Jason's Untimely Thoughts

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Archive for August, 2008

to Adelaide

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I’m sorry I’m not very good at helping you defrizz your hair in the morning.  I’m sorry that I didn’t think of it before you did, when we would have had time to wash it.  I’m sorry that your last-minute frustrations agitate me so, causing both of us to become more frustrated as we go.

There are others that will read this that can help more, but I’m sorry that you’ll have to depend on them.  Your parents should be able to help you with most everything right now and I can’t.

Thank you for your patience.  Thank you for being so good with Jack.  You’re a great kid and a great big sister.

Written by Jason Becking

August 29th, 2008 at 8:09 am

Posted in Kids

How to Talk and How to Help?

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I receive lots of e-mails every day under normal circumstances.   There’s been nothing resembling normal circumstances for quite a while, so e-mails have been coming in even more heavily. Someone recently told me that they’d heard I “liked to type, not talk”.  I don’t think that’s always true, but it does seem to have some truth at the moment.

It’s not that I like it more, it’s just that I can force myself to force the words to come from my keyboard, where when talking I tend to become distracted by other things, other people, and other thoughts.  Prior to typing I can get up, shut my door, turn on some Pandora (they should be paying me), and hammer it out.

It’s frustrating to not be able to talk, however.  I’ve mentioned it before, but the times with friends and family is too short, yet I’m too often unable to have any meaningful conversation.  Lots of times that is because of the aforementioned distractions, some of which will be of the running around and causing trouble variety, but it’s also because none of us, me nor you, have any clue what to say most of the time.  There’s nothing to be said that can make anything better, there’s fear of saying something that can make things worse (although that seems unlikely too), and some thoughts of whether whatever is even appropriate or not given the circumstances.

Similarly, I know people from all over still very much want to help.  Further, I know I want people to help.  It doesn’t solve the dilemna, however, that I have no idea how you can help either.  The dinners have been great, but I have not many suggestions beyond that.

I think most of you are feeling mostly the same way.  Wanting to help, wanting to talk, but not really knowing how to accomplish any of that either.  I think that is also contributing to the e-mail influx.  You like to type, not talk, too, at least to me.

All that said, I do enjoy receiving the e-mails.  While I may not always respond, and may even put off reading them for a while, and may certainly be losing some work productivity, they’re good for me to read.

More than most times, I wish there was time and circumstances available for general hanging out.  Amongst any and all.  I feel like that’s what most of us are missing, from each other and from Sarah, yet the world keeps spinning and that time is hard to grab.

Speaking of hard to grab, so are the Tigers, now that they’re Unleashed.  14-0.

Written by Jason Becking

August 27th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

Cross-Generational Shoebird Hatred

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An e-mail from Texas, paraphrased slightly to protect the young:

one of Adelaide’s friends “is into Webkinz.  She got the bluebird a few days ago and promptly stated that since her cousin has one named “j-hawk” (the poor kid’s father is a shoebird), she was naming hers “j-beck” to cancel out any trouble.”


Written by Jason Becking

August 26th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Monday Musings

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Adelaide & Jack each went back to school last week.  By all indications, Adelaide is enjoying kindergarten thus far.  She’s got one new friend out of the class, a girl she talks about every day.  Then another ‘old’ friend in the other kindergarten class.  Am sure more friends are to come as time goes by.

Jack is back at CDC and enjoying that too.  He’s in the “Bee Class” again, which is good, but seems most of his friends have moved to the “Star Class”, or “Adelaide’s Class” in Jackese.  I’m wondering if I should investigate having him switch to that class too, after a whole one day’s experience this year.

I’ve posted photos from the first day here, for your viewing pleasure.

On a personal level, ugh.  Weekends are hard for me, when they should be fun.  Most of the reason they’re hard is exactly because they should be fun.  Almost nothing is fun.  Instead I try to find stuff the kids will enjoy or people for them to hang with that will be fun.  Seems like I’ve typed and griped about this before.

