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Jun. 19th, 2011 11:09 am
mizzmarvel: (do it for her - iconzicons)
Happy Father's Day, Dad.



Miss you.

54

Apr. 14th, 2010 11:59 pm
mizzmarvel: (sign in need of copy-editing)
My mom's birthday is eight months after my dad's, so it's weird to think of her being older now, but she is. My mom is over 53. Dad will never be more than 50, but he was born 54 years ago today.

There's no need to say I miss him; I think it's obvious that I do. I'm not even sure if I day goes by where I don't mention him -- mention something he used to say, somewhere he took me, a story he told me. He molded my interests (comic books, history, the funnies, musical theatre, the golden age of film and television and so much more). My face is his face. My laugh is his laugh.

The final stage of grief is acceptance, and I've accepted Dad's death. It's not fair, but it's what happened and all there is to do is move on. And I've done that too. But I'm still sad. I still miss him. And maybe it'd be like this no matter when in my life I'd lose him, but every triumph is bittersweet now. He never got to see my name in one of the magazines I work on. He never got to see Tyler with a job, or Josh happy in his love life. He'll never experience grandchildren. He worked so hard and loved us so much -- he deserved to see these things. He deserved to see the fruits of his hard work.

It's not fair, but that's how it turned out.

I work hard too. I get up for work every day, even if I don't want to, and do my best. I got this from him too, just as much as my fine hair and love of mushy cereal. Sometimes, when I'm bone-tired and on my commute, I close my eyes and pretend I'm leaning against his shoulder. And God, I can always almost feel it, but I know there's nothing there. I'm doing this on my own -- this life thing.

Despite how it sounds, I'm happy. But if I could wake up tomorrow morning and have the last three years be a dream -- if I could find myself on my lumpy old mattress in the apartment on Webster, still working part-time in the call center, if I could have my dad back in his recliner, watching old reruns of Bat Masterson and eating Cocoa Puffs and leaving the milk out to get warm -- oh my God. Oh my God, sometimes I wish my life were an episode of The Twilight Zone.

easter

Apr. 4th, 2010 04:31 pm
mizzmarvel: (sign in need of copy-editing)
It's Easter, and since I can't remember the exact date, it's also the day I celebrate the anniversary of becoming a comic book fan.

I was nine, and maybe it was the first year we lived in the little apartment on Ball Road. My dad wasn't huge on making a big deal about holidays -- he bought presents, we went to dinner usually, but nothing extraordinarily special. One Christmas Eve, he took my little brother and I to Toys R Us, had us pick out our presents...and then tortured us by insisting on wrapping them to be opened the next morning. It was weird.

But this Easter, the Easter I was in third grade, for some reason he decided to do a mini Easter egg hunt on our tiny four-room home. I don't even know if there were actual eggs involved -- maybe there were baskets. Certainly there were Jelly Bird Eggs, his favorite candy, which he anticipated all year long. Whatever we got, it was eclipsed by what he'd hid for me in the oven and the cabinet where we kept our cereal.

Uncanny X-Men #300 and X-Men #20. I will never forget these comics. As a new fan of the animated series, I was thrilled to have more access to characters I already loved. More Rogue! More Cyclops! Who is this other blue guy? Nightcrawler? He looks cool! Holy moly, Wolverine just said "sex"!

I was hooked. There was no turning back. Dad had no idea he'd be taking me to get comics for the rest of his life. He also took me to comic book signings. Here's a really blurry Polaroid of him, my older brother and me at my very first signing, later that year. Fabian Nicieza, who was writing X-Men at the time, was the headliner, but guess what comic was also big for Marvel around then?

And I used to read it too )

I was too shy to talk to Nicieza, even though I was in love with everything he was doing. Dad talked to him for me. Seventeen years later, I still go to signings, but now I can talk to creators on my own. Good thing I had practice.

I really miss Dad today.
mizzmarvel: (sign in need of copy-editing)
My dad would have turned 53 today.

And, you know, in the two years since he's died, the pain has lessened. It's not a constant, horrible overriding thought anymore. I am evidently capable of living my life without my father's presence -- I can pay bills on my own, move across the country, go to work every day, and be just fine.

