#LiveGrand


I realize it has been quite a while since you heard from me and there is a really good explanation.  Hopefully you read about the loss of BFF’s Grandpa right before the holidays but in January, we had a devastating loss of her 23-year-old nephew, Mathew as well.  BFF and I have been best friends for over 20 years and her family has adopted me as another member, with her brothers calling me their other sister and her nieces and nephews calling me Aunty 2.  So, when we got the news Matty had died in a horrible car wreck, I was devastated right along with the rest of the family.  You see, I had known Matty since he was little and I loved being his Aunty 2.  It was so hard to think about writing and words could not seem to come to me to even begin to express my grief over such a young soul.  But this week, as I was musing over Matty and how he lived his life, the words he lived by inspired me.  Live Grand.

Matty may have only been 23 years old, but the life he lived was so full and rich.  We like to say he lived life going mach 3 with his hair on fire, but really he just lived grand.  He LOVED adventure. This kid ran river tours in the Grand Canyon with the Hualapai tribe for many years and they loved him so much he was actually made a member of the tribe.  He loved to take chances and was a budding photographer, doing anything to get the perfect shot.  So many photos of Matty not only show his beautiful smile but they also show him on the edge of cliffs, playing in the Colorado river, snowboarding down the mountain and many other things that made his life grand.  He loved spending time with the family, never missing a function if he could help it and was always the first one to take selfies with everyone.  His laugh and smile were contagious and you could forgive him of any transgression by that smile and he knew it.  This spirit, this essence of Matty is his legacy.  to all of us.  This sense of loving life and living outside the box is what inspires me.  This is where my challenge to you, my dear readers, is going to present itself.  In memory of BFF and my nephew, I challenge you to Live Grand.

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BFF and Matty 
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That smile….

 

Take a moment and reflect on your life and what makes it grand.  Find one thing that you can do to make it more rich, fuller and bursting with life.  Whether that be traveling to a new destination, creating your own adventure or even just spending more time with your family, find that one thing and do it.  Do not wait until tomorrow or put it off to next year, I want you to do it now.  Matty wants you to do it now.  Plan it, execute it and make your life grand.  It’s that simple.  This is my challenge to all of you…to keep Matty’s spirit alive and make your life grand.  I want you to tag me in posts on Facebook, Instagram and even send me snapchats with the hashtag #LiveGrand and show me how you can change your life to make it your best life ever.  I want to see you #LiveGrand no matter what that means to you.  Show me!  I plan on spending more time with my family and traveling more to make my life grand.  Because if there is one thing Matty taught me, it was that family is not always about blood.  It is about those people who love and support you the most and BFF and her family are some of those people.  Thank you BFF and her family.  You all have given me something I cherish….your love.

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This boy….

Mathew.  I am proud to have been your Aunty 2.  I am glad you never hesitated to tell me you loved me.  I am proud to have known you and been blessed by your smile, laugh and your love.  I am so proud of the man you had become and I will miss you my sweet nephew.  While I will never hear you call me Aunty 2 again and get some random snapchat from you showing me your smile, I will always love you.  You lived grand in life and now you can continue to Live Grand forever.  “Through every door, a new path awaits.”  Enjoy your new path Matty.  And #LiveGrand.

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Mathew Thomas Reyes  1993-2017  #LiveGrand

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did discover that even through great grief, you can discover a new joy in life but I didn’t die.  Thank you Matty.  I am Fat Girl who is going to  #LiveGrand Running.  The experiment continues…

BFF And Her Grandpa


I have always heard how girls can have special relationships with their Daddies (being a Daddy’s girl myself) but you can also have a wonderful and close relationship with a grandparent.  Grandparents can be so special and I can say without a doubt some of my best memories are the ones with my Grandma.  I preferred to spend time with my Grandma and even went there after school.  My Grandma was my world and I lost her when I was 18, so I understand having a close relationship with a Grandma.  However, I have learned through my BFF, how special a Grandpa can be.  You see, both my Grandpas were gone before I was born so I never experienced what it was like to have one until I became a part of BFF’s family.  It was then, over 22 years ago, that I was introduced to one of the most special relationships I ever witnessed:  the one between BFF and her Grandpa.  This week, unfortunately, we lost this beautiful soul of a man at 101 years young and one of the things I can offer her family in our grief are my words.

