Taking a Stand

•September 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment
My father has had MS for about 12-14 years we think.  It was misdiagnosed for years as some form of arthritis before he found a doctor who put it all together.  As you are all aware, I have for years now watched the ebb and flow of the illness and felt powerless.  When I was a child my dad ran two miles everyday, did 1000 pushups a week(I counted), and he was thrtty feet tall.  To me he towered over the earth and all I ever wanted was to be like him. 
 
He and my mom own and operate an auto business here locally.  He to this day still works when he can but his illness seems to be getting worse faster than it has before.  His excacerbations look to be getting closer and closer together.  The economic downturn has had a drastic effect on business and they have been doing a third of the business they normally do or less.  He and I have been talking and it is very possible he may lose the business.  he is trying to hold out for things to get better, but even now he is choosing between peronal and business bankruptcy. 
 
If the economy was doing better I would htink he could ride htings out and when things picked up he could bring in temps or new emloyees.  But his business flow is so unsteady due to the economy.  I work for him on Saturdays or a night or two in the week when he gets busy, but lately it seems we do more on Saturday than he does in a whole week or two. 
 
He has a high school degree but no college.  He is truly a self made man.  My mom does have a degree from U. of Maryland in Sociology and some credit towards her Master’s Degree.  They ran the business together to provide a good home environement for me where someone would always be home.  My dad right now has no health insurance and I believe he just let go of my mom’s too due to finances.  Unfortunately I don;t believe they would qaulify for Medicaid because they make too much.  but, if the business falls under the economic crisis, then they would.  Maybe that;s the silver lining. 
 
My dad has management and business operational experience obviously, but no degree.  He has limited computer skills although he learns very quickly.  My mom is fairly well versed with a computer and does have her degree.  I was thinking a career switcher program into education would be good for her, or even going back into social work and counseling.  But waht about dad?  What sort of jobs could he look for? 
 
I have felt powerless for so long, and just wanted to at least try to see what is out there for them as far as careers or help, and to see what I can do to help them.  Any help is appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

Confrontation, Lies, Truth

•September 23, 2008 • 2 Comments

Well I thought I would give an update on the whole situation.  I confronted her about the email to the ex and fought/talked through it and here’s what came of it.  She told me she was hurt and devastated by us breaking up.  She has been harboring feelings of guilt because Noah is without his “daddy.”  She has always tried to keep Brandon in Noah’s life and fought so hard because she doesn’t want Noah to grow up feeling she didn’t try hard enough or blame her for his daddy not being there.  She said she loved the idea of Brandon coming back and them being a family.  I told her it wasn’t her responsibility to make him be a father.  He made his choices, not her.  I pointed out that she would never move away or leave her son, and that it is not anything you did, but who he is.  I pointed out that she was miserable with him before, so why would she even think of it?  She said that if it meant being unhappy she would do that for Noah.  She said she was hurt and scared and reached out, but that she realized she loved me more, that she felt real passion and love for me, and that she didn’t want him.  She told me she felt violated by me going through her email (which I understand and feel terrible for doing) but that she wanted to keep trying to make things work.  She said she loved me and that is basically where things are. 

 

I went over last night to have dinner and change my oil (my tools are at her place).  Noah loves using my car jack so while she cooked he and I worked on my car.  He jacked the car up as much as he could and then I took over.  While I worked he watched and kept saying “good job” or played with my socket wrenches.  Once I finished dinner was ready and we all ate outside.  One thing Courtney does is cook a hell of a meal.  We talked and told each other about our days, and it really was nice.  Given the events of the last month there was definitely an elephant in the room, but it was a nice evening.  I did the dishes while they took a bath, then Noah and I threw his playground ball back and forth in the hall way while she folded laundry.  He went potty and I helped her for a few minutes then resumed my ball throwing duties once he finished “going poop.”  After he got in bed there was definitely an awkward sort of feeling in the air as we both seem to be dancing around the issues.  I did stay the night because it is an hour drive to my place and I get “carcilepsy” as she puts it.  We held hands in our sleep but nothing more as despite the love we have done a lot of damage lately to each other. 

