I was going to do a post on September 12th and completely forgot so I’m doing it now. September 12th, 2002 is a very significant day in the life of myself. For this was the day my father departed us to go to wherever it is his karma took him???
I was fortunate, however, in that I had made peace with the man that made the first 9 years of my life very unbearable and it may be the reason I’m so not seeing myself having the piles of child. I mean divorced parents by 2 both are re-married by the time I’m 5, stuck living with father and horrid step mother and her equally horrid son till I was 9? I ain’t goin through that again.
Fortunately, I got to live with my mother when I was 9 leaving my father to inevitably divorce that horrid woman 2 years later. My evil horid step mother had given my father an ultimatum of ‘either he goes or I go’ and I had been pleading with the man for about a year that I needed to get out of there due to a crazed step brother. Fortunately he choose wisely and it actually gave me a childhood up until my step father went onto to pursue his own karma in 1989 and My mother re-marrying the following year. My father also remarried for a third time in 1989 and fortunately he did really well for himself the last 13 years of his life. But he always seemed to regret the decision he made back in 1984 choosing my evil horrid stepmother over me and that I was somehow the cause of all the household problems.
And I would tell him as the years went on when I would see him for Holidays and special occasions that he made a most excellent decision cause 1984 was a righteous year for a 9 year old metal head and being exposed to some major awesomness that I would never have been exposed to otherwise on top of getting out of an environment that would come back to almost repeat itself in 2007 through 2010 in a very strange way.
But going back to the foul year of our lord 1980, I remember when I was 5 and thinking well daddy is the big four oh and I want to be the big four oh to and now that I’m almost there It’s pretty mind bending that he only lived 22 more years after that. But a life of Pall Malls and Pabst Blue Ribbon will tend to do that to a person. And when your parents have you in their mid thirties it’s a pretty good bet by the time your that age (I’m currently two years older than when my mother gave birth to me) that you’re gonna deal with your fair share of family departures into the great ether pit of I don’t know whats???
But where was I?
The last time I saw my father was on July 4th, 2002. I would probably rank it as my favorite 4th of July. I didn’t know at the time that 8 years later I would be crashing at my aunts in California trying to figure out how to forge a path here because in 2002 my father, uncle, and grandfather, were still with us.
I didn’t expect my father to be gone so soon as I really felt he left just as he was getting interesting, although, sometimes I think that may be the other way around? So the Fourth of July that year was a very good day. I had just gotten out of the military the year before and the only offspring of my fathers that had actually done the military. He himself had been in the Marines right between Korea and Vietnam so that mentality just added to the not so much funness of the first 9 years of my existence.
So I never in a million years thought I would enlist but life gets really funny when your in your early twenties going through a quarter life crisis and the solution is to join the military. Go figure that one but when I look back on my life now it was one of the best decision I ever made or could have done for myself instead of dying a slow death in that pit. Had I had bigger cahones or however you spell cah ho knees ?? I would have moved to the land with the big fancy sign then but there would have been no way I would have been in the right head space for it.
And even after getting out of the military I wouldn’t have been in the right head space for it so flash forward to September 12, 2002 6:30 a.m.:
I am currently working graveyard shift as SSI Technologies in Janesville, cheese wiz utopia, and I am home, get a ring on the phone and it’s my sister to give me the news that Daddy went on to pursue the makings of his own karma. Little did I know at that time this was really the beginning of getting those cah hon knees to move to the land with the big fancy sign.
2002 turned into 2003 and on my sister’s birthday I think it was December 11th last day of the week I’m outsourced from a job I was never hired on for after working there for 18 months. A temp for freakin’ 18 months??? Thank God that amounted to another six months of unemployment and a very transformative year that was 2004.
But since A LOT of this has been covered in previous posts I shall get to the meat and potatoes and skip forward to the death of my uncle. Now my uncle passed on I think 2008? And coincidentally it was on the same day he became a grandfather. Now theres a coincidence for someone who doesn’t believe in them. Anyways, I didn’t have that much family to begin with. Basically because when I was a kid I was going back and forth a lot between mother and father so those first 9 years I felt a lot closer to my father’s side of the family that I ever did my mothers. I specifically being with my Mother for christmas when I was in my prime for gift receiving and being at my aunts and not one gift for me at all. So I certainly didn’t feel like I was a part of that side of the family.
Now on my fathers side I have an aunt and an uncle. The aunt never had kids and the older I get the more I admire her for it, and my uncle had three. Now my father and uncle were like night and day. Or it least it seemed that way to me and on the rare occassion I would get to hang out over there with my cousins I always felt I had gotten the raw deal with fathers.
