As Requested By My Oldest Daughter

Before I really get into this post and the nature of my oldest daughter’s request, let me just say that this is quite possibly the strangest request I have ever been asked by anyone, ever. As many of y’all know, my oldest daughter lives in the state of South Dakota and will be getting married in the summer. Over the years we have maintained a very close relationship which allows us to talk about just about anything under the sun. Most times our conversation stays on the pretty straight and narrow, but last night I was asked to do something completely from out in left field. I don’t say that negatively, let’s just say it was a complete shock to me. It all started because we were talking about her wedding planning, more specifically what the dress code for me was going to be as the father of the bride. The reason for asking is this will be an outside wedding and the wedding party will be dressed really casual, not shorts and flip flops, but pretty casual to say the least. I was told how I dressed is up to me, now let me explain why.

The one thing that has troubled or plagued these wedding plans has been finding the “right” person to officiate the ceremony. It has been my understanding that they didn’t want a Justice of the Peace or a minister, no minister simply because they don’t exactly want it to be too religious. Now, I don’t think it will be a pagan wedding with a live sacrifice of a virgin, but something more free spirited. My daughter was born in the wrong era, being born in 1990, because she lives her life more like she was growing up in the late 60s, a modern day version of the flower child if one was to ask me. In the end, they claim no religious preference, knowing only there is a greater power out there that is bigger than all of the rest of us. Anyway, after discussing things in their own home they decided to ask me a “giant favor” and to see what my opinions were on something they believed would make their wedding very special. By now I will assume that y’all have looked at and read the picture, if not this would be a good time to do so. Once y’all do that then perhaps it will be easier to explain what was asked of me and, as of today, what I have “become”. Looking at my blogs and the way I live my life in the real world I would have never guessed that I would ever be witness to this event ever happening. I wonder if she remembers we have tickets to see Slipknot and Marilyn Manson the end of June.

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And that is that, in a matter of a few minutes I’m legal to marry couples in every state in the Union. Yes, this was the question I was asked. I was asked to be the one to preform the wedding ceremony. I know, weird, right? For right now, we are set, especially now that I made numerous phone calls this morning to find out if this is actually legal and legit. It was surprising to me to find out that my scenario is very common, especially in States recognizing same sex marriage. I did allot of digging, allot of calling, and allot of research, and I found that my signature on their license will be legal in all states and recognized in all states. Which is what my concern was, I wanted to be sure that this wasn’t wasting anyone’s time or getting anyone in legal trouble. I will post again on this topic later this summer after the wedding. I think I know what I’m wearing now, can we say tuxedo t-shirt?

Being The Father Of The Bride

One would think that the title, “father of the bride”, is to be dealt with lightly, but I’m here to tell you that the weight the title carries buckles the knees of the strongest men. Even I, a simple man, a man who only wants his children to be happy and healthy, has a hard time holding it all together on the ” big day”. Yes, it has finally happened, my 19 y/o daughter tied the knot this past weekend. After months of preparing, the day came and went like a gentle breeze. I’ve been to a few weddings in my life, been married twice of course, but nothing prepared me for giving my baby girl away in marriage, nothing. I’m sure at least a few of y’all are shaking your head in agreement, because you know I’m right.

I’m not going to talk much about the wedding ceremony itself, I think we all pretty much know how those go, and this wedding was no different, but this time it was my daughter who was the beautiful bride. I would, however, like to talk about the reception, because this is the place I learned how much my daughter really knew me, like deep down to my soul knew me, because she found the ways to make a normally emotionless man shed tears not only in sadness but in joy as well. I personally didn’t think I would break down in front of hundreds of people, but it happened. Let’s go back a while first, where it actually started hitting me. It was time now, after she was dressed in her gown, for me to place her garter, a garter she had not seen yet, a garter I searched high and low to find, the perfect garter for my little girl. Little did I know this was to be such a huge event, so many people were there, and the photographer catching every meaningful moment. I had no idea my special gift, my personal touch, and the beautiful garter of lace and satin would be such a “moment” for everyone. But it was, and it was a hard moment for me, it was when I realized that when the garter is finally removed she will be married. Let that sink in a moment, it hit me like a ton and a half of bricks, I was not prepared for the emotions or the brief moments of flashbacks to her childhood, or me as the proudest dad ever.