 

I think there is a chance we may start trying again and moving very slowly.  I do love this woman and am willing to put in the work if she is willing to be more balanced and meet me half way on things.  Trust has been eroded between us, and though I did violate her privacy (which she is deeply offended by, and I understand) I still feel the half truths and emotional breakdown that led to her emailing the ex is much worse in terms of being able to trust.  I pointed out to her this morning that I gave her the truth, always, even if she wouldn’t like when it came to who I had dated or slept with.  I told her that the truth is more important than whether you like it or not, or if it hurts you.  Even if I know you won’t like the answer, because I wanted you to know that no matter what I would never lie to you.  I demand the same though, and I asked her how could I trust her completely, when she had gone back to him when things got hard?  What happens the next time we fight?  She was defiant and silent all at once, but I think it sank in. 

 

I’m not saying we are getting back together.  It may be impossible at this point, but I love her enough to consider it, and at least now I feel we could be friends in time.  I may be naïve or foolish, but we are not “back together” in any sense.  I am much more focused in work and my friendships, my tutoring and charity work, and much more aware of my own happiness and my self worth.  I am far from perfect, but I know I deserve respect and honesty.  I deserve to be treated far better, and expressed this to her.  I am still guarded and will listen to what she has to say.  I believe the love we share is at least worth that much. 

 

We moved too fast, got involved too soon after her breakup with Brandon, and bypassed so many things in making ourselves an “insta” family.  I think because our mistakes are so easily observed in looking back, we can seek to avoid them if we get to where we can trust again, and build something new.  We need more time alone, and if she is serious, then she has to accept this and be more willing to get a sitter.  Heck, I will pay for one if she arranges it.  I think that is fair. There are a lot of big “If’s” here, so time will tell.  I don’t know if I should be doing this or not, so a little guidance and opinion would be helpful. 

What’s Going On?

•September 16, 2008 • 6 Comments

By Kristin, single mother and author of Better Now

The concert had just started and I was standing at the makeshift bar at the back of the auditorium, contemplating the merits of beer versus vodka coolers. I was on the tail-end of a crumpled three year relationship, twenty-eight and wired, standing with a plethora of bar-star girlfriends, giddy with the surrounding pulse of music, adrenaline, and young male sweat.

“Heineken?” I glanced over at my friend Mel, black hair shining over one shoulder, leaning over shouting into the ear of another friend, already tipsy from ciders and pizza at the adjoining pub.
She turned to look at me. “Sure!”

I pulled out a crumpled ten and took two beers from the ice tub, about to nod at the beleaguered bartender when I saw him.

He stood half a foot above the crowd, wearing a short-sleeved green t-shirt and a blue baseball hat, low on his eyes. His hair was black and curled around his ears. Square jaw, rippling arm muscles and his green brown eyes suddenly met mine and something fused in the blue laser of the indie band and my heart froze, useless. I stood melded to the spot as if in a warbled dream. I don’t know what I was feeling, exactly, but I knew it was overwhelming and that I’d never felt it before. He grinned and walked straight toward me and then past, next to Mel in line for the bar. He stooped down and said something to her and I stood with ice-cold beer hands, incredulous. Then he walked a few steps away.

“Holy shit,” I turned toward her, adrenaline racing,” Who the hell was that? You know him?”

“Funny,” she said,” He just said the exact same thing to me.”

An hour later, he and I had purposely misplaced our friends, holding hands as we stumbled to the front of the auditorium to the tune of Coca Cola. We had exchanged a few words, hi and nice to meet you and the rest of our words were silent, mute communication between our eyes, hands, bodies. Chemical, inexplicable conversation. We went outside to breathe the green-scented spring air, and without saying anything he took my face in his hands and kissed me, completely and unabashedly.

“You,” I thought, “Are going to change my life.”

***

I was with him for almost four years. The shockingly handsome stranger at the Modest Mouse concert became my boyfriend, my soul mate, my partner in crime. We were the couple that made everyone sick: kissing in pubs, giggling silently at parties, rubbing legs at hockey games. We were young and tall and full of potential, partying into the wee hours and exchanging drunken pledges, until two unexpected blue lines changed my life. But not his.

We tried to make it work, we fought tooth and nail: tears, brawls, sobbing pleas. The confidence of alcohol and physical attraction that brought us together is ultimately what drove us apart. I morphed from party girl to nervous, diligent, expectant Mama. He wondered what happened to his carefree concert girl. We both cried, in the delivery room, when I gave birth to his boy. Two years later, we sobbed again, as we realized that inexplicable attraction cannot stand on its own.

