Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The grass is only greener where it’s been watered.

 I have spent the majority of our timeline supporting you. Supporting your dreams, supporting your habits, supporting you mentally, emotionally, physically and financially. 

As children came into our lives I shifted my focus on supporting them. I shifted funds, asked for help, drained what little retirement I had to make sure they were financially covered. It didn’t just cost me money, but also mentally. It robbed a lot of time I could have spent enjoying them and being a positive presence in their lives and instead presented them with a mom who was so stressed out and stretched thin that THAT is who they remember when they think of the time we all lived under one roof.

The mother they have now, they weren’t allowed to have then and that breaks me. Meanwhile to them, you’ve been living your best life for nobody but yourself and as much as I want to shelter them from that, they’ve reached an age where they can see your mugshot, look you up on social media, hear second hand about your life from those you surrounded yourself by. People who weren’t them.

You came out of that “situation” last year looking to make amends, to be “better” for them and yourself. I sucked up my pride for the “big picture” and at times begged you to just be present. The times you did show up, you all but squealed tires leaving.

If you want to relocate, to go wherever the wind takes you, fine. Do it. But don’t drag them down on your way out. Don’t leave them wanting more and then dip out. They didn’t ask to be here. They didn’t put in a special request to have us as parents, but we wanted THEM. We owe it to them to support them in every way imaginable and I’ve been covering the tab for both of us this entire time. When do I get to say “enough?” Where is the line you have to cross for me to get legal involved again? Who will bail you out then?

The amount of child support you pay for three children is the average amount for one in this state. I know because I see it first hand when mom’s come in to lease with me. I don’t hold you responsible for their healthcare. I don’t hold you accountable for the holidays or time you’re supposed to be spending with them and you find excuses to not follow through.

We have 18 summers with each child. 18. Why aren’t you making that a priority? Why aren’t you running towards them like the house is on fire and you’re the only able bodied adult who can save them? I often feel so sorry for you that you don’t get to experience this love, this absolute joy that is simply being with our kids as often as I get to be in their presence.

As a former child of an absent parent, my heart breaks more for them because I never wanted this for them and if you’d asked me 20 years ago if I felt you could ever do the same to our kids I would have fallen over dead if I knew then what I know now.

What would have happened if my father didn’t die right before the oldest needed oral surgery? What if the property never sold before another needed braces? Maybe I manifested the timing without knowing. What I wouldn’t give to have 10 minutes with my father to just hold him, despite our rocky relationship. I still just want my dad back. Will our children feel the same when you’re gone for good?

Monday, October 9, 2023

Jeffery Lamar Greer

Jeffery Lamar Greer

6/16/1959 - 8/28/2023

On the evening of Monday August 28th, 2023, our Daddy, Jeffery Lamar Greer, was welcomed home by his Mama Tillie Kelley Greer, Father Billy Lamar Greer and sister Patricia Ann Greer along with many grandparents, aunts, cousins and other family members who proceeded him in death.

Jeffery was a loving Father to Tiffany Greer (VanVorst) and Jenna Greer as well as “Papa Jeff” to his four grandchildren, Logan VanVorst, Lillie VanVorst, Lukas VanVorst and Riker Jackson.

He was born in Columbus, Georgia to Tillie Kelley Greer and Billy Lamar Greer on June 16th 1959. He spent many childhood years in the Phenix City and Alexander City areas surrounded by his expansive family. He attended Benjamin Russell High School and continued on in his late teens to join the Army. Upon leaving the Army he married Sherri Baker in June 1980 and proceeded to bring their daughters Tiffany (1982) and Jenna (1988) into the world. They settled in Fayetteville, Georgia in the mid 80’s closer to Sherri’s family.

After his divorce from Sherri, he spent some time back in Alexander City with his Mother. There, he would spend his time with his girls playing hours of Crazy Taxi "We gon' HAVE some fun!" He would also take, specifically Jenna, on many trips around the area visiting historical and family land. Many visits included exploring his hometown. After the loss of his mother's twin, he and his mother relocated to Phenix City closer to her one surviving sister. From there, he would travel back and forth back home to his girls and grandchildren were born.

We had almost 10 years with our father before he passed. He was able to watch his grandkids play soccer, softball, baseball and take the stage for both awards and plays. We were all lucky to have been influenced by his musical taste, faith, and endless love of history. If you knew him personally, you'd know that he spent years tracing his family back "across the pond" on via the Mayflower but also deep into the Cherokee Nation. He was very excited to find family and be able to trace their geology to find the familial connection between them and spent hours on both Ancestry.com and 23andMe.com playing a form of "Human Sudoku" confirming his years and years of old school research visiting libraries, vital records offices and graveyards.