So I always felt closer to my fathers side of the family as my mother’s side is just very difficult to figure out with her having five sisters and then being adopted or something? So I had two grandmothers on that side of the family and just A LOT of people I would only see once a year at ‘Thee Picnic.’ And the older I get and the more I try to figure out what motivated some of those people to live the life they did confuses me to no end.
So now with my uncle gone this mean the family dynamic that I was most closest to is just a little less. Family gatherings once your father dies makes less sense unless it’s the Fourth of July and the whole town is there and your Grandfather is the Grand Marshall.
As they say, everything happens in threes, and sure enough at 97 my Grandfather went on to pursue his own karma which I would imagine to be pretty spectacular. The last time I talked to my grandfather was in February of 2010 when for the first time in my life that I can remember I landed myself in the hospital for three days when I suffered an extreme case of frostbite. It’s interesting that’s the last time I spoke to him cause I hadn’t seen him since the Fourth of July 2008. Unfortunately the 4th of July 2009 didn’t happen due to a trickle of rain and sister didn’t go that year.
Here is thee obit (*reduxed by Art Holmes) and originally posted as a Facebook note:
March 10, 2010
*just got back from the memorial of my late grandfather. it was really nice with a spectacular meal afterwords. the only thing i didnt get was no one was asked to say anything about the dearly departed?
my sister had worked up a whole thing. she said after dads funeral she felt bad she never said anything so wanted to not miss the opportunity this time. now ill be wondering what exactly she was going to say and now i may never know???? she did say grandfather made very thorough plans on how he wanted his memorial/funeral/buriel to go so not sure if that was his call for no one to get to say anything. oh well. its always my favorite part of that particular service. for example if fred klett (father of stephanie klett who hosts discover wisconsin) had not talked about how my dad got the name ‘homer’ when they were kids i would have never known and it was my favorite part of the whole funeral. great talker that guy. cant believe he’s a republican????
i guess the best thing i got out of the memorial service was finally finally finally being able to ask my dear cousin if she was on fb cause for the life of me could not find her on here. we were amazing chums when we were much younger. so cool to get reconnected so many years later thru this thing.
so here it is the obit. mainly for myself in case i lose the little program thingy they gave us.
John F. Holmes, M.D., 97, Milton, died Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010, at Mercy Hospital in Janesville.
John was born before WWI on Sept. 23, 1912, in Sandy Sink, by what is now Highway 51 (*should be 59 according to my sister). He went to elementary and high school in Milton, and to Milton College for two years (*unfortunately the college died in the early 80’s. not sure why??? and according to someone i spoke to this morning who taught there. grandfather used to teach there from time to time providing the students with an abundance of medical knowledge). He also spent one year at Andrews University in Michigan. He started Medical School in Loma Linda, CA, in July 1933, and finished in June of 1937. After a one year internship at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac, WI, he spent one year doing a Psychiatric Residency in Lexington, KY. (*this is where my father was born. i did not know this but when i was doing some mental time back in 1997 when my grandfather visited he reminisced with the staff about working in a similiar place. im thinking this is what he may have been refering to).
John married Lorraine Auman on July 2, 1938, in Green Bay, WI. (*they were married for 42 years. i remember the funeral well cause it was on my 6th birthday. she passed away april 2nd of ’81).
John then went into public health services and Veterans Administration for a little while until he went on active duty with National Guard in Camp Shelby, MS. He served 3 1/2 years in the South Pacific, and was discharged in 1946. (*i did not know he served in WW2 in a mash unit until i enlisted in the army back in 1997 when my father told i was a 3rd generation military man. it surprised me because dad always liked to tell the story of when he enlisted in the marines at 17 and grandfather was not thrilled so i always thought he was somewhat anti military but i couldnt have been more wrong about that growing up)
He set up practice in Milton Junction, and retired in 1983. (*i still remember the first shot i ever got in my life. of course there had been shots before this but i remember going to his clinic in milton and not thinking it unusual that my grandfather was the town doctor of milton. made a lot of house calls. today the preacher man said something like if everyone who was delivered by doc holmes stood up right now the floor would collapse.)