***

Everyday I see him in the gait of my small son. His body is right there in the comically large hands, his spirit is there in our boy’s tenacious athleticism, his genes are responsible for the way my son sticks his tongue out when he’s concentrating. He changed my life, for the better. He gave me a gift that will last me the rest of my life, and when I think of that night at the concert, I wish he was here to see it. Though that night ended in tears, several years later, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

He gave me hope, he granted me the gift of life, and, in the ashes of it all, he has left me with good memories that will live forever in the eyes of our son.

 

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I understand that I am not Brandon to you.  I did not give you Noah, and after reading the story above I do see how you and my mom feel towards the men who gave you your child.  I may not have been Noah’s genetic contributor, but you have seen in our time together how willing I was/am/have been to love him and accept that responsibility.  I knew you needed a little help last night and came to help a little, see your smile, and enjoy some time.  I made the time to throw and swing him, I helped with the yard because I know you can’t get as much done when you’re by yourself, and I went to the store so you could wind him down and get him to bed without trying to lug him to the store.  Do you see that?  Do you think of all I have done for Noah and you in our time together?  No, I have not been able to financially contribute as much as a “father” would like too, but your parenting magazines specifically say the best thing a man can give a son is his time and love.  I have done both, gladly, while Brandon chose to play, chase women, and bail on his responsibilities with Noah. 

I guess part of why I get irritated or wonder what is really going on is because from my point of view you seem to put more effort into calling him and trying to get him to at least talk to Noah, much less spend time or meet his financial obligations.   I know going through your phone and calling him was out of line and reprehensible.  But do consider my point of view, please, and don’t be angry or mad, just consider it.  You did send him a message saying you “wanted him so bad” and to “come back.”  You talked of meeting, going on a trip, and getting a room.  If you had read that, how would you have reacted?  What would your thoughts be?  How hurt would you be when the whole time we were trying to work on things and find our love?  You would go on a trip or meet him somewhere and get a room, yet I can’t even get you to bring Noah to the beach so we can be together, after all the love we have shared and I have given that wonderful child.  Is that fair to me?  Would once a month to come to my place with Noah have been such a horrible thing?  There are things we could do; I would have planned a million things to keep us busy and having fun.  One night sleeping at my place wouldn’t kill him, and it would be good for him to get away from Mommy’s house occasionally to help expand his comfort zone and things like that.  I have played in his room with blocks or puzzles for hours before, with the ball, you name it.  I know the place is not ideal for a kid, but I could have taken the table out to make a little more room, we could play with cars and trucks on the deck, we could do anything.  God knows he loves my freakin’ tire, lol.  He could have rolled it all over the apartment, the deck, hell the park itself.

  I guess that is why I was so hurt, and did something so terrible, because I just felt like despite all my effort, I was nothing in your eyes as a parent.  That despite all my hard work and love, it is more valuable to you to fight to force Brandon to call, when I so readily gave of myself to your son.  I love him, and you.  And I feel like you care more about Brandon than me.   A part of me wonders if you are really over him, if you really love me, or if you love what I am as a boyfriend/potential father.  When you speak of Brandon you almost seem nostalgic, like you still wish he were there with you, not just for Noah, but for you.  I know you told me how terrible things could be, but when you talk about the good times, you seem to miss them, to miss him.  I wonder if he had stayed around and changed, grown up, and tried to make things work with you, that you would have chosen him over me.  I know I am very different from you and that is not easy at all because of our differences and the distance.  You two had so much in common and a lot of things you try to do with me are things yall did together.  I think that you love me for being a good man to you and Noah, but that passionate love, that fire you had with Brandon is still smoldering a little.  Maybe I am terribly wrong in my perception, but it really does seem that way at times.  You sat on the phone with him for forty five minutes that night talking to him and trying to make sure he was safe, yet when I try to talk to you about my worries or problems, my fears for my family, you just blow me off or suggest my mom quitting smoking would solve everything.  You are short and cold, while with him, you sounded so compassionate, and like you would do anything to ease his pain. I guess in a way I just don’t feel like in your heart I carry as much weight as he does.  I feel like deep down a part of you wishes he would come back and step into Noah’s and your life again, and be the good man you fell for, to love you.  I don’t think you would cheat on me, but I do sort of feel like if yall could work things out and try again, you would want to, and not just for Noah’s sake, but for yours.  Maybe I am wrong, but it is just how things look and feel to me at times.

