The First Father’s Day

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**I posted this on my social media on Father’s Day

When Keith and I started talking about getting married, I was really not interested in having children, and since he already had two children from his first marriage, I asked him “are you ok if your two children are all the children you have?” He told me “yes, but I think you will change your mind someday!” I told him, “I don’t think so,” and we go on with our lives.

But then, my beloved grandfather dies, I realized what it meant to have a family of my own, and having watched Keith with his own children, I knew that he would be a great father to our child. I told Keith, “ok I hate to admit it, but you were right.” “I think I want to have a child, just one, and also I want to go back to work after six weeks, are you ok with that?” of course he was thrilled!!

On February 26, 1990, our beautiful daughter Megan was born. As Megan got sick, it became apparent that I would not be able to go back to work. Keith was working at the Marriott Corp. at Paine-Webber, and he took on two more jobs to make up for our lost income! When he would come home, the first thing he would do – if it wasn’t too late – is tell me to get some rest, I will take care of our little girl! He was the calming force in our small family, and Meg loved when her daddy held her in his massive arms against his chest. On the day she died, he whispered in her ear; you can let go, my little little (his favorite thing he called her), we love you, you do not need to hold on for us!

One year later we gave birth to our daughter Kellie; it was challenging being pregnant and mourning at the same time! Keith, was my strength, my rock, and my navigator through our new norm. He took on all the stress of everything so that my pregnancy would be as “stressless” as possible. When are beautiful daughter Kellie was born, completely healthy, we started to build a life again.

In January 1994, Keith’s son Justin had an opportunity to live with us, and just like that, we became a family of four! It was so amazing watching Keith with his children. Cultivating their strengths, teasing them with pranks, reading stories to Kellie and telling Justin stories of his adventures! Both kids were able to go to him and tell him anything. He was not judgy, but he was not a pushover either. If the kids were in trouble, my first reaction was to freak out and ground them, but he would have his calm Keith way, and the kids would usually feel far worse because they disappointed their dad!

As the kids had become adults, Keith, became their best friend! He loved the man that Justin had become! He was proud of the husband and father that he was, and I was so happy that Justin had the most amazing example of what it means to be a husband and father. My heart goes out to Kellie, who has yet to start her life, Keith will never see her career choice, who she decides to spend the rest of her life with, or ever meet her children. I am confident though that with the special relationship she had with her dad, he will be with her throughout every decision she makes through her life, and he will help her to make the right choices.

This Father’s Day will be the most difficult for all of us, but as we think of the kind of father he was, all we can do is smile throughout the day! HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! #keithandmegan💜💜 #fathersday

Madmen Have No Remorse

 

From high in the treetop
The vulture viewed the lambs
Innocent thought the predator
Who but I am genuinely innocent
I hold all the power in my arms
I need release
The wondrous smell of gunpowder
The echoing pops of rapid fire
The scattering of the sheep
Some fall some ramble chaotic
But all are stricken with panic
It is I who holds the power
They bleat and whine below me
Only I can stop the killing
I wish this could last forever
But someone is at the door
It is time for me to worship
Holding the holy death stick
I point it to my head and pull
My power to you I commend
I join you, my lord,
Take me in your forgiving arms

War Is Unhealthy For Children And other Living Things

 

 

 

 

 

J.T. HILLTOP

 

