The Lights That Guide You Home

It’s fucking insane that my kick ass Aunt Crazy Pants has been partying up above for nearly 365 days. Some moments, it feels like two years ago but mostly I still forget and think to pick up the phone to text or call and then remember I can only communicate via the red bird, a cardinal.

A song s-t-u-c-k in my brain like a worm the last couple of days has been “Fix You” by Coldplay from their X&Y album (if you haven’t heard it, stop what you’re doing and go download it or,  for those of you a tad more technologically challenged, click on the pink “Fix You” words above for a link to the video – you’re welcome. Now listen to it before reading the rest of this post).

I’ll wait.

Still waiting. (Uncle Toddy, have Gma’s second favorite grandchild help you. Mama CBXB, I will help you. Uncle Lew, you’re fucked unless Aunt Patti knows how to do it.)

OK, then.

In honor of Aunt Crazy Pants, raise those gin rickey’s (or Black Velvet and Diet 7Up, whichever you’re feeling) high in the air, as we celebrate how much we miss her and hate the fuck out of cancer in my mixed lyric rendition of the song.

Fix You

When you try your best

But you don’t succeed

When you get what you want

But not what you need

When you feel so tired

But you can’t sleep

Stuck in reverse

And high up above

Or down below

When you’re too in love

To let it go

But if you never try

You’ll never know

Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And we did try to fix you

Tears stream

Down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Tears stream

Down your face

When you lose something you can’t replace

Tears stream

 Down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And we don’t have to fix you

CBXB

 

One More Time, Mom

My beloved Aunt Crazy Pants passed away after a valiant fight against terminal lung cancer (after never smoking a goddamn cigarette in her life). By the time cancer was found through an unrelated surgery, it had already spread everywhere but her brain and she was given six months to a year to live last summer. Well, being a feisty little bitch, she survived with cancer 370 days.

Beat cancer for five extra days. Suck it.

Family and friends gathered to give life stealing cancer the middle finger, celebrating ACP with her favorite cocktails of Gin Rickeys, Black Velvet and margaritas.

Gin Rickeys all around.

Sharing stories of peeing our pants over shit she would say or do (when she literally shit her pants – like during a shopping trip at Target with her mom once. I just got an eye roll (sorry Gma) and a belly laugh (you’re welcome ACP) from the sky), witnessing tears running down her leg from laughing so hard and generally remembering the spirit this woman, mother, daughter, sister, crazy fun aunt and loyal friend to countless people sprinkled throughout our lives.

To say there’s a hole in my soul doesn’t do it justice, as my aunt was like a mother to me and I take after her in many lovely ways.

What I do know is:

I will carry on her klutziness (I fell into her closet after getting out of her bed the day after the funeral).

We also ruin phones the same. She dropped hers in a toilet, I run my over with cars. It’s a special talent.

I carry her ability to get tongue tied at any given moment (I asked a male co-worker at a new job if “these are the size of rubbers you wanted” – I forgot the word band after rubber).

Did I seriously say that?!

I have the ease of her unabashed bluntness and no fear of confrontation (she deemed me the biggest bitch of the family before she passed. I know, so sweet).

Wanna hear it or not, we tell it like it is.

I will honor her by eating double what I normally do during trips to the Iowa State Fair.

Two for me.

Being a crazy aunt is something I’m already all over.

Or rather, they’re all over me.

I was born with her dramatic flair for life, so that torch was lit long ago within me.

Jazz hands for life.

While it’s important to remember that when someone may no longer be among us on earth, our relationship with them can still exist, it’s also important to remember the quality of life given during an especially grueling battle with cancer. ACP’s youngest son R. Nasty made sacrifices I can’t say many young adults his age – let alone any adult – would do to care for his dying mother. I mean before being diagnosed with cancer, she was already the most dramatic woman on the planet (like bitching about “having” to pack to go to Hawaii – or any other fabulous destination…yeah, poor thing), so you can imagine the sheer joy the magnification of her theatrics became.

Flair for fun dramatics.

R. Nasty moved in with his mom (all young men’s dream come true) being closest in proximity and able to make accommodations to do so, while his other brothers and extended family lived further away.

All other Bros and Hos live far away.

He answered every time she hollered with a patient, “yes Mother,” sauntered into her room after every bell ring (a sound that will surely haunt him for the rest of his days), removed an ice cube each time he accidentally put four instead of three into her water and endless other duties that come along with caring for a cancer patient.

The true meaning of ‘got your back’.

My point is, this dude is a fucking saint. Throughout all the treatment routines, doctor’s appointments, therapy, surgeries, etc, ACP’s absolute favorite time was watching The Late Show with Stephen Colbert with R. Nasty every weeknight. Even if she dozed off in the evening as she got more cancer riddled, she wanted to be woken up to watch Stephen Colbert with her son.

Wake me up before you go go!

In the evening on August 31, 2017 my feisty aunt was taken from home hospice to the hospital. That night, as the end was drawing near, the room full of family was clearing out and R. Nasty leaned in and said, “We’re going to watch Stephen Colbert one more time, Mom.” And that they did. She died at 3am on Friday, September 1st, 2017.