I know he is Noah’s birth parent.  I know you will always have something for him.  I don’t expect that to change.  I know my mom to this day has a kind of love for Milton, but I think a long time ago she accepted that he had no real desire to be a real father.  I think Brandon does love Noah, he told me he did, and he also said that he thinks I am great in how I am with Noah.  But Brandon made a choice to leave his child.  One you never would do, not in a million years.  I do understand your desire to want him to be some kind of part of Noah’s life.  But it feels like you work harder for that, than for the relationship that gives you and Noah the love, time, and care you both deserve.  Noah barely knows Brandon now.  You told me he was stand offish around Brandon and different.  As he gets older that may change.  Brandon will probably be more involved then because it is easier once they can talk and what not.  But think of that.  You are the one doing all the work now, and for the last few years.  You will continue to.  I have been there, not every day, but when I could, and even when it hurt me financially to.  Don’t I deserve some credit or appreciation?  I mean, I was the one who was up until 3 in the morning, freezing to death with you to build that swing set for Noah.  I sacrificed myself, my time, and my finger tips J to do that.  Brandon has seen his son once in a year, and even then he came with Kandalee, her kids, and left Noah with his mom most of the time.  I don’t expect you to not communicate or try to get him to be a dad, but I do think I am deserving of at least the same effort. 

Again, this is not to fight or be accusatory.  It is just part of the slow process of trying to work on things.  I am being open and honest, and just want you to see my point of view.  Relationships are hard work, and I want you to not be angry or feel I am attacking you.  Just talking and airing things out.  I guess I feel it is better to vent and get it out when we aren’t face to face, so that we don’t fight.  I am not mad at you, and don’t want this to turn into a fight.  Just want us to share thoughts and feelings.

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•September 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

For a moment, close you eyes and forget the world.  Walk with me on the beach, meet me in your mind, feel me in your heart.

For a moment, close you eyes and forget the world. Walk with me on the beach, meet me in your mind, feel me in your heart.

Hold my hand as we walk the shore line, listening to waves crashing, pushing and pulling at the sand.  Smell the sea spray, feel the cool mist blow across your face.  We walk in silence, our eyes and hearts a symphony.  We spread our blanket, and share a bottle of wine.  We laugh while feeding each other grapes and cheese, kissing and laughing, laughing and kissing.  As the sun creeps closer to the earth, we find ourselves separated by nothing more than a breath, our hearts straining in our chest.  Our hands find each other, mine travel your supple curves, yours caress my face, pulling me closer, our lips gently colliding.  We clutch at each other, breathless in our embrace, my lips and tongue the tools of an explorer, searching your body, leaving nothing untouched.  The sounds of the waves drown out our ecstasy as two become one.  We lay in silence, subdued by the rapture of the moment, looking into your eyes; there is no need to speak.  With a look you whisper to me, a smile, you sing to me.  You lay on my chest, resting your head over my heart.  In one ear my heart beats for you, the other ear listens to the songs of the Earth, witness to our passion.

Well, How Would You Take This?

•September 15, 2008 • 6 Comments

So, as you may know my girlfriend and I broke up.  Shall I say I broke up with her.  We had hit this wall where we weren’t growing anymore, but I held out hope that maybe apart we could work on things and start talking about our problems more productively.  For two weeks I basically received the riot act where she accused me of not being responsible, of just dropping her and moving on easily, and of never really having loved her.  We had moments where we didn’t yell, but it was bumpy to say the least.  I went to her place to get things a couple Sundays back and we talked and I wound up staying the night. 

So my confession:  I have trust issues because of a previous relationship and I looked through her cell phone to check on some concerns I was picking up on.  I know it was wrong, reprehensible, and a breach of trust, but I just had this bad feeling.  What I found nearly gave me a heart attack.

1.  The morning we broke up, I left and a few minutes later received a text message saying “I need to talk to you.”  I called, and she said that wasn’t meant for you.  Pissed, I said tell Brandon(her ex) I said hi and hung up.  She texted me back saying she meant to send it to her sister Kari.  When I checked her phone, she sent it to me, and then immediately sent it to Brandon.  Lie #1.