The effects of the booze and drugs didn’t manage to dull the fact that my brother is dead in some country called Vietnam! It did however manage to leave me an ass kicking hangover teamed up with emotional overload. Jameson’s body, or what’s left of it, is being flown home tomorrow from Vietnam. So now what? Time to make preparations Old man war lover said of his son’s death . Just what in the fuck did that mean? How am I supposed to cope with losing my mentor, my big brother?
Kids in school barely spoke a word to me, afraid I had a dozen eggs hanging precariously around my heart. Maybe I did. I told them at work I needed a little more time off which of course was not a problem. Mom was in her denial stage wearing a fake smile but her vacant eyes betrayed the true feelings. One look at the hollow abyss of her glazed orb sockets and the masquerading smile fooled no one. Dad had spiraled downward and was drinking way too much, which for him was quite a feat. His precious fucking reputation around town had now become the poor martyr that sacrificed his son. Bullshit on that. Jameson was the one who fucking gave his life and Mr. well respected man about town was soaking up the sympathy like it was he himself that had fought in Viet fucking Nam. The only possible good side to all the bullshit was that my sister Mandy was coming home. Mandy sweet and innocent Mandy my older “true hippie” sister who had left home. I had always suspected my father of kicking her out of the house but Amanda maintained she left on her own. At the very least I was sure Dad had made living here impossible for her. Mandy had left and moved in with her boyfriend upstate New York in a town called South Fallsburg. I had been to visit them once when Ken and I drove up to the Catskill Mountains town to get away for a week two summers ago. Her boyfriend Todd had studied Club Management at Sullivan County Community College while Mandy took some photography classes and worked part time as a bartender at the Bending Elbow. Todd finished his two years and landed a job at a resort club in Monticello as assistant manager. The last time I heard from her she was still working and was trying to find work as a nature photographer. I would find out soon enough because part of the preparation was getting a room ready. I really missed her.
Dad was too drunk so I had to bring Mom to the Funeral Home to make arrangements. Jesus shit this must have been the hardest thing I ever did. Mom sat and nodded her head as a sleazy mortician described what services they offered. It was downright offensive that he was asking my Mom about tips for the gravediggers, and did she want to spray some air freshener in the casket. I mean I know it needs to be done, but all we were getting from the US Army as I understood it was an American flag and a uniform once worn by my brother and his remains. Remains? He died in a fucking bomb massacre and truth is I have always had a distrust of the military but give me a break. They most likely scrapped together whatever organic shit was left of the troop that were killed and shared it among the families of all the deceased. Who really gives a shit if it smells nice anyway? The fucking topper was getting her to buy a vault so the “a umm, bio-organic scavengers don’t infiltrate the casket.” Oh, do you mean so the worms, maggots, and grubs don’t eat his body? There is no God damn body you scumbag, only remains! But again, I guess he had to do what he had to do. I would absolutely hate a job like that. The memories of all the bodies being discreetly removed from the Nursing Home patients that died flooded my mind. I imagined a similar conversation took place with their families and thought how many of them wouldn’t have even cared about the worms and such. But Mom did, and I knew it was all about her and not me. My loser old man couldn’t even make it to the funeral home. All that did was added to my already boiling distain for his sorry self-pitying ass.
On the ride home I knew I needed to get Mom talking. “When is Mandy getting home?” As if on cue Mom broke out of her desperate trance. “She is coming in Sunday night. I can’t wait to see her Can you pick her up at the train station JT?.” I was going to respond but she immediately regressed back into her sad and morose meditation. Jesus shit this was tough, and I have no idea what to do. I let Mom wallow through the five steps of mourning as I continued to attempt to make sense of the world. This fucked up Jameson free world. I can’t handle all this death shit man, I gotta do something!

 

 

 

When we got home from the funeral sales floor the old man was sitting in his recliner and was clearly out of it. My anger began to gather in the pit of my stomach and work its way up into my overloaded brain. I looked at that sorry excuse of a man and decided that this was the time. I got right up in his face. “Why don’t you get up off of your self-centered pitiful ass and go comfort my Mom? She is in so much more pain and all you do is sit your worthless ass here and get drunk and feel sorry for yourself. Where are your patriotic self righteous principles now? Jameson is fucking dead! Dead! I told you this war would kill him and now it has. Mom cries every god damn night and all you can do is drink beer. You call me worthless well what the fuck are you?” It was the first time I ever cursed in front of my Dad and it felt strangely good. The only thing that could have possibly felt better was if I had a picture of the look on his stunned face. He had no clue what to do because in his cold heart he knew I was right. I just read that asshole his rights and I liked it! He was speechless and I sensed his angst not directed at me for a change but at himself. He looked sheepishly toward my Mom, looked at me and then back at her again. I believe he was debating whether he should try and beat me to a pulp or go and comfort his wife but surprisingly after a short deliberation he chose to do the right thing. As soon as they embraced I knew it was time for me to head to my room, my fucking sanctuary. I needed some comforting too! I also realized that things had changed profoundly here at home and nothing will ever be the same. Sometimes my life is just so fucked up I am not sure what I should do.
As fucked up as it was though as soon as I walked through the door I knew what I was going to do. I knew that I was gonna snort some morphine pills. The twin tablets Ken had left me had been singing a sweet love song to me ever since they made it into my pocket. I grabbed my stash, a cleverly hollowed out bible, and grabbed the pills. Next I pulled out my new Grateful Dead Album. It was a live double album of the Dead who are by far my favorite band. Not a Deadhead yet but I have seen them quite a few times and I own every album they have made so far. But today this album would serve double purpose. Music to soothe my soul as well as “drug paraphernalia” to soothe my brain. I opened the album cover and placed the pills in the center of one side. With the back of a soup spoon I crushed the 2 pills into a pile of powder. I had seen movies so I knew what to do and I took out a razor blade so I could chop up the pills even finer. Then out came my driver’s license and I formed two long lines of white powder. I rolled up a 20 dollar bill, put one end in one nostril and closed the other with my finger. I sniffed hard and fast as if I were a Hoover vacuum cleaner until both of the lines had gone deep into my sinus cavity. It burnt so much I thought I would get a nosebleed but I immediately clasped my nostrils shut so nothing would escape. Next I drew in a hard breath through my nose like a strong sniffle. Jesus shit it was like I could feel it making its way up my nose and into my brain. I looked up feeling like I was going to sneeze, my eyes began to water, but within 15 seconds a new sensation set across my whole body. Wow, a warm and fuzzy! It really is warm and fuzzy, and as if by magic every bad thing in the universe disappeared. Not gone but certainly forgotten, at least for a short while. I whispered to myself intending it for Ken. “This shit is like 10 times better than ludes man, you were right! I felt good.” Not just good man, great. Fuck everything man. James is still dead, my old man is still an asshole, my Mom cries all the time, but at the same time, everything is okay. Not gone, but okay! Holy shit, I think I just found a new religion. I will now become a morphine-ite and worship the serenity it has bathed me in. And the music was perfect, I had chosen side 3, an18 minute jam called “The Other One” and I closed my eyes and drifted. Praise Jerry. It was Jerry Garcia’s guitar that scooped me up in a magic carpet and set me on a course to wonderland. I was chasing Grace Slicks White Rabbit and feeling great. I plopped on the headphones to help drown out the sobbing and reconciliation of Mom and Dad. I wondered for a second if they were going to have sex, and nearly threw up in my mouth a bit at the thought. Fuck this man, I need to drift off in this music. Take me away Jerry. So Jerry and Sister Morphine took me by the hand and walked me down into the garden of serenity, hoping the piper will lead me to reason. And a new day will dawn, if I can only stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter. I really love laughter. As always the drugs took me away, so very far away from this mad fucking world! Knowing it was Dangerous didn’t make me more cautious, it made me want to continue doing it forever.

