Thursday, June 23, 2011

Merging

Everyday I fight a battle within myself, one of many really, but that's another post. I fight this battle of these two lives I've been living for so many years trying to become one, but having no idea how to. It's getting better that's for sure, but there is still this line.

There is one side of me that was secret, only a few ever saw inside, the B-side to me if you will. It's the side that has a terribly crude sense of humor, my mind in the gutter all the time. It's a side that went out and tried to be social, it's the fun side. It's the side that wanted to go to the bar at 11 at night, the side that got my heart beating when we walked into the club on Tuesday nights and left our cares behind. It's a side that felt like life coursing through my veins as I danced (yes that's what I call it) to the beat, surrounded by people without a care in the world. The side that feels alive in a club, feeling the music filling my soul, the side that danced like no one was watching and was such a fun person. Not afraid to talk to people, not afraid of being out in public, not afraid of crowds, not afraid of anything. A side that felt like life.

Then there is the other side. The side that is constantly on the defense, the side that thinks reasonably and safely. The side that is dependable, caring and quiet, the one that is sheltered from pain, blocking new people from coming in. There is this side of me that likes to stay home because it's quiet, it's safe, it's familiar. This side that enjoys a movie and some popcorn on the couch and in bed by 11pm. The side that enjoys mowing the yard, working on the house, cooking meals, cleaning up and moving furniture. The side that would rather do nothing over doing something, the side that hates spontaneity because it can't be controlled or planned.

These two strangers not allowed to co exist because I wouldn't allow it, I didn't want it. I created these two sides of me and kept them separated as much as possible because they hate each other. One side says the other one is so boring and missing out on so much of life, and the other that says, what kind of life is that to miss out on? To be honest I'm not sure I ever wanted them to exist together because it felt like a recipe for disaster.

The battle is now, this person I'm becoming, this person I'm discovering and this person I'm turning into wants to have it all. This person needs to have both sides merge into one because that is who I am. It's these two sides that need to start working together to create this person I feel inside of me, the problems with each side have resolution within the other. They can balance each other, it can be done, but how? I'm discovering I like them both, I enjoy spending time with each one and would really like it if they could get along more and just become one because there is so much joy that could result. There is a life force within me just waiting for them to come to terms with a compromise on how to move forward, together.

I look forward to this day when two can become one, I feel it coming, inching closer every day as I have been unloading all this old baggage and making room. Maybe that's what's taking so long, I've been holding on to all this old dusty baggage, cluttering my heart and my soul not leaving room for them to be together in the same place. Perhaps as I stop hoarding all these things inside I can make room for these two entities to become one and for me to become that person I know I can be. I can feel it, and there is hope in that.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Well that's how that goes.

Well the previous posts you may have seen in your reader were mobile posts that obviously didn't work. It was worth a shot at least, but at least now I know, mobile posting doesn't work. I did find under the settings tab though I could maximize layout settings for mobile users, which I did, and totally make the blog so much easier to read and manuver around in from my phone. At least one good thing came out of that. lol.

Todays post begins with a story.

I was around the age of 6, give or take a year and my birthday was coming up. I begged and begged my parents for a party at McDonalds, it was the in thing to do. We rarely had extra money for things like that but for some reason that year my parents caved, as long as I understood that the party was going to have to be my present that year. The other catch was I could only invite 7 other kids. I was so super excited and knew right away what 7 I would invite, they were my friends in school. You know back then when friendships were so easily defined. (epic eye roll here). So anyway it took some convincing (adult sign number 1) but got the kids I wanted to go to get to go.

The day of the party I was so excited we got to McDonald's and the kid's parents started to drop off their kids and then we would take them home afterwards. I thought the party was great, we laughed, we had happy meals and we laughed some more. What I didn't realize at the time was how many jokes were at my expense, I just assumed that's the way things were, but like I said I didn't realize it at the time. After the party when my parents were reaching their peak stress level they loaded everyone up in the back of our family station wagon. One of those really cool brown ones with the wood like paneling on the side and the third seat that faced backwards in the way back, it was awesome.

