To my son Tommy,
I come from a long family history with its fair share of anger, violence, stubborn righteousness, and grudge holding.
There are newspaper stories in our ancestry files of a triple great (or there abouts) grandmother shooting a cop with a shotgun and being found not guilty because she was pregnant and Irish and the cop deserved it.
Your Grandpa Leo believes that many people in this world deserve a good set of knuckles to the nose, or a swift kick to the nuts, or at least a good piddle on their shoes... and that is on the tame side. If he really has his ire up, your grandpa reverts back to his military training and starts suggesting sniper rifles and mortar fire.
To this day, if the family buys something from Sears, we have to hide the bags and destroy the receipt. You see they screwed over your Grandma Roro back in 1977 or so when she ordered something from their catalog when the family was stationed at an army base in Germany (not sure if it was Butzbach or Hanau). That is a grudge held for almost a half a century now.
And you have already noticed your old man's temper, I am sure. So when you grow up you will hear stories about yours truly and how certain bar customers upset him during his bar tending days. Occasionally, I was unable to fight the family genetic code as I escorted these gentlemen to the door and asked them to never come back again, with my fist.
Even on the X side of the chromosome, there are these tendencies. We can't buy Chic-fil-A because of their politics, unless you dare risk the wrath of your mother. No thank you, she makes Grandpa Leo's mortar fire seem like a less painful alternative! I kid, I kid. Often she is the voice of reason when it comes to conflict and has had a very calming influence to the Downey side.
These are the same traits and tempers that run through your blood. It is a constant challenge to feel God's hand on your shoulder holding you back, from doing something rash and wrong and vengeful but that feels oh so right, and listen to His voice in your head saying, "Yes. I know that guy is a dumbass and deserves everything you are thinking, but he is My dumbass the same as your are mine, and we must show kindness and forgiveness." It is harder than it sounds...especially this week.
You see, after your mother's extremely painful biopsy on Wednesday, where the University of Maryland hospital made us question their competence, we await the results. After hearing the entire story from your mother, which thankfully she was unable to fully relay at the hospital or I would most likely be in jail, they actually did something right and got the biopsy results the next day. I think it was rushed as an olive branch for what they did wrong, but whatever. It should be a good thing to have the biopsy results the next day around 1pm, right?
Well, unfortunately the orthopedic oncologist and/or his staff didn't react to having the results right away. Instead they started their four day vacation weekend early and perhaps worked only a half day on Thursday. Now we can't even make an appointment to get the results till this upcoming Tuesday. So that puts it Wednesday as the most likely appointment date. At least it is better be Wednesday! I have had the holiday weekend to stew about it. Throw in a trip to the ER for a seizure for your Grandpaon Friday night and a fall he had on Saturday. Let's just say everyone here is on edge; I am on edge. I might miss that hand of God on my shoulder and thus might do something a little more drastic than piddle on their shoes.
Sincerely with love from your dad,