about Love….

"Maximum" the five pound gaurd dog!

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

A very tricky word in our society is love….a very tricky word in my family is love.
Its kind of like this little dog in the photo. I know the dog loves me-heck,I love him….I have ever since he became mine.
This little guy is the first out in the driveway when he hears my truck drive up-and the way he runs around after I get out of the truck-and every time theres the ritual of him showing me how fast he can run….and the way he hops on my leg to get me to pick him up,well-thats because he loves me! And he can take that teensie tongue of his and work it a mile a minute on you as if he’s systematicly washing you,he is that intense! And you look into this sweet little face and you see his cute little eyes looking up at you-and his face,you cannot resist that face-and you just want to kiss that little guy…..but when you do his little teeth grab a hold of your face like some little miserable sea monster and your immediate reaction is to want to wring the darned things little neck.
Thats kind how I feel the love from my family..
I’ve written about this before-how my mother kept going on and on about it should have been me when my baby brother was killed-we followed his hearse from our home outside of Washington DC to the family graves up in Pennsylvania and all the way there that is the thing that sticks in my head the most. She was saying that because I had been refusing to go to high school in our district-a story that has a reason I have yet to explain in detail….my lifes story is so fucked up that it’d be hard to put this in too,no one could believe this is all true,yet it is!
No one spent any time consolling me….I was left to do that alone.
I dont even want to remember the few months I got to spend with my brother Frank on board ship,but that will never go away any more than my memory of his last words to me-“Jay,you were such a disappointment”. He died the next day being bitter about me to the end and yet it was his actions that got me sent to barracks D and where my life was completely ruined from there on out.
I thought when I was asked if I wanted to be stationed with my brother that it would be wonderful and we’d be pals and things would grow from there. That was never the case.
My father! The very one in life I’ve always wanted to please and to be something for,to no avail….once I drove over a hundred miles to express how much I loved him and how afraid I was that he was going to die before I had a chance to say so. He looked at me blankly-no expression at all. To this day I can promise if I telephoned my parents house my father would never talk to me even though he answers the phone every time-it is an immediate reaction that he does when he hands the phone over to my mother .
Ive got another brother-my only living brother….who never calls me just to talk or never comes to visit as easily as he and wife could-they dont live that far! Yeah,there has been some occasion….but not the frequent visits one could expect. One night on one of those seldom visits I was showing him some photos of some of the scaffolds I had built-he was dumbfounded and did not know that I had done such…just like my father who has no idea of the achievements Ive made….or how I did not give up when I became homeless with my wife and kids,and how I walked all these things home to build a roof over our heads,25 miles away from anything!
My father,as I have written before-is sick,he has cancer…he is in his eighties. I love him and weep about him too frequently and about what is lost and will never regained between him and I. Soon he will be gone.
The other night…to talk about love,my brother Franks widow called-I think its the first time shes ever called me but to be honorable-its at least been ten years-I have not seen her or talked to her since over a year ago,that I am positive about because the time frame was when Dad was in the hospital the first time ever in our lives and his…the other night my phone rings and it is Franks widow who immediatly goes into if I want her to love me I will telephone my mother (I had stopped calling my mother several months ago)!! I am still trying to calculate the value of love because of all the other shit sticks Ive had to hold in the name of love,and this is the bargin that I’m offered-her love and yet Ive never heard such from this person before?? I need to add-so the reader can understand….I had decided to step aside from my family and give my my living brother and his wife the full realm of being my parents saviors….I made offers to move up there and no one responded,so there that answer is. …and then my last visit sometime in October last year I had to listen to how my fathers not so crazy about my son and that he actually doesnt like him…my son,by the way-is someone that LOVE dearly,both of my sons and my adopted son Jeff are the world and my golden joy-so it is hard to hear how my family feels about my sons. Its not hard to see and to recognize the fluid use of the word love is with them. My late brother Frank and his first wife adopted an infant-who is now a married woman serving in the Air Force and after my brother and his first wife divorced the young lady was being brought up in a deeply devout household and things went around the corner with my folks and the ex-wife…so the word was passed down among us that we arent having any more to do with them….the infant we all were showing love -by then a little girl – we showed love to is hardly even thought about in any manner of love that could be indentified with the meaning of love.
Im not sorry but that my actions may have seemed course to every one else in my family…but it is the things they are so blind about-thier rudeness in saying to me things about my sons that are hurtful….and saying things to me that are hurtful,and then trying to brush it over with the bargin word….love! ( love….my baby brothers dead yet it shouldve been me? and then later in life I am asked to be the judge by her…do you love me? was I a good mother? only to turn around and tell me how she forgot to pick up my sister Jo-Eileen and it was raining and my sister got sick and died….a story I could have been spared forever-and then I get put into the position to say “sure Mom…you was great!” )
My brother Franks widow stepped way out on the edge to telephone me and say “…if you love me!” – after over a year of no hello or no how are you and the first phone call from her in ages-at least…and I am to succomb to the tempting of love….and did-yet how ever false!
The last I was in the presence of my family-Dad and Mom and brother and bride…I took them out to dinner-Dad stayed behind,his chemo was dragging him down,my mother was talking as we drove to the restaurant and saying how my father wasnt so fond of my one son and that he was upset that my son might be getting some of my mothers art work from the attic….where it sits in boxes for ever un seen! And in the same conversation she begins to tell my brother and his bride that they ought to just sell it all after my folks are gone-and she was saying they could sell this,and sell that-she was talking to them,not me. It was pretty offensive-I felt like the driver of a cab with some family in it but not my family.
I returned home the next day-I left thier house with out saying goodbye to them personally-but saying goodbye in my heart.

