Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stuff I Have Got to Get Out of My Head

I apologize in advance that this post is going to be somewhat fragmented but it is all cluttering up my brain right now. Yesterday I was in the most awesome mood, today this is the stuff I am thinking about. My self diagnosed bi-polarity rears its ugly head again. Or is it manic depression? I can never be sure. Is there really a difference? Well anyway, I like my swinging and to be quite honest I am not really sad or down trodden or anything today, in fact I am still in a fairly decent mood but lots of things have been going on lately and so I need to just purge a bunch of stuff out.

Organ Donor
When you told me your news I was afraid but
Would not show it
You know me so well after all these years it was probably
Easy to see anyway.
“We are too young to have to start dealing with stuff like this”
He said later and I agreed
Tireless I search for answers
Where do I go to look?
I have no background, no idea where to even begin
Obscurity begins to overtake my mind
I push it aside.
I have to or I am going to sit and cry.
Something tells me strength is what you need from me now.
I am completely willing to do that.
You are family
You have always been family
You will always be family.
Regardless of what it is we will all deal with it together
Life has ups and downs right?
I can not pretend to know how to handle any of them,
It is hard enough to attempt to enjoy the ride without
Throwing up.
I want to say it will all be alright.
I want to say nothing could ever happen to you,
That you are invincible
No matter what you will prevail.
Definitive confirmation has not yet arrived
The waiting is the hardest part.


Two years ago this month one of the most awesome people who ever graced this planet, my Grandpa, passed away. He could crush you with one squeeze of his enormous frame or knock you over with his booming Irish voice but in my memory his strong arms never did anything more than hug me or teach me how to swim in the ocean when I was barely even walking yet and his voice always had a song in it; most of the time that song was Ramona and we danced to it together at my wedding. He was a special breed of person -- loving, loyal and fiercely protective of the people he loved, but in the same turn never held back from telling anyone what was on his mind even if it might not be what that person wanted to hear. I definitely know this from many personal experiences. With me though it always ended in a hug no matter what. I miss him. A lot. I truly believe in soul mates and I do not feel it is something relegated to romantic love but a term used to define anyone who connects on an inexplicable level. He was one of mine.

The year he passed away Matt and I were living on Long Island and as the fates had it we had to drive up to Massachusetts separately for the services due to job and weather related issues. I can not begin to explain to anyone who was not there what that week was like, what the wake or funeral or after party were like. Yes I said party. He would never have had it any other way. The time in Massachusetts was a definite roller coaster and after Matt returned home Wendy and I took a ride to Humarock because it was just something we had to do; a walk on the beach in February was remarkably appropriate.

I left for New York early the following day so I could make the four hour drive back in daylight as I was still not comfortable driving such a long distance alone. I had my iPod along for the ride to keep me company; actually it was more that the music kept me distracted from thinking too much and I welcomed it. Typical of the irony of my life however a song came on that I had not heard in a very long time and as I flew down the Merritt Parkway at about twenty miles an hour over the posted speed limit, I sobbed alone in the car as I sung along to this song that suddenly made me think of my Grampa.

Bright Lights
By Matchbox 20

She got out of town
On a railway New York bound
Took all except my name
Another alien on Broadway
There's some things in this world
You just can't change
Somethings you can't see
Until it too late

Baby, baby, baby
When all your love is gone
Who will save me
From all I'm up against out in this world
Maybe, maybe, maybe
You'll find something
That's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around
And come on home

I got a hole in me now
Yeah, I got a scar I can talk about
She keeps a picture of me
In her apartment in the city
Some things in this world
Man, they don't make sense
Some things you don't need
Until they leave you
Then they're things that you miss

Baby, baby, baby
When all your love is gone
Who will save me
From all I'm up against out in this world
Maybe, maybe, maybe
You'll find something
That's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around
And come on home

Let that city take you in, come on home
Let that city spit you out, come on home
Let that city take you down, yeah
God's sake turn around

Baby, baby, baby
When all your love is gone
Who will save me
From all I'm up against out in this world
Maybe, maybe, maybe
You'll find something
That's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around
And come on home

Come on home
Baby, baby, baby
Come on home
Yeah, come on home
Yeah, come on home

Later after I returned back to my house I started to think of a lot of songs that reminded me of him and put a nice collection of them together in a playlist on my iTunes. One of the most uplifting reminders of him is a song by the Dropkick Murphys and since I do not want to be a complete Debbie Downer today I will sign off with these lyrics. Love you Grampa, miss you tons.


All of my dreams seem to fall by the side
Like the discarded thought or the day’s fading light
But I know that if I could just see you tonight

At times we may fall, like we all tend to do
But I’ll reach out and find that I’ve run into you
Your strength is the power
That carried me through

Your kindness for weakness I never mistook
I worried you often, yet you understood
That life is so fleeting, these troubles won’t last

Inspired me truly you did from the start
To not be afraid and to follow my heart
There’s a piece of you with me they can’t tear apart

Forever I’ll find you, forever we’ll be
Forever your power and strength stays with me


Suldog said...

Nice remembrance of your grandfather there. Do you have Ramona, either as a recording or on your playlist? Hope so.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I do have both Jim, Domenic Chianese who played Junior Soprano (in the HBO show of the same name) recorded the song a bunch of years back and I bought the disc for the wedding dance. So it is in the playlist as well :)

Judi FitzPatrick said...

I've got tears in my eyes right now; you know he was like a second father to me.
Big {{{hugs}}} coming your way.
Love, Mum

Karen said...

My Gram passed away six years ago just shy of her 102nd birthday. I was fortunate enough to have been close to her for many years and I miss her so much so I think I know how you feel. She loved me just because I was me. Hugs :)

spottedwolf said...

Jenn.......read some of the articles on "the Skaldic Opinion"

they may help.


LindaCCC said...

Very lovely tribute to your Grandpa.

High Desert Diva said...

Lovely tribute to your grandpa and I agree that soul mates can be anyone, in our case, a grandparent.

Sending hugs your way...for both the thoughts of your grandpa, and for whatever is behind the organ donor post.

Bridgete said...

I absolutely agree about soulmates. And, while everyone else has said it, I want to reiterate that this was a beautiful tribute to your grandfather.

ginger said...


i never knew either of my grandfathers, but i hear they were some cool cats.

this was nice, and don't ever feel like you have to apologize for your blogs or thoughts or your manic tendencies...which is weird that you mentioned it, because i was having a mental conversation with myself this morning about bipolar vs manic depression; are they the same thing and what-not.

Dave King said...

Beautifully done, the tribute. It brought my granparents back to me. Lovely words expressed with obvious sincerity.

TheresaJ said...

What a touching post and tribute to your grandfather.... brought tears to my eyes as I can relate to the pain and finality of your loss.