Sometimes It’s The Retelling That Sucks

Saturday afternoon someone asked me what I was doing for Father’s Day. I had actually forgotten that Father’s Day was coming up, so this conversation was yet another reminder for me regarding the fact that my father has been gone for ten and a half years. Somehow, my brain just wasn’t absorbing this holiday. Even today, I probably wouldn’t have even thought about it if someone in the grocery store hadn’t been discussing lobsters for her husband’s “Father’s Day cookout”. It legitimately went in one ear and out the other. I didn’t fully grasp it until late in the day.

Having to reply to the question, “What are you doing tomorrow for Father’s Day?” meant rehashing a wound. I blinked and said “Nothing. My father’s been dead ten and a half years.” The person automatically apologized, but the question didn’t bother me. It was the thoughts the question conjured up; those bothered me.

My father was not good at accepting gifts. One year we gave him a watch. He desperately needed a new one and it was given with a full heart, but he tried it on and flat-out told us to return it. I remember thinking “Wow. He can’t appreciate anything we do for him.” Because for years, my father would reject whatever we did for him. One year I got him a movie he asked for. I had actually pre-ordered it so he’d be able to enjoy it immediately on release day. About a week or so later I asked “Did you like it? Was it good?” A few days later, it arrived in the mail. I was not pleased. When I questioned him about this he said “I’ve seen it once. I won’t watch it again. Enjoy.” I was utterly dumbfounded. It didn’t matter what the gift was; there was always some sort of rejection attached to it. For me, someone who LOVES to give gifts, it was a slap in the face. I reached a point where I would only agree to cook a nice meal for him if he was choosing to visit.

A few years before he passed away, I got him tickets to a New York Yankees game in Philly as a Father’s Day gift, even though the game would be roughly two months later, if memory serves me correctly (I still have the ticket stubs somewhere.). I scored excellent seats, mainly because no one was attending Phillies games at the time, but being in close proximity to New York, there was a lovely mixed crowd of sports fans. Surprisingly enough, my Dad made the trip out to spend the weekend and we went to the game together. I had additional tickets, but my brother didn’t want to go.

When we got there, batting practice was still going on, so we got to enjoy it. Jimmy Rollins, I want you to know that my father’s first comment during that game was “The shortstop for the Phillies is an absolute STAR. He’s an incredible infielder.” He was so impressed. It was the truth. My father called it; Jimmy would go on to win a World Series with the Phillies in 2008 and was traded in 2014. You could have knocked me down with a feather when I saw that Gabe Kapler is the Phillies current manager, but I digress…

It was a blisteringly hot day, and my “perfect” seats were in direct sun the entire afternoon. Halfway through the game my father said “Now I know why I like my baseball at home.”, which I understood. He had gone to games as a kid, but he wasn’t well, and he thought he was masking this from everyone, but he was the worst liar.

We left the game early, worn out and badly sunburned. For me to get burned is a testament to how intense the sun was that day. I was completely covered in sunscreen and had a hat on. My father, in the midst of battling cancer, only wore sunscreen to pacify me and purchased a Phillies hat once he saw how necessary it was. My father, who never donned a single article of non-New York sports attire. It’s pretty funny when I think about it now. It was even funnier because he brought a hat back for my brother from the game. He threw it back at him and declared “I can’t be SEEN IN THAT!” My brother now works in and around Philly and cheers for Philly teams. I pretend not to know him when he does this. I currently live in Massachusetts, but you won’t ever catch me cheering for the Red Sox. Some things are sacrilegious.

A few years later, my father would be gone, less than two years after his brother passed away, also due to cancer. That day at the ballpark is one of the most prominent memories I carry because it wasn’t a negative experience. For maybe the second time in my entire life, that day, he was just a father with his daughter. I’m sorry my brother chose to pass on the experience, but maybe there was some cosmic reasoning involved.

Father’s Day opens up wounds for me. This year, I choose to put what I can behind me and move forward. Believe me, the last thing I need is another reminder.    

copyright © 2018 Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



I am very open and honest about the kind of relationship I had with my father. He passed away nearly ten years ago after a fifteen year battle with cancer. In the years leading up to his death, I was his support system, but ultimately a child shouldn’t learn, at any age, how much they mattered to a parent at said parent’s funeral.

Today I commend the good fathers out there, though all of my role models on that level are deceased. I wish my cousin a happy first Father’s Day, and I hope that every single Mom out there who plays both roles knows she’s a bad ass.

I hope I’ll be feeling more like myself soon and be back on a more normal posting schedule. I’m not okay, and that’s all I can say for now. I hope everyone had a great weekend. I spent part of my day in Boston visiting my sister, Britt. I’ll be telling you all about her in a future post. Many of you may already know her, but I’d like to tell my side of the story since I don’t know when or if she’ll get around to it. However, I can say it was good. I can’t wait until she comes back. 🙂

Father’s Day


You will find that I am almost completely silent on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I lost both of my parents within five months of each other between 2007 and 2008, so each holiday is difficult for me. My parents were young, making it all the more devastating.

I have a living, constant reminder of my father, but I don’t have one of my mother. People often assume I am exactly the same person as each of my parents and they’re wrong. I am not as ferocious as my father, though I have my moments. I am not as kind, caring, or anywhere near as compassionate as my mother. I simply lack the genetic make-up for those traits. I like to think I am the correct blend of their best qualities, but I’m highly aware that I inherited a fiery temper.

People think that when you lose your parents, you simply keep on living, that you don’t look back on their memory. They would be wrong, at least where I am concerned. There is no way for me to live without honoring the memory of the people I have loved and lost. To do less would be false, and I’m many things, but I’m not false.

