Rants, Ramblings and General Diary of Juliana Wathen

Archive for June, 2011

Dance with my father……

My mother once explained to me, “The people you do for are rarely the ones to hold your hand when the shoe is on the other foot.”

Life is not about paybacks. And it shouldn’t be. Expectations will more than likely lead you to disappointment unless you have the vision of the bigger plan.

I was feeling a little sorry for myself driving back from Conroe the other night. I was remembering a girl that had been my very best friend. I had sat with her and her mother during her father’s first heart cath years ago…and even won him an Astros mascot doll in one of those crane games that usually robs you blind. He took it home and it sat next to his recliner for years. I was there years later for his heart by-pass which he came thru with flying colors. I held her hand. I soothed her nerves. I always thought when the time came with my family she would be holding mine. But God had other plans. Life sometimes gets in the way. Relationships change and people move out of our lives.

I sang at a funeral for another girlfriend that I cherished with all my heart. It was one of the hardest things I have done. To see her sitting on the front row in the pain and grief of losing her father and sing a song called “Dance with My Father Again”. It was a stark reminder of the relationship between a father and daughter that I had never experienced. It took all my focus to get through the day. To get through that moment. I did everything I could. I didn’t hold her hand and I didn’t sooth her nerves the way she expected but I gave all that I had to the task at hand. I sang.

I thought she would be the other one to stand by my side at this time. She’s the “take charge” kinda gal that gets Doctors and nurses  to give you their undivided attention. She cared for me for over two years of my own hospital stays. You couldn’t ask for a better advocate. But God had other plans. Life got in the way. Things changed and she move out of my life.

I realized this morning after fielding a dozen phone calls and answering emails and posts that I have more people holding my hand than I could have ever imagined. I have so many best friends sending me and my family love and prayers that I could never narrow it down to just one BFF.

What is the moral of this story? That as long as you focus on the one or two things you DON’T have you will never be able to see the thousands of things that have come to replace them.

I am truly loved. From Austin to Amsterdam and every where else you can imagine. My best friends are lining up to hold my hand….. and my mother’s….. and my father’s, and my brother’s etc. etc. etc. I am so blessed. My heart is full. The lesson is learned. It’s not Tit for Tat….It’s Tit for ALL THAT and more.

I love each and every one of you


Video link to Dance with My Father.

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Southern Comfort…..

“DENVER WATHEN’S ham-sized hands cradled his reel with the sensitivity of a surgeon feeling a pulse. Then he quickly lowered the rod tip, cranked up slack line, and reared back hard enough to cross the eyes of an alligator.”  Bob Brister  – Houston Chronicle 1986

We were told yesterday that my father, Denver, has Bladder Cancer and all the doctors can offer at this point is to keep him comfortable. So we took him back home. I took notice of how poorly he looked, hap-hazardly shaven and thin silver hair the length of General Custard’s at the last stand.It curled up and over his collar. We are past the point of taking “Mohammed to the mountain” to get a hair cut. He is not well enough to make the trip. So, I did what I thought I should do for the man I rarely touch. I offered to cut his hair. I have worried these last few years how I would be able to step up and do the right thing for him in his end days. And now that day is here. Come to find out, a horribly dull set of house scissors and a old black comb were all I needed to comfort him. He had to rest half way thru, sitting up was a chore. But in the end he managed and I managed. We muddled through together each realizing this was uncharted territory. Before I left, he thanked me ….for cutting his hair…and for staying a while.

He was always most comfortable on a lake fishing I guess. Mexico, Yucatan, or Cuba. The staff writer who traveled down to Mexico to fish with him in 1986 sure seemed to capture that in the quote above.

How do you keep THIS man comfortable?. A step at a time. A day at a time. I’m sure it will come to me when I need it most. Just like yesterday.

I love each and every one of you


Straw and mud hut in Africa

Hippos on the lake in Africa

Denver's cabana in Cuba

Final Days…..

Rough Days 101….It’s a core course. But I’m sure you get credit for it. Least I hope so.

We lost a dear college friend this weekend. Randy Sparks passed away from a massive heart attack. He was in his early 40’s and leaves behind a son and a wife and more friends than you could fit in the largest theatre on Broadway. He was so loved and will be so missed. I cried like a baby when I heard the news.

This morning I open Facebook to see my former roommate is in Katy Methodist. He experienced classic symptoms last night of a heart attack and in the wake of Randy’s sudden death went straight to the hospital. He sent me a text this morning thru his partner that he was doing okay as he prepares for more tests today. He is newly married, has a wonderful son and is so loved by so many. The only thing I could bring him he said was an extra million dollars …if I had it sitting around. I know he will be okay….But I cried like a baby.