He was President of Mercy Hospital in Janesville and Edgerton Hospital. (*i had no idea about this till i read that today. got a ‘house’ flashback with that 1. i was born at mercy. my sister said when she saw him at the hospital last month she had asked if anyone knew who he was. apparently no one there knew either)
John was a 50-year member of the American Legion Post 0367, the Masonic Lodge No. 161, Rock County Medical Society-State of Wisconsin, and the First Congregational Chruch, Milton. He was a lifetime member of the American Family Practice Physicians, a member of the Gathering Place, and Citizen of the Year in 1983. (*again i didnt know about the citizen of the year thing till today but i was only 8 at the time and for all i know i probably went to the cermony. on another note a lady came up to me today and said that your john grandson artie. i was like how did u know that. she said she had a feeling and that i went fishing with her son or something when i was like 3. have no idea why she would remember that. had a similiar experience the last time i went to a church service at that particular church back in 1996. it was the day after the olympics had been bombed and one of the woman came up to me and said how i was the cutest kid in her sunday school class. again im not sure why people remember the things that they do. like my cousins mother. the last 2 times i’ve seen her she always brings up the missing shoe in the leaves story. my cousin lost her shoe when we were playing in a pile of leaves when we were much much younger. she was unthrilled at losing her shoe. cant believe i still remember that)
He had three children, and has six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. (*actually its 4. i asked my sister why they left out amber. my brothers 20 year old daughter. she said that it was my bros fault for not being in her life. the guy was cut out of my fathers will. not that he left anything of significance but its an interesting fact that dad completely removed him. my dad never met her and grandfather only met her a couple of times during fourth of july gatherings. its unfortunate she never made the radar for that side of the family. and i was even thinking about that this morning. tho i probably think about it everyday and its a major friction point with my brother and i and that he has never been in his childs daily life since she was born. now thats she’s 20 i hope she doesnt repeat the same cycle of addicition but nonetheless she has picked up some habits that concern me as she progresses thru life. im amazed the girl has not had a kid yet)
He enjoyed golf (*loved it would be more accurate) and bowling, being active in his church, watching the Badgers and Packer games, reading two or three books a week (*i knew he read but i didnt know he read that much. apparently he also loved john grisham and his favorite book was the bible. didnt know he was such a fan of fiction lol. i should be getting a copy of his journal which i cant wait for and certainly will be typing that out on here in the future), entertaining his family and friends at his annual 4th of July party, riding in the parade with his special friend, Peggy Hirschberg (*i think she was an english teacher or elementary teacher), in her red Thunderbird convertible (*amazingly awesome sexy looking car if there evert was one), was also a Grand Marshall of the parade in 2008, (*the last time i saw him. the fourth of july gathering was also the last time i saw my father in 2002. amazingly good day and just the way i always want to remember him. could not have been more perfect), playing cribbage with his good friend, Nate Bruce, and being part of the Milton Men’s Bridge Club. (* i think my father taught me how to play bridge once and i remember liking it and then completely forgot cause he only played with me once. wish he would have done things like that more often)
(*Peggy was really heartbroken at his passing. if her eyes could have told a story today it would have been something like people llike this dont come around every day and she certainly is going to miss her dear friend)
(*the 4th of july has been my favorite holiday of the year for a long time because of grandfathers get togethers. the parade passes right in front of his house and growing up getting the candy was a big deal. i was so pissed at my sister last year for not going due to a trickle of rain.
after the service we went by gramps house and one of my memories as a child was going over there during christmas and i may have been about 5 during the holiday season and feeling very at peace with myself and that my life was good with no stress and to remember this particular time because life may not always be this easy. when we rode past the house today it certainly felt like a chapter of my life had been closed and that those innocent care free days were no longer)
John is survived by his daughter, Patricia Wenham (*best aunt ever) (Richard Correll *boyfriend of a lot of years) of Janesville
Cindy Cisewski (*sister)
Donald Holmes (*my pain in the ass bro who did not go due to lack of clothing and being an idiot)
Richard “Art” (*i would have prefered artie) Holmes
all of beloit (*actually south beloit for bro and i but it still makes me sound like a loser lol)
Michelle (David) (*husband) Morrow of Rockford, IL. (* if there was one thing that im really glad about is finally finally finally being able to find her on FB. we’re only 2 months apart and to have the correspondence is like finding a long lost siblling)
Courtney (Denise) (*wife) Holmes of New Orleans, LA (*didnt know that they lived there. friend request pending with courtney and hopefully i can get some details on what its like living there. actually i think they may have moved??? or was michelle talking about lisa??? i cant remember???)
