crying, smiling, singing, loving. magic.

My dad has had his moments.  By that, I mean he’s a quirky, silly guy, but every once in a while, he’ll blow you out of the water with sweetness.

For the rest of this story to make any sense, you must read this old blahg post:

And if you refuse to do so [being difficult], just know that the most amazing gift I’ve ever received was that my father stood up in our living room a few days before Christmas and sang me a song.  A song about love.

He ended the song [me in tears], telling me that I would have to learn it one day and sing it with him.

I said, “Of course!”  I thought, Noooo effing way.  Too embarrassing.  I can’t sing!

My father’s birthday was on Tuesday and I dreamed of being there for his big 60th.  I even designed the invitations for his big bash that is this weekend [today].  But it was not in the cards… and by “the cards”, I mean, “the bank”… It was not in the bank.

Text and calls went back and forth about how I was going to be missed and how as a family, we just couldn’t make it work this time for a visit.

And then something very unfortunate happened.  A family who we [evan and myself… oh my gourd, i just became a “we”er… get me some adult diapers… this is a problem] were housesitting for had their father pass unexpectedly.  It was tragic.  In the process of it all, the family [the daughters] paid Evan and myself a generous amount of money… money for the whole time we were supposed to have watched the house.  It was too nice.  It brought tears.

– Evan, we have to give that back.

– They’re dealing with a lot right now.  I think it would be less of a hassel if we just kept it.

– …What if we used it to go see my dad?… for his 60th.

– I think the girls would actually really appreciate us using the money for that.

So we did.  It was the night of my dad’s actual birthday, a Tuesday and I called him to wish him a happy day.

– Happy birthday, Daddy!

– Thanks.  It’s been a great one.  Your mom and I are drinking wine and making dinner.

– Oh, that’s great.  I wish I could be there.

– Me too, Rocky.  You know, I had this little day dream that you were coming here to surprise me for my birthday, but I realized it’s just not in the cards.  It would have been so great, but I know that you’re doing your best up there and would be here if you could.

– Yeah, I so wish it could have happened!  I love and miss you guys.  Have a happy rest of your birthday.

– Thanks.  I love you too, Rocky.

And I hung up.  I looked over to Brittnee [my amazing friend from college who picked me up from the airport] who was driving me to my parent’s house… to surprise them.

– Did you hear that?!  He’s on to me!

– No, he’s not.

– No, I don’t think he actually is… but it was close.

Brittnee and I stopped at one of my favorite mexican restaurants.  We had a margarita [to calm my nerves] and then it was time… time to go show up at my parent’s front door.

I was so unbelievably nervous.  I don’t know why.  I’ve never really surprised anyone like this before.

Brittnee pulled up, dropped me off…

– I’ll do a big lap around the block and then come back.

– Okay.  Thank you so much!

– You’ll do great.

– Thanks.

I walked up to the door, shaking.

I rang the doorbell.

Momma opened the door, took one look at me and screamed…

– Oh my god!

She looked like she had seen a ghost… she did not run towards me… she backed away in shock… walking backwards, with her eyes bigger than I’d ever seen them.  She shrugged her arms heavy to her sides, looked up, mouth open in shock and turned in a few circles.  Then she backed to the living room and said…

– Jim!  Get over here!  Get off the phone!  Or, don’t get off the phone… just come here!

Dad came over to the hallway and screamed…

– Ahhh!  Rachel’s here!  I gotta go!

…and threw the phone down.

I was laughing the whole time.  They started laughing, smiling so big.

I was still standing on the front porch.  They came and hugged me, laughing hysterically in disbelief.

They wouldn’t stop hugging me, but I wouldn’t come inside…   I kept saying…

– No!  Stop!  I had this all planned!  This wasn’t how I planned it!  Hold on!  Stop!  STOP.

They stopped and took a few steps back and then I took a deep breath and started singing…

– When you find yourself alone… No way of getting home…

And I was the first to burst… I started crying, but carried on through the whole song.  My parents joined in and we all sang together.  It was nothing short of magic…

When you find yourself alone
No way of getting home
Wrap yourself in a blanket of stars
My love is there It’s the night that always burns
The day will take its turn
Picture my arms around your neck
My love is there

My love is there
It can find you anywhere
You’re gonna learn just how to trust
My love is there

If nothing’s going right
Fear sleeps with you and I
Oh, remember this if nothing else
My love is there

My love is there
It can find you anywhere
You’re gonna learn just how to trust
My love is there

Oh, you’re gonna learn just how to trust
My love is there

Crying, smiling, singing, loving.  Magic.  Perfect.

I came in, we laughed and hugged more.  Brittnee came back by with my stuff.  [p.s. Evan had gone to his friend’s house in Austin.]  We all chatted for a while and then Britt took off.

The three of us sat in the kitchen, drinking wine, listening to music, smiling, catching up, laughing.  Every time I would leave the room, I would hear them say something along the lines of…

– I still can’t believe it.

– The best.  Just the best.


Ryland [my little bro… four inches taller than me] came home from the rec center from playing basketball and I hid behind the front door.  He tried to open the door.  I pushed it shut.  He tried to open it.  I held it shut almost all the way.  He shoved, I shoved, he pushed, I pushed and finally I popped out from behind the door and said…

– What the hell, dude?!

He smiled so big and said…

– Wait.  Are you kidding me?


We all stayed up too late, laughed so hard, danced, ate, smiled, loved.  It was perfect.

And then Ryland went to bed and we all stayed up later and it got to the point of the night were you just have to pour another glass of wine, start a kitchen dance party and take pictures of yourself.

The night came to an end, but it will live in infamy.  So special.  Magic.  Thank you, sweet family, for a perfect homecoming evening/night.  Every minute of it was worth the trip.


3 thoughts on “crying, smiling, singing, loving. magic.”

  1. case, sorry to make you bawl like a baby… in the fetal position… for days…

    travis, they will! maybe not in the exact same way, but i know niko and the soon-to-be will have this same love inside them for their daddy.

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