Today was supposed to be a post about an amazing show I saw last week with Weezer Tribute Band, Island in the Sun, and Foo Fighters Tribute Band Monkey Wrench. However, as many of you may know, I was recently reunited with my two sons after 18 years. Today will be all about that. I know that JJ and the gang will understand.
Tuesday night, my daughter Ronni and I went to iHeart radio’s Skylounge to see Dr. Love. It was there that we would be meeting my sons (her brothers), Cody and Alex for the first time after 18 years. To say that I was a bundle of nerves would be putting it lightly. And Ronni was on the very same pins and needles. At one point, she leaned over and whispered to me, “What if they don’t like us?”
All those worries proved to be for nothing. When my sons arrived, they were a bit lagged from the drive and were able to catch their breath as we took in the last half of the Dr. Love concert at iHeart Skylounge. (Big thanks to Mick and Jamie as well as Jason Fellman for being so generous with the passes to the show.) By the time the show was over and we were able to introduce my boys to a few of my musically inclined performing friends like Mick Hassan, the aforementioned Jon Johnson (of Monkey Wrench), and the wonderful man that is Kevin Rankin, I was ready to see where this would go between my sons and I as well as their sister.
I should say that after 18 years, I knew there was no guarantee that this would go well. It had some shaky aspects to the start after my first few initial texts between Cody and I. The biggest being that Alex had some problems with the situation. There was some very deep-seated anger that had built over that 18 years. When the first Skype meeting was suggested, Cody wanted to wait until he and Alex were together. It was made clear that he did not have to talk, and if he chose, he could sit off camera and just listen. During that first half hour of the Skype, he was quiet and wrapped in a blanket so that you could barely see him. As the conversation continued, he emerged slowly and eventually began to ask questions. I let him continue to do it at his pace, and as the conversation drew on, he became more engaged. That was when I noticed something amazing about Cody. He began to sit back and let Alex become more involved. He watched over his little brother. His mind was already mostly open and made up that he and I would be moving forward. Now, he stepped aside and let Alex find his way up that same trail.
By the time that conversation concluded, they were ready to make a face-to-face visit. That Skype conversation was on Thursday, and they would come on Tuesday when they both had the time off work. They also wanted to arrive in time to meet their sister who was about to leave for a trip to California to see some of her family including her mom. When we drove home, Ronni rode with Cody and Alex rode with me. Once we arrived, the boys were introduced to Denise and then the furry and feathered members of the home. It was interesting to watch as Tyrion chose Cody as his favorite and Freyja struck her claim on Alex. Aoife just enjoyed bouncing between all of them, but she has always been partial to Ronni. That mean that the oldest dog matched with oldest child, middle to middle, and the babies of the family were paired. Funny how that worked out.
After some open visiting, I sat back so that the kids could get better acquainted and was treated to watching the three of them strike up conversations and share common interests as well as share music loves with one another. For me, it was a real treat to see how similar they were while being completely unique. Eventually, Denise had to go to bed. She still had to get up and go to work in the morning. That left the four of us. We brewed a few pots of coffee as the night flew past and the conversation carried us into the next morning. Somewhere around 1 AM or so, Cody and Ronni were talking, and Alex and I went into another room so he could share a song that meant something to him. It was a very sad song that expressed some of the sadness he felt growing up without a dad. I was given an even deeper treat when he sang it for me. The lump in my throat grew with each word and I heard his own voice tighten up once or twice. When it was over, he gave me a gigantic hug and told me he was so glad he was there and that we were together. Each syllable went straight to my heart in one of those moments that I now get to cherish forever.
Eventually, Ronni fell asleep. That allowed the boys and I to finish clearing the deck of the biggest questions that they might still have remaining. It was good to know that they were now certain there was nothing they could not ask or explore. Nothing was off limits, and the answers were not sugar-coated or smoothed out. Cody continued to impress me as he watched over his little brother. I was so proud of him. And Alex was able to work through his remaining questions. It was more than I could’ve hoped for in ten get-togethers, much less one.
Eventually, Denise got up to start getting ready for work. But first, she treated us to waffles and bacon! We all sat around the table and ate breakfast. There was laughing and joking. It all felt so amazing and I was afraid I would wake at any moment to discover it had all just been a dream. Shortly after Denise left for work, Ronni had to head home in order to get ready for her trip. And that proved to be the wall for Cody who had hopped in his car gith after his shift at work, picked up his brother, and then driven all the way down from Auburn, Washington (near Seattle) for this reunion. He hit the sack for a few hours sleep leaving me and Alex to talk some more. We did some brainstorming about a project that you will be hearing a lot more about in the future.
You may be interested to know that Alex has always dreamed of being…wait for it…a writer. And guess what genre? Horror! So, he and I will be writing DEAD: Snapshot–Seattle, Washington together. It will be the story of a father and son trapped across town from each other and their fight to get back to each other. But wait…there’s more! When the audio is produced, he will be narrating his chapters! How is that for a slice of heaven? And did you think that was all? NOPE! He has a collection of short stories. So, I will be gathering mine and his for an anthology titles DEATH IN THE FAMILY. The cover will be created and drawn by Cody! Did you think that it couldn’t get any better? Then I shouldn’t tell you that Cody will be sharpening his artistic skills as he starts in on my story Kherfin in a graphic novel format.
There are so many more wonderful and amazing moments that I could go on and on about, but that would take up pages. There were a few highlights that I would still share before I go. One being as the boys prepared to leave. They had given their hugs and started for the car, but then they turned around and ran back to my porch and threw their arms around me in what has to be considered the greatest hug of all time. Not for the first time, both boys expressed how glad they were that they’d come and that we were now together. That moment would be repeated the following morning after they got as far as Troutdale before the weather was just too much for Cody’s car that lacked a defrost ability. Watching them go was terribly difficult. It felt like it had only been minutes. But that was only the first of what will be endless such get-togethers. And also, I now get several text messages a day. Sure, I know those will level off, but there will be something good in that as well. That will mean that we all know that each other is still there. We’ll never be apart again. Miles can’t take any of the strength out of the love we share and feel for each other.