     Her Side:  He’s my friend, and it is none of your business

2.  The day after she called me and we talked, and she mentioned some guy from a teacher camp last summer had called her since he found out she was single and asked her out.  She declined saying she didn’t want to date yet.  After checking her phone, she actually texted him first, and since he was having trouble with his girl, she invited him out to talk about it.  Lie # 2. 

     Her Side:  She was only joking, and yes she flirted, she was hurt and liked the attention

3.  She said they hung out with her friend Robin and that nothing happened.  The truth is they were both flirting with each other and she made a pass at him that Friday night when out.  She sent him several messages apologizing for being forward and making a move.  Lie #3.

     Her Side:  I had a bit too much to drink and it was only words, nothing happened. 

4.  She sent text messages to Jim, a guy she dated last summer, asking him to hang out and saying she missed him a couple hours after we broke up. 

     Her Side:  They have been friends since they dated and she just wanted to get away

5.  She called Aaron, a guy she has known for years and apparently they have kissed when drunk a few times.  She then texted him saying it was great talking and she missed him too. 

     Her Side:  He is just a friend and you have met him

6.  Saturday two weeks after we have been apart, she calls and asks if I wanted to come over for sex(thunderstorms work her up), I declined, saying I already had plans with friends and that I didn’t;t think that was a good idea.  She agreed and quickly got off the phone.  When I looked in her phone, after calling me she sent Brandon(Noah’s dad) a text saying “I want you so bad” and “Come back.” 

     Her Side:  I was just joking, it didn’t mean anything 

7.  She then sent a message saying to him “I miss you and love you so much, I can’t wait for our weekend together.”  The next message sent said “I got us a room.”  “Do you still want to do our weekend together” was another one.  Then the last said “I don’t care to speak to you, but you should talk to your son.”

     Her Side:  She was speaking to him as if she was Noah, son to father, and that they were   all going to meet so Brandon and Noah could see each other(we are in VA, he in FL)

Of course, my heart went through my chest.  The woman I love had more or less sent a text message or talked to every guy she has dated or been with within a years time within 24 hours of us breaking up.  I know i was wrong to snoop, I know it is a low thing to do.  But I just freaked out, especially after how much of a hard time she had been giving me.  I did something even more dastardly and called the ex.  I know, horrible.  I told him that I wanted to work things out with her, that I loved Noah, but that I needed some answers.  He told me he thought I was great for Noah and that he didn’t mind because he wants what’s best for him.  In my conversation with him I found out:

She calls him constantly, morning, day, and night.  She always says it is about Noah and trying to keep Brandon involved.  He told me he has told her not to call so much because it is upsetting his current girlfriend and that it was a little excessive.  6AM, 7AM, 9PM, just non stop.  He told me last summer they had been apart and back together several times, and that while she was dating this guy I know Max, he and her were working on things and were intimate.  I happen to know she was intimate with Max, and come to find out she lied to Brandon about this saying they were only friends. 

Of course she is calling him non stop over the next few days, and in irritation, he told her we had talked.  Which as you can imagine, and rightfully so, was just this side of Armageddon.  I know what I did was terrible and disgusting, but at the same time I felt it was the only way to get the truth.  Her and I have been dealing with this since then, and last night we got together and I helped her with Noah since he was sick, her and I worked in the yard, and I bought us some pizza.  It really was wonderful and a reminder of why we fell in love.  We did not make love since it is her time of the month, but we did sleep together and things felt like we might get them back on track with some time, better communication, and hard work.  I know it all sounds crazy, but I do love the woman, and I love her son as my own.  Because of that, I felt it was worth the hard work to try.  I told her no matter what I would be there in his life to be a friend if nothing else. 

This morning, she left her email open and I took a peak(again, wrong, I know, but lies….) and she had sent him this last Thursday:

 

 

 

%%(This is an excerpt from one of mssinglemamas blogs that I sent her trying to explain my point of view about being a father)%%

So the question hanging in my mind has always been, when is he going to bail? I know when the day comes it will be sudden. Maybe a phone call, “I’m coming by to see Benjamin today because I’m leaving tomorrow.” Something to that effect.
Tonight when I got home from work his father told me, “I think I will be moving to Chicago.” 
Just like that.
No conversation, no “I have something important to tell you.” Nope. Nothing surrounded the sentence, no mention of Benjamin or when he would see him. Chicago is six hours away from here. 
“Oh, really?” I ask calmly. “Why?”
“My company has a great job for me there, I’ll make twice as much as I make now.”
“What about Benjamin?”

