Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Maine Event

John was out the door at 4AM yesterday to catch a flight to Maine - he didn't even bother trying to sleep the night before -  and is currently spending 8+ miserable hours today traveling home again. (He's stuck at JFK as I type this.)

Why?

To be the surprise guest at his dad's 70th birthday party last night.

John and his father haven't always had the best relationship - I never even met Tom until John and I'd been married a few years - but they're both working to make it better.

John called me last night to tell me how it went.

"It was a big group of about 20 people," he said, "So Dad didn't realize I was there 'til he went to shake my hand in the receiving line. He peered into my face, and then his voice cracked as he asked if it was really me. Then he went bright red, and gave me this big ol' bear hug.

"Jen," John said, "This trip was SO WORTH IT."


It made me sniffle, so I had to share. Safe travels home, Sweetie, and happy birthday, Tom!


Sent from the party: John with his dad, Tom, and his sister Anne Marie.

29 comments:

  1. Awww! Hey, who's chopping onions in here. *Sniff*

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  2. OMGOSH yes onions...all everywhere

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  3. Wow, look at the family resemblance! My Dad and I don't have a great relationship either, but I'm working to make it better, too. Good for John. My Mom's birthday is tomorrow and she's spending it recovering from brain surgery. Wish I could afford to surprise her....

    (I'm usually signed in as tal, but gmail's being annoying and I'm lazy, so anonymity, yay!)

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  4. So...many...feels!!

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  5. That is so sweet!

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  6. Oh, this is so awesome. Well done, John. I just lost my dad very unexpectedly 4 weeks ago. Life is oh so short, hug them all tightly while you can.

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    1. I'm so sorry, Shari. Hugs to you.

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  7. Oh jeez, THE FEELS. How ridiculously awesome.

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  8. Dang it! Right in the feels.

    I'd always had a strained relationship with my Mother but when my dsil called and said mom didn't have much time left I made the trip. One of the hardest things I've ever done. I stayed a week and saw her every day. Mom passed away the day after I left.

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  9. Oh, I am so happy for John...may your family know peace and joy.

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  10. Glad it's working out for them. I went 17 years without speaking to my father. My wife thought she'd try to get us back together before our wedding. He was still a jerk after all that time. Its now been another 15years since then. Sorry to say it didn't work out for me. But very happy that it is for you and John.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that, but glad you made the right choice. It takes a lot of courage to cut out the bad relationships, so hugs & kudos to you, my friend.

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  11. Lovely story! Glad it worked out.

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  12. I didn't know my dad, and my relationship with the aunt and uncle who raised me is strained (they don't accept my partner because he's transmale). It's always good to see good people repairing relationships. I wish you and your dad the best, John.

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  13. Dang, awful lot of dust in the air this evening. Well done John (and I hope the rest of the trip smooths out.)

    TXRed

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  14. This is terrific. All that travel, a happy dad = priceless.

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  15. Wishing John safe travels home!

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  16. Wonderful story. There's no denying that they're all three from the same family. Such a resemblance. I lost my Daddy to cancer two weeks before the events of 9/11. I still miss him terribly.

    Now I need to have a discussion with my husband about turning up the thermostat so high. I am completely sweating through my eyeballs.

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  17. Oh the feels!!! That is so great that the relationship is being repaired and suprise flights to Maine.. I love it... now i have to talk to rose and ask why she is cutting onions at work >.>

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  18. wonderful! thanks so much for the fabulous story on this fine monday.
    :)

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  19. I think this is absolutely wonderful. My parents divorced at a very early age and I only have a few scant memories of my father from my childhood. Over the past couple of years, he had made a tiny effort to come back into my life. I just don't know that I can do it, or even want to do it. This is a man I've seen once since I was about 10 (I'm over 40 now), which was a chance run-in at a store - neither of us was 100% sure of who the other was, but he did approach me. Every childhood birthday and Christmas was spent wondering if he would call or stop by, even send a gift, and some point you put that person out of your mind, you wall them up in your mind so they can't disappoint or hurt you anymore. I truly feel like he's the one missing out, and I don't know if he deserves another chance, or if I'm willing to allow myself the chance to be hurt again. While I certainly don't know John's circumstances with his father, I applaud his brave leap across that broken bridge. Believe me, it can be a very scary jump to make.

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    1. John's parents also divorced when he was just a toddler, and he's had a rocky relationship with his dad most of his life. I can tell you as an observer that while the hurts never go away, John's much happier resolving what he can, and overlooking what he can't. He sees his dad as less of a father and more of a human being now - which sounds kinda bad, but in truth makes their relationship so much better.

      John also recognized that he would have a lot of regrets if he didn't try. Only you know what's best for you, of course, but you might start by asking yourself: if your dad died tomorrow, would you regret anything you *didn't* do? And hey, if the answer is is no, there's no shame in that. Life's too short to chase after toxic relationships. {{hugs}}

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  20. Just wonderful. Of course you know this makes us all heart John even more!

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  21. That is so sweet and made me tear up a bit :) I hope John gets home safe and sound and faster than my latest travel debacle (which got me home more than 75 hours after I should have been there...)!

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  22. This is what life is all about. Well this and cats. ;) -Melissa R.

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  23. Life goes by so quickly it's easy to let rifts drift deeper, to make a step toward filling them is the road less traveled. It's obvious the trip not only filled Tom with joy, but John too. I'm so happy for all of the family, and hope little moments of happiness for John and his father are more frequent. :-)

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  24. I'm so glad things went well for them. I hope John is home safe and sound by now. I'm just catching up on my Epbot fix after a very busy week, so surely he's home at this point. You've got yourself a good man there, Jen!

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