While we’ve partied in every way possible in honor of Aunt Crazy Pants’ love of life, I’d like to acknowledge the sacrifices her son made so selflessly. When asked about it he always says (and still does), “it’s my honor to take care of my mother.”

                 

I hope my cats step up to the plate like that for me when the time comes.

Yeah…I’m fucked.

Cheers to the craziest fun aunt I got to call mine. We all miss you something terrible.

Life already isn’t the same.

I love you.

CBXB

 

Griswold Family Style Fourth of July

Driving a boat at Lake of the Ozarks…

Party Chick

…is a party girl from Tennessee.

Party Girl

As cousins gather every Fourth…

Cousins

…to be with family

The Griswolds

From Jell-O shots…

Jell-O

…with whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

Constant fights over the mic…

Mic Fight

to sing karaoke.

Karoake King

Trivial Pursuit winners, always reign supreme!

Winners!

From new tattoos…

Tattoo

…to pool dunks…

Dunk

…with drunken dancers around a hunk.

Hunk

Our favorite toy is the aqua bar…

Aqua Bar

…that prevents us from floating too far.

Floater

 I’m proud to be from my family!

Family

Where at least I can be me.

Beerpoo

And they never, ever let me forget

Just how handy my booty can be.

Handy

Cousins blowing their muscles up…

Blow Hards

…next to me

Muscles

so I won’t cry and feel left out.

Cry Baby

There ain’t no doubt I love my clan –

Clan

Thank God for my family!

Fam

Here’s hoping your version of the Griswolds has a safe and booze filled 4th.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Crazy Pants and Crazy Aunts

 

Being a crazy pants, entertaining aunt may be the death of me but it’s sure a lot of goddamn fun. A recent trip back home to Iowa was full of celebrations – and that’s just the kind of days this chick needed.

My Aunt Crazy Pants had a birthday a few weeks ago and although she’s kicking cancer ass, she still found her party pants. My sister (the not always happy about being my partner in crime but does it anyway) and Mama CBXB were able to join in on the festivities.

Fab four.

Birthday Queen.

Naturally, I couldn’t resist adding a little bit of fuchsia to the birthday bash.

I now want to grow a mustache. Only in the fuchsia hue.

We even forced Mr. Jakers to get in on the shenanigans.

We kept the thrown down going the following day because, well, why the hell not stretch out a birthday for as long as possible?

Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

It was also my Aunt Crispie’s actual date of birth, so it was a double party whammy. Naturally our trashtastic family always uses the ever classy red solo cups for guzzling beverages of the alcoholic sort.

A trio of fun aunts. You figure out the crazy one.

Being the fun aunt just may be the reason of permanent paralysis below my waist… but so worth it.

A back adjustment the old-fashioned way.

One of the perks of being a short adult is my capability of stuffing myself into an extra-large kids t-shirt. Therefore, I get to wear matching tops with Princess B while she still thinks it’s cool.

It’s party time!

We ended Aunt Crazy Pants’s celebration week with a trip to trivia night at the local grocery store (yes, that is what we do in small town Iowa and it’s fucking fun). Although my brain cells only provided one correct question of 20, our team “The Rats,” were able to slip into second place while having a laugh riot.

Trivia tomfoolery.

Being that I live 1,000 miles away in Nashville, cramming in all celebrations close to my visit date is common. Therefore, Santa made a special visit just for me – even with a small, glittery tree.

Christmas in March.

We also scrunched in an early birthday bash for yours truly, so I really raked it in (don’t worry if you haven’t picked anything out for me yet – you still have time and yes, I will provide a list).

The more the merrier in March!

Any Iowa birthday party of mine isn’t complete without a trip to see my bro-in-law, Dr. Cocktail, who makes libations that rival any mixologist on the planet (and no, that isn’t an overstatement).

Manhattan man.

Mine. All mine.

While there were only four adults present at the kitchen island, it sort of seemed a fraternity party took place when we were winding down. But that only means it was an evening of amusement, yes?

A party of four…or 44?

Regardless of the time my head hit the pillow, I had the two most adorable alarm clocks bust in and interrupt my beauty sleep with their not-so-spot-on rooster imitations.

Cockadoodle don’t.

Talk about a fun aunt. I went to visit my great aunt Marge, whose husband of 67 years recently passed away. Out of the five sisters in her family, her husband was the last to pass and holy shit was he was one gem of a person. He basically became the surrogate hubby to the four widowed sisters – much to his (dismay, perhaps?) delight.

Uncle Bill’s ashes sit in an urn next to Marge’s TV stand. She pointed at it and said, “I’m going in there with Bill but I gotta lose some weight first.”

A BV and water party night.

If there’s anyone I can think of emanating in this lifetime, it’s this spunky, hilarious broad. She’s 88, looks maybe all of 68 and acts 38.

She can also sing karaoke from the couch.

And is obviously true relation with our family tradition of Jell-O shots.

More whipped cream for you?

After my Iowa party parade, I made it to the airport and back to Nashville just in the nick of time, as inches of snow were starting to accumulate.  Although, I was a tad disappointed I didn’t get to play with my two faves in the snow.

Snow bunnies.

However, I’m not sure I would have fit in with this “angel”.

Angelic my ass.

Here’s hoping your day is filled with a little fun, a little crazy or a whole lotta both.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!