Happy late Friday email buddy :)
Forgive my late send, it was a GUD hot day and I had to get after it earlier than later..
Years ago - before the GUD handyman life - we helped a family buy a new home. One of the items that was hard to miss was the outside awning... the main beam holding the roof tile had a noticeable twist in it. I suggested to our people to keep an eye on it. Like a wisdom tooth... it could just stay there forever, or it could eventually move.. which would hurt.
Sure'nuff! the toothache reared its head.. my client called me one day and said one of the leading edge tiles fell off and damaged the stucco below... the beam has continued to twist over the years, buckling the roof tiles above.
Shit was jenky as shit!
I can't believe it's survived this long?
When my customer told me about this I thought to myself... What Would Grampa Do? For the most part I'm on cruise control with how I'm going to tackle something, but this time I genuinely thought about what he would do. Trying to make this right while not dying under a collapsed attempt to fix it, the stress of the task followed me into my dreams last night. GP was there, but he wasn't clear. But I know we were working on shit together... I was on my own making my own calls with how and what with our tasks. We were working together on a shared project like a team, not the mentored approach I had as a child. So... just as my GP would have... I can only assume he would have used a vehicle floor jack, accompanied by a mechanically-fastened-geometrically-sound push post that would lift the roof assembly off from the twisted beam allowing us to correct it.
So.. that's what we did.
It did not dawn on me until this very second... legit. right. now. GP bought this floor jack for me years! ago... that might be why all of this just came to me on what to do... it was entirley second nature.
Afterwards I made a static-lock post so that if the jack failed, I was and the down coming load was in a safe spot to not collapse... I was genuinely stressed as I was doing this. While i Jacked the roof up I could hear the nails come out.. much like a slow pull on a tooth in your mouth... yes. like that.
SO! like a ganster'ass boss man! we got'r done. and got'r done - right!
All things said, I felt quite accomplished with the solo efforts of today. To approach things safely on my end today, my goal was to just be there.. to be present, be in the heat with no earbuds plugged in, just me, the tools, being cautious, paying attention to every detail. The effort took me about 5ish hours to pull off. The challenge with today was that I only had only myself to talk to.. So.. stupid me... it was just ME in MY ear, in MY head the entire time... As the day progressed I could feel my progressive level of seriousness increase. Almost to the point of "what's wrong bro?" - "you good"... I can feel it now as well.
I'm not sure if it was the connection to WWGD, preluded by the dream last night, then to the execution of the work today. Or it could have been the quiet effort pounded away, completed tasks under a vulnerable mental state of effort of a work stress reliever.. like some need to go running, go to the gym, hit the bag... for me it's work... the work felt like punching a bag. I don't know... but the thing that kept circling in my head as the day progressed was that it's Mothers day this Sunday. If you've been reading my stuff for a while now you probably know that 2020, at least in our house, was a shit show having lost so many people in our family. If you know me super well, you may have felt subtle undertones of what is going on in the background with me. There are times that when I start writing I feel like a rapper throwing shade, talking shit about other people.. although I'm much more gentle at it haha. I genuinely connect with others' music and I'm like... yup! I get it bro! None of this shit is easy for me to talk about. but when writing, I have to remind myself as to why I do this. Yes, I want to reach out to a buddy and share and touch base.... I want them to know about cool shit.. but also, that I'm human.. battling my own demons... I have to remind myself that it's also, largely, for me. A safe place to put my thoughts, my emotions down on paper... because I read this again down the road. As my boys get older (having told me already) they periodically read my blog as "reading credit in school"... I know what I write is out there. It is an extension of me. My spirit. My creativity. The accountability partner to myself... An authenticity gut check to me on a weekly basis...
I do have a point to all of this...