So anyway we head out heading out to the first of the kid's houses to drop them off and we were in the back carrying on like usual, except the comments started to sting. It continued to build after the first couple of kids were dropped off and I stopped laughing so much. I was a little bigger than most of the kids, not fat at all at the time, just not incredibly skinny and I can still remember some of the comments that finally led to my dad losing it on these kids. My father had a temper, but this was so not like the other times. The car fell silent, he really let into these kids. We finally got everyone home and out of our car and I remained silent the rest of they way home.

Not much was ever said about that party after that, but I never asked to have another birthday party, and my parents never offered. We had our usually family birthday parties that I enjoyed much more, but never again did I have a party with my class mates. To be honest I didn't even have sleep overs with anyone from school until I was in the fifth grade. Something happened that day that I didn't realize until years later when I had to question myself on why I carried so much hatred in my heart for certain kids in school. It took me nearly 15 years to sort through that and let go of the anger. After that I hadn't thought of it again until I read Bethany's comment on my last post.

I really hadn't thought of it quite like that until I read the comment about how I don't believe anyone could enjoy being in any kind of relationship with me, but it's so true. I've always considered myself as a throw away friend. I'm there for the time someone needs me and then I get thrown away. The more I thought about it the more I looked back deep into my past and realized I never stopped. I look at how my definition of friendship has changed over 34 years and I get so angry it took me so long, and still yet today there are times I just wait to be discarded.

I always thought I had friends growing up and while maybe one or two people somehow managed to make an impact on my life in one way or another and life separated us, for the most part it has always been a disfunctional, one sided feeling, this whole thing of "friendship". Some how throughout the years I kept trusting though, over and over and over again and eventually for one reason or another I would be betrayed, or dropped suddenly. I don't have many people still in my life in any way from that time period, I have a few that I run into once every 5 or so years, but really my cousins are the only ones that are still around.

I look at some of my best friends in some of those times and each one has destroyed me at least once in our time together. I do realize that there were "kid" issues many of the times, but some of these people hurt me, and some how the people that hurt me the most are some of the people I still have in some capacity as part of my life. They are also the people that I don't talk to much and such and maybe that's why.

Is it that I couldn't and sometimes still can't let go? How is it that all these years I've followed the same pattern, and now that I'm forming healthy friendships as an adult, I still have these thoughts in my head. How is it that a kid that grew up in such a loving home with such a wonderful family, both imediate and extended, could possibly have so many problems developing adult friendships? Why is it I can't see any value in what I bring to the table?

Even as I sit here typing I feel like people are always looking out for me or protecting me, is that what friends do or do they think I'm too weak? Is that such a bad thing? Some of my friends I have had now for up to 10-15 years and yet there is a part of me waiting to be discarded, or forgotten about. I constantly wonder why people stay friends with me for so long. I know I'm a good person, don't get me wrong, but I have a hard time putting a value to that when it comes to friendships and relationships. I constantly wonder why people miss me when I've been gone, or why someone would want to make an effort to come see me after I've moved away. While I truly enjoy the company and love spending time with these people, I sometimes wonder why they would go through the trouble?

In my head this whole blog post sounds like I'm asking for some kind of validation, or reassurance from the people that read this blog that I love so dearly, but I'm not. I do know there is some sort of value that I bring to the table in each of these relationships I just sometimes don't know what it is and it's really up to me to start understanding it and believing in it for myself. I really do have so many people that love me so much, I just hope that someday I can really love myself as much as others do.

Until then I sure appreciate having you guys along for the ride and walking with me on this whole damn self discovery journey thing I seem to have going on. It's exhausting. lol.

I promise I'm going to get to happier things, just have to finish unpacking some old dusty luggage and see what's been inside all this time and stop being such a hoarder.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Funeral

I was not looking forward to the weekend at all. I took a night off of work so I could get to Nap early and feel rested for the day. My friends M and T got to town a day early as well. After I got back to town and visited with the parental units M text me and said they were having dinner with an old friend and said afterwards they would be at Ron's and wanted me to come over. It was the thing I had been dreading the most. I tried to go to the house the weekend before when Norm had died but I couldn't bring myself to get out of the car, it was late anyway and Ron was in bed I found out so it was for the best.