Soon, the ceremony was over, my little girl was now officially a married woman, and the next chapter of her life is beginning. I had thought I was keeping it together, remaining stoic in my composure, being the happy dad on the outside, hiding the even sadder dad on the inside. I was doing a damn fine job of it too, until my daughter decided it was time for her to give a toast. She raised her glass of sparkling grape and announced she would like to give a toast to her dad, her dad who was and always will be there for her, no matter what. There was more, much more, it grabbed my heart and began to ring out tears and emotion I didn’t even know was inside me. When she was done, when the clapping stopped, I made my way to the front of the room, going behind the table where she stood in happy tears, and we had the second biggest hug we ever had. Then it was announced that the father and daughter dance was going to commence momentarily so we needed to make our way to the dance floor. I was prepared for this once in a lifetime dance, I really was, but I was not prepared for the song she selected. Imagine being in the fellowship hall of the church your daughter was just married in and hear the first musical notes of the song “Changes” by Ozzy Osbourne sung with his daughter Kelly Osbourne, a song that I joked was about us, a song about letting go, and a song about daddy’s little girl growing up. To increase the emotional tug of our song, she had prepared a slideshow of many moments of her growing up, of her and I in the good times and bad, and our dance became the hug that I never wanted to end. So, if you were wondering why that was included at the beginning of this post you now have your answer, I hope you enjoyed it.

I close this post now trying to understand the pain and joy of one’s daughter getting married, remembering that in June of 2016 my oldest daughter will be getting married, and I wonder if I’m strong enough to do it twice. Eventhough I’ve said it a trillion times, I want to tell my daughter that she is truly loved and I wish her one thousand years of happiness. To all my readers, thanks for taking the time to share in some of my personal moments and memories today.

The Magic Weekend Still Lives On!

One of the themes I have here is The Magic Weekend and it is stories about y’all emailed to me by y’all for all of the readers here to read and enjoy. For information on how to participate, see the link for it at the top of the blog. Since I have been sort of busy I have held off posting this one but now I seem to have a bit of spare time. So here we go, off to never never land……….

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The Breakup

It was a dark and stormy night when I found out that my fiance was a two bit cheating whore. Up until this night we had been dating for just at a year and engaged for the past three months, we were going to be married at the end of this coming November. So let me go back about a year and a half ago to how we met. Shortly after graduating from UT, a friend of mine set me up with an interview with an architectural contracting firm in Houston. On the day of my interview I was first introduced to Rey, who was the secretarial associate who was in the room when you walk in. In there all by herself, sitting behind an open desk, wearing a very short skirt, and decided this day to go commando. I know this only because of where I was sitting waiting for my appointment, since she would cleverly cross and uncross her legs every few minutes, it was very distracting. She knew I was looking but would never make any eye contact with me. In the end, I had my interview and was told I would be contacted with a decision by the end of the week, this was on a Monday morning.

Late the following Friday afternoon, I get a call from Rey, it’s bad news, I was not selected for the position. However, it was pointed out that it was good news as well, because she tells me now I can ask her out for drinks and it not be in violation of the company no fraternization policy. We decided to meet up at The Aquarium, a very nice restaurant, to have dinner and drinks. We waited at the bar until our table was ready until she began to excuse herself to use the ladies room. She returned almost immediately claiming she had something very interesting I was going to want to see. As we approach the rest rooms she grabs my hand and makes a straight shot for the family rest room where we both go in. She locks the door, unzips my pants, grabbing my member as she bends over spreading herself open. I’m a commanding voice she tells me, not ask, tells me to just fuck her hard and then we can enjoy the rest of the evening. I was past the point of saying no, so I did as I was commanded to do, I fucked her hard.

When we got back to the bar we were informed are table was ready and we were immediately seated. Once we left the rest room not a word was spoken about what had just happened. We ate, had a few drinks, talked about life, and, in general, just had a great date together. After the date, I dropped her off at her place when she told me the dreaded phrase, “I’ll call you soon”. I know what that means, I’ve been around enough to know this was going to be the first and last date. It was sad really, but then, it had been a while since I had been laid, so it was a positive date for me also. The following morning she called me asking for my address, she wanted to bring me doughnuts after she was done at the gym. OK, sure, why not. This phone call was at 5:10 am, she showed up just after 9 am, packing a dozen doughnuts to boot. We sat around, talked, ate the doughnuts, and after that she said it was time for her to go. After she left I called a friend of mine so he could help me figure things out here, according to him, at this point we are dating.