Lisa (Michael) McClain of McHenry, IL (*friend request also pending. it was a good day for FB requests)
three great-grandchildren (*um 4 actually)
Frank and Jared Cisewski (*Frank possibly future marine will be twenty freakin four this year lmao i mean wow and Jared will be 21. they both live with their momma still double lmao)
Jenifer McClain (*my cousin lisa’s child she had a couple years ago. on a major coincidental note her father passed away the same day she gave birth)
(*Amber Malone – daughter of the black sheep donald. pisses me off just to write this and if my bro ever gets wind that she was left out that is one night of drinking i do not want to privy to)
Sandra DeBauche and Marilyn Schmidt of Green Bay (* i remember a day as a child when we went up to green bay. incredibly long day and drive. i remember looking at the gas tank and wondering why they had two types of gas. leaded and unleaded???? really cool people. wished i could have gotten to know them a lot better)
Kathryn Holmes of Milton (*my angel of a stepmom. worked at beloit college since she graduated from there until they let her go last year. her father scott crom taught philosophy there. looks like ab lincoln or at least thats what im always reminded of everytime i see him)
Barbara Holmes (*my aunt that i really havent gotten to know very well. FB request pending. lol)
and many close friends
He was preceded in death by his parents,
Arthur (*who i remember but not very well. he passed when i was 4 or 5 and is the man that i got my middle name. im originally a richard after my father but my father and great-grandfather were very close and called me artie bug so it just stuck. later in the fifth grade when i was becoming a social outcast shortened it to art but i still prefer artie with my dearer friends)
and Letty (Courtney) Holmes; his wife (*whom i never met. im pretty sure she passed away before i was even a thought in my fathers ball sack)
Lorraine Holmes (*grandma. 2 memories i have of her. 1 me being a pain in the ass and her cleaning up after me with the patience of job. and being in elementary school and seeing her across the street and running up to her while the gym teacher freaked out. she took me back to the house and called daddy to pick me up)
Richard (*daddy) and
John “”Cork” Holmes (*my uncle. it was quite a shock to me that he died. im not exactly sure what happened there but alcohol be damned. my aunt today were swapping stories about my uncle and brother and alcoholism sure does leave a lot of victims in its path)
August DeBauche (* i’m pretty sure i never met the man)
Jane DeBauche (* never met grandmas sister but apparently the two were like night and day)
and a special friend
Margaret Dickhoff (*who i actually knew quite well. for milton wisconsin my grandfather knew a few high society types and margaret certainly seemed to be of that class. i actually didnt know she passed away till a few years after the fact. i saw her at a christmas thing at gramps house in the mid 90’s. she asked if i had a girlfriend lol. one hell of a solitaire player as well. never could beat that old dame. really fast)
Funeral services will be (*were) held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 10, 2010, at the FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN MILTON, with Rev. Herb Saunders officiating. (*he sung amazing grace and another choice number which i blocked from memory. gave me a joan baez woodstock flashback). Visitation will be (*was held) on Wednesday at the CHURCH from 10 a.m. until the start of the service. Memorials may be made to the First Congregational Church, Milton.
WHITCOMB-LYNCH-ALBRECHT FUNERAL HOMES, INC.
828 S. Janesville St. Milton, WI 53563
I originally had a very good comment thread for this from Facebook but either my dear cousin Courtney along with his sister blocked and deleted me or removed his Facebook profile and now I don’t have the thread that was.
On May 1st, 2010 I received five thousand dollars in inheritance and told myself if he leaves me at least five thousand I’ll be on a greyhound to lala land in the same day and sure enough I was. The timing of this is incredible because I had been living with my Mother and her significant other (whom is very saintly by sticking by mothers side when she had her stroke in 2004 but when I was really struggling those last four years and living there off and on those last three he did an amazing job of letting me know what a waist of space I was). And then they ended up losing the house in April of 2010 and I had nowhere to go. Stayed with my sister for a week and then that was it. Got my inheritance and gone with no plan on returning and having absolutely no reason to.
Looking back now, (as my bro has become the grandfather I predicted he would be, and the cousin on my mothers side who is younger than I am and has just become a grandmother), I am highly impressed that the amount of cah ho knees that took is beyond impressive and now I sit here staring directly at the Arclight Cinerama Dome, sitting in the same building that Elvis and the Stones recorded in, about to go to an A and Que with Roland Emmerich tonight, and surrounded by instructors and peers that the cheese wiz utopia couldn’t come close to matching.
So even though I’m broke as hell and have to depend on amazing gracious souls to let me crash at their place, I’ll always be eternally grateful to my grandfather for giving me just enough courage money to completely change the direction of my life.
Of course what I learned on the flip side being here is that I could have accomplished the same thing on about 500 dollars given the path I ended up on to get to mount super fabulous and that fear is the killer amongst what would otherwise be some magnificent well lived lives.