I grew up with amazing parents... I sure as hell did. I am the oldest of 6 kids. The first generation is 3 boys and 1 girl. As time progressed my parents adopted another girl in my teen years and then had another boy just as I graduated highschool - of which I named. Currently my youngest brother is 3 ish years older than my oldest boy, Avin. I am also the only son to have moved out and not returned home. I grew up in a household where I could have become a gay man... one who married a black, midget, jewish man with a crossed eye. My parents would have loved me regardless of those decisions. Being a parent now, especially to two wonderful boys. They could marry just the same and I'd love them and their partner no problem. I am the vulnerably-soft spoken-confident-mechanically inclined-well taken care of-creative-gentle-confident-person because of how I grew up. That is who I am. I am the person I am largely because of my parents and my GP. Having lived now almost 40 years... the first 20, I was short of perfect... but the last 20 have been.... who are you, this isn't you, you're not like that, you'd be a great catch for anyone, you're the most vulnerable... I could go on. and on. somewhere the switched flipped.. :(
What the hell is happening?!... as I discover my adult self I'm continually questioned about my almost everything... not an easy path... there's not a single cataclysmic action that happened... just simply a death by a thousand cuts for the last 20 years. Shit would be good, shit would go sideways. When things wouldn't be good with my parents, sure enough things would go sideways with my siblings. Siblings would be pitted against each other... and. and. and... Things would get better. Someone would always be in the doghouse... Shit would go sideways - again. Then again. Keeping me alone entirely. This has been the biological family dance I've been faced with for 20 years now.. It hurts a lot. All I have to qualify is what's here in my home. My love, my Chas... our legacy, our boys.. those are whom I'm responsible for. I'm treated well. My boys are good humans. Gentle people... Sadly, my family does NOT know my boys, does not know me, care to know Chas, or the life I've created, the life we've created. Coming from where I came from as a child, this is a total heartbreak. :( I feel like I'm rambling... I'm sorry. There's context I've not shared before that needs understaining. I talk a lot about being authentic. Being vulnerable, transparent... identity challenges.. having the confidence to be one's self... to fight through the struggles of things. Over the last year I have had a handful of readers reach out and ask if I'm ok. They may not know what's happening exactly, but they can pick up the tension I'm dealing with. For the first time I am just coming clean, writing about what crapton of pressure I've been dealing with. As if the universe had a plan, as soon as I started my handyman business I started finding my inner voice inside. The identity I have had, I just lacked the confidence of saying so.. (I'm an easy pushover and have to work hard at not being so) As soon as I discovered this element of myself, my relationship with my family started to go to shit... not that I turned into an asshole, I just started saying NO... which no one does in this fam. Sadly as all that happened to gain traction, Chas's sweet Mom, Nanna Dale, came down with pancreatic cancer.. :( at the time I did not have an "equitable capital" with my fam.. why share something so important with those that see it as an angle for a dig or making it about themselves... So we kept it close to the vest - not easy for shit. We did share it with those who were vested, without judgement.. a safe place. Meanwhile I grieved through my work load and hustle.. grind, grind I found myself more.. but shit it was a lonely road!! I started to push back, hold my own.. I started to say no. I'm not doing that. I've had enough. It was not easy... As the expectations of appropriate adult life happened.. I had no one. Shit I needed my parents! Damnit did I! I needed my siblings.. but nope! shit was tarnished by running mouths, talking heads... alone again. more again. fuck this sucked SO bad., Rather than complain, I just kept grinding, kept providing. The hustle and weekly emails were really all I had as an out. All of which evolved into a clear head... much like (I can only gather) the confidence found in a domestically violent relationship.. someone suddenly says no - confidently says no. They can see the dots connect from the past, the clarity of what's happened is overwhelming. I feel like a total dumbass.. like what the hell was wrong with me??.. No!, no! this is not going to happen.. All the while, you got to answer calls of business, the demands of life.. but I have to put on a safe face.. and deal, deal with this loneliness.. it's grief that doesn't bring out tears.. but total quiet heartache. You've got nowhere to turn, but everyone needs something from you.. Life, death, work, demands, commitments, clients, yourself, life, more death. what the hell is going on... grind, grind. no one to rely on but yourself. grind greive.. keep going. grind, grieve. I feel like such an asshole talking like this - especially since I've seen greif.. I watched it. I supported it as best the hell I knew how... meanwhile my biological parents are still here on this planet but damnit! all I can do is give and support those around me because their absence hurts so much. It just sucked... especially when I needed a genuine parent to help me.. just