But I couldn't do it without his guidance, without being his daughter, because those are all things I learned to do from him. Even with his anger problems, even when he was actively drinking and doing drugs, he was the stable parent. He was the one who always had a place for us to sleep, food for us to eat.

And he was the one who taught me some very basic principles in life. That going to work, even when you don't want to, is a good thing, because money is nice to have. That buying something you really want is okay sometimes. To put things back in the same place, and maybe you won't lose them.

So, I don't know. In a way, I feel like every day I manage to get through, it's thanks in large part to him.

And regrets, I have a few. I regret that I didn't push him harder to avoid the surgery. I regret that I didn't let him drive me to work the morning before he died. I regret that I didn't insist on having "Here Lies Grumpus" inscribed on his headstone. I regret that I was too embarrassed to tell him that he is my hero. I regret that he'll never walk me down the aisle, never know that I planned the song we'd dance to at my entirely hypothetical wedding (cheesily enough, it was this song), that I planned to name my first child after him. I regret that he couldn't live to see me do decently for myself.

But if there's something beyond this life, I hope he knows. And I hope that whenever I parrot one of the things he used to always say, when I read a funny comic strip and want to show it to him, when I laugh my laugh that sounds like his, that he's around somewhere and is proud of me.

P.S. Dad, please use your ghostly powers to manipulate the lotto numbers so I can win the MegaMillions. I will put a fine marble statue of Ric Flair or Prince, either one in all their feather-robed glory, right near your grave if you do.

year two

Feb. 13th, 2009 11:37 pm
mizzmarvel: (sign in need of copy-editing)
My dad died two years ago today, and you know, I didn't miss him more than usual, really. Yesterday I felt a little pang when I thought, 'Two years ago today, I still had a dad,' but otherwise I was fine. I laughed, I joked. I didn't really even think about it much.

I miss him more when I can't call him to tell him I had a good day, or when I read a funny comic strip and can't pass it to him to read, or when I want to ask him about some little bit of trivia that I know he'd have told me all about.

But it might be corny to say, but I try to make him proud every day. I go to work, I pay my bills, I'm getting through life on my own. Just the little-big things that he always did so well -- I'm trying to be like him in the best possible ways.
mizzmarvel: (sign in need of copy-editing)
Once I became a grown up with my own source of money, I pretty much bought my dad the same present for both Christmas and Father's Day. I'd casually mention needed to go to the mall for "something" in mid-December and June, he'd drive me, make himself scarce, and I'd half-heartedly look around for a semi-creative gift before giving up and just going to Champs to get him a couple of polo shirts.

I felt bad about it, but he was hard to shop for. I'd buy him books, and he wouldn't read them. I bought him a CD rack once, which he did use, but you can't really repeat a gift like that. I thought I was really brilliant one year when I bought him a pair of sandals after his old ones fell apart, and his reaction was basically, "I HATE THEM. RETURN THEM IMMEDIATELY." (I couldn't. My little brother had already inserted his ham-smelling feet into them, rendering them unreturnable. Eventually my dad started wearing them, but it was a long time in coming.)

So polo shirts it was. Champs usually had them on sale, probably because other women were also cluelessly walking in about that time of year and going, "Hey, maybe I can get him some sports apparel or...right. I have no idea what players he likes. Or teams. Um. This color blue is nice, though!" So I usually bought three or four, got a gift box, and went on my merry way. Top that sucker off with a mildly insulting greeting card, and his present was secured.

But still, I kind of felt like a jerk. Even if he wore them, his gifts from me could not have been any kind of a surprise. He joked once that his favorite Father's Day gift from me was the year that I was really mad at him and got him nothing, because that meant he got to complain about it and complaining was his favorite thing to do. There was also one year - in my defense, I was in grade school - when I decorated a paper bag and put a note inside that I was giving him nothing, HA HA HA (that was the level of sophistication my comedy had reached at that point), which he kept for the rest of his life. Needless to say, I was wary of putting myself through that again.

When I was a child, I sometimes made him little pots that we painted and glazed at school. I was never more touched than when I realized that's where he kept his Alcoholics Anonymous chips, after he embraced sobriety. But the times when I could give him stuff like that had passed.