And then there was 3. My Father’s name is Denver, and that is what we all call him….we don’t call him Dad, Daddy, Father or Pop. He has never been any of those things to any of his children. He wasn’t a good husband or provider for his family. He just was never there for us.  He never learned to think beyond “Me, Myself and I” which was a legacy passed down from his own parents. Every one of his children vied for his attention in one way or another throughout some point in their lives. We all threw in the towel years ago , me included. Now in his finals days he seems shocked and amazed that no one “talks” to him. No one calls. My mother tends to his needs and we are polite for the most part but it doesn’t dawn on us to actually ….”act” like he exists as anything more than a thorn on our mothers side. A wheel chair bound amputee, COPD, PAD, Diabetes, Heart failure, dementia and now this week ,urine as black as night.  She takes him back to the doctor today and to yet another hospital stay. She tells me by phone that he stopped her this morning to say in his off-hand manner. “It’s really best that I just pass on, none of the kids talk to me anyway”…….OMG! Really??? What does he expect????  That was my first reaction. Defensive, bitter….that 8yr old little girl he pushed to the side so many times just lept right out of me. I choked it back down and assured my mother that we would do what we needed to do to make him comfortable and to call me once he was admitted. I hung up the phone …..and I cried like a baby.

Regardless of what he did or didn’t do and all the reasons why. How do you, excuse me,let another human being die thinking they were unloved. When do you throw away the tally card that lists all the reasons why and replace it with why not? Take away the equation that he was supposed to be my father. If he were a stranger, dieing on the street, I would hold his hand and stroke his hair and tell him it would be okay. That he wasn’t alone.   What will it cost me to do the same for Denver? Money? Pride? NO……Just FORGIVENESS. Do I have any left to give? I honestly don’t know…..still hard to commit. All that baggage of the past weighs so heavy on the scale.

But I don’t live in the past anymore. I live in the now. And I have to keep reminding myself that each new day has a clean slate.

Randy knew he was loved, Jay KNOWS he IS loved and Denver??? Well, it’s a rough day and it still makes me cry like a baby….Lord give me strength.

I love each and every one of you.


Top 10 list for a class reunion…..


They just don’t make high school cheers the way they (we) used to. I have a  30 year high school class reunion in 11 days….yep 30 yrs….OMG!  Okay – that exclamation was not for the number of years but for the revelation I have experienced lately listening to all the 48 yr olds whine how “no one will remember who I am” and “I don’t think any one liked me back then” or “those people scared the hell out of me then why would I wanna see them NOW?”

Take a breath…a deep, deep, deeeeep breath….(just like in the 80’s except without the funny lil pipe) and let it out……..

GET OVER IT! You were not the wall flower you thought you were. You were not invisible for 4 years of school, 7 classes a day and just because you skipped the pep rally and went to the lake or to play darts and scarf down at beer at Weber’s BBQ before health class, we still have a pretty good recollection of who we went to school with.

Here are some easy guidelines to get you through the weekend.

1.) SOMEONE had a crush on you that you never knew about. He’ll probably blurt this out while introducing you to his 3rd wife. Don’t worry. He is harmless.

2.) The guy you had a crush on that you were sure didn’t know you existed…he didn’t ask you out because he thought you were too pretty to say “yes” to him or what the hell. He’s just GAY – get over it!

3.) And ANY BODY that introduces you to their partner? Most likely NOT who they work with but who they live with – again….get over it!

4.) Those pretty girls that never offered to share their lip-gloss in the bathroom will be begging you to buy their Arbonne Cosmetic line out of the trunk of their car.

5.) The guy that  hung out at the PATIO between classes with the long hair wearing rock concert t-shirts and jeans everyday with his leather “monkey knot” necklace from PDAP….retired CEO of an internet start up. The BENTLEY in the parking lot is his. He may have even tossed you his keys when he pulled up honestly mistaking you for the valet.

6.) Speaking of hair – if they HAD hair – they may not now, be prepared. If they didn’t have boobs – well, the ones they bought in LA may put your eye out, be equally prepared.

7.) If someone shows up in your personal space every blasted time you walk out of the bathroom…don’t panic. They are not stalking you, they just can’t hold their beer any better than you can.

8.) BTW….Report all stalkers to Management.

9.) If he’s divorced now…and you’re divorced and ….you’re thinking…. it’s fate….it’s probably the vodka…which is probably WHY you are divorced…and he’s divorced….proceed with caution.