When I got to the house my stomach was turning, my heart was beating and my emotions were on the surface, but I forced myself to go into the house. I rang the bell and walked in which is customary in that house, the bell is to let them know someone is here but they were always in the basement or on the patio next to the pond on the basement level. I entered like I normally would and Ron had prepped the house for the luncheon and there were Norms favorite things all around. Photos of him, his photography and the dining room table he designed and built a year ago. He would bring me pictures of his progress when I was at the store and couldn't get over there, it was beautiful. 6 months of hand crafting the 4 legs and a beautiful piece of granite that was a mistake when they redid the downstairs kitchen. He took this mistake and made something so beautiful out of it. It's just who he was.

I headed down the stairs like usual taking note of the beautiful Bamboo floors he installed 2 years ago and loved as well, the tempered glass railing we used to argue about the details of and tears started forming. As I got half way down the stairs his chair came into view. He always sat in the same chair at the foot of the stairs in front of the t.v. I would come down the stairs and he would turn and look at me and smile and wave and make some sort of remark about the Queen of Mortville has returned. He always had a remark about a John Water's film, he was a big fan and we used to watch those movies when I was over.

The difference was this time he was not there. The chair sat empty and the tears started rolling. I could hear everyone on the patio so I took a moment to get myself together and continued down the stairs out to the patio, where his favorite chair there was empty as well. I gave everyone a hug and a big hug to Ron which was all so heart felt. We had some wine and talked, in general at first, but not long into the conversation Ron started talking about the last few months. He talked about how hard it was watching him die and stories about how Norm kept his wit and his humor until the very end. He told us stories about the hospice worker doubled over the day she was over from laughing so hard.

He told us about the last two days, how Norm made the decision to come home and die in his favorite place and was expecting a fight from Ron, but got no fight. Ron knew what Norm wanted and stayed true to how he wanted it to end. He talked about how they spent their last night together just talking for hours, how Norm picked out his own Urn and how wonderful it was he got to spend those hours talking to him. He talked about how peaceful it was when he died. He waited until everyone was gone and Ron had gone upstairs to do a little work to let him nap and how an hour later he was gone.

I feared being dehydrated from crying so much. We just sat and let him talk it out, there wasn't a dry eye on that patio that night. As the night went on Ron put on some of Norm's favorite music videos that he had collected and Ron and I danced. M and T said they had no rhythm so they watched and laughed because it was hilarious. We ended up calling it a night knowing that the next day would be the party. Norm loved a good time, he loved having friends over and he loved laughing at stories, watching and listening to everyone and then starting nasty rumors about them when they went to get something. He enjoyed stirring the pot, it always ended in laughter though.

The service was quiet, there was standing room only in the chapel and people I didn't expect to be there, were. They were handing out tissues, but I didn't need any. He wasn't there and I said my good byes the night before, to me this was a formality and a chance for his family to get together and morn.

I was one of the first to the house, then a few others I knew showed up and we headed down to the patio waiting for Ron to come back from the funeral home. We sat on the patio and chatted and soon enough Ron came down the stairs to open the doors wearing one of his famous Hawaiian shirts. He opened the doors and said enough tears, lets party. People were coming in like crazy, food was flowing, wine was flowing and at first everyone was sharing stories in their groups. It was fun to wonder from group to group and listen to the time line of Norms life. He was nearly 40 when he and Ron got together so there were people there with stories he didn't know, and other people there with stories he did, but no one else probably wanted to know. He lived quite a life that man. From nearly avoiding arrest in Haiti when his buddy landed the plane in the wrong side of town, to scuba diving the reefs in Florida, to partying with Jeffery Domer....he didn't have any idea who it was, but he said at that time he was pretty cute. It ended in the cops removing Jefferey from the hotel, but it was quite the story.