During one of the last holidays we had together - I can't remember if it was Father's Day or Christmas, honestly - his girlfriend was getting him some really crappy gifts. She meant well, and she tried, but getting him random pocketknives, outdated sports shirts, and baseball gloves (he collected them, but only specific vintage ones, not just any old one at a garage sale) was not the best way to go. He showed me the stuff, and while we both realized the effort, neither of us was impressed.

"Good thing I've got you," he said. "I can always count on you for good presents. I really like those shirts."

Extra emo bonus anecdote! )
mizzmarvel: (mizzmarvel = hot stuff)
Today would've been my dad's fifty-second birthday. It's kind of weird to think about.

So, in honor of that, I spent a lot of money on myself. Hooray! We went to Target for some groceries and such, and since we're probably going to join the local natatorium next month and take swim classes, we needed bathing suits.

I have not bought a bathing suit since I was in junior high, I think, so, um, yeah. It was kind of painful. The top is okay, but I HATE how my legs look. I have really wide hips and I tend toward being bottom heavy, so it's not a good look for me. I read once that wearing boy shorts doesn't look good on wide-hipped women - just accentuating the broadness - but I'm kind of already considering taking the bottoms back and getting shorts anyway. I suppose I'd rather be extra hippy than show the tops of my thighs. Horrible.

But I also bought (other than groceries) a pair of jeans ($15? Score!) which were very needed because I noticed that a pair of my older ones is starting to fall apart and a black shirt because I need to be buying fewer Threadless tees and more grown-up work tops. (Though two Threadless tees came out today that I desperately want. Life is very difficult.) So that - plus groceries - is how I spent over $100 at Target today. I'm helping the economy!

Unrelatedly, I got Stacey and the Haunted Masquerade in the mail from [livejournal.com profile] imxlennysxmom today! :D Thank you sooooo much - I only have three books left to complete my BSC collection! And I actually haven't read this one before!

one year

Feb. 13th, 2008 12:07 am
mizzmarvel: (sign in need of copy-editing)
My dad died a year ago today.

Read more... )
mizzmarvel: (sign in need of copy-editing)
Every year, the Sci Fi Channel has a New Year's Twilight Zone marathon. And every year, I look forward to it. So this morning, I cheerfully turned it on, then went ahead and checked online to see what episodes are coming up. (I'm a wimp - there are some episodes too creepy for me to watch.) At 1 pm, they're airing "Twenty-Two," an episode about a woman in a hospital who's plagued by dreams of being led to the morgue.

This is in fact an episode I didn't want to rewatch - it ends with a plane exploding. But it's also the last episode of The Twilight Zone that I watched with my dad.

Dad loved this show, and he's the reason I love it as well. I can't even begin to count the number of times he quoted the iconic line, "It's a cookbook!" particularly yelled to people waiting in line at the movies, as a pseudo-spoiler. He was mostly delighted with the plot twists, I think - I can remember him telling me about the end of the classic "The Eye of the Beholder" episode, where a woman is getting plastic surgery to correct her hideousness, long before I actually saw it.

His very favorite, I think, was "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" which has an ending that is classic science fiction. Two men are talking, one of whom - after revealing a third arm - blithely describes the coming Martian invasion and what a great place the Earth will be to colonize. The other man - and this is the part my father loved to describe - says, "And I do agree with you, this is an extraordinary place to colonize. We folks on Venus had the same idea..." and takes off his hat, revealing a third eye.

I'm going into the first year of my life that my father didn't live through also. The new year is - not scary, not terrifying, but definitely upsetting to consider. It's been over ten months since he died, and I can't shake the feeling on unfairness that he can't be here.

And. Like. I wasn't very sad on Thanksgiving or Christmas. I don't tend to miss my dad when it would be expected. I miss him at times like this, when it hits me that I'll never be able to watch The Twilight Zone with him again, or talk about to him about dead people come to life, Dick York reading minds because of the whim of a dropped coin, or men who finally have time enough at last.

six months

Aug. 14th, 2007 08:04 pm
mizzmarvel: (sign in need of copy-editing)
Dad died six months ago yesterday. I knew it, days ahead of time, but on the actual day, it somehow slipped my mind. I suppose that's a good sign - that I wasn't depressed and weepy all day. I still looked at photo I have of him tacked up at work, the Polaroid where he's dressed up as Santa Claus after some teacher managed to talk him into it and I still missed him, but I made it through the day and didn't fall apart.

