What Your Good Book Says

Christmas as only Avery can deliver it.

You really should read the entire book
You really should read the entire book
Well...yes...indeed...my mom went crazy at Christmas...wheeling her cart down the aisles of Target.  No, "wheeling" is wrong. Her cart "sauntered," while she tossed stuff in it, not knowing what that stuff was or who it was for. Pure instinct based on color and typeface, and, as if it were some giant, Zen puzzle, the things in that cart would sort themselves into piles for people; either gifts for those people themselves, or gifts those people could give to the others in their lives. 
Once upon a time there was this year no one could find Cabbage Patch Dolls anywhere. Somehow, my mom got her hands on some Cabbage Patch dolls for her grand-daughters. I thought that was the year I realized the power of my mom. It was epic. 

Now and again, at Christmas, there is a toy...this craze...a "I have to buy" lust that can't be dampened...people desire those toys like alcoholics crave a drink and my mom could procure the cool toys...always...the toy that every child in the United States wanted. 

Year after year, my mom could get "things" and it was like she knew "someone," like she was "connected" into that world where "things" fell off of "trucks."  

After twenty-two years of marriage, my dad told my mom he was gay and that he wanted a divorce.  My mom was blindsided...five kids later. She didn't have a clue what those late nights at "The Office" were about.  (For the record, "The Office" was a bathhouse in downtown Minneapolis and married gay men thought the irony was, well, ironic in a funny way.)  

What are you going to do? Men are pigs. They have always been pigs and they always will be pigs, at least, here, in the United States. 

After five kids and twenty-two years of marriage a lot of women would have gone...well...Hiroshima...imagine the guano of three billion bats wound up into one woman...my mom worked past her anger, past her overwhelming feeling of total rejection, past her sadness that her adult life had been a lie; at least the sober parts that mattered had been a lie.
Then...one day...my mom let my father back into the house on the weekends and holidays so we could have a dad. It feels now like it was almost immediate.  I can't imagine it was that smooth, but I do know that it didn't take a year before she had worked out a way for him to see us, and a way for her to not, well, kill him. Given that my mom's A.A. sponsor was at every major holiday and family event...well, work that one out for yourself.

Talk about a gift that goes well beyond any cart you could fill up at Target. And, as they say in the commercials, it's a gift that keeps giving; the older I get the more I realize just how my mom's present runs clean to the bone.  

I realize this seems pretty one-sided and you're probably thinking harsh thoughts about my father. That's understandable. This is short piece, and let's face it, you really don't want to read pages and pages about this, because you're an American. So there's not much I can do to reverse your perspective, after having created that perspective in the first place.
Let me just say, simply, that my parents were really wonderful friends to each other; I don't mean the disgusting "reality television" version of what "friends" has become; I don't mean the kind of disturbingly empty "friendship" you have with your best friend either. I'm talking about the kind of friendship that is cultivated from honesty, and observing the love underneath is blindingly beautiful.  

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Panglonymous December 14, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Nice piece, Dan. Were your folks playful with each other? Do Averys laugh easily?
Dan Avery December 14, 2013 at 02:51 PM
thanks Pang. I think we do laugh easily. and I think they were playful in their own way.
Lazlo December 17, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Beautiful........and I love the best friend line.......
Dan Avery December 17, 2013 at 09:23 PM
thank you, my brother!
Carl Petersen III December 18, 2013 at 09:10 PM
All families are unique, some more than others. Thanks for sharing.
Dan Avery December 18, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Thanks for reading me, Carl. Appreciate it.


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