And I find myself having stupid thoughts about how it would simply be easier if Sarah was still around.  Not that I miss her or they miss her, but that it would be easier.  And of course I do miss her and they do miss her.  Not extra on weekends, because the missing is especially unpredictable, but it’s especially noticeable on weekends.  And so is the lack of fun that weekends should be.  And I have little hope that football or much else will change that soon.

The MU athletic department had their annual Xs & Os Clinic on Saturday, an event which Sarah had always shot.  I hear that they said nice things about Sarah and I know they sold some of her prints as part of their silent auction.  I’d love to hear more details from anyone that was in attendance.

Mpix.com is all new.  Mpix 2.0 they call it.  It won’t bother me at all when people stop using 2.0 as “it’s new”.  It looks great, though, I think, so you should all order a bunch of prints.  Looking at photos only on the computer is for losers.

Written by Jason Becking

August 25th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

Backyard Cemetery

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Sarah & I always enjoyed having the cemetery as backyard neighbors.  Realize it’s not for everyone, but even now I enjoy it.  It’s pretty, tranquil, and adds perspective in lots of ways.

I was looking through pictures on the computer at home on Saturday, trying to find some shots of Sarah’s for different people, when I stumbled across these:  Backyard Cemetery, Oct 2007.

Maybe it’s just me and my moment in time, but I was shocked and amazed at how many of these photos (almost all) are either of the general area where she’s buried, of the type of stone that I’m trying to find for her, or both.

Written by Jason Becking

August 25th, 2008 at 11:08 am

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

The End of Summer

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Summer sort of ended for us today, as Adelaide and Jack welcomed their new regular sitter to the house.  Her name is Megan, she’s likely blissfully unaware of this little slice of the web, so I’ll leave it at that.  While I was anxious about how the whole thing would be received by the kids, it was clear by 8:05 that they were happy to have someone new to entertain.

Adelaide starts kindergarten on Thursday.  She met her teacher last week and is both excited and nervous about the prospect of school.  Jack will continue at CDC downtown several days a week.  Megan will help with both kids on the other days.

The dinner schedule continues on.  I don’t believe I’ve made a meal more complicated than sandwiches yet, which all appreciate.  I’ve baked two different cakes for various dinner parties, with Adelaide busting me both times that they came from the grocery store.  To be fair, I was blaming being late on waiting on her to finish painting the stickers on the cakes.  If anyone (in Columbia) is aware of someone look for some light housecleaning work, I’d be interested in that information too.

I continue to receive unbelievably kind notes in memory of and tribute to Sarah.  Thank you to all for those.  Also, as I’ve pointed out here before, sometimes I just type junk that’s on my mind just so I can work through it a bit and get it out of my thought cycle… For instance, I don’t really want nor expect people to stop asking “How are you?” nor really think it means I suck that I haven’t remembered having any dreams about Sarah (until now, one of my dreams early this morning was re-living a school thing of some sorts involving Jack).

As hard as it is to believe, and as unsure as I am about the whole thing, football season also quickly approaches.  The Tigers start their undefeated run next weekend against the ILL in St. Louis.  Sarah & I had plans to hit 11 of the 12 regular season games (13 of 14 overall) again this year.  I’m not sure I’ll make one of those, but have firm plans for at least 10, with the kids making most of them as well.  Tailgating will be on again, although I’ll likely be asking for some help with the production.

Love to you all, Go Tigers, and screw ku.

Written by Jason Becking

August 19th, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

Dreams, Noise and Silence

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I’m hearing tales of Sarah showing up in people’s dreams.  Good stories, all.  Speaking to them (in some cases) and telling them very true truths.  Or sometimes just being around.  Again, good stories all, and I’m comforted by the fact the truths jive with my opinions.