Continued Tomorrow

 

THE STORYTELLER

 

The storyteller unlocks the subconscious
A locksmith using memories as his tool
Reminding us knowledge which lay dormant
Sleeping in the memories of our own hearts
Wishing one day to sort out real from imagined
So we listen with intent hoping to be free
Because feelings that lay frozen in our minds
Plead day to day that they be un-manacled
Free of the fears which lock our hope away
Holding hostage that which we already know
The knowledge that dawned with our births
Stored in the vastness of our repressive minds
Inside the temples of the storytellers graveyard
Where secret knowledge is preached in solitude
So we listen

 

 

The storyteller he makes no claims nor judgments
His tales are the dreams of visitors from the night
Imaginary and manifested friends of midnight lore
Some welcome some unwanted but all unfiltered
Preying on our eager and vivid imaginations
Reaching in to unleash our suppressed emotions
To strip them naked exposed unto ourselves
He asks not to be paid in silver nor gold
Only hopes to enter into our hearts and minds
And allow his words soothe or injure wakefulness
Offering no direction nor instruction be followed
Exposing incognito the paths of our choosing
Oftentimes he tell stories of profound love
Allowing many to reflect fondly of experience
So we believe

 

 

Yet for others love never seems to be enough
So he recalls stories of deep pain and loss
Sharing the pains he lived through and died from
Exposing himself while revealing our profound grief
And in the end with the many tales he’s woven for us
He blankets us all from that darkness which resides
Obscuring from inside the desires of the incendiary
Coaxing emotions to come bubbling to the surface
In a desperate search to find our own reflection
And fix the broken parts we tried to forget
Whether memories make you sad or glad matters not
It bears no significance once the story comes to end
The teller leaves carrying our hurts without reward
Upon his shoulders to cast into his healing heart
A mutual exchange of what is and what should be
As it was intended

 

The biggest fish of the fishing rod, a thousand tales from Scheherazade
Saviors of the suicide squad that make us stop and think so hard
Should we disregard our own backyard or traipse on down the boulevard
Scary streets abandoned yards, play at risk of being scarred
Don’t blame the words of the traveling bard its only a tale
The storytellers veil to hide his wails
Be he poet or prophet or teller true
He gives freely of words to me and you
Words plucked from his heart become his art
Right from the start
He writes them down not for glory
Only wants to tell a story
To reveals our eyes to our mirror
Put perspective little bit clearer
So gather round come in nearer
Stand naked before his story moral
Thank him for his message oral
Once he’s gone only words remain
Because no one notices his barrel of pain
They only ask him to tell it again and again
Until he has no story left

 

 

TODAY

 

 

