Get ready for a rambling me dealing with my shit post here.  As we are getting closer to my birthday and Josie's birthday at the end of the month I have found myself getting more and more sad.  When you are only your birthday is akin to national holiday.  Even as I got older and had kids it was really my dad who made a huge effort to make sure my day was special.  I feel like the real reality of the loss of my dad is setting in.  We have had a shit storm of stuff and my house and my mom has had her fair share at her house.  It is not like my dad is the only reason my birthday is special or that if he was alive these bad things wouldn't have happened.  It is just that his loss is felt more these days then ever before.  Frankly it sucks big balls.

One one of my worst days missing my dad and with my anxiety and stress level at a breaking point with stuff in the house my husband reminded me that my dad would hate that I am this upset.  He would hate to know that in ways I am absolutely crippled by my grief.  That my sadness takes away a lot of the joyful moments I should be having.  That I am sort at a standstill right now.  He was the one who told me when my grandmother died to look around and realize that life goes on.  Even when we want life to stop because our hearts are broken and we feel our lives are over life really hasn't stopped.  Yet for some reason (frankly every reason) I want it to.  

I want to be selfish about this.  I know I am not the only one who lost him....but in some ways it feels like I did.  I am an only child....there are no siblings to feel this loss with me.  I sort of feel this odd connection to others who have lost a parent that they were super close to and a sort of disconnect to those who haven't.  People think they get it....hell I thought I got this kind of a loss.  I didn't.  

It is the this odd limbo between wanting to carry on and honor my dads memory and be this strong person for my mom and kids.  Then the other part of me wants to sit and cry and yell at everyone that they don't get it and lay around and feel sorry for myself.  Maybe there is some medium.  A place to be selfish sad and mourn and be pissed that he isn't here and still keep putting one foot in front of the other.  

Maybe I will find that some day...until then I will keep doing what I have been.  Every night when I walk the dogs for the final time I will look up at the sky say goodnight to my dad and look and see that the moon and the stars are still there and  remind myself that life goes on.

This summer at the book sale in the town that we vacation in I picked up Three Cups of Tea-By Greg Mortenson and David Relin.  It caught my eye because it was a book about building schools in Pakistan.  The new course that I teach at my school is History of the last 20 years and we spend a lot of time talking about Afghanistan and Pakistan.  This book tells the story of Greg Mortenson and his quest to build schools in the most impoverished areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.  

I have to be honest this is one of the few books I have read lately that I have been torn about how to review.  I finished it a few weeks ago and have delayed review because I didn't really know what I would give it.  Then I decided.  I am going to give it two review ratings.  As an educational resource on the area of Pakistan and life in that nation I would five it four stars out of five.  From a standpoint of a regular book to read I would give it 2.5 stars.

This book gave a beautiful personal look in to part of Pakistan that not many people get to encounter.  It showed what family and village life are like, the struggle of the people. and the ill effects of terrorism on the society.  I was fascinated to read about the people and the experiences of Mortenson and how he was able to work with the people of those nations and build schools or the children of some of the most impoverished areas of these nations.

From a strictly read for pleasure standpoint there were parts of the book that were very slow.  I mean so slow that I took breaks from the book because it dragged.  I feel that this story may have been better and an extended interview piece in a magazine or a shorter book.  The book is a hair over 300 pages and I think it would be at least 50 shorter.  I can see how the author would not want to trim because it is an amazing story to tell, but I personally felt part of it dragged.  As a reader of history this wasn't anything that took away from my reading as a historian but as a pleasure reader I felt it took away from the overall book.

So basically-if you want to learn about live in Pakistan or the amazing life of Mortenson and his charity work in this area of the world go get this book.  If you are looking for a nice easy read-this won't be your cup of tea (pun totally intended) 


Just a super quick post for this week's weigh in!  It was good.  In my mind I would love to loose it at an ass cheek at a time but I will take slow and steady wins the race!