BFF’s family is like my other family and so I got to witness BFF’s relationship with her Grandpa all the time.  Truly, this was one of the most precious relationships I have ever witnessed.  BFF spent as much time as she could with her Grandpa, taking care of him when he was sick, sitting with him when he needed to have someone there, talking with him even if he tried to talk in Spanish (she doesn’t speak Spanish), and singing with him.  It was obvious to me how much he meant to her and that she would drop everything if he needed anything at all.  It never bothered her and she didn’t hesitate.  She would just say “It’s Grandpa” with a shrug and a smile.

I was lucky enough to get to know Grandpa at family functions and by hanging out with BFF when she was taking care of him.  He was a quiet man but if you asked him a question, be prepared for a long quite involved answer or story.  I loved it when he would tell me stories about his past.  I learned from these stories that he worked in a mine, rescued a cow from a well and that he was a sort of cattle rustler back in the day.  Grandpa told me how he would look to see what cows were not branded and he would take those and brand them with his brand.  When BFF and I exclaimed in shock, he shrugged and said “Well.  They didn’t brand them so I did.”  Yup.  Cattle rustler.  He even told us how when Grandma was mad at him, he would go out and sit in the shed till he felt he could come inside.  I loved listening to these stories when he felt like telling them.  What an amazing and full life he led.

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Afternoon snoozles with Grandpa

One of my favorite things at family gatherings was watching BFF with her Grandpa.  She would make him laugh and I really loved it when she would have him sing in Spanish.  BFF would start singing and he would join right in, belting out songs one after another.  He would throw things at her like an empty (or not) water-glass and she would tell him he threw like a girl, which would make him laugh.  She took such great care of him and at the end was there.  I got a text from her one night, near the end of his life, where she told me she was sitting in bed just holding hands with him as he slept.  I wished I had been there to capture that moment for her.  I tried every chance I could get to take pictures of her and Grandpa because their relationship was so precious.  I learned how important a Grandpa is from her.  I learned that a girl can be attached to her Grandpa and that he could become her world.  You could tell when she talked about him how much he meant to her and how much she loved him.  I once gave her a framed picture of her and Grandpa for her birthday and she told me it was the best present anyone could have given her.

Grandpa grew to have a special place in my own heart throughout the years.  Once when I brought BFF lunch when she was sitting with him, he was already at the table eating and he looked up at me and said.  “You are late.  I am already eating.”  Mind you, it was 11 am and I was right on time.  I tried to say I was not late and he just chuckled to himself and said “Nope. Late.”  Sometimes he remembered me by the fact that I was from Iowa.  Sometimes it was by name (or as close as he could get which might have been Grandma’s name).  I always took time to greet him, say goodbye and kiss his cheek, and grab his hand as I walked through the pew at church (even if he did accuse me of pinching him).  I was lucky enough to help care for him at times and listen to those great stories.  I was always on the lookout every trip to help BFF find the perfect Grandpa gift, whether it be playing cards, cookies, a ball cap or a personalized ornament from Disneyland.  I gained a Grandpa over the years.  I will miss that.  I will miss him.

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The picture I gave BFF and my favorite one

BFF…thank you for sharing your Grandpa with me.  Thank you for allowing me to help care for him.  Thank you for showing me how special of a relationship can be between a grandchild and their Grandpa.  Thank you for sharing that wonderful man with me.  Grandpa…thank you for always making me a part of the family.  Even though you were not my biological Grandpa, you were the only Grandpa I ever knew and I miss you.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  Sometimes grief feels that way and all I can offer BFF are my words but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl who learned what it is like to have a Grandpa through BFF Running.  The experiment continues…

When You Make Up A New Word That Is Unnervingly Accurate


We all know I like to make up words from time to time but really my words do accurately describe things.  Unnervingly so.  I mean stoob, when your stomach meets your boobs, is a perfect example.  It really does describe something and I definitely have a stoob. I am sure some of you can relate to that and to Chub Rub, which we all know afflicts those of us Fat Girls without a thigh gap.  So see, making up terms sometimes is a good thing.  After all, they do have a whole thing called Urban Dictionary to describe slang vernacular.  I wish stoob and Chub Rub were in there and I could be credited with creating them.  That might be all kinds of awesome.  Anyways, me making up words is really not a new thing but sometimes a necessity.  Don’t you do this to describe things in your life?  You should try it.  Your word might catch on, you never know.

