Thursday, December 29, 2005

Happy New Year

The New Year is right around the corner.  A time to reflect on where you’ve been, and plan, plot, dream about where you’d like to go.  Sometimes I think I still cling too tightly to the pain, anger, hurt and drama of my past two years.  Maybe after 2 years it’s time to let it all go.  And yet, I remember and reflect in an attempt to never forget.  I don’t want to forget how awful it was, it makes me better appreciate how good I have it now.

I talked to knucklehead 1 last night, about where we’ve been, how far we’ve come, how much we’ve changed and yet stayed the same in 2 years.  Lots of things to ponder, consider, and deal with in the New Year.  Some things will change, some things never will.  Hard decisions to be made in the year ahead, and a lot of love and respect are going into the making of those decisions, whatever they may be.  

The person formerly known as my husband seems to have ‘gotten it’ finally.  He refused to let go, and I had trouble creating and maintaining distinct boundaries.  Unfortunately it’s taken restraining orders to establish and help maintain the boundaries, but they are there now.  I’ve finally said my final good bye to him, and let it go.  I no longer wish we could have made it work.  I know now, it wasn’t ever going to work, not the way I wanted it to, not the way I needed it to.  He couldn’t give me what I wanted and needed.  Enough said.  He gets it now, I’m not coming back, we’ll never be close again, and we’ll barely be friends.  We will be civil for the girls’ sake, but that’s all.  I’ve moved on.  Maybe, hopefully, he has too, either way, doesn’t matter.  I’m over him.

Three weeks from Sunday will be the two year anniversary of the day I left my marriage.  The day I moved out of my house, took my kids and found us a new home, a new life.  I’ve been on my own, so to speak, since that day.  Pretty proud of the fact that I left that relationship and haven’t had a serious relationship since.  I have had casual things, a few ‘friends with benefits’ but nothing serious.  Maybe that’s about to change.

New Year, new start, new friends, new loves.   Time to let go of old hurts, old grudges, forgive past slights and sins. This time of year I am so full of hope, and expectations, and great plans and potential.  I’ve looked back at where I’ve been, the road I’ve traveled to get to where I am, and I am not looking ahead at the road in front of me, the path I chose to follow.  Maybe I’ll chose to make my own path.  So full of possibilities.

Happy New Year to Everyone!



Wednesday, December 28, 2005

It's Bud's Birthday

It's my brother's 35th birthday today. When did he get to be that age? And if he's 35, that makes me older than that (I won't tell HOW MUCH older, just suffice it to say, older).

My age doesn't bother me, really. I don't look my age. Everyone is surprised when I tell them how old I really am. They usually guess younger.

What bothers me more, is my brother's age, and my sister's age. When I stop to think how old they really are, it forces me to adjust the image I have of them in my head. Being the oldest of we three, they are still young in my head, and my heart. I age, but they don't.

When Bud went off to the 'giant sand box across the ocean', I worried. I had always gone ahead of him and cleared his path. I worked at the golden arches dinner club before him, and opened the door, and cleared his path so that he could get a job. I went to college before him, and hung out with a great group of guys. Again, when Bud followed me, I had cleared the way, found him a fraternity, and a ready made group of brothers who would step in and take care of him when I couldn't. So, when Uncle Sam called him up to do his job, I was worried, I couldn't go before him and clear a path and keep him safe.

I know at 35 he's more than capable of clearing his own path now. I know he can take care of himself. It's just the older sister in me who wants to keep him young, just like he still is in my heart. We're not a close as I would like us to be, our lives are different (I have kids, he has a dog, I'm divorced, he's married. I have hair, he doesn't, so much. He likes to pick bumps off of gourds, I don't.) but he's still my brother, and while he's not my LITTLE brother any more, he's still my younger brother and I still feel the need to clear his path and make life easier if I can. Problem is, I can't and he doesn't need me to anymore. I'm not sure he ever really needed me to.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Bud! I love you! Your presents in the mail. Have a good one, and throw one back for me tonight. I'll do the same for you here.

He's been gone a week, well, almost

He’s been gone a week, well, almost.  He left for ‘home’ in Louisiana last Thursday.  Left me with hugs and kisses, memories of a wonderful night spent together, apologies that plans had been made before I came into his world, and promises to call once he was on the road, and he would see me when he got back.

It’s a 12 hour drive from here to there, and he got on the road at 12:30 pm, after having to get up at 3:30 AM to be at work by 4:30 that morning.  You do the math.  The last half of the drive was going to be rough, trying to stay awake, trying to hurry home in the excitement of seeing his family.