Ron talked about them being at a party with some friends in Chicago at a bar and bringing drinks to the table to find Norm chatting it up with a group of guys who were now sitting at their table having no idea who they were, but Ron knew. Norms face lit up like Christmas he said when the DJ announced that night's performance by the village people and they all got up and headed to the stage. Like I said, quite the life.

The wine flowed more, some of the older people left, I met Norm's sisters from Florida and they started inquiring who I was and how I met Norm and when I told them about my carryout they knew instantly who I was, it felt good to know he talked about me and that maybe those times in the store meant something to him too. I met Ron's brothers who were just as much of a riot as Ron is and got to talk to Tim and Keith. I have mentioned Tim and Keith on here before but referred to them as beautiful people. I met them at Ron's birthday party a year or so ago and when I got there they were shirtless in swimming trunks and I couldn't take my eyes off of them. I was sitting with Tim and recounted the story (because apparently I'm not shy when I drink) through my eyes that day. I told him how intimidated I was of him and Keith because they were so beautiful. He got all shy and giggly and we had a wonderful conversation where he said some of the most beautiful things to me, and I'll love him forever because of it.

Later on I sat with Keith getting to know him more and we chatted about him and Tim and how great we all thought he was and how happy he made Tim. Tim has been friends with Ron and Norm for 20 some odd years and they really looked after him. Keith really is a stand up fella and he asked me about myself and I took him through the story and he too had some very nice and wonderful things to say. They are both such amazing people.

Towards the end of the night, and after I made some inappropriate comments/suggestions to a guy there which turned out to be the step son of an old friend of mine (he was plenty of age by the way, he was just married with two kids-this by the way had Ron nearly in tears from laughing at me), Ron and I and a few others that were left were sitting around and I told Ron how I wished Norm was around so I could tell him a few things, but since he wasn't I wanted to tell Ron them too because he was a part of it too and I didn't want to miss the chance with him like I did Norm.

I told him how much their friendship has meant to me, how much I appreciated them letting me into their lives and giving me a safe place to be myself, etc. I already wrote this in another post. He just smiled that amazing grin of his and said, We knew. He said those many nights I would fall asleep watching movies Norm would just smile and not let Ron try to wake me up to either go home to bed or sleep in the spare room because it made him feel good that I was so comfortable there I could just fall asleep like that. He said Norm really enjoyed my visits and really enjoyed being able to go to the store any time he wanted to, to see me. Ron said it was always a happy time when I showed up.

I felt speechless and overwhelmed and surprised, I shouldn't have been because Norm was always so wise, of course he knew. It just meant so much to hear it, even now my heart is just filled with love for the both of them and I am eternally grateful that God brought us together no matter how short it was for.

Norm's last wish was for Ron to take time for himself, but not until after he replaced the glass on the back of the house (which is all glass) because Norm didn't get around to it, and replace the concrete patio and expand it a little like he had always planned. So Ron has already ordered much of the glass and will be spending the summer doing that and will be doing the patio in the fall. After that he said he's going to do some traveling because the last several years Norm has not been able to travel far, so now Ron can. He never realized how much time he spent taking caring of Norm over the last few years, he said he finds himself in the basement (Norm's realm) all the time now out of habit. I pray for him to be able to cope, survive and enjoy the rest of his life however he feels, knowing Norm would have wanted him to enjoy every minute of every day.

Sorry this is so long, I had to get it out of my system. They are amazing guys and touched everyone they came into contact with. I am so honored to have known him and continue to know Ron. Thank you God.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Forgive me

I have not been very good with posting, I'm not very disciplined like some other people I know. I did not do good things for May, and doesn't look like June either. Not that there were not wonderful things that happened in both months, I just lacked the motivation and/or time to keep up with them, so you'll have to forgive me. I have so many posts in my head or started on my phone I want to get through, but we'll start today with a basic catch up process.

Wow, well let me see....There really isn't all that much to catch up on, but we'll see what I can do. First we'll get the bad stuff off the list. In a matter of two months I lost 1 great uncle, 1 great aunt, 2 dear friends from back home, my unofficial mentor at church back home, and an ex uncle. I didn't really have much emotion over the last one, I didn't wish death upon him, but we broke those ties many, many years ago. I include him in the list for the law of threes, it evens it out and that means I'm done now for awhile right? I know I know some pretty amazing people, but if God keeps taking them for himself I won't have many left here.

