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Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Beer for Breakfast

Summer vacation in our household never equated to big trips. Going “out of state” meant, just ever-so slightly, crossing over the Wisconsin border into neighboring Illinois or Minnesota. My sister and I were robbed of Disney World and never experienced sand and surf until high school, that same trip being the first time we touched our toes in a body of water that wasn’t a murky, freshwater Wisconsin lake.
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Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Family

 

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Why I Drink

I drink, not to prove a point. But I occasionally get asked how it is that I can bear to drink alcohol considering all the pain and suffering it has brought to my life.
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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Lifestyle

 

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Living in the Wake of Death

My dad had this running joke that no one would ever attend his funeral. It was mostly sarcasm, but within every sarcastic comment is a small morsel of truth. The truth in this situation is the unspoken reality that he had been coming up short his entire life and, therefore, making life difficult for those who loved him.

As luck would have it, something was stirring high in the atmosphere, setting in motion a snowstorm of events beyond our control. It would be a near showstopper, holding the Wisconsin highways hostage and making sure that my father’s joke came true.
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Posted by on April 13, 2013 in Family

 

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Twenty Words of Loneliness

Not until I recently dug into my father’s letters did I realize how lonely his life had become. Perhaps I was too caught up in my own anger. Maybe I just had enough of his broken and empty promises. Or, quite possibly, it took my being alone to understand what being alone feels like, instilling within me a sense of empathy.

High atop a page in one of those wide-ruled notebooks rests two sentences and nothing more. They’re written in penmanship barely legible because of dad’s unceasing episode of the shakes.

“I’ve never been this lonely and all alone in my 44 years of living. Life is very difficult for me.”

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Posted by on February 9, 2013 in Family

 

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Testify to Tough Love

My father’s return wasn’t the joyous, celebrated homecoming that he probably had in mind. He got progressively worse — the polar opposite of his stay in Seattle, even with the Christmas Eve relapse. Drugs, alcohol and the wrong crowd were his undoing, as his two children stared on in helpless wonder.

Each time we left his lonely, sorrowful apartment, trekking 30 miles to the home he used to share with us, a common thought united my sister and me: “I hope this isn’t the last time we see dad; I hope he’s alive the next time we’re here.”
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Posted by on January 20, 2013 in Family

 

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The Summer of (Positively) Love: An HIV Story

Dad’s stay in Seattle was cut short due to loneliness. Simply put: He missed his kids. When he boarded the plane for the Pacific Northwest, his intent was a brief visit to catch up with his brother’s family which he rarely saw. And when my uncle, having seen my father’s deteriorating condition, refused to allow his return flight, my dad was stuck in a place he both loved and loathed. He loved it because — let’s be honest — the Emerald City is culturally alive; he hated it because it wasn’t where my sister and I were.
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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in Family

 

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So This Is Christmas, and What Have You Done?

As I write, I continually try to balance segue with chronology. Since my last post on the subject of Christmas, I have decided to stay on that topic just a little while longer, even if it does deviate a bit from my story’s time line. With the holidays still fresh in our hearts and minds, writing about my worst Christmas ever will resonate more than if I’d write about it in, say, sultry July.

As I indicated last time, the holidays overall were an ugly time in our home. One Christmas, in particular, really reared its ugly head for all to see. The situation had finally reached a boiling point. What is the unofficial definition of insanity? It’s doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.
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Posted by on January 6, 2013 in Family

 

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