10.) If you’ve had a sex change operation and feel the need to show the former Cheerleaders & Pep Squad how they SHOULD have done it…go to the bar immediately and ask the bartender to find me  or Lori  Acker-Westmoreland, we have experience with  interventions.

People change, people stay the same…I think it’s worth the risk to see the results.

After all – I was just a shy, delicate flower in High School and I haven’t changed a bit.

I love each and every one of you








Back in School…..

Aghhhh the Lessons…..life is full of them. Sometimes they are easy and sometimes you have to repeat them over and over. First, you claim you just had a teacher that sucked and you just know you could have aced it if you just had a decent teacher. They were gunning for you from day one!

The fact of the matter is LIFE IS A LESSON…and if you don’t GET IT the first time it will present itself over and over and over until YOU do get it!.

Sometimes, distance gives us clarity and it is easy to see another person’s  life lesson because they are running parallel to our own experience. Compassion leads us to stick our nose in and offer our opinion. To raise the flag and say “Danger, danger Will Robinson!” Don’t feel like a failure if they don’t heed the warnings.

In attempting to steer them away from the heart break or crisis you know is coming you are actually interfering with THEIR LIFE LESSON. Sometimes the lesson IS the heart break , the disappointment or defeat. Their lesson IS the crisis AND the recovery. If you interfere today, then you just delay their lesson till tomorrow.

Show TRUE compassion, show the unconditional love of the Christ Consciousness. Allow people you care about to live out the lessons they have called into their own lives whether is be addiction, co-dependency or just plan fear to stand on their own two feet.  Support them with positive thoughts and prayer that they receive peace, love and perfect understanding from the Universe. THAT is Help. THAT is Compassion. THAT IS LOVE, BABY.

Be happy that you worked thru YOUR life lesson and have moved on to the next. Allow them to do the same.

I love each and every one of you


Shifting sands……

The shifting sands of life can sometimes seem to spread out in every direction and appear so vast an expanse of nothing-ness that you lose your bearings. Sand spills into every opening in your shoes making every step you take that much more difficult and uncomfortable. The hot winds have left you so parched you couldn’t call out a name if you tried. Progress seems impossible. Survival both emotional, mental and physical is challenged to the breaking point.

Stop – Look – Listen. That is not a freight train coming at you….it is an OASIS.

There you will find water to quench your thirst, shelter from the hot pounding rays of the sun and food to feed your soul.

Life is hardest when we put up the fight to cross the desert all in one trip. Take your time.

The prize is not in the far away distance…. the prize is already in your hand. Relax your grip and open your hand wide. Make room for the hand of inner voice to guide you to safety.

All that you have been and all that you have done has been a journey worth taking. There is more to come…..once you have rested.


I love each and every one of you. Today I say to someone I love – Love yourself just a little bit more.



I know what you’re thinking. It is WAY to early to start thinking about Christmas – even Christmas in July! Which, by the way, falls on a Monday this year and since it STILL has not been recognized by anyone other than Summer Rep Actors and the local department stores, most of us will have to  – dare I say  – work on Christmas (in July) Day.

Out of respect for the age old holiday I will host a Christmas Eve in July soiree at my place Sunday afternoon, July 24th. Sing-a-long is mandatory!


So, even though Santa is sipping pina colada’s on the beach outside his condo down in Cancun right now he still is making time to deliver early to the people at the TOP of his list…..LIKE ME!!!!!!!

Two days ago I found out that the wiper motor I replaced 4 months ago on my zoom-zoom Mazda is now part of a major recall and they are reimbursing folks who already paid to have it fixed. That would be me!

CHA CHING! That’s just free money people!

And yesterday, I found my favorite silver necklace in the glove box of same said zoom-zoom car that I was sure I left behind at my ex’s house over a year ago. It wasn’t like I could just call her up and say “Hey, can I come look for my necklace?” or “have you seen any of my jewelry lately?”….That would involve her answering her phone, number one and you know how that is…so I just figured it was gone and I would pout about it every time it would have “made my outfit”.I envisioned it lost in the nether regions of the couch which someday will probably go to Goodwill. Somebody would buy it and make it their own and they will have the guts to reach there hand WAY DOWN IN THERE and they will retrieve my wonderlust necklace.  They too will experience the wonder of Christmas in July.

So you see, Christmas has come early this year cause Santa knows I have been a very, very good girl so far.

And just in case you need some suggestions Santa, I’m still missing my Bobby Sherman Lunch box from 1969…Just saying!!

Life is a circle, good things always come back around!

I love each and every one of you







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