I really find it uncanny the use of the word love…as if it means anything,really! My brothers widow calls me up and pressures me with the use of the word of love….and the woman has no clue-no idea….knows nothing about me-although shes judged me all along from day one with ideas that I was a dead beatr,but none of them paralell with the way my life really has been. None of them can ever figure why it is I still am entertained by my former boss-a boss from 17 years ago,but became my friend because of the skills I had and how we shared the growth of a business together….but my family does not know that. They also have no idea of the hardships I led my young family through.-with out complaint…they have idea who I am!
Love is like this little dog-he looks sweet and like something you want have and to hold….but the minute you pick him to give him a kiss he eats your face with a fury.

3 Responses to “about Love….”

  1. Dianne Says:

    Sorry Jay – I didn’t realize your brother’s widow was really pressuring you the other night when I called you – and no, that was not the only time I have called you. Every time you mother and I spoke, she would comment on how she hadn’t heard from you – that you didn’t call and wouldn’t answer your phone when she called. That she had talked to Joel and Melody and Micah to find out why and they kept saying as far as they knew everything was fine with you. Seriously, I personally do not care if you talk to your folks and I don’t care what the reason was that you stopped talking to them – I do know your mother was worried. If you’re not going to speak with her in the future, at least give her a reason – people need reasons. As far as your Dad handing the phone to your mother, Honey – he does that with everybody. I’m sure I’ve never had more than a 30 second conversation with him via the phone. Don’t feel picked on about that. There’s a lot more to speak to here – as in, I feel you threw me under the bus, put my actions, or inactions out here in cyberspace to be commented upon by people who DON’T KNOW ME, but that’s fine – people need something to react to. Love you Jay.

