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Post Holiday

The Thanksgiving was great.

Kids actually helped! The oldest, much to my shock, peeled and chopped and sautéed vegetables. The middle and youngest found great fun in peeling potatoes. I even made home-made gravy. The daughter took a picture of each full plate, thanks were offered and everybody was filled. I later even put out two pies – an apple and a butterscotch. After, my middle and I passed time by tossing around the football in the local park. A great day.

But, my mind began to panic when I got the call that the ex was outside and ready to pick up the kids. I whispered into each of their ears how much I loved them and how proud I was of them. Then, at about 6 PM, they drove away.

Coming back into the apartment isn’t joyful for me as I’ve written about before. But I was trying to help myself by being busy and ultimately failed at that. I kept staring at the mess they made knowing that it needed to be tended to. But it was their mess. It reminded me of them. It kept them near me in an illogical way. Looking at the dirty dishes, the unwrapped food, the stains on the tablecloth and the unfinished drinks kept their spirit with me.

I sat at the table, gazed at nothing outside for a while in the total silence, prayed to God and then fell asleep with my head on the table.

I’ll update in a few hours …………

Saturday, I received a call from an agency – they wanted me to fill a shift that evening. I was thrilled! I haven’t worked in almost two weeks and I desperately need the money. It was a building in which I had worked many times before and the reception when I came through the door was overwhelmingly warm. How great it was to see collegues that remembered me as a kind, intelligent and affable person! We talked for quite a while and it was said to me to apply for a position because they were always looking for help. Again, what a thrill! The shift went very, very well and I was bolstered immeasureably at the prospect of maybe finding a position at a facility that I loved.

Well, just a short time ago I came back from that facility, met with the director, who loved me by the way, but, unfortunately, a position had just been filled. I can only hope that my face didn’t show the crush of what I felt at there not being a position.

I went to another of their sister facilities a short ride away and again, the director loved me, but nothing right now. At both facilities, I am now on their per diem list in case a shift here or there happens to open up. Well, at least it’s a step in the right direction.

On Sunday morning I went to church with my reaquainted girlfriend. Though she doesn’t practice (who am I to talk about practicing?) she wanted to go with me. I have to admit that I was a little self conscious kneeling with her there and saying my rosary, but I knew that she was there for me – the whole package. I have a whole new respect for her and the way she emotionally supports me. I know that she only wants … well, me. It made me remember the times that her words had helped to guide me more than once and how wise she is.

Maybe I had my idiotic thoughts and assumptions about a committed relationship with her all wrong. It’s not that she was never ‘quite good enough for me’, maybe it’s that I’m the one not quite good enough for her!

We parted after mass, made plans for later in the day and I was off to help a friend move furniture to his shed. I hadn’t seen him in ages! I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon moving and then he and his wife took me for a lunch. After I left, I thought ‘why not?’ and contacted another friend and asked if I could stop by. When I arrived, we hung Christmas lights on his front bushes and it, in a way, made me sad thinking that I may never again have a chance to hang outdoor lights with my children ever again.

Writing that last sentenance took only a moment, but it is so profound. I’m living in an apartment, my ex is looking at apartments – my children, nor I, will never again know the joy of stringing lights outside of our home together for the rest of our lives! I sorely miss those common activities and would gladly trade years of my life for that opportunity!

I left there, came home and later met with the girlfriend. She treated me to a dinner and a beer. Being so macho, I have a really hard time letting a woman foot the bill, but at her urging, finally relented. It was wonderful to just be out among people!

We came back to my place and I put in the video ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’. It was really slow though she kept telling me how good the book was. Poor girl – I fell asleep and she woke me after the movie, and I walked her to her car. I begin to realize more and more just how good she really is.

Even amongst my worn and dusty rubble, I find that there are certain bricks that I am thankful for which offer me a modicum of solice and grace.

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