At one moment this weekend, I found myself telling someone what it was exactly that I got out of writing a blog, since clearly I am not making any money off of it as of yet. The easiest response to this query was that it is tremendously therapeutic, much like a diary. Only instead of writing things down to never receive a response, I am often surprised to hear back from the people whom my words have touched. When I am feeling at my lowest, and share that emotion with others, I am often shocked to discover that there are people that will reach out to pull me out of my melancholy.
I would love to say that I had the most amazing weekend ever, celebrating my nephew’s sixth birthday in Richmond, however that would be one gigantic big fat lie. I did not enjoy hanging out at Chuck E. Cheese’s with no children of my own, watching a bunch of strangers collaborate with a grown person dressed in a rodent costume. I don’t think I will ever be able to walk through the doors of an establishment like that ever again. I’m cringing just thinking about it. The whole concept completely baffles me, and I cannot for the life of me begin to understand why someone would actually work for such a company. Clearly their employees have gone mad, or just have a higher threshold for the shrieking noises that children can produce after guzzling down too much soda and birthday cake. They do not make nearly enough money for the job that they do. Part of me wanted to leave a huge tip, but the larger part of me wanted to write down on a piece of paper, “Here’s your tip. GET OUT NOW!”
There were great moments during the day, because even I will admit that when life is at its darkest, there is always a ray of sunshine. D.J. running through the house half naked screaming at the top of his lungs. Brock smiling as he played a toy trumpet. Thunder, a true scaredy cat, taking a rare moment to rub up against Bob’s legs as he smoked a cigar outdoors. Cousin Jim sharing his past experiences of Savannah, and his recent trip to see his grandchildren. Getting to visit with the entire Johnson extended family, whom we have not seen in what seems like forever. David receiving a squatty potty as a gift. Tori showering me with kisses. Bob and D.J. play fighting, but not actually trying to annihilate one another. So many happy moments.
Then came the melt down. My melt down. That moment when I came to a point where I just couldn’t take it any more. That moment when being true to my own feelings became more important than being nice. That moment when I looked at a family, who is my family, but is not my family, and just wanted to slap each and every one of them across the face. That moment when I wanted them to realize that they are, and will always be family, and if they work together life will be all the better for it. That moment when I wanted to scream at this family to get their damn act together, because they know how important family is; they’ve loved and lost such a huge part of their family, and should love and cherish one another all the more because of that. That moment when my own loss of my brother overshadowed everything that was being said and done, and perhaps I just should have left the room to begin with, instead of screaming at the top of my lungs at four totally shocked people in a restaurant full of complete strangers.
Did my melt down make a difference? Nope. I’m not even gonna imagine it could have that effect. But even through the tears, I feel better for having been through such an amazingly negative day. Remember how life even at its darkest always has a ray of sunshine? Well, that little bit of sunshine was my brother. I can honestly say that even though we often disagreed, and gave one another a hard time, we never truly fought about the things that mattered most in life. Money, possessions, and time were things both of us knew not to quibble over. Never once would either of us ever dream to fight over something so unimportant. When it came down to the end of the day, we each wanted to see the other in the best place we could be, and we would do anything in our power to make sure that happened for one another. After today, I realize how easy I have had it my entire life. I was blessed with a brother who never held anything against me, a brother who was never selfish, and a brother who was never afraid to tell me I was being a bitch when I was being a bitch.
So at the end of this long emotional weekend, what have I learned? Clearly, not all families are the same. Thank God for the one that you were blessed with. No matter how fucked up it might be, it’s yours, and God probably knew what he was doing when he stuck you with them. Don’t believe me? Just take a look around you the next time you go out to a restaurant, and pray to the Lord above that there isn’t a grown man dressed as a rodent in that restaurant with you.
- 1 (14-oz.) Bag Kraft Jet-Puffed Strawberry HeartMallows, Divided
- 6 Cups Rice Krispies Cereal
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 1/2 Teaspoon Raspberry Extract
- 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Miniature Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Line a 9×13 metal cake pan with tin foil, and coat with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
- Place the cereal in a very large mixing bowl.
- Use scissors to cut 1-cup of the heart shaped marshmallows into small pieces, and stir them into the cereal; set aside.
- Heat the remaining marshmallows and the butter in a large saucepan, over medium-high heat.
- Stir constantly, until there are no more lumps remaining, and then turn off the heat.
- Add the extracts and stir to combine.
- Pour the mixture over the cereal, and quickly mix until combined.
- Dump the mixture into the lined cake pan, and spread out evenly with a spatula.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, and use your hands to lightly pat them down into the mixture.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours, and then cut into small squares.
- I purchased the HeartMallows for this recipe at Target. I’m not sure if all stores carry them, and I’m pretty sure that they are a seasonal item. If you can’t find them, use normal marshmallows, and add an additional 1/2-teaspoon of raspberry or strawberry extract, as well as a small amount of pink or red food coloring.
- You need to work fast with marshmallow, or it will seize up on you.
- Coat your spatula with cooking spray to keep the marshmallow mixture from sticking to it.
- Use strawberry extract in place of the raspberry extract.
- Melt the chocolate with a 1/4-teaspoon of shortening, and then drizzle it over the cut marshmallow treats.
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