On days like these, I can either ignore the issue completely or I suffer. Of course, I’ve been doing a lot of suffering lately, so I can only hope this coming week will be a better one.

To all the fathers, step-fathers, uncles, Grandfathers, & single parents who step up and handle the tough stuff, may today be a reminder of the appreciation bestowed upon you. To all the new Dad’s, welcome to parenting.



There is no nice way to say “I feel like shit.” I thought about it and decided I wasn’t going to attempt to gloss it over. That’s like buying heavily scented cat litter with the idea in mind that roses will make it all better. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, shit is still shit. Be it a feeling or an odor. (Okay, that was graphic. I apologize.)

I realized a few hours ago that with Father’s Day approaching this Sunday, it’s probably not doing a whole hell of a lot for my mood. My father passed away almost eight years ago after battling various forms of cancer for fifteen years. I always knew he’d die young, I simply never knew that it would have such an impact on me.


Finding a dead bird in my yard the other day didn’t do much to curb this gnawing feeling. I contacted the local authorities and by the time they got back to me, the bird was gone. Was it stunned? I don’t think so. It’s not often I find a bird face down anywhere, leave alone my back yard. It made me really sad. It wasn’t breathing, so I’m certain it wasn’t a magical vampire bird that was simply taking a nap.

For the past couple of years I’ve had a regular cat visitor (a big, black cat that I tried to take in myself when he was just a kitten roaming my yard) and while he appears to be well cared for, he’s a menace when it comes to other animals. I’ve yelled at this cat a few times to stop chasing cats and kittens all over the neighborhood, but as I said, he’s a menace. When he’s not peeing on my trees or the fence, he’s usually chasing the few stray or outdoor cats he is able to find on his daily jaunts.

The bird thing bothers me for a number of reasons. One, I have neighbors that shoot bunnies in their yard because they think it’s an acceptable way of “ridding themselves of pests”. They’re looking for food, they don’t know you’re an animal-hating asshole. Two, my brother neglected to tell me that he found a dead squirrel about a week ago when he was spraying for weeds. When I inquired as to why he didn’t tell me as soon as he found it, he said “I didn’t think you needed to know.” I didn’t know I needed coddling. Had I known it was there, I would have called animal control to make sure it was safe to remove it. If I wouldn’t leave a person there, I certainly wouldn’t leave an animal out like that either!

When I did call animal control yesterday to ask if the cat could be trapped, neutered, and released the woman I spoke to actually told me this: Are you ready cat lovers/owners? “All cats are feral.” Excuse me, you crazy bitch?! “It’s the circle of life and all that. Dogs are the only domestic animals in this world.” No, they’re NOT. Besides, I didn’t say I had a tiger in my back yard, you nut job!

While I can easily say that nine times out of ten, it’s the owner and not the dog, I don’t meet a lot of civilized, well-socialized dogs. Some, but not every single one. Family dogs tend to be better and those that receive a boatload of love and attention aren’t OCD about jumping on me, biting, or being aggressive. If a dog can listen to basic training commands, it’s probably not going to come flying down the street in an attempt to jump me. A lot of rescue dogs are traumatized in some way from previous life experience and are in fight or flight mode upon meeting new people, especially if their owners haven’t sought out training or done the training themselves. Dogs require a lot of work, but they’re not the only domesticated animal on this planet.

I’ve had cats my entire life, none of them have ever been feral. For this chick to actually state that as if it’s fact is ignorant as hell. Yes, cats are predators. That’s an actual fact, but I see my almost two year old cat and how completely uninterested she is in “the great outdoors”. You can open a door and she’s not running out into the heat or cold. She sits at the glass doors to the patio and watches the birds, bunnies, squirrels, etc., but she’s more bothered by flying insects than anything else. You should see how she reacts to a bee. Yeah, real feral.

Kitten is still a baby, so everything requires a vocalization and a physical reaction to the presence of other animals. If she comes across something, she will swat at it, she’ll cover it with her paws, but she’s not “going in for the kill”. She’ll certainly let me know something does not belong here and that I need to come and assist her, but she’s not vicious about it. Using the world “feral” to describe every single cat is irresponsible. It’s the kind of idiotic comment one can expect from the inhumane society, who are far more interested in killing for their paychecks then they are in rescuing and adopting an animal out to a good home.

I called a no-kill shelter and explained the situation to them. They don’t have enough manpower to come out and get this cat, so they referred me to another organization that can trap him, get him fully vetted and screened for any potential health issues, and then decide if he can be properly socialized and adopted out to someone. He doesn’t have a collar or a tag, but he’s a purebred cat. I’ve seen him since he was just a few months old, rolling around in my back yard and meowing for attention, but utterly fearless in how he’d watch me for hours. He doesn’t deserve to be put to sleep for being outside utilizing his predatory instincts, but if he’s without a microchip to let the rescue know who he belongs to, then he deserves a good home. If he’s going to be an outdoor cat, it’s safer for him to live with someone who is okay with that and will watch out for him.

It’s highly possible he didn’t kill either animal. However, it’s the most likely conclusion based on previous behavior. I’d rather find out who he belongs to or get him into a situation where he can be in a good home, as opposed to the alternatives. I’d hate for him to get hurt for any reason and I’d hate for anyone with a pulse to harm him, so all I can do is hope that the no-kill rescue gets back to me and that we can set up a trap. It’s way too hot for animals to be outside anyway, and with the expectation of a brutally hot summer, I’d feel better knowing that he’s safe indoors somewhere.

End of bizarre “crazy cat lady” rant.

Have a wonderful start to the weekend everyone!


copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.