What’s it say about me that it’s not happening in my case?  Seems like there are two options, either you believe Sarah is choosing to show up in their dreams, which translates negatively to me.  Or you believe those folks are choosing to have Sarah in their dreams and therefore I’m not… again, translating negatively to me.

While it’s true that I only extremely rarely remember my dreams, you’d have to think I would remember Sarah being in them, no?  Perhaps it means I’m simply “not ready”, whatever in the world that means.

There’s some credence to the not ready theory by my inability to sit in silence.  The minute the house is empty I turn on the stereo, when everyone goes to bed I sit and watch TV until I’m ready to fall immediately asleep.  If I have to flip endlessly until 2 am, so be it.  I seem to need the noise.

After the ceremony people were ‘amazed’ by my ability to speak during the event.  While I was fairly certain I’d make it through that OK, mostly because I needed to, I’m still waiting for my breakdown.

My feeling is that my breakdown will only come whenever I’m at a point when I don’t need to keep it together, but I can’t imagine when that will be.  I could leave town for a week, leaving the kids in someone’s care, and try to force the situation.  That has entered my mind.  Force some silence or go drink a bunch of bourbon every night and see what happens.

Even beyond the drinking, though, doesn’t seem like a very healthy option.  And I keep coming back to how could I possible leave the kids again so soon after everything.  And that I continue to over-analyze every little thing of every little thing, maybe so I can avoid my bigger issues.

Written by Jason Becking

August 18th, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

No Woe is Me

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It’s hard to say goodbye to friends now.  Not in the “I’m scared I’ll never see them again” way, because that’s not it.  It’s more along the lines of I have to leave now without saying another word or I’ll lose it.  Sorry about that.  Or I’m mad because I know Sarah would have enjoyed the time we just spent with the group.  And although I truly don’t feel it, I’m sure there’s some underlying jealousy in play when I get back in the minivan with just me and the kids.

It adds to the difficulty of having any meaningful conversations with anyone in group settings.  We come together to see each other and the kids, which is great.  But I’m distracted half the time anyway, added to the attention to the kids, and then knowing certain conversations are limited to when they can happen, and I feel like I’m living the life of a 3-year old.  Only concerns are meal times, bed times, an occasional boo-boo, whether the clothes and diapers are clean, and if we have enough milk (we don’t).

Weekends are harder, because it’s just me and the kids with little other comings and goings.  But then I don’t want nor need to have them go elsewhere every weekend, even just for partial days, as they need me and I need them.  Plus I want them to have as normal of days as possible, and running around to various people every day isn’t what had been normal.  But a sad lonely dad who’s only interested in meals and diapers probably isn’t helping them much either.

We did spend some great quality time with numerous friends this week, for which I’m grateful.  Shake’s, the lake, CJ’s, birthday party, and fish fry were each good for all of us.  I did even get to participate some.  But evidently not enough to keep from whining about my woe on the internet.

Our next door neighbor re-shingled our garage yesterday.  To be nice.  She starts Mizzou soon, moving to the dorm tomorrow in prep for sorority rush.  She’s clearly top notch, but comes by it honestly, as they say.

Written by Jason Becking

August 16th, 2008 at 11:15 pm

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

What is Normal?

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When I was in high school (glory days) I was at some church youth group thing at our co-youth directors’ house in their living room (this was, obviously, before they got divorced because she was cheating on him with another student at the localish Baptist college life lesson).  Someone conversationally asked what we wanted to be when we grew up…  My reply was “normal”.  Trying to be funny, of course, trying to get out of answering, and then being 16-17 there was some truth to that wish.

Here I sit 20 years later basically wishing for the same thing.  For me, but more importantly for the kids.  And I have no idea how to go about finding normal, except spending enough time doing whatever we’re doing that it becomes the new normal.  I know this will always have been normal to Adelaide & Jack, but that’s almost the most frustrating part of this thought process.  They’ll largely have no idea what they missed out on with Sarah nor who they would have become.  They’re still great kids and I still expect them to be great kids and people, but I constantly find myself disgusted that they were robbed of their mom and that normal.