“Yeah. That sucks… but I won’t be able to make any money here. I will be stuck here for five years and never make more money.”

 ##Here’s the killer##

This is how I feel Brandon.  When you just left, without talking to me about it or thinking about our son.  I love you.  I want more than anything to be a family with you.  I want to be what we were all over again.  Painting the shutters at night, ripping up the carpet, painting the ENTIRE house, yardwork.  I want it all back.  But the reality of the situation is that we may not ever get that back. You have found someone who makes you happy, and believe it or not, that is what I want for you.  I want you to experience happiness, even if it is without me.  I also want you to know your son and keep his heart in mind.  He loves you….he needs you.  I love you…I need you.  But we are okay without you too.  Please, look in your heart and follow it for once in your life. 

To me, this clearly expresses her true feelings for him ,and that it is not just about her son.  I feel devastated, betrayed, and destroyed, because just last night she said she loved me and things seemed so happy.  She sent this last Thursday after we fought about me calling him.  How do I even approach her about this.  Does this sound like just a mom trying to keep her child’s father involved?  I love this woman, I do.  But I just can’t imagine this being something innocent.

Now, her dad did cheat on her mom and abandon them when she was young.  Every man she has dated has cheated on her except ofr me.  She wasmolested by an older man when younger also.  So I know she has some real issues that need addressing.  I have mentioned htis and offered to go to counseling with her, but this has only led to fighting. 

What should I do at this point?  I wonder if htis is related to her past with her dad and boyfriends, or how she really feels.  I know she loves me, but it just seems like to me, she loves someone more and that I am what she settles for.  I think she loves what I am to her and Noah more than she loves who I am.  I feel like a fool.  How do I confront her on this?  Or should I?  SHould I just disappear from her life?  Should I confront her and demand we go to counseling?  I feel lost.  I know the rationale thought is to say screw her and get the hell away from her for good.  But I feel so much love, and worry that if this is tied to her past, then it will put Noah in a less than ideal situation with her chasing Brandon while simultaneously dating men just to have a man around. 

The compassionate part of me wants to think this could be worked through.  My love is screaming in the background, trying to drown out my reasoning.  My mind is saying, forward the email to her entire family and co-workers so they all know what she is and that you didn;t do this.  The mature, bigger part of ymself is sayign just walk away, delete the myspace.  Delete the phone number.  Get your key.  Vanish. 

It is shockingly painful to feel this way.  It hurts beyond measure to know if I walk, I am cutting Slim out forever.  He needs a good male role model.  He needs a friend.  His dad is scum.  She is, well, I love her, so I won;t say anything negative.  For the time being I sit in shock.  Soon enough, I will have to act.

The Year That Was, What Could Have Been

•September 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

The Best of Us

 

 

These are the happiest memories of my life, and to know there will not be any more, fills me with anguish and despair which is beyond measure.  I am adrift, battered by wind, waves, and rain, and am powerless to do anything.  I know I should start paddling, but I don’t know where, and right now, I just don’t care. 

 

If we could fix the things that drove us apart, please let me know.  It was both of us, but I can’t help but feel your past haunted us from day one.  I hate everyone you ever dated and what they did to hurt the heart of such a beautiful person.  I’m not those men, but I couldn’t escape them.  Yet I have become what I hated.  I left.  But not because I wasn’t man enough, but because you couldn’t see me, only them, your pain, and your sorrow.  I hope you overcome them, and re-find yourself, the beautiful woman who stole my heart.  I love you, now, my past lifetimes, and always.  Come back to me…if you can.

Dear Sunshine

•August 28, 2008 • 3 Comments

I find myself saddened beyond measure by our falling apart.  To think, just a year ago I met you and thought surely no creature more beautiful could exist.  Your thick flowing hair, your round chocolate eyes, that huge smile, your beautiful skin; all conspired to steal my gaze and render me helpless.  We laughed so easily, became friends right away, and soon would fall in love.  I remember you helping me move in to my apartment, and over the course of the day you stole my heart.  By the next weekend we were talking and myspacing like fifteen year olds going on and on without a care in the world. 

