The Key With A Heart

I’m taking a break from my typical, albeit intermittent, “Monday Memes” post format today to talk about a key. A very specific key. A key that holds my heart…

As most of you know, my father passed away last October after a long illness. I still miss him a lot – and my mother, too – but I have come to accept “the natural order of things.” There is an emptiness now, with both my parents gone, that is hard to fill, hard to ignore. But I move forward and do my best to remember the good times, holding their love in my heart.

Most days, it’s just OK at best. Today it was a little rougher than normal.

See, today I attempted to remove the key to my parents’ house from my key ring. My family moved into that house in early December 1972, and my father passed away gently in that same house in October 2014. My Dad spent just under 43 years there, in a house he and my Mom both loved – our whole family loved it, actually. We all still do. Which is why today was kinda’ hard.

Today in one of my frequent grumble-y moments, I became frustrated trying to remove the fist-sized wad of keys and door openers that are MY keys from my back pocket. As I mumbled obscenities under my breath, I vowed to “fix that flippin’ key ring” when I got home. Sad thing is, when I tried, the only key I do NOT need on my key ring is the old key to my parents’ house. The very key I received as a “responsible fourteen-year-old man/boy” in December of 1972. A key that has been in my pocket virtually every single day of my life for now over forty-three years. I cannot let that key go, I just can’t…

keyThe key we are discussing looks NOTHING like the key above, of course. The key I cannot let go of is a nondescript, regular old house key with a triangular head. But – in my mind, and in my heart – that key is as magical and special as the heart-shaped key shown above. My key does hold my heart, and opens the door to a bahjillion memories, all created in that house…

My first “coming home drunk” (I passed out in the side flower bed and my Mom woke me up the next morning – not even kidding!) My first “sneak out and sneak back in” without my parents knowing (I’m sure they did). My first car accident (I ran over the mailbox at the top of our driveway as I was backing up and out). My first day on my first job (I was 15 – Mom dropped me off at work – so embarrassing!) My first cigarette “down by the creek.” Summer nights playing Jail Break (teenage hide-n-seek, a variation of Kick the Can). Late night “streaking” in my undies with the neighbor boys (it was the 70’s, after all, and we were too scared to get totally naked, LOL!)

Then there are forty-three Christmas gatherings and birthdays and Thanksgivings, all in the same house, all through the door opened by that key. When I close my eyes, I can still hear how the front door “opens” – there would be a small click as I turned the key. Then, when I opened the door, the weather stripping would creak a little. My Dad was always in the living room, in his recliner, and would always say, “Well, hello there, son” and – for whatever reason – it seems my Mom was ALWAYS at the kitchen sink, washing dishes (I think she was born wearing yellow Playtex rubber gloves). I would walk in, kiss my Dad then circle into the kitchen where my Mom would always say, “Well, here’s my big man” and then hug me really hard and kiss me.

I miss them, and I miss that house. And, weird as it sounds, I cannot give up that key.

Even though it no longer opens any physical door, it is an anchor for me. I look at that key and feel safe and loved and, well, home. I know I have shared before that keys hold a special meaning for me – this one certainly does. I suspect that if I am lucky enough to live to be one hundred, I will still be carrying that key and – if I am really lucky – I’ll also be carrying all the loving, beautiful memories it unlocks…

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Turn That Frown Upside Down, Mister

Lately my life has been a wee bit stressful. I totally get it – EVERYONE’s life is stressful but, selfishly, I am concerned mostly with my own. Suffice it to say that everyone’s life is composed of many moving parts; when they all coordinate and come together, well, that is magical. When they don’t, well, you have my life at the moment…

It will all work out. The Universe always takes care of me. Always. That said, it does tend to test me. Often. Actually, a lot more often than I would like. So today, I have decided to post a few random things that would make me smile. I hope they make you smile, too…

I like flowers. Gerbera daisies are one of my FAVORITE flowers. Maybe I will buy a bouquet for me and My Sweetie tomorrow…

Gerbera Daisy BouquetI am OFF work tomorrow. Maybe we will go to a matinee. Martin and I used to see 2-3 movies every week; now we haven’t gone to the theater in weeks…

CinemarkMaybe we should just get all dolled up and have a “Movie Date” on Friday. We could see a movie or two and grab a late lunch.

Two guysAfter the movie and lunch, we could indulge in something sweet. Weight Watchers be damned – I want something sweet, sticky and chocolaty, like these ‘smores cupcakes. Yum.

cupcakesGood golly, I DO love a great “baked good.” Finally, Halloween is coming. Martin and I have yet to assemble our costumes so maybe we need to get that process in motion – plus, Halloween is Martin’s FAVORITE holiday, so just seeing him get all excited makes me all excited, too…

HalloweenSo yeah, all these activities will make me smile and lift my spirits. And you know what the single, unifying thread is among all these things/activities? My amazing partner. Sigh… Maybe THAT’S the answer. I just need some one-on-one time with my Sweetie…

 

It’s Opening Day at “five – a blog”

Welcome to “five – a blog,” a personal year-long, online diary of my life.

Why a blog?  Well, I was inspired to create a blog for a few reasons, not the least of which is my loving and supportive life-partner Martin, who has always said I should share my thoughts with the world.  (He’s pretty awesome that way.)  I also always seem to have a lot of thoughts in my head and have been looking for a creative avenue to “let them out.” You see, my name is Tim and I am an interior designer, small business owner, uncle, partner, activist, friend, sibling – well, just so many “titles” that it is hard to list them all here. 

Above all, I’m just an average guy that has a voice and like all of us, would like people to hear it. 

I was also inspired by a sweet meme I saw on Facebook – it showed a jar with lots of small slips of folded paper inside, all bearing hand-written notes.  The meme caption suggested we write down everything good that happens to us and slip them inside the jar.  On New Year’s Eve, we are to open that jar and remember all the good that had happened during the preceding three hundred and sixty-five days.

This blog will be my jar…  We’ll just open it every day.

Finally, why “five?”  Well, I suppose I wanted a blog name that sounded mysterious and was not easy to decipher, nothing like “I HEART Fluffy Puppies” or “Breeding Exotic Reptiles for Fun and Profit.”  Too obvious for me.  I also wanted a blog name broad (meaning vague) enough that I wouldn’t be pigeon-holed into a narrow spectrum of topics to discuss.  And, being honest, the number five just keeps appearing in my life and sort of speaks to me.

Tim’s Short List of Five “Things” –

  1. I have a fondness for prime numbers; 1, 3, 5…
  2. I am a 50% partner (5-0) in a home furnishings store/design studio. 
  3. In November 2012, my business celebrated its five-year anniversary.
  4. On June 6, June 2013, I will be fifty-five years old (5-5).
  5. As part of my commitment to leading a healthier lifestyle, I am planning on losing fifty-five pounds (5-5).
  6. In August of 2013, I will celebrate my five-year anniversary with my beloved partner, Martin. Five amazing years.
  7. I have five nieces that are the joys of my life.  (I also have two nephews that I love like crazy as well but they didn’t fit the whole “5” thing I have going on…)
  8. I have lived for five decades and, if when my commitment to a healthier lifestyle becomes a success, I plan on living for five more…

So, there you go, just a few reasons for the five, and why I have decided to share my life and thoughts with you.  I hope you enjoy this project as much as I do.  On this first day of 2013, I am filled with hope, joy and optimism for the next 364 days.  Thanks for coming on this journey with me…

PS – I PROMISE I will commit to at least five days of entries…   😉