Monday, September 14, 2009


School starts for me today. I'm very nervous and feeling a lot of pressure; most of it is self-inflicted. I've already read some of the introductions from other online students and I feel as though they are all much more advanced than I am. I am nervous that I won't understand what is going on and even though it's an online class, I will be laughed at and ridiculed.

I have to force myself to take deep breaths and tell myself that I will be fine. I must put everything else out of my mind and simply focus on the tasks at hand. I will go home after work today and get organized. I will make sure I know what the assignments are and begin the readings. When I write an introduction about myself to everyone else it will reflect the strong, smart, and confident woman I have become.

Or something like that.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Some Good Times

Hi Dad,

I think about you a lot. I try not to think about the bad times, but it's so hard for me to let those go. What's sad is that it's even harder to remember the good times. But I like to try.

I remember you always loved to laugh. Remember sitting around the dinner table one night and you had some ribbon you used as a bow tie to imitate a man and in a deep voice would say "YOU MUST PAY THE RENT" then move the ribbon to your head and say in a high squeaky voice "But I can't pay the rent" again and again? It seems like a really silly thing to do; not so funny to me now. But then we were all hysterical. All of us sitting around the table laughing and laughing so hard that tears streamed down our faces. I don't know what was more funny, your bad imitations or the fact that you were pretending to wear a bow in your balding head. We were so loud at dinner that afterward when I went to play outside with Danielle, she asked me what the heck we were laughing at.

Remember all of our camping trips to Lamoine? Those trips are by far the best memories I have of my family growing up. I loved to be there and so did you. I remember you would get up just after sunrise when the tide was out to go dig clams with your brothers. J, A, and I would join you later on in the morning to "help". But mostly we just did our own thing haha. Remember the big lobster bakes we would have later on in the afternoons? Lobsters bought right off fisherman's boats, fresh clams dug that morning, and fresh mussels too. Plus any fish we happened to catch that day grilled right over the fire. I loved sitting there, surrounded by your mom and dad, your brothers, their families, and us. The sun beating on our backs, a hint of ocean smell in the air. Everyone talking and laughing with lobster butter dripping off our chins.

Remember your garden? You loved to play in the dirt. You were always so proud when your plants started to grow and we would have fresh veggies for dinner. "It doesn't get any fresher than this", you used to say. I especially loved the fresh green beans I would help you pick and stem. I'm pretty sure I would always eat more than I would get ready for dinner! Someday, I hope to have a garden as good as yours.

Remember playing Christmas carols on your trombone with your "cronies"? You were so good. The four of you together were great. I would love to go with you and listen as your brass quartet traveled around to store fronts, parking lots, and hospitals playing all the Christmas classics. None of you ever did it for money. You did it to put smiles on people's faces. I definitely had a smile on mine.

Remember the fish hook? Haha...I will never forget that night when we were packing to leave the next morning for a camping trip. I felt very responsible because mom was at work so I was in charge of helping you pack up the camper and make sure we didn't forget anything. I don't know how I managed to do it, but while setting down a fishing pole in front of the car, the fish hook went clear into my index finger. How I screamed! I'm sure the entire neighborhood heard. You immediately ran over to see what was wrong. After surveying the situation, you took control, running to get some scissors and cut the line to bring me inside. You sat me down on the couch; I was crying so bad. You looked at my face and I could see you looked so worried. You told me that you were so so sorry but you had to just pull it out, there was no other way to do it. I became frantic, hysterical almost. You told me that we were going to take a deep breath together and on the count of three you were going to do it. After you did, you immediately wrapped my finger in a paper towel to catch the blood and pulled me to you. You were crying then too because you felt so bad for hurting me. Although this wasn't my most shining moment, what I remember most is how you took care of me.

Those are good memories, Dad. We had some good times together, as much as I sometimes try to deny them. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I miss you. And I forgive you. And I'm sorry. I'm more sorry that I never told you when I had the chance. I hope that you forgive me.

I love you.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back to School

Like a lot of 17/18 year-olds who have just graduated from high school, I went off to attend college in the Fall of 1999. Four and 1/2 years later, without my degree in hand, I quit. For some reason, it seriously took me about 3 or 4 years after I left to that to realize I had made a huge mistake and how invaluable an education really is in this country. It's taken me another two years to gather my courage and actually go back. So I start in 4 days.