We, his children, will miss him dearly. In the weeks since his passing, it has been increasingly startling to realize we can't just call or text him. We will no longer hear him yearning for GOOD food, something he was robbed of more and more as his illnesses progressed and that man could make a mean cornbread that had friends and family who would fight to have him at their table at holidays.


If you have a good memory of our father, music that reminds you of him, or of a recipe you just know he'd have loved, please comment below so we can look back on this legacy he's left behind.

Monday, June 5, 2023


 For 2 and a half years you have kept me all to yourself. This started with a chance flirtation; a sudden twist of words, the corner of your mouth turned upward giving away your momentary intentions.

Words passed between us in invisible ink, disappearing hours after reading, I have nothing to fall back on… nothing to reflect upon now that it’s actually over. No souvenir of our time together aside from a mostly empty jar of massage cream. 

You once warned me of men who would want me, who I was and wasn’t allowed to play with. You took them from me, pulling your politics into my separation of church and state. We shared one kiss, one I asked for in an effort to taste me lingering on them. You would wait days, weeks between invitations into your hands and take away the moments I shared with men who wanted more than my flesh.

I told you that my bed was “Vegas, baby… what happens here stays here.” And then it suddenly wasn’t. I still hear his voice in surround sound, telling me to tell the truth, telling me he’ll call me when it’s safe, telling me he’d been demoted because of us. Us. Because of you. It wasn’t your place.

You were selfish then. You are selfish still. I spilled everything just a few weeks back, still silly bitter that you were moving away. I spilled all my frustrations that you had this way of twisting and tying me in knots and then bring the strings holding me together so close to being untangled just to knot them back together again. How it was a jerk move and I didn’t understand your reasoning, what did you get from this? Where was your reward? Should I have been disrespectful? Should I have lured you to “Vegas?” Opened my mouth to use my big girl voice as I once told you to do the same with your big boy voice? Should I have asked about her? Made you say her name? Would this have carried on as long as it did?

I looked back on our conversations, seeking to see the grey areas between the black and white on the screen. Everything that meant anything was written in invisible ink and I see that now. I see that I’m too late to raise my voice. I’m too late to make that move. Too late to whisper “checkmate” in your ear as you have me tortured against your front door, denying my exit. You should have used your words and I shouldn’t have overstayed my welcome.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Fool’s Gold

In a world filled with so many options of “social” media, I feel so alone. I miss the days of actual friendships. I miss the friendships I thought I had.

I’m so good at being independent and alone. Too good. Alone is comforting until it’s not. When I’m overwhelmed and over stimulated, alone is a thick blanket I can pull up to my chin and wrap myself up in.

I don’t have relationships that I can just pick up the phone and bullshit with someone, there’s always a clause I overlook somehow.

I’m not ready for a partner or anything long term romantically. I want someone I can be apart from but be together when we’re able. A plus one, but only when a plus one is actually necessary. I miss the friendships I thought I had.

I have a few “friends” but the stars almost never align for us to meet anymore. There’s only one who makes my stomach feel full of butterflies. I want him, but I also know that I wouldn’t if I ever had him. 

That guy. I swoon over him in my sleep, I see him and want to wrap my hand behind his neck and pull him into me. I want to make out with him, but know that in doing so I would jeopardize the kinds of feelings I have for him and he’s completely off limits despite his ability to sweet talk me out of my pants. 

Then there’s the new guy. I met him years ago when I couldn’t do anything but gawk at him and curse myself for having a separation of “church and state” or in my case “work and personal” life. Now that he no longer falls under the “forbidden” category and we’ve since matched on a dating app, it’s been brought to light that he’s also been intrigued by me. Once again, though, nothing is lining up just right to allow us to meet up,

I’m just done with life right now, I’m done with the games leading up to the grand finale.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Of fathers and daughters.

I am sitting on my sister’s sofa in the home I grew up in. My father is struggling to exist in the recliner beside me. I have visually and conversationally observed him to see what it is I’m up against. I have had to use my mom voice on him already once in the last 30 minutes. “I’m not leaving until you’re in my car or the back of an ambulance, and I’ve got all the time in the world.”

I can feel my cheeks and ears flush as I look away from him. He hasn’t whipped me in over 25 years, but I still get sick to my stomach confronting him. He says he hasn’t bathed in over a week and he’s embarrassed, I tell him to go clean himself up if he must but that we’re going regardless. 

A month or more ago he walked into a clinic and they refused to assess him as they felt he needed emergency care. Afterwords he told my sister that if he wasn’t better by Easter he’d take himself in. He doesn’t want to go on the weekends because he feels the care he’ll receive is less than what he’d get on a Monday. A handful of Mondays have come and gone… and so she messages me. Says something has to happen. I’ve briefed my children on the situation and put on my loudest trap music and rapped my way here. 

