I was 19-years-old and working the night shift at a TGIFriday’s. By day, I worked doing data entry at a data storage facility. I didn’t have a car, so I had to bum rides to get to and from work. Usually my step-dad picked me up after a night shift, which I always dreaded. The car rides were long and silent. We had nothing in common. Nothing to say to each other; not that either of us were particularly talkative to begin with. We loved each other in a begrudging, obligatory type of way, but we typically tried to stay out of each other’s way whenever possible.

This particular night at work had been terrible. My customers were all a bunch of assholes who tipped like shit, which was partially on them, but somewhat on me because I was a terrible waitress if I’m being honest. I sat outside of the restaurant, and when my step-dad pulled up, I got in the car, bracing myself for the awkward, silent, fifteen minute ride home.

I slid into the passenger seat and we exchanged obligatory greetings, which sounded more like grunts. He reached over and turned up the radio. I turned to stare out the window, imagining I was somewhere (anywhere) else, which was my ultimate goal, and the reason I had dropped out of college to work two jobs.

Low by Cracker came on the stereo. I started to do a subtle dance in my seat. I continued to stare out the window and started to hum along with the song. The chorus started, and I suddenly heard my step-dad start singing, “To be with you, girl, like being low. Hey, hey, hey, like being stoned.” This was something so completely out of character for him, that I should have been shocked into silence. Instead, I started singing along. And we sang the song together until it ended.

We finished the drive in silence. I jumped out of the car the second we came to a stop and said, “Thanks for the ride.” I immediately locked myself in my bedroom and cried for the normal relationship with a father that I had just glimpsed, but would never actually have.

Regardless, it is the best memory I have of my step-father.

Fast forward thirteen years. I’d barely seen or spoken to him during that time. Just a month after the incident described above, we had a huge falling out that ended with his arrest. I left home and never looked back. In March 2012, my family called and said, “He’s dying. If you want to see him then you should come now.” I was conflicted. I didn’t want to go. There was a deep seated hatred in the core of my being that I didn’t know what to do with. I didn’t know that I wanted to rush to his death bed. I didn’t know that he deserved my forgiveness. But then I remembered the time we sang Low together in the car. And it was the powerful force of that memory that pushed me to do what I did next: rush to his side, grasp his hand and say, “I love you.” To which he replied, “I love you, too.”

And that was the last time I ever spoke to him. He died the next day.




It has been a very good weekend. In fact, this living together thing is going way more smoothly than I imagined it would.

The kids keep referring to us as a “normal” family. This makes me both happy and sad. Sad only because the divorces (though years ago) were hard on them. I’m glad we’ve been able to give them our version of a “normal” family.

I am very happy, and I think they are too. I love them so much.



quick trip to the capitol

Today we went to visit my mom. She lives in Jefferson City, which is about 2 hours away from Saint Louis. Jackson had never been before. As we were crossing the bridge into town, I said, “Hey, look it’s the Capitol building.” He didn’t know what I was talking about, so I explained to him that Jefferson City is the Missouri state capitol. He goes, “Oh so does that mean Saint Louis is just a lower case city?” I died laughing.

Anyway, we had a lovely time. Now we are home and I am exhausted.

the way things are

I’ve posted the lyrics to this song before, but, unfortunately, it once again feels very appropriate.

There is nothing that competes with habit
And I know it’s neither deep nor tragic
But simply that you have to have it

So you can make a killing
So you can make a killing
So you can make a killing

I wish I was both young and stupid
Then I too could have the fun that you did
Till it was time to pony up what you bid

So you can make a killing
So you can make a killing
So you can make a killing

I could follow you and search the rubble
Or stay right here and save myself some trouble
I try to keep myself from seeing double

Or I could make a killing
Or I could make a killing
Or I could make a killing