I plan on righting about those instances in another blog post, I covered most of the Norm situation, I went back and cleaned a few things up that were written out of emotion and an entire post that was alcohol induced. I will just plan on covering those in individual posts.

So in May I went to Tennessee to visit some friends of mine. To be honest, I had never really been all that close to M or her husband T, we knew each other, she worked for me for a short while and I enjoyed their company but we were never really all that close. Last year when I first moved down M surprised me and came up to visit me, it took me by surprise but we had a really good time and I enjoyed it so I had always planned on going down there. I finally did, I must say as our friendship deepens it just still surprises me how it came out of left field, but I love it anyway.

IT was a 5 hour drive down there in the new vehicle which wasn't too bad, the card was good the trip went fairly quick and I loved the scenery. The state is just beautiful and I loved it! We spent a good amount of time visiting on Friday when I got down there and spent all day Saturday in Gatlinburg. What a great time we had. We checked out a lot of the shops, wondered around the city, and even took the sky lift to the top of the mountain and back down again. We laughed so much and just really enjoyed the day. We also drove through the Smokey Mountain State Park and stopped at the original settlement they have preserved on the grounds and was just in awe of all the beautiful sights to see. We talked non stop in the car, just about everything and anything. The day went way too fast and before I knew it we were back at the house getting ready to mix some drinks.

We drank nearly an entire bottle of vodka between three of us. We had conversations that I'm not sure we normally would have had, but it seems to have broken down a barrier and now we find it all hilarious. T is one of the most secure hetero men I have ever met in my life. He's not afraid of asking what he curious about and not afraid of the answer. It was probably one of the most candid conversations I have ever had and it was great. The night was not for the faint of heart but the three of us laughed until we cried.

Sunday I headed back to Cinci, had to work that night but I just had such a great time I can't wait to go back! There is so much to see down there it just can't be done in one trip, I for see many more trips in the future, I think we're already talking about October as the next one.

Let's see, other than trips back to Nappy for too many various things I haven't traveled all that much or gone out all that much. It's probably a good thing because all these trips back to Nappy and such have really been putting a wrench into my monthly budget. I love them all but do not for see another trip up there until the fall maybe. Some of them are coming to me which makes it much easier.

My job is going well, while I wish it would pay more I enjoy it enough that I don't want to leave it to see if I can find something that pays more. I really have hopes for this place and the potential growth I have there. I even enjoy third shift most nights! I seem to be adapting well, I got my monthly review for last month last night and he could do nothing but rave to me what a great job I'm doing and how my numbers are turning heads. I'm scoring higher than some people that have been around for a few years and people were noticing. It made me feel good that I was doing as well as I hoped I was doing.

We have had several projects going at the house that have been keeping me pretty busy, you know my roommate aka the slave driver. J/king, I wouldn't do this stuff if I didn't enjoy it. We gutted the master bath and have been putting it back together, tomorrow I start the floor tile, after that it's just installing the new fixtures and some finishing touches and it's done. I honestly can't wait. Of course when that's done there is more projects to follow, but I'm ready to be done with this one. lol. My poor roommate has stuff spread out all over the two extra bedrooms and linen closet and the hall bath, it's craziness. Once we get her room and bathroom all done things will go back to normal, at least for a short while until we tackle the kitchen.

We also power washed the long fence in the backyard, we didn't know how dirty it really was until the neighbor started power washing their side. It took us about a week, each panel took nearly two hours so between the two of us we got them all done now. The neighbor is going to be painting/staining it or something around the 4th. We were both glad when that project was over.

