It is hard to say goodbye …

I am so tired. So, so, so very tired. And bone-weary. And so OVER talking about, thinking about and mourning over, my folks.

Exhausted, I is. Frazzled. Gnawing at my rear like a flea-ridden dog. But I can’t seem to stop myself. I keep chewing and can’t seem to stop these mental hamsters from running on their never-ending wheel. Running, running, runnin’ …

I figure that 35 years (cumulative) of being parent-less would have taught me a lot more. Apparently? Not so much. (And I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing.)

(Seriously, *I* want to tell me to shut the fuck up and get over it. And mostly I have. And I am. Shutting up and getting over it, I mean. But sometimes I really just need to talk out-loud, in order to make sure I’m not thinking in circles, and thinking myself into a self-destructive cycle. I promise I’ll stop the navel-gazing soon-ish. Until then … )

I mean … I get it. I grok it. Hell, I live it. It is natural that you lose your parents before you go over to “The Big Yonder” your-own-damn-self. But shit.

There are still times, no matter how old you are, that you just want your mommy. Or your daddy. Or your friend. Or your partner.

It’s not so much that you need them, but it is that you want them.

And in those instances not only do you want them, you just want to know them. More so than you ever did whilst they were alive.

This past week I went to a memorial of an acquaintance. No. Scratch that. She was more than that. She was a mentor. She was a friend. Granted, she wasn’t my “bestie”, but she was still someone I would consider a friend; someone whom I would allow into my own inner circle. (And if she allowed me into hers? I would consider myself blessed.) After listening to all of the memories and eulogies? I really wish I got to know her better. Wish that I broke down my own damn walls. I saw her amazing light, and spark, and I just smiled and nodded. I wish I did more …

Frieda? Well … she was a hard woman to like, but such an easy person to love. So damned easy to love! (Well, once you got past that crackly and tough veneer at least.) Being at her memorial reminded me … it reminded me that it isn’t easy to be tough and loving; that it isn’t easy to be loving, and tough.

“Hard to like, but easy to love.” – that’s how I describe(d) her. (And that is something I aim for, if I am being honest with myself.)

Surrounded by all that love? I was able to laugh. And live. And love.

Even though I held back my (outward) tears, I laughed. I lived. And I loved. And that? Was freeing. During the photo montage that Marc put together, I had to use all of my emotional strength to keep my shit together. Afterwards, Carlos was the “comedic relief”. And even then, I wrapped myself up tight inside, so I wouldn’t cry. Alejandra and Roxanne’s eulogies almost offed me, in a good way. There were so many people … so many people to give their respect.

I wanted to be one of those people. But I just couldn’t.

Frieda’s memorial was held on the same day that Dad more than likely died.

Until I got home, and settled into the refuge of my bed, I forgot about that day.

I almost forgot that you get to choose your “family”.

Some of us are privileged in having a great blood-family. Some of us only have an amazing choice-family. But some of us … ? Well, some of us? Are blessed with both.

Tonight I realized that I somehow kissed the right karma-faerie’s ass. Not only do I have an amazing blood-family. I also have an amazing choice-family. Five years ago I embraced the wonder of my blood-family, after I found Dad. But last night? I really felt the energy and love of my choice-family.

I may be the red-headed orphan (Anni), but my blood-family? I choose. And my choice-family? I can only wish that we shared DNA.

Last night reminded me that blood-family, and choice-family, are one and the same (depending).

We may never really know, or love, someone even if we share blood, yet …
They are still considered family.

We may love someone, and not really know them, yet they touch us, regardless of blood …
They are still considered family.

Blood or not, it doesn’t mean that their loss affects us any less.

Frieda just passed. It has now been 5 years that Dad has been gone (and over 28 years for mom). Right now? All three of them are my family. Blood or chosen.

And I miss them all.

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