Our Story Begins:
Turn the Page
Nearly five years ago I came to a realization:
Every night, at roughly 8:30 or 9pm in the evening, after I had made sure all four of my children were showered, teeth brushed, lunches for tomorrow made and the beds all tucked-in neatly, it hit me.
I was a mess.
I don’t mean “oh my god, the kids and the sports and life are getting out of control!” I mean I was a mess.
Late March of 2011 I lost my wife to a brief but powerful bout of pneumonia. She was here and then . . . she just wasn’t. In one instant . . . literally, 8:30am or so on March 26th, my life changed from husband and father to simply . . . father. Singular. You don’t really realize what that moment does to you if you haven’t been there.
For seven months I struggled. My kids had issues…and therapy. I didn’t, partly because I was stubborn and partly because I just didn’t have the money.
So one evening in October, in the height of the evening, with an inability to sleep and my bed feeling cold and empty with just me in it, I began to write. Someone told me it would make sense to write an online blog. This might help other people who might be in similar circumstances.
Make no mistake, though, I wrote for me. It was by no means a full autobiography. In 500-1,000 words I painted a very brief snapshot of my day, every weekday. Most the time it was heart-wrenching, filled with struggle and filled with mistakes. I wrote because it made me feel better. It made me get out how much I missed, was angry with, was messed up and was hurt by a woman with whom I’d lived with and was married to for nearly two decades. I wrote about how my kids struggled. I also wrote about how amazing they were and their ultimate successes.
Today, when I came to another realization.
I haven’t written in that blog for a month. I may not even write on it again, I don’t know. It almost seems like the last page of the chapter has turned.
Make no mistake…writing my blog, “Our Story Begins,” was wonderful. It opened doors, connected me with some very wonderful people. I knew Rene Syler when we worked at the same Dallas television station. We weren’t friends, though. We worked in other places, did different stories. I can count her, now, among my friends and that blog and my writing made that happen long after our TV careers in Texas had ended.
I have come to terms with no longer being married. I’m not the person I was when I was married to Andrea. Things I ignored as problems in my past life I know now were problems, both in my life and in my relationship.
My blogging had a purpose. It wasn’t to influence. It wasn’t to be a brand. I had my own day-job and it afforded me flexibility and a good living to raise my kids. My blogging, along with making music, helped me heal.
I have been through two kids in Prom, graduations . . . so many things I thought would be impossible. Then came the realization they weren’t impossible, I did them. I slowly went from dwelling on the past to looking to a possible future. I wrote music and have joined a band and begun recording again. My daughter is in college, another in high school.
I started dating! Through a tremendous dose of serendipity I met an amazing woman. Where that goes from here I don’t plan on projecting at the moment because I can’t see the future. I’m having too much fun enjoying the present.
That blog made me realize that I had so much life ahead of me. The blog helped me heal, helped us heal. I’m not done writing (obviously). The blog isn’t defunct. It’s just on indefinite hiatus.
The fact is, I never thought I would get past the first sentence of that chapter of my life. Today . . . I feel like I may have turned the last page of it. It doesn’t mean the story is finished. It just means that this chapter, after so many years, is finally written.
I really look forward to what the next chapter brings.
What about you? Do you ever have those moments where you know you’ve crossed into a new place? A new era? Do you go with it or fight it?