He called at 2:30, I called at 5:00, then again at 7:00 and he asked me to call him every hour, to see where he was, make sure he was still awake, and to chat to kill the boredom such a trip brings when there’s no radio.  He made it home just shy of midnight, safely.

We’ve talked on the phone every day he’s been gone.  Always with a ‘What are you doing today?’ and ‘Here’s what I’m doing tonight’ kind of conversations.  Although, now that Christmas is over, he’s starting to look towards next week, when he’s back home (Mo home) again.  He’s trying to decide when he’s leaving there, when he’ll be back here, and I’m trying to juggle and rotate schedules so that we can have some time alone together.

He’s already mentioned, he’ll probably be back here by the time I get off work next Tuesday, and he said ‘Plan a big dinner, I’ll be hungry’ so in his mind he’s already decided to come by my place his first night back for dinner, and maybe even crash there.  Welcome Home Baby.

I was worried that I was getting to emotionally involved too fast, and this trip would give him the time and the distance he needed to gracefully end whatever it was he had started.  I’m not so worried any more.  I trust that he’ll call every day.  I know that even if he never says it to me, he misses me, and he’s looking forward to coming home as much as I’m looking forward to him getting here.  We’re making plans for the spring and the summer, so this has some potential to be something semi-serious.  I don’t want to jump to conclusions.  Just taking it one day at a time, and enjoying him, enjoying us.

  

Monday, December 26, 2005

Some people just don't get it

I have a friend who lives several hours away. We worked together a year ago, and while we were on friendly terms, we both agreed we would never date. We just don’t have that kind of relationship. While I think sometimes he would like to change the rules and make a go of it, I just don’t have those kind of feelings for him.

Whenever he comes to town, he tries to call and say Hey and see what my schedule looks like. Do I have the kids, can we find time to get together for a movie or just to hang out and visit? So, when it was determined I would not have any kids on the 25th and 26th and I was fairly certain he would be in town, I called him. Could we get together for a movie or something over the holidays? I suggested the 26th after he had done the whole family thing on the 25th. He suggested the 25th after the family affair. Fine. I had no plans.

He called me at 5:30 on the 25th, ‘I’ll be there about 7:30 or 8:00 if that’s ok. Find out when The Producers is showing, we’ll go see it.’ Turns out the movie was showing in Columbia only at 9:55. He agreed that would be fine.

At about 8:15 he shows up at my place, with bag in hand. By bag, I mean suitcase. And a bottle of Captain Morgan (which is my drink of choice, but he’s an alcoholic, I don’t drink around him) WTF?!?! What is this? Who said anything about an overnight visit? When I explained, “Uh…I didn’t know you were planning on spending the night here. I have plans tomorrow morning.”
‘Oh really, what plans?’
“I was going to hit the After Christmas sales, I want to be at Wal*Mart by 8:00”
“What do you need at Wal*Mart? I thought we’d lay around in bed and snuggle and cuddle and then go to the Lake to hit the outlet mall in the afternoon.”
“Uh..No.”

To skip a bunch of boring mumbo jumbo, we go to the movie, (his choice, not mine. I hated it. Fell asleep in the middle of it. Couldn’t stay awake) and by the time we got back to my apartment, it was almost 1:00 AM. He claims he couldn’t stay at his parents’ house because it was crowded what with his brother and his family and such. So, to avoid an argument and a scene, I let him stay. I even gave up my bed. I put him in my room, and told him. “Look, I’m sort of involved with someone, as you know, and out of respect to that relationship, I’m sleeping in the girls’ room.” And left it at that.

The next morning, I was up at 7:00, made a pot of coffee (a new thing, thanks to my new relationship) and read a book, enjoying the peaceful quiet of the early morning. When Cranky comes grumbling out of my room at 8:00, he said “Did you sleep well? I hope the fuck not, I kept waiting for you to come join me in bed and snuggle up behind me. I hate your pillows, by the way, I was cold and uncomfortable. I was horny too and you did nothing to help that out either.” Well, there’s a fine Howdya do. I could have/should have sent his ass packing the night before.

After his shower, and subsequently mine, I am greeted to this “Would you mind not going to the Lake with me today? I really want to go to the Lake, and go home. I’m in a real funk about last night and I don’t want to hear about your wonderful new man all day.” Then has the nerve to ask me “Why exactly did you call me?” (Not to get naked with you, that’s for sure)

Fine by me. Go away pissed off you didn’t get laid last night. I don’t remember ever asking, suggesting, hinting, implying, or hoping or wishing you would/could spend the night here. You just invited yourself over, left me little choice but to be a gracious host and allow you to stay. I gave up my bed for you, and I’m already late to my sale this morning. I don’t want to go to the Lake with you today. I will talk about my new man if I want to, he’s pretty damned important to me. I’m sorry the night did not play out the way you had planned it. (I can only assume the Captain Morgan was a ply to get me drunk so I would sleep with him). If you had clued me in to your hopes and dreams earlier, I could have prevented the disappointment. I would have canceled our get together all together and avoided seeing you. And thanks to this that is exactly what I will be doing in the future. I will not be calling you, or accepting any of your phone calls. That way there will be no confusion in the future.

