Tuesday, May 22

I love to hear her laugh.

This is me and mom. The cool building is in the middle of town and mom had this message up for me all weekend. Just too cool for words. She'll probably not appreciate these pictures here, but I haven't given her a bit of trouble for 39 years. So check us out everyone. This is my mom, and yes I shaved before I left her house. I think we look a little nervous.

I just got off of the phone with my birth mother. My mom. I love talking to her. She makes me laugh - and I get to hear her laugh. What a sound. She loves basketball, like me - so we sort of "watched the game together" this evening. I called her at the beginning to find out where she was sitting. "...at the corner of the couch", she tells me. I just left the corner of her couch Wednesday night, so I was able to create a perfect image of her sitting there. We talked through the first couple minutes of the game, this gave me a chance to get my head full of her voice, till the next time we talked. She wanted me to call her when the game ended - now that is just too damn cool.

Though I think her asking me to call at the end was just a test. I've been jokingly telling her all week that tonight would be our first fight, cause she's a Pistons fan and I really dig the Cavs. So the Pistons win and it's time to call her back - as a loser. I then realize, ahhh, she is testing me to see if I will call her when I'm upset, and still sound like I love her (or if my team wins) she is testing me to see if I will call and gloat, trying to make her feel bad. (this paragraph should read playfully and cartoonish, like the unveiling of the master mind's plot by the lovable hero)

I dialed my mom's number as I sat disappointed. My team lost. My star was probably the reason. LeBron is young and apparently has an underdeveloped attention span. My sister is loving this, she thinks LeBron is cocky. Tonight she may be right. The phone was ringing now and as I sat awaiting my mother's voice, the disappointment was completely dismissed by that anxious, often awkward, teenage anticipation I suffer right before I begin talking to her. Talking to my mom. (Now I know, that you know, to whom it was that I was referring, but you'll have to forgive me for indulging in such a delight. I never imagined I would be able to address two women as "mom" and feel completely good about it, it's beyond good - it is honest and comfortable. I hope I can always make both of my mothers feel loved in a way that let's them know they are both "my mom".)

NEW PARAGRAPH (with less sap)
She answered and I smiled.
I conceded victory.
She laughed and I smiled.
I caught her sneaking into bed while we're talking. (my hearing rocks)
She laughed and I smiled some more.
We talked about an hour.
Without a keen sense of responsibility on my part, we would likely be on the phone right now. I would really like that. I can write this stuff anytime, the more I talk to her, the more memories I'll have to write about some other day. However, I keep mom up past her bedtime almost every night and she needs to be alert at work. So after soaking up a few more of her words and one last giggle, we hung up. You got it - I was still smiling.

I miss her. I miss my sisters J & T and Lil' N. I worry about my sister D, missing her as she goes thru some ruff stuff. I miss all of my sisters' kids (my 10 nieces and 1 nephew - you know that's messed up - c'mon - just 1 dude? - I smell a conspiracy - which I must be a part of because I had all girls as well). I miss all of the wonderful friends and family I met in Saginaw.

I heard you might be snoopin' around the net lookin' for my criminal record and figured you might stumble across this posting - so "Hi" - and I miss you too. Since you're here, could you call your Aunt Linda and read some of this to her. (the first 3 paragraphs to be more specific) She needs to believe this is all real and that I want to be a permanent part of her life. I can use all of the reinforcements I can muster - she needs to be enjoying these moments and not worrying her way right by them. I'll feel guilty enjoying this all by myself. Thanks - and thanks for coming to Ali's party, you were the one who made me feel comfortable. You just seem to have that gift of being able to help a person fit in. You had me ready to tell a bunch of "way-back" stories until I remembered we didn't go way back. (I wipe my brow at avoiding an embarrassing moment)
Aunt Sharon was awesome as well. She's a great hugger. Hug her for me next chance you get. You'll thank me for that one. Mom is a really great hugger too. I just don't want you hugging her a bunch and wearing her out, I've got a lot of catch-up hugs coming.