The other night at work, I decided to coin a new word out of necessity.  I mean, it was 6:30 am and we were a little slap happy with it being the end of a busy shift but honestly, the word was really needed to describe what a poor kid had on the floor.  Sometimes this is when the best words are created, when you least expect it.  This word is one I can unfortunately relate to and so can a lot of you.  It is unnervingly accurate.  So here is my word that I coined and it’s definition:

Shemesis:  n.  A condition in which you perform the act of simultaneously shitting and vomiting at the same time.  (We call vomiting emesis in the medical field).  The worst.

Good word, no?  I mean it does the job.  It describes exactly the predicament you are in when you might have this condition. Can you relate?  Oh I can and it is not pretty.  Let’s just say having shemesis is not a fun condition in the least.  I have been this sick so I completely sympathize with this patient that had this the other night.  I might have laughed at my poor co-worker who had to deal with it because we used the Wheel of Destiny to decide who got an admit and he definitely got the raw end of that spin and I might have done a dance of joy to not have to clean up shemesis.  But really, shemesis is no laughing matter.  Have you ever been afflicted with shemesis?  Let’s discuss this.

Shemesis can be your worst nightmare when you are sick.  I mean nobody likes to vomit to begin with and add the shitting part on top of it.  Utter humiliation.  I mean if you are lucky, the pooping starts first and your butt is already over the toilet bowl when you have to start having it spew out of you at both ends.  That is easy to rectify if you have a trash can nearby.  But let’s imagine the other scenario.  There you are, praying to the Porcelain God when you realize it is going to come out the wrong end.  Oh dear, What do you do?  Do you see if you can quickly whip your pants down and get your ass over the toilet or do you just decide to humiliate yourself and fill your pants with liquid?  This is a terrifying possibility and hopefully you are not in public when schemesis hits you.  I mean, what do you do then?  This might be my worst nightmare.  I have no idea what I would even do in tif this happened in public except hope that I could get out of the public bathroom with my dignity intact.  It is a game of chance I tell you.  And one you will not win.  Either way, you lose and usually by that time, you do not care because you feel as if you are expelling a demon.  I have been here and let’s say a shower was needed afterwards and I just threw those pants away.  I could not make the transition quick enough so it was just badness all around.  Shemesis can make the best of us feel like we are helpless and disgusting at the same time.

If you have a spouse when you have shemesis, you might discover the depth of their love for you.  Are they willing to clean you up or help you in the shower if you are unlucky enough to have your butt over the floor? Will they help you dispose of the evidence of shemesis or will they stare at you in abject horror with a mask and gloves on and run the other way?  Shemesis is a true test of love.  Your spouse might be smiling sympathetically at you but screaming in horror internally.  Sometimes nurses do this.  For reals.  Sometimes we appear calm and collected while internally we are screaming in horror at what we have to deal with because our jobs are gross.  Plain and simple.  Or we come up with a word to accurately describe the horror we have witnessed to help us laugh at 6:30 am.

screaming dean

There are just two words to describe that shift.  Bleach wipes.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did coin a new phrase that is unnervingly accurate in my job but I didn’t die (I also didn’t have to take the patient thank goodness).  I am Fat Girl who has unfortunately experienced shemesis and the humiliating after effects Running.  The experiment continues…

 

Random Blog Topic: Finding Your Parent’s Porn Stash


Have you ever thought about what would happen if you died?  Like what would happen afterwards?  Not with you per say but with all your stuff.   Somebody in your family is going to have to go through your stuff. And by this, I mean all your stuff.  They will find all your deep dark secrets.  Everything you have hidden away from the world.  Now, think about who that might be.  If you are a parent, chances are it will probably be one of your kids.  Imagine your kids going through your closet, your clothes, and all of a sudden they open one drawer or bedside table or box under the bed and what do they find?  To their horror or amusement they have now discovered your porn stash complete with sex toys. Yup. Now we are all adults here, so I see nothing wrong with porn and sex toys.  I know most everybody has them nowadays and nothing wrong with that.   Unfortunately, this random blog topic was brought to you today by my friends, who had this wonderful experience just recently after her Dad died.  So let’s talk about this topic a bit and how maybe we can avoid it.