 

At Christmas I found myself taking you down to Carolina to meet my grandmama and aunts and uncles.  You were my New Year’s Resolution, my newfound muse and friend.  I let go of the club scene and traded shot glasses for sippy cups.  Your son became Slim, and I became his friend.  I did pushups with him on my back and taught him to count.  You taught me to be patient when he was dismayed over spongebob(EEEEVIIIL!!!) was not on.  I swapped my “player card” for love and learned there was more beauty than I could have imagined in truly deep love. 

 

I learned the best and worst things about myself.  I found I had a lot to learn about life, but also saw that I was capable of doing so.  I taught you to laugh more and to not be so sad.  You taught me to shutup and enjoy the stars.  I taught Slim “May I have…” and he taught me the joy of swinging.  You  brought out the best in me, and for that I owe you so much. 

 

But mixed in the love was so much dispute.  We had the knack for gazing at the Sea of Tranquility then suddenly going to DEFCON 1 with minimal effort.  Whether it was me changing my oil or trying to pick a tv show together, we turned so many things into the Cuban Missle Crisis.  Did we have too much baggage from the past?  I know your dad cheated on your mom and left you and your sisters.  I know Slim’s dad did the same.  I hated them, so much because I felt it was me who had to pay for their sins.  I never felt you trusted me, and I thought if I loved you hard enough you would see that I wa sincere.  I felt oppressed by your anger with them, unfailry I would pick fights with you from time to time.  I know I am not perfect, and hate the way I made you feel at times in the heat of an argument.  I know I am contrary and at times judgemental, and you humbled me in so many ways. 

 

It’s been three days, yet I can still smell your perfume, the scent of your backyard, your morning breathe, and the cat box.  I hear a cricket and think of the farm across the street from your place, teeming with unseen life.  I can see the curve of your body as you shower, and miss our conversations over soap and suds.  I hear the sound of your walk, and your accent when you said take a “riiiiiight.”  I cooked dinner with the green peppers you picked for me, and cried while reading a book tonight, as a picture of me you and slim is my bookmark.  The pages are dotted here and there with a tear drop, and despite the pain, I couldn;t put the picture away.  I looked and smile with each page, thinking of that day in Chincoteague and us watchign the sunrise, then in true form, proceeding to fight over that damn stupid 60$ blue crab.  I laugh thinking of our midnight trading spaces projects, and the unclogging of the bath tub drain. 

 

How did we go wrong?  Were you too controlling, or was I too rebellious?  Were you demanding, or I too unyielding.  Were you too stubborn, or was I trying to change you?  Were you insecure, or was I mildly arrogant?  It is frightening the way two people who love each other can so easily go to battle, yet so easily fall in love?  Was it the distance between us that drove us apart?  Over an hour in the car has a knack for draining ones spirit.  Was the driving a leech sucking the life from our relationship?  Do you think maybe we were meant to be together for a short time, to let each other know it was alright to love again?  That it was ok to take that risk?  Were we but two strangers who were unknowingly old douls, stopping to help each other before we continued on our own paths?  In time when we grow and find peace within ourselves could we reopen this chapter of our lives and try again? 

 

I cannot pretend to have these answers.  I know that we found our breaking point, and now we are numb, sullen, and hurt to our cores. 

 

What I do know is that I still love you, and that I always will.  A small part of me will be yours, a small part of me will be set aside for Slim.  From time to time I promise to open those doors, and to let the warm breeze in to my heart.  I will be your friend always, and will be there for Slim in some fashion if you would like.  I found myself thinking of what Kindergarden would be like for him, or who his first love would be.  You found me a mess and clueless, and in loving me brought out the best I had in me.  You put my life on track, and made me into a better man.  There is no limit to the power of love.  With a thought, you changed my reality.  With a dream, you gave me life.  Your son brought a smile to my face and hearing him say “I love you”  broke any barrier or defence I had.  I am indebted to you both, and I hope I had the same impact on you that you did on me.  In the end, I can only thank you for the gift of your love, and will always hold it dear to me.