I miss my sister J a lot. I didn't get to spend the time I needed with her, but I can't be sad, because she brought me two truly special moments.
She took me to my grandmother's house. The house my father grew up in. Dad's are a sensitive subject with me; I wrestled with doubt as to whether I was prepared for this leg of the trip. I was surprised in more ways than one at the affect being there was having on me. I'm still only certain of one thing; I loved it. I sat in a chair my dad spent long hours in,
my sister in the room crying with me, and Tracey knowing me well enough to capture my grandmother telling me about my father and his talents on video and the whole experience in pictures that are meaningful to me. My grandmother, wow, just so much life and spirit in this small, sweet lady; so impeccably dressed and warmly gracious. She was so welcoming that I was even able to overcome a crippling fear when I saw that this house was carpeted, nearly every square foot of it, in a pearly white color that looked like you could create a stain by merely glancing down at it. I just knew I was gonna have something on my shoe.

Now if you listened to my grandmother that day, my dad was there. In the room with us. He died many years ago making my grandmother's assertion of his presence very unlikely. Oh, and at this point, there was definitely no visual evidence. I did however choose to listen to my grandmother that day. Why not? I am crazy, but that isn't even relevent here. What if he was there? If he was there, what a kick in the pants it would be if I were to miss his visit because I chose to not believe in a mere possibility, or because I was afraid of being called crazy by someone who disagreed with me. What is the downside to considering it - until proven otherwise you are just as right as any who would disagree with you. I don't know how we exist or why, and certainly not what happens after we've lived, but I do know it is okay to consider all of the possibilities; especially ones that make you smile.

So you ask me - "was he there?" All of my heart wants to believe he was. Until I get proof that he wasn't, I felt something that day and smile when I imagine it was my dad. I hope he smiled when he saw how happy I was listening to his mother's stories about him. I hope he has found peace, and is free from all of the pain.

The other big moment for me with J was taking her and Ali to dinner. I was too caught up in the experience to get a good sense of how J felt about it, but I was full of contentment at that moment. Forget the dinners I missed with my sister growing up, I have all those memories of eating dinners with my other sister D growing up, and now I have all of these dinners in the future with J, growing old together. I felt proud to be eating as a big brother for a change, enjoying the company of my little sister and niece and Tracey for a meal on me. (and Tony)
J and I have a special connection. We had talked for hours and hours before meeting. She and I are a rare find in an adoption story. A brother and sister from the same mother and father. We will spend a lot of time together in the future so I can get past the disappointment from not having enough time for all I had hoped to do.

I got to speak to J on the phone today also. She sounded good. I love her voice. It was really nice to talk to her, then spend time with Tracey, and then mom on the phone. It was good talking to my girls too, though they had a horrible day which is another post on another day.

I try to never actively worry about things I can't constructively work on or fix. We are forced to deal with so much in a day, take these worry free moments to breath. Remind yourself it's not always this difficult. I get in bed when I am tired and let it all go. I certainly can't affect the day's outcome from my bed - except for to relax, get some sleep and wake up feeling restful and ready for what the day brings.

So I close my eyes and smile these days at what I've discovered. This family tree that's so full of life and character, sad stories and all of the everyday worries. Laughter and love fill the leaves of this tree that is now my shade on a hot summer day; cause it's a family tree that includes me.
(( that last line was served up with extra cheese ya'll ))

The experience of meeting this family of mine exceeded expectations, likely for all of us, and who could ask for more than that.

I could and probably will write much more. For now I'll just be happy. I've got to stop writing while I think I can.

If you feel like laughing or looking at beautiful artwork, Tracey and I are now designing gifts and apparel. Our latest designs can be seen and purchased at StareAtMe.com. Buy lots cause my Christmas shopping list just gained weight. I know, it's the thought that counts. Well thoughts may count but they aren't much fun to play with. (said the boy to all of his thoughtful friends at his birthday party)

I'm back.
Take care and try to be nice to every one you engage today. Not fake or overdone; just polite, courteous, and considerate at the least. Especially while driving. Let me know how it felt if ya want to. See if you notice how many people around you aren't doing this, and how life would be different if everybody tried a little harder. Just say thanks and smile at the clerk next time you shop. See what happens.

The thoughts above are no longer a secret.
Love Kurt
- who is apparently not much of a secret either. Thanks mom - for the sign in downtown Saginaw. That's a special I've never felt before.

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