  2. Kat Says:


    I have no real idea what has caused all this ugliness in the family. Whatever it is is not worth all of this. I do know that ignoring everyone is no way to make things better. Your family, Joe, Mom, Diane and myself…we have all tried to call you but you refuse to answer or return a call. We called you to tell you your father was in intensive care and may be dying and you couldn’t even set aside your own feelings to call. Where was the love in that? Withheld at best. Joe and I have come up to see you. More than once. We even asked you to meet us 30 minutes from your house to camp and go canoeing with us. All you had to do was show up and we would have everything else covered but you couldn’t do it. No gas money you said. But you found the money to go see some friend you met on the internet! Where is the love in all of that? Joe came up and spent 2 nights with you to help you work on your house and to spend your 50th birthday with you. We came up and brought food and had a cook out with you, your son Joel and his family as well your friend. Joe came and brought Mom and went to your art show after working all day and then having to drive home and go to work the next day. No easy task. We have come up for graduations and boot camp graduations and weddings. You want to talk about being around but being ignored how about how you all treated us at Joel’s wedding? We sat at the dinner table and not one of you took the time to sit with us. We were treated like leepers. I have never been in a church where people were so rude. We have always been nice to Joel and Micah. I cannot think of a time in the last 23 years we have yelled at your children or spoken rudely to your children in any way. When you come to our home you are fed, treated kindly and always asked back. Hell we begged you to come for Thanksgiving but you did not even have the courtesy to call and cancell after saying you would come. We had to call you. As far as what your mother says well you KNOW how she is. She is almost 83 years old! She says weird and rude things to all of us all of the time. She has a habit of embarrassing us all in public. She means nothing by it. She loves you so very much. She does try. She calls you she prays for you she sends money and gifts and no matter what she may have said in the past to hurt you she has also tried to be a good and loving mother. You should have to be the one to see her face as she is asking if we have heard from you and wondering why you won’t call. Your dad talks to noone on that phone. I feel like your father and I are the best of buddies and he doesn’t even talk to me! He loves all of us but he just has no real clue how to show it. You know that. When we went out to dinner with you I thought we all had a great time. We were happy and having fun talking about your caddy. I know we all thanked you profusly for the dinner. It’s funny how 3 people can walk away from a meal happy and content in knowing we spent an evening with those we love but you walk away angry and feeling left out. I am sorry that happened. We did not mean to make you feel bad in any way. In fact we called you that night at the parents and asked you to come out on a walk with us but you refuesed. I know your brother loves you. I see the pain in his face whenever he tries to call or email you knowing you don’t love him enough to even try to mend fences with him. You do not even bother to try. Where is the love there? That is withholding love if you ask me. When he came home from a trip to see you where you had shown him your tomb stone he was so upset and said he could not bear to look at it with your name already there because he could not deal with the thought of losing another brother. It hurt just to think of it. Did you ever bother to consider that? Jay he begged you to call him. He has tried telling you how much he loves you. You show him no real care though. That is withholding love. You know when you spoke about moving up here Mom and dad and Joey went out to see where you were looking for a house. They showed interest. They also knew you would not be happy living here away from the woods and your friends. You know in all the time your parents have been here have you ever even offered to come up and help? Have you ever mowed the lawn here? NO. How many Doctors appointment have you gone to? I’ve done 20 so far in 2007. How many days of work have you had to miss and lose money for so you could help the parents? Have you come home from vacations early because the parents needed you? Missed time with your children? Give your brother Joe some credit for having what it takes to step up to the plate no matter what, no matter what has been said or done right or wrong he’s there doing the right thing for your parents. He has had to make many sacrifices to do so. What about you? Are you not able to set aside your own feelings to help the people who have loved and cared for you? That is withholding love. I know they have been there for you many times. You come and you visit and then you leave. Once you came up to help. That was great. But in the 2 years your father has been ill that is not much help. When I tried to tell you how much I appreciated your help and thank you you got mad and said something nasty about thanking you. WHY? How can you ever ignore your parents knowing they are old and dying. Seriously? My god I lost my mother 8 years ago and to this day I still hurt so badly. I wish everyday I could call her just one last time. You have that chance. Don’t lose it. Nothing is worth that. Oh because of stuff the stuff that has happened in your family many, many years ago? You know you may have caused some of the hurt yourself. The way you treated your mother the last time you were here was appalling. You sniped at her and were unfriendly at best. She was worried about