Laughing ’til You Vomit in Your Cousin’s Kitchen Sink & Crying Healing Tears in a Cemetery

Art by Yago Hortal

Art by Yago Hortal

My trip home to Georgia was indeed a spectrum of emotions as wide and at times off the chain as spelled out in the blog title. If I’ve ever laughed so hard I’ve thrown up in a kitchen sink, it’s been a loooooooong time. But we were having such a good time at my cousin’s house, and I had a mouthful of sweet tea and had to run and spit it out because of all the joking around we were doing. The next thing I knew I was laughing so hard I just vomited all over the dirty dishes still waiting to be cleaned from lunch. She didn’t even miss a beat and told me I didn’t have to clean the dishes, but I had to made sure all the vomit went down the drain. So with tears still streaming down my face from the laughter, I did just that. And speaking of tears, there were many healing tears shed on on this trip. But I had to shed the tears to deal with the feelings that the vodka would’ve been numbing otherwise, and so that’s what I did.

"Lost Weekend," Miles Aldridge, 2011.

“Lost Weekend,” Miles Aldridge, 2011.

 

This was a trip that I was supposed to make last month and I didn’t because I wasn’t sober at the time. It’s true what they say about everything working out in God’s own perfect timing; had I gone home last month, I wouldn’t have gotten to see half the people I got to see on the trip home this month, nor would I have cared about seeing them because I would’ve been perpetually buzzed the entire trip home. I saw people I’d not seen since I moved away–people whom I’ve kept up with and who care about me a great deal, and vice versa. And it was great to see them and tell them thank you for their support in person. That being said, here’s a few of those people…

Bekah and me at her Perfect Pickins booth in downtown Dallas last Saturday...we've been friends since senior year of high school and can laugh about pretty much anything together.

Bekah and me at her Perfect Pickins booth in downtown Dallas last Saturday…we’ve been friends since senior year of high school and can laugh about pretty much anything together.

My nephew Luke and me. He turns two today and I'd not seen him since he was six months old. He's a Southern gentleman and lives in NC with his parents...go Duke!

My nephew Luke and me. He turns two today and I’d not seen him since he was six months old. He’s a Southern gentleman and lives in NC with his parents…go Duke!

I crashed Father's Day at my old supervisor's home...this is Nilka, Mr. Joel, and my old supervisor Brandon. We had a great time catching up and I didn't feel like I was imposing much since we used to spend New Year's Eve together when we were working audit shift at my last hotel in Atlanta (we used to toast sparkling grape juice together at midnite and everything).

I crashed Father’s Day at my old supervisor’s home…this is his wife Nilka, their son Mr. Joel, and my old supervisor Brandon. We had a great time catching up and I didn’t feel like I was imposing much since we used to spend New Year’s Eve together when we were working audit shift at my last hotel in Atlanta (we used to toast sparkling grape juice together at midnite, so this was just another holiday spent together).

This is my youngest sister Alison and me after a loooooong day of moving and arranging stuff in her new, very lovely home in Atlanta. We both look like crap, but whatever. It was really good to see her and to meet her roommate as well.

This is my youngest sister Alison and me after a loooooong day of moving and arranging stuff in her new, very lovely home in Atlanta. We both look like crap, but whatever. It was really good to see her and to meet her roommate as well.

Speaking of the fam, here's the family pic we took on Father's Day.

Speaking of the fam, here’s the family pic we took on Father’s Day.

Here's Granny and me at her retirement home. She's doing remarkably well considering everything, so I was glad to get to visit with her a couple of days.

Here’s Granny and me at her retirement home. She’s doing remarkably well considering everything, so I was glad to get to visit with her a couple of days.

Cousins, take #1...Kalli Rae was tired and so we had to rig a pose where she could sit in her mama's lap for the pic.

Cousins, take #1…Kalli Rae was tired and so we had to rig a pose where she could sit in her mama’s lap for the pic.

Cousins, take #2...Kalli Rae decided to smile for this one. (Noah and Jacey swapped places for these two pics and both of them are expert picture-takers...much better than me, that's for sure.)

Cousins, take #2…Kalli Rae decided to smile for this one. (Noah and Jacey swapped places for these two pics and both of them are expert picture-takers…much better than me, that’s for sure. Kalli Rae is sitting in Cousin Kristy’s lap.)

And it's only appropriate I got one alone with Cousin Stephanie, since she's the one who made me throw up in her sink. (No, it actually just worked out that we had to take one with just the two of us, between the kids swimming, etc.) A fun time was had by all, vomit included.

And it’s only appropriate I got one alone with Cousin Stephanie, since she’s the one who made me throw up in her kitchen sink with whatever she said that made me laugh so hard. (No, it actually just worked out that we had to take one with just the two of us, between the kids swimming, etc.) A fun time was had by all, vomit included. And I remember exactly what she said that made me laugh so hard, but it’s such a convoluted story that it’ll remain between us.

This is my near and dear friend Shannon. Shannon and her husband Wes have just moved back to Tifton with their two sons, so I can't wait to get to see her more often on my visits home. She has been a great friend to me since high school, and has been one of the first people I've called each time I've sobered up. Hopefully I won't have to make that call to her any time soon if I can stick with it this time around.

This is my dear friend Shannon. Shannon and her husband Wes have just moved back to Tifton with their two sons, so I can’t wait to get to see her more often on my visits home. She has been a great friend to me since high school, and has been one of the first people I’ve called each time I’ve sobered up. Hopefully I won’t have to make that call to her any time soon if I can stick with it this time around. She’s given me great advice each time, and we had a good time catching up over lunch the other day.

Overall, it was a good trip home. I even got to an AA meeting at the church I grew up in. It was a horrible meeting with mostly court-ordered participants in attendance, and so I got up and left halfway through and went to visit the grave of my friend’s mom who died 10 years ago. I’d never visited her grave and that was something else which was really hard to do, but which I’m now glad I did. There’s plenty of things in life which we don’t want to do, but we need to do, especially if we ever intend to emotionally heal. I sat there in that cemetery–her mom’s headstone is actually a bench–and just sobbed for about 1o minutes. Not just about her mom–who was my Sunday School teacher in college and like a second mom to me in many ways during that period of my life–but about a lot of things. I sobbed so hard that some poor old pepaw visiting a grave about 30 feet away just walked back to his truck–I wanted to holler and ask him what he thought cemeteries were for if not for crying. But I needed to sit there and cry and just let it all out. I realized all the reasons I missed my plane home last month. And then I realized all the reasons I got on the plane and came home this month. And I’m so glad I did, and I’m so glad I did it sober. I’m so glad I did it sober.

That’s all for this week. Hope everyone’s enjoying their summer. Don’t forget to take time to smell the roses, or whatever other flowers are in bloom. Even if it’s raining. I enjoyed seeing a bit of rain while I was home. And all the grass, and the pine and pecan trees. But it also felt good to land in Vegas and feel like I was back home here as well. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

brt

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