The Five Stages of Grief are generally stated as being disbelief, yearning, anger, depression and acceptance. In a newspaper article that was published excruciatingly soon after my father died, it was stated that these all overlap somewhat, and yearning tends to last the longest of the temporary stages. This is certainly the case with me. I still really, really miss my dad, but I no longer feel absolutely crippled by his absence. I can even see some positive aspects to his death. Don't get me wrong - I would happily go back to work at the call center for the rest of my life if it meant having him back. But would I be here, with a job I really like, had he not died? Probably not.

And it hurts. Because when he died, I had a sucktastic job and was a big loser, and my little brother was unemployed. Now I'm actually - arguably - slowly making a success out of myself, working in the field I was striving to break into for over a year. My brother, historically the laziest person to ever walk the Earth, actually was presented with the Reliability Award at his first job, for always being on time, never missing a day of work and helping out his fellow employees. My brother!

I know he would be proud of us, but I wish he could have seen it for himself. I wish that every time I had the urge to, I could call him and tell him how I'm doing or a stupid joke I heard or that I saw the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and there was an exhibit on the Doors. I remember when he died and how people kept saying, "He's with Grandma now," and I think, no matter what I accomplish in my life or what I have, someday people are going to say, "She's with her dad now."

And I hope it's true.
mizzmarvel: (sign in need of copy-editing)
Lately, I hate dreaming. I haven't had a nightmare in a while, but they're always just deeply, deeply unsettling.

Last night, I dreamed that I had a baby. This isn't unusual at all, by the way - I have a lot of dreams where I inexplicably have a baby. This one was a girl, wearing pink ribbons in her dark hair. I took her to go visit [livejournal.com profile] entwashian and her family, and her dad ([livejournal.com profile] entwashian's, that is) was holding the baby.

Then, abruptly, I realized that this was a dream, even as it continued around me. And it hit me that if I really did have a baby, my dad would never hold it. It was so painful, the concept, that I sunk to the floor, arms wrapped tight around myself as I watched this very sweet scene continue.

And I guess my brain sensed how much it hurt, because it suddenly went, "No, just kidding! Dad isn't dead! He's in the hospital and he's really sick, but he's still here. He might get better."

So the dream suddenly became me visiting Dad at the hospital. He was hooked up to machines, but he was sitting up and he was him, joking and laughing, and no, I hadn't lost my father and hero and best pal after all.

When I woke up, it was really hard to get out of bed.

God, I really shouldn't have written about this while at the office, but it's been impossible to concentrate. I've felt unsettled and listless all day. Maybe getting it all out will help. (I don't think so.)

paint

Jul. 16th, 2007 10:15 am
mizzmarvel: (sign in need of copy-editing)
You know, I can watch movies and TV shows where fathers die and not be bothered at all by it. I think sometimes my friends are concerned that it freaks me out, but so far it hasn't, other than the nasty string of sitcoms that decided to air their Very Special Dead Parent Episodes all at the same time, but even then it wasn't the material so much as that there were so many. But seriously, 99% of the time, I'm fine with that.

What makes me cry about my dad? Little People, Big World. Because they were painting a room.

Basically, the older boys had some friends over to help paint their bedroom. My dad was a painter, and he once said that, whereas no one is going to try to fix their own electrical problems because electricity is scary, everyone thinks they're capable of painting a room. It's really, really not true - it's not hard to see when a room is crappily painted by the owner. Anyone with a halfway decent eye can; even I, whose experience with painting materials is limited to playing with brushes like they were Barbies in the back of my dad's truck when I was little, can usually tell. And yes, the room certainly looked like it'd been painted by teenage boys.

And they were using rollers almost exclusively, and I kept thinking about how Dad often bitched about how newer painters always wanted to just use a roller, and you can't, it looks sloppy and it's only for wide expanses of blank wall anyway.

At that point, I started to cry.