Like I said, I see nothing wrong with porn or sex toys or anything like this.  This is not what I am discussing.  I am talking about somebody finding your stash that you didn’t intend to find it.  This could cause a little bit of trauma.  I hear stories all the time about children finding their parents sex toys and coming out with them at inappropriate moments.  In fact, one of my friends recently told me about her daughter coming out of her room asking her if she wanted to have a Light Saber fight.  My friend, not looking up, said sure she would but that they didn’t have any Light Sabers to use.  Her daughter said she found a pink light saber and it lit up and turned and everything.  My friends looked up and to her horror, there was her daughter with her vibrator, turned on and brandishing it like a Light Saber.  Wow.  What do you even say to your child at that point?  How do you handle that?  At least it wasn’t in front of other people that is for sure.  Thank goodness her daughter was young enough to probably not remember this incident and need therapy for it.  My friend on the other hand is a different story.  I would need some wine at least.

I can’t even imagine having a small child finding your stash nor can I imagine finding one of my parent’s stash of porn and sex toys.  I am pretty sure that if this happened to me, I would need a whole box of wine, let alone some therapy to get through that.  It would be horrifying and amusing at the same time.  Also it might have a slight icky factor to it.  About like when you walk in on your parents having sex.  Gross.  Or even hear them having sex.  What is worse to you?  At least the sounds I can drown out but the visual effects of seeing your parents having sex will last a lifetime.  A lifetime of horrifying nightmarish visions that will come when you least expect it.  Not that I have had this experience and if I have, I am not sharing.  So gross.  Now, picture going through your parents stuff because they have died and finding their stash.  You open the box or drawer and find all their dirty little secrets.  What do you do?  Do you scream?  Do you close the drawer or box right away?  Do you stare at it horrified not being able to move?  I am not sure what my reaction would be but I bet it would be one of those.  And I would also be traumatized for life.  On one hand, at least your parents had  healthy sex life and maybe  to your horror you will discover they were into dungeon midget porn.  That would be awful.  I wouldn’t even know what to do.  It would for sure end up in the trash but the fact that I found it would still haunt me forever.

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Your kids faces when they find your porn/sex toy stash after you die.  No joke.

I think I have a solution to this problem.  Designate someone to come over to your house after you die to get rid of the evidence before people start to go through it all.  Someone you trust  Someone who wouldn’t care what kind of freaky dungeon midget porn and S&M stuff you had been into before you died.  Someone who won’t judge you after you die.  It’s that simple.  That one person should come and get your stash and ditch it, preferably not in your own trash, and they should also clear your internet browsing history just in case you were browsing dungeon midget porn as well before you died.  It is so simple.  Just make a deal with someone.  I am making this deal with my Bubby cuz I know he won’t care if he finds any kind of freaky porn collection.  Not that I have one.  I mean, I might but I am not telling.  So just figure out who that person is and make a deal with them.. Don’t traumatize your children by leaving it for them to find.  Or at least put a good bottle of liquor in the drawer or box so that if they do find it, they can just get drunk to try to erase the memory.  I am so sorry to my friend who recently had to go through this traumatizing event.  So designate someone today!

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did get a little freaked out by the thought of discovering one of my parent’s porn/sex toy stash but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl glad my Bubby will be the one to destroy my stash Running.  The experiment continues…

A Bittersweet Family Reunion, a Few Drinks and a New Stripper Name


My Auntie T, myself and my Aunt Betty at my Seester's wedding.  Amazing women!
My Auntie T, myself and my Aunt Betty at my Seester’s wedding. Amazing women! They inspired me to become a nurse

This last week, my family suffered another devastating blow when the matriarch of our family, Aunt Betty, suffered a massive stroke and passed away at the tender age of 68.  My Aunt Betty was a beautiful woman who became like a second mother and surrogate Grandma to most of her nieces and nephews, myself included.  She never married or had children of her own so we were all important to her as she was to us.  Aunt Betty was a nurse for over 40 years and between her and my Auntie T, they both inspired me to become a nurse.  She loved that I wrote and was always telling me to continue to do so because I brought much needed humor to her life.  Losing her was hard.  So, unfortunately, my Bubby and my Momma and I flew home to Iowa to have a bittersweet family reunion and say our final goodbyes to one of the women that I love very dearly.

