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Posts Tagged ‘daughter’

I would feel …

It’s an overcast, grey, empty streets glossy from rain, chilly, messy apartment, nothing to do day here in my building. I’ve a self-imposed schedule that will bulk up my time, but you know what would make today meaningful?

The thrill of a phone call from my children. More pulse deafening than any various form of contact from anyone else, seeing the incoming number on my cell would jar me into splendid joy. I would know how my oldest did on his Learners Permit test on Friday. I would know how well my middle one felt he did on his Thursday at school when he had multiple tests. I would hear from my daughter, in her little girl voice, what she and her friends have been doing this weekend.

I would feel that I belonged.

The low voltage of steady, streaming, hair-raising electricity conspiculously felt sizzling between myself and the woman who I felt I would never finally meet. The comfort nestled deeply and securely within my soul, during a moment when she doesn’t know what I’m thinking, understanding with bright, iris cleansing clarity how fortunate and thankful I am that she has made the conscious decision to spend precious and unretrieveable seconds, minutes and hours with a guy like me. The silent promises I would keep armed and barricaded within my heart, the sacrifices to the belief in love I would be willing to endure and the chastity of single thought romance I yearn to happily embrace would all conspire to melt the vulnerability I feel with the touch of someone who is simply there and the susceptibility to widen arms to those who extend them in unison.

I would feel in love.

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Tenacious Me

The cable company, the electric company, the credit card company and the cell phone company all most likely have Caller-ID lists in their offices with my number prominently in bold, flashing, deep purple neon. I might even be used as an example in their new employee orientation program.

I dislike enormously the thought that I am nothing more than a nameless cash cow for anyone. If I see an unknown charge of even $0.25 on a bill, I take it as a personal jab in my gut and physically feel my ire rankle at the thought that someone is believing that I’m not going to even notice the twenty-five cents, or call them on it.

I listen to others bitch about the phone bill for instance. Each and every month – you watch it, your bill goes up ever so slightly. And yet, you pay it. Silently. My stand is this: you gave me a quote for this and that service. You will honor that quote. Or else.

My kids know all too well Dad’s version of ‘or else’ and they could quote it back to you. But for the sake of summary I tell them that every company is in business for one thing and one things only – to make money. Who gives them that money? Why, you do of course! If you are no longer their customer, what do they have left? Less money! And to hurt them even more, you will bring that same money to their competition. It’s not personal, it’s just business.

I’ve had this LG Chocolate phone, minus the slide out keypad, that I received through Verizon for not quite ten months now. I was satisfied with my Motorola flip phone but my contract was up and while I was researching for phones, my daughter became a big influence. Not being the kind of guy who regularly texts, all I really use the phone for is calling and receiving calls. I do text on occasion and find it convenient sometimes and it was because of my daughter that I chose the LG based partly on the easy texting feature. I found it a bit odd to not protect the phone by flipping it shut, but I have been liking the touch-finger method of using the phone and text.

However, I don’t go to the Internet through the phone, nor do I tweet, or use GPS or have any applications – I find that even if I wanted to use those features, they all cost extra money. And I can’t justify to myself paying extra to get on the internet when I have a computer at home, using a mobile GPS when I also have access to that on the computer and what other applications could I possibly need (at this moment anyhow) that would convince me to pay more money each month to a phone company?

Let me tell you that I take VERY good care of my phone. I do not have a land line and it is the major method of communication with my children, so do NOT mess with my method of communication that is for my kids! I do not drop it, I do not leave it in the heat or cold, I do not accidentally splash it with liquid and I do not sit on it. Weird? Sure, but I need my phone.

Last week, my phone started to get thin, vertical, colored lines on the right hand side of the screen. I thought nothing of it and matter of fact, I shut off the phone, restarted and *poof* they were gone. Only, they come back. I began to receive those lines more frequently. Last Sunday, I had the addition of a black thick, vertical line appear smack dab in the middle of the screen making it very difficult (I’m being polite) to read or see the display. Tuesday night I saw that a thin ‘lightning bolt’ looking white line appeared originating from the upper left corner to the middle of the right side, causing everything on the screen to look slightly out of alignment as if the screen were puzzle pieces slightly out of alignment. It was the last straw – I could hardly read anything at all, rebooting wasn’t doing a thing and it began to get so bad that I couldn’t see messages or phone calls or the number/type pad. I needed a replacement.

Here’s where I lost patience.

Read more…

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 …………

More, after the Break

Thanks

I have my angels until Friday at 5:00 PM.

Although life would be more sustainable with them as inspiration if I were with them 24 hours a day, I will try today to imagine – suspend reality, that this is just what I have. Intercede their constant bickering with a gentle reminder of the joy of being with one another. Accept the nano-syllables or silence of my oldest when I talk to him, ignore the smart-aleck under the breath comments from my middle one and politely ask my daughter to put down her game player and interact with us.

I didn’t have a family growing up.

I shuffled foster home to foster home until I was old enough to be on my own. I sorely see the result of never acquiring the wisdom that comes from guidance, someone to steer me away from bad decisions and the pain of suffering in silent, solitary, mental confinement while others always had someone to help ground them. My experiences have always been as an individual apart – not with a relative, even a distant one, to help steer me one way or another. So, I’ve the proclivity to self-isolate. To live through joy or pain alone.

But my children, the only family I have ever known, are with me today.

They have each other and I hope that they need me. I see it as a twinkle ever so often, but sometimes I have the overpowering sinking feeling that because of divorce, they are quite used to, and adept at, being without me. Someone they must shuffle to from time to time. You can see how my past has affected my present.