For me, I have literally no idea what normal is now.  What’s a 37-year old widower with two (for now) pre-school kids do?  Do I even call myself a widower, that seems like a 1920s term?  Wedding band or not?  I’m wearing it, but for how long?  When I fill out a form that’s choices are Married, Single, Divorced, which do I check?  When I remember that Seinfeld said the “widower story tested through the roof”, does that make me an insensitive (to myself?) ass?  I clearly need some time to be an adult, but how do I justify doing that instead of spending every possible minute with the kids?  When I cry at Sarah’s grave, is that normal?  When I don’t, is that?  When I don’t go out there for 3-4 days in a row, partly because I’m sick of the previous thoughts, even though it’s about 100 steps from my house, is that normal?  How do I make sure the kids have a normal life when everyone is focused on making sure their absolute every need is met at every moment of every day?

And is ‘being normal’ what I really want, or am I again just trying to amuse myself while avoiding answering?

Written by Jason Becking

August 12th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

Friday Afternoon

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Here are a bunch of random thoughts on Friday afternoon.

  • The kids are in Malden, tonight will be my first night alone in the house, followed by a mostly full weekend of that.  I’m looking forward to it, a bit like you look forward to going through a haunted house, but I’m looking forward to it.
  • Sarah’s been gone a month.  I could use other verbs, but “been gone” is how I feel.  I still expect her to come home any time now.  I find myself wanting to finish all the little projects we were putting off until we had more time, more money, or both, so she’ll be pleasantly surprised by what’s been done. I alternate between scurrying around doing that, scurrying around doing things in memory of her, and doing not much of anything.  It’s a strange cycle.
  • I changed the main page of becking.com, I’m sure you noticed.  Not overly pleased with how it looks, so I’ll tweak some, but wanted to move back toward the present.  While doing that, I also made a few updates to Sarah’s Memorial page.  The new things are down at the bottom of that page.
  • We’ve sent out bunches and bunches of Thank You cards, but have a ton more to write.  I apologize for that, and apologize further for the inevitable few that don’t ever get them.  I’ve tried to keep track as best I can, but know for sure that I’ve missed some.
  • On the Thank Yous, I can’t say enough thanks to everyone that attended Sarah’s Party at Columbia College.  I keep randomly remembering people that I talked to briefly there, and remembering that with appreciation.  Sincerely, it meant a ton at the time and continues to.
  • Sunday is the first football event of the year, an event which Sarah has shot every year, even in 100-degree heat while 8-months pregnant with Adelaide.  And she enjoyed it very much, as she spent time with Coach Pinkel and the new kids, then also one last go around with the senior players.  I’ll miss her stories from the day.  The kids and I are going to try to go.  If nothing else, I’ll see how those events are likely to feel for me.
  • I hear that some believe AEB has a weight problem.  I agree, she can hardly wait until she’s 16.  I’d ask everyone to get over that issue and not mention it anywhere within 3 miles of me or her.  The last thing any 5-year old girl needs.
  • Our friend Jungle has been staying with us during the week, as he transitions to his new job in Jeff City.  At least two times a day someone tells him (that I hear) he should live in Columbia, or even Ashland, not Jeff City.  Poor Jeff City, bless their hearts.
  • I’m jacking around some with facebook now.  I keep looking for whatever it is that everyone thinks is so cool, but can’t find it.  So I keep looking.  I’m afraid I’m going to realize I’m a bit like my Grandpa Miller with dessert, can’t decide if I like it or not after just one piece, so I’ll have to have another.
  • I’m also jacking around some with pandora.com.  Doesn’t take long at all to figure out what’s so cool about it.
  • Here’s to getting through another hour and the role each of you play in helping us with that.
  • On a side note, hug your friends and family again.

Written by Jason Becking

August 8th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Posted in Mindless Ramblings