Whenever my family gets together, for whatever reason, there are certain things that are bound to happen:  laughter, drinking, and inappropriateness.  For reals.  If you recall, this is a rowdy bunch of Irish Midwestern people and we know how to enjoy each other, even in times of sadness.  Aunt Betty would have loved it.  This gathering was no exception.  I can sum up my family and our humor in one moment.   At the viewing, my Auntie T and Uncle F were standing behind the memory table talking and I went up to ask a question to which my Uncle F replied “Can’t you see I am trying to molest your Aunt?”  Yup.  My inappropriate family in a nutshell.  Despite the reason for us coming together, we still managed to enjoy our time hanging out as a big family unit at the place we always gather…Aunt Betty’s house.  My Aunt lived in my Grandma’s old house (we lost my Grandma in 1989) and to say she used a lot of talcum powder was an understatement.  And by a lot I mean a TON.   In fact, there was a layer of it covering EVERYTHING in her room.  When my Auntie T and I were trying to find the title to her car, we created a haze in her room moving things around.  Such a haze, that my Wicked Step-mother and I had to leave before we both had an asthma attack.  It was quite comical.  I couldn’t tell if it was just covering my glasses or we were really looking through a haze of it until Uncle M came up and commented on how cloudy it was in her room.  Note to self:  ban the use of talcum powder in my house.

After emerging from the talcum haze, I went outside to sit with my cousins in the sweltering humidity to watch my hair frizz, the kids run around and drink a few beers.  One of my cousins quickly handed me a beer and his wife handed me another, making me look like the lush in the family (maybe I secretly am but shhhh…don’t tell about my box of wine) as these were not small beers.  No these were the giant beers and I laughed knowing I looked ridiculous but grateful for the drink on such a hot humid day.  A few minutes later, My Dad came outside to look for me and used his drill Sargent voice to FULL NAME call me.  I jumped and quickly handed my beer to Cousin M so that I would not get in trouble (even though I am pretty sure I am old enough to have a beer in front of my Dad).  Bubby actually jumped as well and whispered “You are in sooooo much troooouuuubbbble”.  Of course Cousin M then looked like a lush with two huge beers in his hands and said “I don’t wanna get in trouble..take this back” to which I quickly shook my head.  Of course, Dad was just looking for me for another reason and hadn’t even noticed the giant beer in my hand.  Whew.  There are some things you never outgrow and hearing my Dad’s drill Sargent voice call my full name will always make me jump.

Don't bother me...I'm thirsty
Don’t bother me…I’m thirsty

While we were sitting around, some the kiddos were playing hide and seek and Cousin D decided it would be fun to go around the house and jump out at all of them and scare them.  A few minutes later, we all hear screams of little girls as they come running through the yard with Cousin D laughing hard.  One of the babies, who is two, was sitting on my lap playing with bubbles and when she heard the screams, she immediately said “Naughty Dave”, much to our amusement.  She then proceeded to make up a little song consisting of nothing but the words “Naughty Dave” that she sung over and over.  We all decided that Cousin D should immediately quit his managerial job and become a stripper since Baby E had come up with his name already…and a theme song to boot!  When Cousin D went to leave that night, Baby E even yelled “Bye Naughty Dave” at him. According to her Mommy, she even sang the Naughty Dave theme song as they drove home days later.   Pretty sure it will now be his name forever when we all get together.  Get used to it Naughty Dave.

So, once again, my family has laid to rest a beautiful soul.  A woman who inspired me to become a nurse, who came to every graduation I had when we lived states away, who sewed me a box of Barbie clothes when I was little, who gave the best hugs and who loved all of her nieces and nephews with all her heart and soul.  Thank you my Aunt B for always accepting me just the way I am and encouraging me to follow my dreams.  I will cherish your laugh, your relish for cooking, and most of all I will cherish the way you loved your family and made each of us feel so special.  Even as the tears are falling as I write these words, I know that you are at peace and I shall always and forever love you.  I miss you.  I shall use the words of one of the babies in the family, your sweet little man L who said at the viewing as he saw you lying there “Bye My B”  No words are better said.  Bye My B.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I have cried as I blogged today but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl emerging from a talcum powder haze with two huge beers, a cousin with a new stripper name and realizing that nobody got left at a McDonald’s this funeral Running.  The experiment continues…

A Bright Spot And A Ticket? For Val….