But, today, I will endeavor to induce a chuckle, try to get them to watch part of a parade on TV, see if I can entice them to put away the games for a short while, try to play a board game with them, prod them to come outdoors and toss a football, help in preparing the turkey and fixings and make it a goal to capture a smile on film.

On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my children and the opportunity to teach them how monumentally important it is to have family. A lesson that nobody was able to teach me.

God help us, everyone.

Non-negotiable

Our divorce agreement states that she would take control of, and pay, the mortgage on our home.

I called CitiBank mortgage company last week to ask about the status of account.

Long months ago she told me that she wanted to restructure the loan to make it more affordable for her to pay. She filled out the application and needed me to sign it to make it legal. I stated that if she wanted to change part of the agreement, I wanted a chance to change part of it it also.

I wanted the chance to see each of my three children individually, every so often – alone. I’m in a continual struggle to find anything to do that would satisfy three radically dissimilar children in differing developmental stages – a fifteen year old boy, a twelve year old boy and a ten year old girl. There’s no appropriate movie for an ten year old girl that a fifteen (almost sixteen) year old boy wants to see. And there’s no movie for a fifteen year old boy that’s appropriate for an ten year old girl. Let alone movies, what activities do I choose for the three of them that would keep all three satisfied, curious or simply be fun? Each weekend that they’re here, as they are now getting older and establishing individual identities, it gets razor thin to impossible to stop the arguments, confrontations, bitterness and resentment that they feel toward me and even more so, toward each other, for having to attend something, or do something together, that they don’t want to go to. So, I wanted the chance to see each child, alone, at least once a month.

The chosen date would be one of my weekday nights and it would come out to three and a half hours per month for a chance to see my only daughter alone, see my middle boy alone and time with my fifteen year old alone. For each child that would come out to a total of only fourteen hours a year! It would be a time for us to do something age or gender appropriate that they alone wanted to do with their father without the pressure of having to be coerced into something generic for the three of them. This is something that married parents never even think about when they take one child alone to the store for shopping, go to an age appropriate movie, attend one of their team sports events … the others can be left alone at home, at a friend’s house, a neighborhood friend if they want to be, and still remain content. I don’t have that option or luxury.

On the Tuesdays and Thursdays that I see them, I travel about twenty-five miles one way to pick them up at 4:30PM. Then I drive the four of us twenty-five miles back to my apartment. By 7:30PM, I have to bring them twenty-five miles back home again, and then twenty-five miles back for me. For one night, that’s one-hundred miles. For the two day weeks, it’s two-hundred miles. On the opposite weeks when it’s Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday, it’s two-hundred and fifty miles for a two week total of four-hundred miles. I asked if she could pick them up only one night a week from my apartment for a total of fifty miles a week, or one-hundred miles total over two weeks.

I also asked if I could get access to my storage area (in the basement room that holds my clothing, books and various other items) once a month. Come fall (like it is now), when all I have are summer shirts and light jackets, I’m usually freezing and dressed inappropriately. Same for when spring hits – I’m still in winter clothes. I wanted to be able to quickly sift through boxes and gather belongings that I needed and drop off boxes with what I didn’t need. I don’t even venture up the stairs into my own home when I’m there.

Lastly, I asked that the difference between what she was supposed to pay for the mortgage, and the new payment amount be deducted from her side when the house was sold. I didn’t think it right that when the house was sold – having less equity because of the restructured payment schedule, that I should be penalized in profit. I wanted to have enough money to put a down payment on something small for my kids and myself and because of the restructuring, I would have substantially less.

 Those were the four items I asked in exchange – see my children alone once a month, have the children picked up once a week, get stored items when I needed them and not suffer economic penalties for a restructuring of the mortgage in her favor.

More, after the break

It’s just the sound of my heart breaking – ship to shore.

I don’t even know how to start.

I just know that I’m not happy at all with the way that it’s become up to now. Life’s obstacles seem to make it a point to cluster all around me and I’m at a time and place where I’m even sometimes reluctant to step forward.

Spiritually, I’m in a constant battle with God to help me. I alternately lose faith, have read so much of the self-help books that I’m always confused about the line between helping myself and leaving it in God’s hands.

Physically, I’m in a constant battle also. I quit smoking for the last three weeks, but because of what’s happened to me in the last few days, I bought a pack today and yesterday. So ashamed of that.

I’m so fundamentally frustrated with my lack of formal education! I am enrolled for the Spring semester and am looking forward to that, but at my age when I finally get my degree, will it make a huge difference? I’m also looking at two more years after that in order to get my Bachelors.

My oldest, at fifteen, had taken a stand that it’s not worth it to come see me anymore. He feels that all we do is fight. I admit, that a lot of it has to do with his age, but I so desperately need to see him! I feel unloved by him – my greatest accomplishment and now, my most bitter disappointment.

I am so lonely! Long days without a reason to come home to. Home, for me, is not a single bed apartment with white walls and a television on for company. So lonely.

For the first time in years, I went to church. I asked God if he would recognize me. I did the rosary for the first time in years and could barely hold back brimming tears. I would steal glances of parents and their children – a remember sadly the way it was for me not too long ago. The crush of what was there, and now gone, was almost a physical weight on my shoulders and chest and again would cause me to well up. I felt so guilty with my tears and with the thoughts I’m holding that staring at the floor was the what I did for most of the Mass.

I have an issue at work that is coming to a head this week. Until they call me back from a suspension, I’m unsure if I have a job waiting for me at all.

I really struggled with the idea of putting this online. Will writing help me to sort it out? Who the heck, except for me, would read it? Even someone stumbling here would not see a value and quickly move on.

Where is anyone?

S.O.S. by Tim Curry

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