Sunday, April 06, 2008

Weekend with the Fam

At Christmas when all the Tyler’s and myself were together, I asked Mrs. Tyler what she wanted for her birthday. She told me that all she wanted was for me and Tyler to come home for the weekend so she could take care of us like she used to. I told her, and Tyler agreed, that this was no way to spend her birthday because her birthday was all about her! But she insisted, so obviously we eventually gave in.

This past weekend was Mrs. Tyler’s birthday weekend. Tyler and I went over and let her cook us lots and lots of food, and let her take us places like we did when we were little, but we weren’t about to let our presence (though in some circles that alone would be worth our weight in gold!) be the only present she received. So in conjunction with my aunt, who is a jeweler, I designed Mrs. Tyler the most beautiful platinum locket ever to be created, and Tyler paid for it!

I also gave him first dibs on what he thought the inscription on the back should say. But Tyler really sucks at expressing his feelings in words, so his words were relegated to the card instead of the locket. The card read, “We know we made it easy, but thanks for loving us anyway!” When she opened it she immediately looked at Tyler, because she knew that he had written it, and we all laughed.

I struggled with the words on the back of the locket for awhile. I couldn’t figure out if I wanted something simple, or something really personal, or something so sentimental it almost came off as cheesy. In the end I decided to go with simple, especially since I went through the trouble of designing the locket, and I put so much of myself into it that you could tell just by looking at it that it was mine. It said, “We love you”, and she loved it. She got all watery eyed and then she gave both of us kisses and hugs and told us that she loved us too.

Then I let her know that it was a locket and she could slide it open and there was a picture of me and Tyler inside. Selecting a picture to go in the locket was even harder than selecting the phrase to go on the back! Tyler and I couldn’t decide if we wanted to take a new picture or use an old one. Then we decided to just use and old one because neither of us really wanted to go and get our pictures taken. Then the big challenge became trying to figure out which picture to use! We have over 16 years of pictures and all of them are fucking awesome as hell because WE are in them, so as you can see, this was quite the challenge.

Finally we narrowed it down to 2 pictures. One of the pics were of us at summer camp. It was the first summer we’d spent together after meeting the previous school year. We both looked so sweet and innocent in the picture that nobody would have guessed we would eventually grow into the men we currently are! And the other pic was us on prom night at the height of our craziness. We looked like pure evil and you could tell we were about to cause some serious trouble wherever we were about to go, but we looked sooo happy in the pic that you couldn’t help but smile looking at it.

The second she slid it open and saw what was inside, the waterworks started! And that’s when I knew I had chosen the right picture. This picture has a lot of sentimental value to all of us. For Tyler and I this was the summer when we became brothers, and to Mrs. Tyler, she says this was the moment she gained another son. This was an especially hard year on me because when this picture was taken my father wasn’t speaking to me because of the child abuse charges filed against my stepmother and my real mother was too busy dealing with my drug addict stepfather who beat her on a regular basis. Mrs. Tyler took this picture of us, and the thing I remember most about this day, was how she made me feel like I mattered. And there hasn’t been a day since where she has ever made me feel differently.

The rest of the weekend was awesome! We rented movies, went swimming, ate tons of delicious food Mrs. Tyler made herself, Mr. Tyler barbecued, and we just sat around talking for hours. I am still basking in the afterglow of my much needed weekend of R&R. I feel like it was more a present to me than it was for Mrs. Tyler.

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