I have a feeling I'm missing something I was going to talk about, but I just can't seem to remember. Oh well if I remember it I'll make another post about it. Like I said I have more just can't promise how quickly they'll be done. As if that comes as a surprise.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Norm

Norman Paul Lanzer, 65, died peacefully on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at his residence. He was born May 4, 1946 to the late Emil & Ruth (Shilling) Lanzer.
Norm worked at Foster Canning for 36 years. He was a lifelong member of St. Paul Lutheran Church. He was an avid scuba diver, photographer, music lover, and gardener, who was proud of
his Calla Lilies
He is survived by his life partner of 27 years, Ron Kuchcinski, sisters; Jean (Robert) Schlueter of Punta Gorda, Florida and Carolyn (David) Sides of Ft. Myers, Florida. He was also preceded in death by an infant brother, Donald Ray Lanzer.
A celebration of life service will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 10, 2011 at Rodenberger Funeral Home with Pastor Jeff Schlueter officiating.
Friends may call from 3 p.m. till the time of service on Friday.


Dear Norm,
It pained me to read this, such a short synopsis of a man with so much life, I realize there aren't enough words to describe you, I just wish we could try. I know you're not here anymore and could never read this, but it's the only thing I know how to do. I never got a chance to tell you just how much our friendship meant to me. I never got a chance to tell you how much your weekly visits to my store meant to me. I never got to tell you how much having me over for wine, or dinner made me feel. I never got to say so much to you. I know you're in a better place with no pain, no medications, and no damn obnoxious commercials interrupting your Law and Order, or Bones, or CSI shows, but it doesn't help me miss you any less.

I knew Ron from awhile ago, at the time afraid to talk to him too much because I was young and stupid and naive. I was afraid that if I got to close to him that people would think I was gay too, which as you know, I totally was. I saw your name on his checks when he would pay and I really enjoyed our conversations, laughing and joking and really finding comfort in his dry sense of humor, and always wondering what you were like. I often wondered what a great guy you must be, and then years later I would finally get to meet you.

I'm thankful that by this time I had let go of all the crap in my head about being found out and was just dealing with coming to terms with myself. I'm thankful you came into the store that day after talking to Ron who had been in the week before doing some computer work for me. From the moment we meant I felt a connection, a comfort, an ease in talking to you. After not much effort you had me talking to you like I didn't talk to anyone.

The highlight of my week was seeing you pull up in that Jeep of yours. To see you getting out always brought a smile to my face, even my family saw that. The first time you invited me over to the house I was nervous and I have no idea why, I just was, but sitting with you and Ron on the patio was so comforting to me. It felt safe and I always laughed so hard it hurt. The most mundane conversations quickly turned into side splitting commentary about people, you just had a way about you.

The crazy stories you had about Hooterville, the wild stories about Chicago and the heart breaking stories of growing up in a community that didn't understand and didn't want to understand you. The way you got through it all, pushed through and staid true to who you were amazed me. I cried the night you told me about your first love, I laughed so much I cried the night you talked about the floor caving in at Hooterville, and I rested so peacefully the night you whipped out your "bitch please" comment.

You introduced me to your favorite music, your wacky movies and your favorite classic movies. There was never a dull moment when you were around and I am forever grateful. I wanted to say thank you for providing me a place to feel comfortable to be myself at a time and in a place that wouldn't allow me to, I wanted to thank you for seeing me for who I really was ever before I shared it with you. I wanted to thank you for introducing me to your family of friends and showing me what community could really be like.

But most of all I just wanted to say thank you for being my friend Thank you for being you and I'm going to miss you so freaking much. I cry every time I think about not getting to see you again. I'm going to tomorrow to celebrate with your friends, celebrate your life and all the happiness and joy you've given to everyone. We're going to celebrate your kindness, your laughter and that shit eating grin of yours.

I cry selfish tears because I know the only reason I'm sad is because I'm going to miss you and I didn't get to tell you the these things. I consider them selfish because it's a time to be happy for you. Happy that got to live the live you did, helped those you got to help, meet the people you've met and happy that you too can now enjoy those things once again without the pain, without the doctors, with the countless medications, and without fear.

I can only hope that you can forgive me those times I didn't make time to stop by to say hi, forgive me for never telling you these things when I had the chance. My life is better for knowing you.

I already miss you so freaking much and will love you forever.
Good bye dear friend.
Rest in Peace.