What a whirlwind month.  I just sent off the most important email of my life…the rough draft of my book to my publisher www.inknbeans.com  (check them out for other wonderful authors).  So now you know why I have not been on here as much entertaining you with my wit…because I was busy writing, editing and in the middle of it all grieving.  Yup.  Grieving.  Last week, in the middle of this crazy month, my BFF’s cousin died suddenly and it hit us hard.  Val was so excited for the book to come out and swore to me she was gonna be first in line to get a copy.  I will never forget her jumping up and down when she heard the news and hugging me repeatedly, wanting to hear every detail.  You are missed Val…greatly missed.  It has been a hard year.  Between BFF and I we have lost 6 people in the last 5 months in our two families alone.  Pretty sure God needs to pick on two other families now.  So sending off the book tonight was really a bright spot in the last year.

In memory of Val, I want to share with you one of my favorite stories about her.  I couldn’t share it at the rosary because the grief was too raw.  She was more than a friend.  My BFF’s family is my other family and Val was like a cousin to me as well.  To understand this story, you have to know that Val was a dispatcher for the Flagstaff PD for like ever.  This occurred one Thanksgiving morning.  I had worked all night and it was a rough night.  I just wanted to get home and get a quick nap before going over to BFF’s house for family dinner.  Of course it had snowed.  Damn snow.  So there I am, in my sleep deprived state, driving home through downtown Flag when all of a sudden there are lights in my rear view.  Am I being pulled over or is this cop trying to get somewhere?  It too a few moments for my sleepy brain to figure out I was being pulled over….ok it took him putting on his siren briefly.  Ugh.  Just what I needed.  A freaking ticket.  And I wasn’t even speeding.  Ok…maybe I was a little…but not too much I swear it.  Oh ok…I have no idea how fast I was going.  I was freaking tired and not really present in my body.  And of course I would have to get pulled over on the street that most everyone going home from the hospital goes down to get home AND did I mention my name is on the back of my car as advertisement for my Avon business.  Yup. No denying it is me getting pulled over and I was sure my phone was about to blow up with everyone asking what happened.  The cop politely came over and told me I was speeding…uh thanks?  And took all my info asking me why I was going so fast.  Um….I am tired and need to get home before I fall asleep behind the wheel?  The po-po proceeded to give me a lecture about driving fast under the weather conditions…pretty sure I took a slight nap during it.  Then he went back to his car to run my plates to see if I am a felon and write my ticket.  Upon returning and waking me from my other short little nap where I was dreaming of lounging in an orange jumpsuit while some other girl braids my hair and calls me her bitch, he leans in and hands me my info back and my ticket……wait.  This isn’t a ticket.  It’s a warning.  Huh?  He smiles and says to me “Oh yeah…Val says to quit speeding and get home and take a nap before you come over and have turkey.” We laughed, he walked away and I drove home assured I would not have to wear orange and be someone’s bitch in jail.  Thanks Val.

You are missed my friend.  I love you.
You are missed my friend. I love you.

Hug those you love tightly my friends.  You never know when they will be gone.  And tell them you love them…every day.  Val…I miss you.  Thanks for loving everyone so much.  Thanks for being my friend, my family….thanks for being my BFF’s cousin.  Watch over us all now…and be the first in line in Heaven to read the book.  Love you friend.

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did have a bright spot in a terrible month but I didn’t die.  I am Fat Girl who got out of a ticket and sent a life changing email running.  The experiment continues…

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To A Funeral…


This past week was a hard one for me.  I had to help lay to rest one of the men I call my little brothers, my cousin Billy.  The unexpected phone call came early in the am and was a shock to me.  I considered Billy to be one of my little brothers since my Bubby was born almost 11 years after me and Billy was only 4 years younger.  It is never easy to bury one of your own, but to bury a younger person is even harder.  It is still fresh and still hurts…I miss talking with him on the phone.  I miss his laugh and the ease at which we could always be with each other.  I even miss him calling me Kiki….my childhood nickname that he still called me.  My family means the world to me, even my cousins, and the thought of not going home to Iowa to say goodbye never even crossed my mind.  So, Bubby and I quickly made arrangements to fly out to Iowa and meet up with our family to do one of the hardest things we have ever done (those are Bubby’s big brothers considering he only has sisters).  No one should ever have to bury someone younger than themselves.   We caught a butt crack of dawn flight out and planned to meet our Dad there.