Life went on, with the good came a little bad, but mostly it was a great relationship. Now, here in the present time I wished I saw all of the signs which would have stopped me from making a mistake, sure, I can see them now, but only now, which is torturous beyond belief. What started the breakup argument? See the picture? It is a picture of Rey. See the guy sitting there? It’s not me. How did I get ahold of the picture? We were at dinner at my parents house, she was in the bathroom with my little sister doing hair. Her phone rings and she tells me to answer it. It was her sister confirming their shopping plans the next day. I noticed she had a text message waiting so she said to see what it is, so I did, and the message with that picture just said “thanks for stopping by last night, it was fun”. In a matter of seconds, after looking through her phone a bit, this picture was one of maybe one hundred I saw and I was getting pissed. Pictures of her, pictures of her with guys, pictures of her with girls, pictures of her male friends naked, and so on. Now, now I’m beyond pissed. She walked out just as I set her phone on the kitchen counter with that message on display. Then all hell literally broke loose. She wasn’t apologizing, she was making a thousand excuses, all which were bullshit.

It was definitely over that night, we were officially done, relationship terminated, and the wedding called way off. Yes, I was that blind I guess, but I look back and see times where everything she was doing fit right in. We haven’t spoken since, she sees my mom at the grocery store every once in a while but my mom won’t give her the time of day. Never once has she tried to talk to me, tried to make it right, explain, or nothing. I guess we can say I know I have moved on, I don’t know about Rey.

When A United States Marine Dies

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Growing up I always was fascinated with the stories my uncle would tell all of us kids. He liked to talk about his time in the United States Marine Corps (USMC), his friends he made, the friends he lost, the places he visited, and his experiences. But, he wasn’t always a marine. Before he was a Marine he was part of a family which consisted of eight sons and eight daughters. He was the youngest boy, born 06 October 1932 in Mandan North Dakota. Coming from a family of Marines he knew early on he wanted to be a Marine and continue the legacy. He enlisted in the USMC on 08 October 1950 and was quickly carted off to fight in the Korean War where he completed multiple tours. In July 1953 with the end of the Korean war in sight he was cycled back to the United States he found himself stationed at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. Later in the year, 15 October 1953 he married his high school sweetheart and began his own family. Over the years they had nine children, five boys and four girls. In 1965 he was part of Rolling Thunder, the initial wave of soldiers being sent to Vietnam. He would do three tours in Vietnam, his last one in 1970 falling short since he was wounded in action. He returned home in the summer of 1970 and retired later in the year with 20 years of active service with the United States Marine Corps. At this time, my uncle, a retired USMC vet, decided to open a hardware/feed store where he grew up outside of Mandan. He would run the hardware shop for thirty years and finally decided that it was time to let his children carry on with it. The hardware store remains open today, some 42 years later.

In early June 2013 my uncle was diagnosed with a cancer I won’t try to pronounce or spell. by the time it was diagnosed it was spread to almost 60% of his body. He went into intense therapy to try and attempt to eradicate the cancer but it only put a little dent and then decided to continue to spread aggressively. On 09 October 2013 he was re-admitted to the hospital die to complications with his liver and kidneys which later in the week completely shut down. My mother, his last remaining sibling rushed to North Dakota to be by his side as everyone was fearing this would be his final trip to the hospital. He had recently, the week before, celebrated his 81st birthday a frail, sick, shell of the man he once was. Knowing he was going to die very soon he demanded to be let out of the hospital because he did not want to spend his 60th wedding anniversary in a hospital bed. On the morning of 15 October 2013 he was released into the care of his wife. Upon request, he was helped to get dressed in his finest Sunday suit for dinner in their one room apartment that evening, celebrating his wedding anniversary with the love of his life. In the wee hours of Wednesday, 16 October 2013 my uncle passed away.

His funeral will be this coming Monday, 21 October 2013. I was told that once a Marine, you are always a Marine, and you will die a Marine. His funeral will be a full on USMC service and burial. Many of his fellow Marines he served with over the years will attend to pay their respects as well as family and friends. When I spoke to my aunt this morning and my mother last night I was told that the one thing she is not looking forward to is being present the United States flag which will have been draped on the casket. She thinks the reality of his death will come to pass at that moment. She was very emotional. My mother has requested me to make my aunt a shadow box enclosure to house the flag and a variety of his Marine memorabilia she will be returning home with. As I wiped the tears from my eyes, as I am having to do now, I accepted the task. As I say farewell to my uncle Steven I am reminded what a remarkable son he was to his parents, how he cherished the very ground he wife walked upon, he was a great brother, and how he is a wonderful father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was many things to many people, he was a man who was the picture of honor and reliability, luckily I knew him my entire life as uncle Steven.