to unconditionally be there. Fuck i needed it!! I'm sorry... So here we are. It's mothers day this sunday. Shit is pouring through me like poison in my veins. Just cut the leg, let me bleed it out. I miss Chas's Mom, I miss my Mom... In coming to clarity of where I was going with my life, whom I was becoming, I made a difficult decision three years ago. I'm not proud of this, I'm not happy about it.. but there are times that you're not going to be someone who just says what they say so they can "checkbox" the notion of being pleasant... I decided that I was not going to deal with unhappiness anymore... and unpleasantly so... I did not reach out to my mother on mothers day to wish her a happy mothers day. This eats at me. I'm not talking shit - truly. I'm just done, taking shit. I'm not patting myself on the back about it. But if I didn't mean it, I was going to be authentic enough to not say anything. *Keep in mind. We do not get happy mothers day or happy fathers day from my parents to us. In a frustrated filled rant from my father for not calling on MD, when I asked him why they never reciprocate, he said "you're not our parents"... "but we're parents to your grandchildren".. "you're not our parents". ouch. I could go on and on right now with my stresses.. I don't want to tarnish my parents anymore than I already feel. On the surface to others, they're decent people. As an estranged child, I have less to say. In short I've been hurting. Hurting for years now and managing as best I can by myself. I feel like a dick husband talking about my struggles about my "alive parents" to my bride, meanwhile, she's lost her mom and stepdad in the same year... My brother Ryan (Chas's brother) has lost those PLUS his surrogate father in that same year... ugh.. super dick! All I can do is put my head down. Tell myself it's ok. I''m going to be ok. It's not you. Parent beyond this. Make sure your kids never feel this kind of loneliness . Be there for everyone. This is what I have to tell myself. Shed the skin of your past, grow and press on. continue, and continue to talk to myself.... In opening up to other people.. most often handyman and realtor clients... I bring up deep shit no problem if someone is game haha.. a sweet and wise Vietnam vet calmed my heartstrings. "you've not left them, you've not abandoned them, you've simply chosen to not get bitten"... and that made it easier on me. Today, here I've not seen or spoken to my parents in 3 years. Over this time, the one relationship I had with an understanding sibling has sadly fizzled away. :( ugh this eats at me... all of this does not make me feel good for shit... it just is what it is... and it sucks! No one likes getting bitten. It may be hard to process... I am still very happy with my life! My family. My relationships. Our boys; they're such amazing people.. All I can tell myself is that if I died tomorrow, I would be ok.. And at the end of the day, that's all I've got. :) Throughout these 3 years I've not had my parents. Not a peep. Yet I've grown tremendously. Of which I am proud of... Thankfully I've had surrogate Mom's along the way to help the heart. Without asking for it, my sweet amazing Aunt Becky has stepped into our lives. I've not provoked nor inquired, she just selflessly shows up, to be there.. to just be. To love, to not give sides, to just be. I've ended up calling her my Aunt Mom. I love her so much for her help.. Our dear friend Momma Lee... Miss Debbie Lee, founder of the nonprofit we actively support.. She checks in on us, responds to stressful moments.. hell, she showed up to our house at 1030pm after my bonus dad, John, died. She gave me so much of her time to be there for me. She's been here and there for our entire family. Our old neighbor, Dina... simply working on her home for her.. .the level of comfort and acceptance she brings. It's one of the safest places I've felt while working on a house. I've coined her as Aunt-Dina. I've been brought to tears simply by a hug with her. My sweet client Vicki... she's called me her "adopted son" for years. As time has gone on, the better I get to know her, the more she gets to know me, us. I feel so comfortable with her. Being around her makes me feel like it IS ok.. and that I am special. It means so damn much. As we head into this weekend of mothers day I am overwhelmed with the loss and unused love we have for the passing of Miss Nana Dale while dealing with the abandonment loss of my own. .. All I can say, all I can live by is love those who have been there for you. If your mom is part of your world, high five! I'm SO happy for you! :) embrace it, cherish it. If you're on your own and without.. and you've got just you and the life you've built - without parents - it's ok too. Be there for your babies, be those always involved parents you wish you had. Family is what you make of it. Biological family is entitled to the opportunity of being first in your life and following through with effort.. beyond that, the entitlement stops there.
I am good. I am happy :) I've just become comfortable wearing my scars. I really needed that.. I appreciate you like no other. Have an amazing mothers day weekend. My mom actually sent this to me years ago when she followed my stuff genuinely... so why not :) I recall she said "pretty for you"... So my good friend, I hope this is pretty for you.
PS... I've been on this damn email since 430P... Chas and Avin are passed ou ton the couch. Tristan's is suddenly quiet (likely watching tick-tok) And now it's 9:00 PM and I'm still in handyman uniform! :)