My sister is gentle, she is kind even when she shouldn’t be. I am envisioning her allowing him to die because he didn’t want to go. Bodily autonomy and whatnot. Meanwhile I’m envisioning my nephew walking in on Papa in front of his westerns succumbing to the death rattle. I look at him and tell him that I would not be able to forgive myself if I allowed him to traumatize my nephew by letting him decay in his line of sight.

This is happening. The last time this happened I left his ass in the emergency room after he decided to leave against doctors orders. I’ll do it again too.

You can lead a horse to water.

He wants to talk to me about how dialysis is the only way to remove the fluids he’s got built up, but last I checked he didn’t have an MD behind his name. To my knowledge, no one with our last name has an MD behind it.

He struggled his way out the door far enough to fall into a rocking chair to smoke a cigarette. Took a minute to catch his breath and has been groaning for a solid 10 minutes. I told him it sounds like he’s in pain and he says it’s all he can do to walk from one side of the room to another.

He’s wanting to bargain. He wants to tell me horror stories of reviews he’s read of the hospital closest to us. He wants to tell me about the lady he bumped into at the local diner who was on a stretcher for 10. and. a. half. hours. Can you believe it? I counter with one of ten people satisfied with their care bother to review, but ten of ten dissatisfied people will review. 

And then he turned his westerns back on and leans back into his recliner.

He’s been asleep now for an hour and a half struggling to breathe in his sleep. He moans and gasps and I think that it’s happening. It’s going to happen. I’ve reached an agreement with my sister that I’m just going to call 911 once my nephew is asleep and when the paramedics arrive tell him we weren’t able to wake him. It’s mostly true. When we’re able to wake him he’s alert for less than a minute.

I want to care but I’m so mad that it’s reached this point. My children are home alone, I have my own appointments in the morning, my children have school… I’m exhausted just thinking about it and so so angry at him for not taking care of himself; if not for himself, for his children and grandchildren.

He never went to the hospital. Instead I stayed up till midnight to take him after he declined an ambulance ride and legend has it he is still getting ready to go, but never actually going.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Where is my heart?

My heart is a Pandora's box of names, places and comforting trinkets and talismans. My heart swells and radiates all the love it's ever received and all the love it has yet to give. It is passionate, unconditional and empathetic... and because it is truly human, it aches for all the love it has left behind or been denied.

My love is in Orange County California with a teenage fever dream of a surfer boy.

My love is on Hunter's Glen falling from my lips to the lips of my first true love in an old beat up pickup truck.

My love is the sweat on my skin as I learned the burn of passion with the boy who'd traveled the whole world before he laid eyes on me.

My love travels space and time, bouncing around from Great Falls Montana, Naples Florida to Canon City Colorado and beyond the confines of the nation.

My love is in the inches between my heart and the heart of the man who would father our children; bodies pressed together daring the world to pry us apart.

My love is the sweet babies breath and intoxicating scent of new life in each of my children.

My love is the butterflies in my belly when my brain leaves the room, silly and drunk on flatteries.

My love is on the sidelines watching it all unfold, yelling at my heart to slow down and protect itself but my heart never listens.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

A world of wonder.

 The morning was rough. I had two appointments for two separate kids and I had convinced myself the first appointment started 30 minutes later than it actually did. We were lucky in that the orthodontist was able to still fit us in. Only 2-3 appointments left for this kid, and then the fun begins for kid #2.

The second appointment was a county over and involved a new doctor’s office we’d never been to before. We somehow arrived to that area earlier than anticipated and we were able to get breakfast at one of my favorite bagel spots. We fought traffic back to the cardiologist and the appointment was wildly uneventful. Which was GOOD.

I had half convinced myself that I earned a well deserved nap once we got home, but after setting a timer for nap time ended up somehow clearing the patio of broken pots, weeds and trash from last season’s fall prep. I rehung solar lanterns, discovered a petunia that had found the perfect conditions to come back to life, and nested my now empty pots and planters inside themselves ready for Spring planting.

A few of my larger heavier planters still had good dirt in them but also had a thick layer of little sprouts from a nearby tree. I hand tilled tops of them and removed the top third from the pots; dense earthy soil scented the patio and sparkled against my forearms. 

I think about how I’m going to need a Benadryl after sweeping clouds of pollen off the space. I think about my grandfather working his own arms into the cold frame where we grew strawberries and how I’m planning on growing my own berries this year. I think about my Mammaw rinsing beans in a big pot from her recliner, snapping the ends and preparing them for canning or the night’s dinner. I wonder if I will also grow beans some day or if I’ll be a small scale patio gardener forever. 

I am excited for the potential all this sweet dirt has to bring forth, for the life that awaits on the other side of Spring.