Being a painter was not exactly Dad's dream - he occasionally said he'd have liked to be a professional wrestler, though as a kid I have a feeling he was more keen on becoming Basketball Hero - but he was proud of being a good one. He was an artisan, having studied as an apprentice, then a journeyman, before officially becoming a painter. He was at the same employer for over twenty years, and I know he was proud at moving on to become a senior painter and paint inspector. Right before he died, he'd interviewed for the position of paint supervisor for the third or fourth time, and his notes talk about how much he wanted the job. I wish he could have gotten it.

It's hard to believe it's been five months since he died. The time without him has seemed never-ending, and it's hard to comprehend that I have the rest of my life to miss him and his speckled white pants, yellow pads of notes, and the sharp scent of paint remover.
mizzmarvel: (sign in need of copy-editing)
Not totally depressing! )
mizzmarvel: (mysterious skin - oolah)
I need to start actively persuading myself to just not even try to connect emotionally with my mother. It's just never going to work out like I'd want it to.

She's - she's just a childish person. Everything is about her, no matter what. Every time I attempt to open up to her, it ends up being about her. No joke, one time I said I missed my deceased grandmother, and she promptly burst into tears and sobbed about how much she missed her father. It's like - no, she's the kid. She's the one who needs to get comforted here.

Today, I was really missing my dad. I had a long, bad day at work, and I kept thinking about how he would have offered to come yell at someone who was mean to me, or urged me to quit my crummy job and find a better one, or at least told me he was proud of how hard I was working. And I thought of how even things that make me laugh are hard to deal with, because I know the things he found funny, and it's instinct for me to make note of stuff like that, so I can tell him later. I mean, I didn't just lose my father, I lost my friend.

So after work, when I was talking to Mom on the phone, in the midst of conversation I said, "I really missed my dad today."

What I wanted was a mother who'd say that she was sorry, and then just let me talk about it a little, make neutral comments or sympathetic noises when I'd need her to. Let me cry.

What my mother did was talk about how she really misses him too, and she put up some pictures of him, and sometimes she talks to him, and oh, one of the cats just did something cute, let me tell you about it.

Well. I guess I didn't need your support anyway,
mizzmarvel: (Default)
Last night, I had the most terrible dream. In it, I finally got my yearbook, which I had slaved over all year, only to open the packaging and discover that instead of the artful design we'd come up with, the cover was filled with poorly photoshopped pictures of an unnamed person whom I find annoying! I grabbed another yearbook, and on the cover of that one was a crude drawing of Abraham Lincoln! Apparently, our cover hadn't worked out somehow and my adviser had just slapped some designs together to make do.

It was the worst nightmare I've had in ages.

So when I woke up, I made myself feel better by putting on my nifty and socially conscious Iceman shirt for the first time and making sure my underwear matched it. It has been a definite comfort during this troubling time.

And just now I got a thick piece of mail from the COBRA Administration.

Dad: "Yes, they finally accepted your application! Those fucking GI Joes..."

He's mostly the reason I'm such a geek. Last night, we saw a car with a big honkin' Punisher skull sticker on the back, with a helpful, 'the Punisher' label next to it. He turned to me and said, "I want one like that, only it'll say, 'Ralph Dibny: the Elongated Man.'"
mizzmarvel: (impulse - thete1)
On a more light-hearted note, here's an AIM convo I had with my comic-savvy dad in 2003.

Dad is rabid Anti-DC )
mizzmarvel: (the angels suck)
Dad: The Angels won tonight. The old halo is all lit up.

Me: Darn. I hate the Angels.

Dad: What? Why?

Me: They're traitors.

Dad: Oh. 'The Los Angeles Angels.'

Me: Yeah. I'm a Dodgers fan now.

Dad: What? They suck.

Me: So they need my support.

Dad: They don't need your support, they need you to pitch.

Then he proceeded to tell me about every freaking comic in this huge box of Marvel issues from the '80s that he bought me, including the writers' names (mispronounced), ads, and what the characters were wearing. I never thought of Colossus as wearing 'thigh-high Prince boots' before, but I guess that's pretty accurate.

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mizzmarvel: (Default)
Could that someone be Mack the Knife?

January 2012

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