November 13, 2009

A celebration… of a death…

Filed under: Uncategorized — sbj @ 6:38 pm

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the passing of my grandfather (AAKA* Farfar – http://puntiglio.com/blog/?cat=26).  I went into the day not knowing exactly what to expect. You see, 8 days prior I observed the 20th anniversary of my mothers passing (http://puntiglio.com/blog/?p=495 – why yes I do write about just about everything ;) ), and it was at all not easy, I sort of expected the same to be true for yesterday.

But it wasn’t.  As the day moved on, and my reflections deepened, I came to realize that, unlike my mother, I had closure with Farfar.  I was by his side many times over his last few months.  We spoke (and argued), shared time and space as I prepared for what was to come.

I wrote, before his death, of my life and times with him, reinforcing in my mind and in my spirit his place in my life.  I spoke with other family members about Farfar, exchanging stories, anticipating life after his passing, bonding in ways we had not in years, a particular point that hit me with great force.

Even in dying, Farfar had a unifying effect on the family.  So, by the end of the day, a day I had anticipated would be difficult and mournful, I came to realize that I was actually celebrating his anniversary.

Much like mom, I miss Farfar horribly. However, with him, I was able to say goodbye, to close the book and, willingly and knowingly, start the next chapter in my relationship with him.

Yesterday was a good day…

November 4, 2009

Its a contest!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — sbj @ 8:33 pm

Pandora contest… here’s the dirt!

My pandora stations are created by me selecting a specific song by a specific artist (as opposed to simply an artist).  So, the way the contest will work is this.  I will start posting the current song on a particular station I am listening too, and will continue to do so until someone has correctly identified the station (or until I start losing followers because os music spam ;) )

There will be two possible correct answers for each contest a) the artist that the station is based upon and b) the artist and song title the station is based upon.  Only one prize will be given per contest, to the first correct answer.  In other words, if the station is based on Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order… and someone blurts out New Order, the contest is over… there will be no “b” prize.  Similarly, if someone blurts out New Order Perfect Kiss, the contest will be over… with an “A” prize given out for getting the artist right and no prize or penalty for the song.

Why, you might be asking, would a person agonize over the song when the artist alone would assure vistory?  Because the prize is bigger, that’s why!!

So, lets talk about those prizes.  The “A” prize is an iTunes $15 gift cert, the “B” prize is an iTunes $25 gift cert.  You will have to be willing to provide delivery information if you win. As much as I’d like to visit all of my friends and readers… I’m not going to hand deliver :)

The contest will take place on Twitter, so if you follow me elsewhere, make sure you follow me there as well @sorenj for those of you non-Twitter friends and followers. The contest will have the hashtag #ksbj

So, that’s the deal.  I’m not exactly sure how often I will do this, and I know I will not be doing it on a regular schedule (i.e. a particular time on a particular day)… you’ll just have to keep your ears and eyes on the ground… or at least to my Twitter stream :)

If you have any questions ask them here in comments so everyone can see the question and answer :)

Good luck!

I love you…

Filed under: Uncategorized — sbj @ 4:56 am

It was 1977 in Ft Collins Co., I think, I could be wrong (about the year, it was certainly Ft Collins).  It was about 2:00am (give or take an hour).  I was sound asleep, until she woke me up to see the snow.  It was amazing, so we, on a school night, went for a walk.  At the end of that walk we wound up at a city park making snow angels and playing on the usually overcrowded play ground by ourselves until sunrise (give or take an hour or two).

I remember it like it was yesterday (give or take 40 years).  The thrill of being awake and playing in the snow in the middle of the night.  Going to school the next day and telling all of the other kids what I had been doing all night.  Perfecting snow angel after snow angel; the entire playground was covered with them when we left.

I remember asking her why we were allowed to play so late on a school night, and she said something like “because it’s the first snow, and you don’t miss an opportunity like this because you might be tired the next day.”

When we were still living in California, before the move to Colorado we drove half a day to do a 7 mile run together.  When we got there, she realized she had forgotten her running shoes and nothing other than her hiking boots to run in.  She completed the race.  They sent her a certificate “women ages 25-35, wearing hiking boots – first place.” (Well, it said something like that, I don’t remember the exact words).

Ten or fifteen years later, I was in New York to run the marathon and got food poisoning the night before.  I spent the entire night before the race in the bathroom getting sick.  I believe the term for what I looked like the next morning is “death warmed over.”  I completed the race.  I got sick a couple of times on the course, and did not have a very good time, but I finished the New York Marathon.

Several times over they years people have asked me why I ran that day and my response has always been the same, “I didn’t train for all those months, and fly over 2000 miles to New Your to not run the marathon.”

After some 20 hours on a train, when we arrived in Canberra Australia, we could not find a place to stay.  She spent a good hour on the phone, calling hotel after hotel; hostel after hostel.  The whole time with two children, 14 and 11, looking to her for a solution.  I remember her coming out of the phone booth across the station from us, throwing her hands in the air above her head, making a human “Y” and singing across the station at the top of her voice “we’re gonna stay at the… Y-M-C-A” complete with all of the necessary hand gestures.

We stood together at the top fo Ayers Rock, we shared a Singapore Sling at Raffels hotel in Singapore (where the drink was invented), we shopped for Thai silk at Jim Thompsons shop in Bankok and visited Koh Samui before the rest of the world knew it existed (you had to take an overnight boat just to get there… now people fly in directly).

This woman showed me the world, and how to relentlessly grasp everything it had to offer.  From lessons learned at a random grave site in the heart of the Outback (http://puntiglio.com/blog/?p=263) to a sense of conviction I didn’t even recognize as coming from her at the time, and so much more, she made me what I am today.

Twenty years ago, today, she died on that same Thai island, peacefully in her sleep.  Gone far too soon, a mother that never lived to see her children fully blossom; but who, none the less, shaped them into the people they had no choice but to eventually become.

I am Penny Fuersts son, I carry her and her legacy within me everyday.

I love you, mom….

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