Nine fucking eleven. I wasn’t going to say a word about this Day, too many emotions. The shedding of fear for family and friends in Florida, the memories of my days at Windows On The World and all the hours spent commuting through the WTC. Everyone telling me not to forget without considering for one second it hurt me so deeply I could never forget. Believe me, sometimes I wish I could…

 

Then I started thinking about how we define our lives according to traumatic experiences both societal and personal. I was far too young to understand the implications of the murder of President Kennedy but I clearly remember how the adults were so unilaterally shocked and hurt. In my lifetime it was similar to the day Reagan was shot and for one collective night we were all Republicans, praying or chanting for him to be allright. I was far more conscious about the deaths of Martin King Jr. and Robert Kennedy as my political views were beginning to form. The trials of the Chicago eight, the civil right denial of our brothers and sisters, the emergence of a group of young kids who cared about every culture proudly assumed the name of “Flower Children”. My question tonight is WTF happened to those children? Did half grow up to be angry white racists? Seems like it to me. Many of the kids who locked their arms with mine now question If people of other faiths and cultures are worthy of the standard my one time brothers and sisters felt were open to all. WTF happened to your souls?

The terrorist attack on NYC, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC wasn’t committed by the people but of a religious cult bent on hatred. It was committed by a break out faction of Islam not that far from Joel Osteen and his band of fuck you if you’re not Christian Faction. Sound harsh? Racism is a harsh reality we need to confront. I am relieved that most of my Florida family are safe, I am relieved that the evil religious zealots have been compromised , but TBT, I have many reservations of who my fellow Americans blame to ease their minds, while turning a blind eye to their own racist assumptions.

I had a long history at the WTC. It was a marker for me, a family member, and when they fell I cried for days. I still cry when someone posts the planes flying into the buildings… It hurts me as if I lost a family member. I have so many fucking memories tied into the Twin Towers that every year it hurts a little more, almost as much as losing my daughter. It hurts…… it hurts us all, but today I am a bit more concerned My family are safe, I grieve for all the families, but I am not willing to target a specific group of people because of their beliefs, or Christians would be on my hate list too If you truly believe yourself to be a believer in God, now is the time to prove it . Jesus didn’t argue, he preached love…..Or at least that’s what I was told ……Live and Love in Peace……

 

racism,

Defeating Hate

 

 

 

Crouched in the dark of hatreds shadow
The Phoenix of bigotry waits in patience
Someday it muses……. Some day
Hoping to kick off the dust of its ashes
Spread its alabaster wings of oppression
And soar on the winds of prior atrocities
History of hatred is attempting a comeback

 

The ghosts of the slave
Buried in dirt
Still shackled
Not even in a proper grave
The shame of one nation
Scarred by war
Remembered the words
We are all equal in the eyes of creation

 

We can never again allow bigotry to soar
Cause our rainbows to cower in disgust
Destroy a commonality built on trust
We shall rise in unison to tenets of hate
Stand and resist supremacists doctrine
Sip from cups overflowing with compassion
Side by side and hand in hand love will win
Only love can defeat Hate

 

George Santayana.. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

Unknown…A fish rots from the head down…. Remove it before we all stink

JT Hilltop…. Speak out against racism, bigotry, and hatred every opportunity you can…. Silence is complicity

 

Live and Love in Peace

Rage Against The Dying Of The light, and The Rise of Alt-Right

 

Moral outrage. A personal and emotional switch which turns on and off depending on what disgusts you. It is really simply your conscience expanding and retracting. Bigotry and racism has a way of flipping the switch in the blink of an eye. Both of those seeds grow crops of hatred which will only blossom into violence. In our country we have a long history of racism which today is growing like a cancer, quiet and deadly.

 

Last night was yet another example of what corrodes our shared values and increases the dividing rift further making us the Un-United States. But lets be serious here, if you find yourself unable to abhor and condemn any group which holds itself superior with a show of violence and force the likes of which we HAVE seen, and as a world united against to defeat, then you are not part of the problem, you are the entirety of the problem. Any asshole can hate and become violent, that’s easy, but to truly believe in and strive for peace is a difficult and noble act which is far more gratifying in the long run. I watch various newscasts to get a large view of things and was very disturbed when one news network went on to say we need to stop categorizing each other in defense of the hate filled mobs, wondered why no one reported on the other sides violence, then categorized the liberal observers as leftists and blamed them for dividing out country.

Name calling should have been left on the playground somewhere around fourth grade. How we all react to these incidences will have a long reaching effect on the future because our children are watching and listening. It may seem they are not paying much attention, but any parent worth their title knows they are silent sponges always trying to process what’s in front of them. Be the example you want to set and rage against racism, bigotry, sexism, and religious persecution in an honorable and respectful way.

As always sisters and brothers, Live and Love in Peace