Dancing with Billy at his wedding 4 years ago. Miss you little brother.,,,may you watch over us all.

Upon landing in Des Moines, I turned my phone back on and noticed I had a text message from my Aunty T stating she was picking us up and not our Dad.  Huh.  Weirdness but ok…at least SOMEONE was picking us up.  Then my phone alerted me to a voice mail from my Dad which said something like this:  “Um…so I am not going to be able to pick you up.  I think someone will be there but if not just start calling family to come get you guys.  Something has happened and I am on my way to Illinois.  I am not quite sure what but your Aunt P got left at a McDonald’s in the middle of nowhere.  Will call you later.  Love you.”  I looked quizzically at Bubby and we tried to make sense of the message, knowing there has to be a story there.  Why did Uncle M leave our Aunt at a McDonald’s?  So unlike him…especially considering this Aunt has Parkinson’s disease.  Did they fight?  Did he mean to leave her?  Did he have a stroke or heart attack and got rushed to the hospital and Aunt P doesn’t know?  We tried to figure it out and got off the plane in search of our Aunty.  Upon finding Aunty and after the big hugs and kisses that are always accompanied when I meet up with her, we asked what was going on.  The plot then gets even weirder, if that is possible.  Guess they stopped at a McDonald’s to go to the bathroom and when Aunt P came out, Uncle M had left.  Luckily, she remembered my Aunt B’s phone number and called to get someone to come get her…4 hours away.  Aunty T had been trying to reach Uncle M all morning and was unable to do so.  They only have the one cell phone between them so poor Aunt P was stuck at this McDonald’s until my Dad could get there or someone got a hold of Uncle M.  They even called the local police but his car was nowhere to be found.  We worried that Aunt P was gonna be ok since she has Parkinson’s and kept trying to get a hold of Uncle M unsuccessfully.  Meanwhile, my Dad kept driving the 4 HOURS  one way to get Aunt P.

A few hours later, Aunty T’s phone rang and it was Uncle M stating “We are here in town”.  I hear Aunty T quickly say “What do you mean we, M?” Then the conversation quickly made me and Bubby giggle as Aunty T states to him “P is not in the car.  Look in the back seat M….she isn’t there.  That pile of blankets is not my sister.  I am as serious as a heart attack.  You left her at a McDonald’s in Illinois.”  How could we not laugh at this point?  He drove 4 hours without once checking to see if his wife was ok as he thought she was sleeping back there.  Really?  4 hours?  Not once did that pile of blankets move and my Aunt is never still for long due to her disease. Even Uncle M stated once he got to the house that the car ride had been really quiet.  Guess she had gotten out to go to the bathroom and Uncle M did not know she had gotten out of the car at all.   So my Dad drove 8 hours to make sure his sister made it to the funeral.  Let’s just say Bubby and I were glad we were not in the hotel room next to them that night!  It was the talk and laughter of the viewing that night…we were glad to have some giggles and I know Billy was laughing right along with us.  He would have thought that was a riot.   He probably arranged it cuz he would have hated us being all serious.  Oh Uncle M….pretty sure you will NEVER live this down from our family.  You left your wife in the middle of nowhere Illinois at a McDonald’s and never noticed.  My Uncle J asked me at the funeral luncheon if it would be appropriate to go ask Uncle M and Aunt P if they wanted McDonald’s for lunch…yup.  Never gonna live this one down.  For years, this will be the family joke. I might send them a McDonald’s gift card for Christmas…..

May you rest in peace my little brother…thanks for the laughter that we needed that night.  I miss you terribly.  Just know that I will watch over your Mom, kids and brothers for you…you meant so much to me and were always my favorite.  Aunty T….Billy will always be loved and we all miss him…I love you Billy.

I miss that little rascal in the blue….pretty sure I miss you calling me Kiki to irritate me

I wrote this blog especially for my Aunt N tonight….hope it brought you laughter and smiles.  I am glad my blog can bring you some joy right now and I am glad we got to visit with you….love you!

Oh yeah.  I didn’t die today.  I did however get some comic relief at a time when I needed it the most.  Life hands you curve balls and you have to pick yourself up.  I am fat girl who is glad she didn’t get left at a McDonald’s running.  The experiment continues….