I am really nervous, mostly about my self-discipline and establishing good study habits; but I'm very excited too. I want so badly to do this for myself and to have that always elusive sense of accomplishment. I feel like I have never finished anything and if I can finish my degree, and finish it well, it will be another huge step in the right direction. I will be taking care of myself and in turn will be able to take better care of my husband and our families. I have high expectations. This is a huge opportunity I have been presented with. I won't let myself down again.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Last Few Days....

The last few days have been emotional ups and downs. I feel like I continually watch my family fall further and further apart and there's nothing I can do about it. No one listens to me or learns from the mistakes I've made. I am trying to learn detachment but it is very difficult for me to do. I am saddened and still feel guilty for all I have done. Nothing is my fault yet I feel as though everything is my fault.

I have my moments. At some times I am able to let go and let them be whoever they're destined to be. It is hard because I get angry, hurt and upset when they don't take care of themselves. I try to realize that I need to take care of myself and my husband. He is my family now too and not only needs, but should get the most I have to give. But I can take care of everyone....can't I?

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I feel like a failure today.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's Hard To Forgive because It's Hard To Forget

It's 11:00 PM. I'm just pulling onto my street after a double shift at my crappy restaurant job when my phone rings. It's my mom. I can barely understand what she's saying because she's crying so hard. I pull into a parking space and shut the car off but don't get out. I try to soothe her, attempting to calm her down enough to at least understand what's going on. Something's happened with my father; that much I can make out. No surprise there.

These particular couple of months during the Spring 2004 was one of the several times my parents had tried to get past my father's drinking and work out their marriage. That night, she had stopped by the house they used to share to talk to him. About what, I'm not sure. That part is still unclear. When my mom walked in, he was there with a woman. My mom immediately started screaming and crying, both at him and the other woman. My father, never one to admit when he's wrong, immediately started making excuses. They never set the boundaries, he said, so he was doing nothing wrong. Of course my mom was irate. A screaming match ensued, and my mom ended up punching a hole right through one of the walls. So my dad, who had always been uncomfortable when confronted, did the only reasonable and logical thing he could think of. He called the police. He told them some unwelcome crazy woman was being physically abusive in his home. My mom, feeling so hurt and betrayed just went outside and cried and cried and cried. She didn't know who she should for help. She ended up calling her father out of sheer desperation. When he heard, my 84 year-old grandfather immediately jumped in the car with my very sick grandmother sitting in the passenger seat, and traveled a 1/2 an hour at night to go rescue his daughter.

My Pepe knew about my father's drinking, but had always believed with all his might that things could be worked out between him and my mother. The events of this night shocked and disappointed him. My amazing, good-hearted, WW II veteran Pepe had been with his wife for 50 years and just couldn't grasp what my father was doing to himself or his family.

A few minutes before they arrived was when my mom called me. She could hardly breathe, let alone talk to tell me what was wrong because she was crying so bad. My heart ached. I was 150 miles away; what could I do? Have you ever had to endure that pain of listening to your own mother cry hysterically like that and ask you why over and over? why would he do this? why was she not good enough for him? why doesn't he love her? I hope you haven't. How do you answer? What can you say? Tricia, she sobbed into the phone, when are you coming home? She needed me, she said. I was her support. I knew I hadn't been there enough lately, but things had seemed to be going well.

I could hear my father yelling something at my Pepe. I couldn't believe he was yelling at him. My blood was boiling and I wished I could hit him. My father was hurting the two people I loved most in this world. I couldn't stand it. What right did he have to do this? How much did we have to take from him? He was so selfish. He didn't care about my mom, my sisters, or my grandparents who've always treated him like a son...he didn't care about me.

Somehow, my level-headed grandfather managed to peel my mother away from the chaos, talk down the police officers and bring her to where she lived.

I did go home the next day. I held my mom's hand and stroked her back while she cried in my lap; both of us had tears streaming down our faces.

Later on that day I made a visit of my own to my father's house. I wouldn't go in to meet him so he came outside. I told him I couldn't believe that he had treated my mother like that. I told him I couldn't stand to be around him. I told him to not ever contact me, to leave me, my mother, my sisters alone my entire family and everyone I loved, ALONE. I didn't want any part of his shit anymore. You are not my father. I did not cry. I told him that I never wanted to talk to him or to hear from him ever again. He was speechless. He just stared at me not saying a word. His face was red and he was breathing heavy, but he didn't say one word. I walked away and I didn't look back. I backed out of the driveway and I could still see him standing outside, watching me as I drove away.

Five years later, with 2 more DUI's, continual drinking binges, countless seizures, 22 months of unemployment, and one unforgiving daughter, he was dead.