you because you were not feeling well and all you did was get pissed. And then you left without even saying good bye. That is so disrespectful. Your parents helped you many times in the past financially and otherwise. Maybe you do not know how to accept the love your family tries to give you. Joe has always been your friend and brother. He has never in my 23 years of marriage to him shown you anything but love. Think on it. Think on the times he has tried to be there for your boys. How often have you bothered to reach out to our kids? Not many. I am sorry for all the bad things that have happened to you along the way. We all have nasty things to deal with in our lives. It’s just part of life. Do you think that working all day and then having to sleep in a chair by your fathers beside is fun? Buying diapers for your parent? Having to help them in the bathroom and watching needles being stuck into their frail bodies is fun? Do you think that paying their bills, doing their yard work, driving them to every single thing is fun? Watching them lose the last of their freedom is fun? No none of that is fun or easy. But we do it because it is what you do when you love someone. Who would take care of the parents if soemthing happened to Joe? That is by and far one of the biggest fears your brother Joe has. He now knows that without him your parents would be lost. That is so sad. And to think you fussed and whined about your birth right to your mother. Those chores are part of your birth right. What happened to your desire to have your birth right? I am just a fake relative to your parents as just the bride of your brother as you say. But, I show them more care and love than you have bothered to do in a long time. To say you do not have love from us is ridiculous!!! It baffles me. We are not perfect in any way and I know we have probably not done everything concerning you and your parents right but I also feel we have not done anything bad enough to cause all of this. Your brother works full time, cares for his family and the parents. It’s a hell of a thing to go through. He could use some love and support from you. Do you have any idea how hard it was for him to ask for your help? You refuse. Where is the love in that? You have the time to help. But you say you cannot deal with it. You have already grieved for your father. You’re not the only one ya know. We deal with it EVERYDAY! But your father also still is living and is here breathing. He does not want you to grieve for him. He wants you to help live his life. Celebrate that we still have him. Even if the way we have him isn’t up to your liking or that your not getting the love you feel you need. He is still here. Love him all you can, take what you can get. Before it is gone. Jay your Mom needs you. She does. She’s scared to death. You and Joey are all she has in this world besides Dad. I cannot think of anything she has done to have this treatment from you. Really. Please act before it is to late. Who gives a shit about some paintings. You should hear the things she says about our children and to our children sometimes. She does her best to show her love to all of us. Damn. Joey has asked you what he needs to do to fix this. He cares. Jay he loves you. Dammit I know you know this. He is trying his hardest to be a good brother and son. Don’t thow away his love. You are so lucky to have a brother who loves you. We may not understand your life or your problems but we are always willing to listen and try to help. We could all spend the rest of our lives bickering about who does what but in the end it won’t even matter. Not one fucking bit. All that matters is being a family in whatever way it works. I am sure we do not give you enough support or come to visit enough. We try though. We have a family to take care of and jobs and such. Have the decency to tell us when there is something wrong. Give a person a chance to fix it and to say they are sorry. Running away is no solution. Try showing some love. Seriously Jay….meet us half way on all of this. Set the crap aside. Be our family. This is all just crap. Really. My God we are throwing away our family over what? I know this is all a jumbled up mess that I have written I just feel so sad for you and Joey. I have that middle kid desire to fix everything. I mean to show no disrespect to you Jay. You’re the only big brother I have. That is something important. You know how it feels to lose a sibling…obviously the hurt never goes away so why would you throw the last one you have living away so easily? We all love you, even your little puppies are loved in our home. I think it is you who cannot find a spot in your withered up, hardened heart to love us. It must be easier to feel sorry for yourself and whine than to care enough to try. Sad. Our home is open to you anytime you can find it in you to come around. Please Jaybird, Joey needs you. Love, Kat

  3. B.J. Says:

    Hey Uncle Jay – Dianne sent me your new site. Haven’t heard from you in a while. I noticed some of the pictures you posted were ones I gave you, and one was the one I took on my old cell phone. I got a new Motorola Razr as my old phone keeled out. The phone number is still the same. Do you need me to send it to you? I need to respond to Melody’s letter. She sent a letter and enclosed a family photo. I know it may be too soon to tell, but I think Joy resembles Joel. I’m still at Little Rock AFB in Arkansas. I’m still as outspoken as always. I haven’t gotten into any trouble for what I did with you concerning the VA. Of course, having been in the Air Force 15, going on 16 years, I’ve learned how military minds work and what to look for. Sometimes, you have to pick your battles–just don’t create them. I’ll post more later as it’s time to leave work. Love, B.J.

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