looking at them  when we went shopping and found most of them lacking. In a thrift store, however, I found a little green purse with a multitude of hide-y holes, zippered compartments and Velcro places and for $1.50 it was a steal. I took it home and began hand sewing the words, “Geek” in it because hey, why not?

In December when my mother passed, my father brought home her purse. He asked me if I wanted it, and I did not hesitate to say, “yes.” It was a gorgeous thing, made from real leather with braided leather straps. She had another beautiful leather bag that dad bought her, but she never liked, so he gave that to me too. That gave me four purses, more purses than I had ever owned in my entire life. I had purse-choices now, and while I carried around things in my mothers purse for a bit, recently I thought it would be good to go back to the Tinkerbell purse for a little bit. It was my first, after all.

And then a friend of mine, Erin, sent me a new purse randomly–a demin hello kitty purse which I flailed myself out of my chair in delight when I saw it and that’s when it hit me–not the floor, but the truth.

I have turned into a purse-lady.

Ten years ago this would have been a disturbing thought. Last year, however, I lost my mother. This year I lost my grandmother–the two Purse Maidens in my family, and I can still see them, rummaging about through the great forest of their hand bags saying, “just give me a minute–I know I put it in my purse–god damn it–Oh there it…No, not that…I jus…Almost…AHA!–No, No, that’s not it–” and I smile. My purse may not have an entire first-aid kit in it with collapsible cup for drinks; but it has a memory. A piece of the women in my family attached.

Maybe when I become a grandmother, I will worry about carrying a kitchen sink then.