Can’t see the forest for the trees? All the signs and signals were there, you threw me for a loop, and you weren’t getting laid. I told you about the new man in my life right up front. I talked about him as much as you talked about the girl you’ve been dating. I told you, as well, that I didn’t expect you to stay the night. I am not sorry for the way the night went down. I was true to me.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Home for the Holidays



That's me, on the right, my sister on the left, mom all decked out in her Red Hat finest, and the tall bald one is my brother.

Christmas is the time of year we can count on all getting together. Some traditions carry on, generation to generation.

We grew up in Missouri. Our parents grew up in Kansas, and that's where the extended family lived. I saw my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins twice a year, summer and Christmas. We would always travel to Kansas for Christmas, going home to be with family during the holidays. We'd spend the week there, visiting all the aunts and uncles and cousins, opening gifts, playing with new toys.

Now, as adults with kids of our own, we still 'go home' for the holiday. Although the house we go to was never 'home' to any of us kids, we all still gather at mom's for dinner and gifts and fun. Now, our kids, the cousins, open the presents and play with the toys, much the same as we did. We don't have to spend 8 hours driving to Grandma's house, more like 18 minutes. We don't have to spend the whole week. just the whole day.

My brother is stationed at McConnell AFB in Wichita Kansas, so the roles are reversed for him. As a child he lived in Missouri and traveled to Kansas for Christmas. Now, he lives in Kansas and travels to Missouri. Still, he's coming home.

With the 'war' raging across the ocean, and Bud being military, we have always known there was a possibility there would be a Christmas Day without him. In the 12 years he's been in the Air Force, we've never missed a Christmas yet. Even in the military, even after having just returned fromt he desert 3 days before, he has always found the time and a way to 'come home'.

Home isn't a house, a building, walls, windows, a door and a roof, home truly is where the heart is. Home is where ever family gathers to love and laugh and live. No matter how far we travel, no matter how old we get, we'll always be able to find our way back home, especially for the holidays.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas to me


I got 2 surprises for Christmas this year. The second one came from the first.

I have a new Knucklehead in my life. Although I hate to lump him into that group, because he's so NOT a knucklehead. He is the new sunshine in my world. The new light in my eyes, smile on my face.

It's awkward when you start dating someone around the holidays. You're never sure how serious is this? Do I get him a gift? Is he going to get me one? What kind of gift to I get him? And then you have to consider what message the gift sends to him. Way too much guessing going on here.

The night before he left to go home for 12 days, I spent a wonderful night with him. That night was going to be gift enough for me. I wasn't expecting anything else. So imagine my surprise when I am handed a gift from him. A Tommy Girl gift set. The perfect gift. Something to make me feel good about myself and something he can enjoy on me. WOW. I was bowled over, thrilled beyond belief. And filled with guilt over not getting him anything before he left. (I've made up for that, he'll get it when he comes home)

I got through Thanksgiving with a knucklehead who cared little about me, and was just going through the motions. I was worried about Christmas and the New Year, but now, I don't have to. Even though we were miles apart on Christmas, we were still together. This Christmas was so much better than the last two. Without knowing he did it, Z made Christmas happy for me again.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Life is not a journey to the grave

Saw this on another blog today and really liked it.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming - WOW - what a ride!!




He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake.

Plus 1

The kids and I play a game every night at bedtime. The ‘I love you more’ game. It started with the book “Guess How Much I Love You” about a baby bunny and his father. The baby says “I love you”
Daddy says “I love you more”
“I love you to the top of my ears”
“I love you to the top of my ears from the bottom of my feet.”

And so on, and so on. The girls and I now play the same game.
I love you to the stars.
I love you to the moon and stars.
I love you to the moon and stars and back.
I love you to the moon and stars and back twice.

Then the game becomes who can think of the biggest number, a hundred, a thousand, a million, a trillion, a gazillion. I am sure we even make up new names for numbers we can only imagine. The longer we play the more outrageous the names get to be.

Finally last night Tate was just repeating the names I was making up, but then adding ‘Times 2’. So in the midst of the outrageous, she had simplified it. Not to be outdone, when she took ‘Infinity’ and added ‘Times 2’ I simply added ‘Plus 1’ and that was enough for her.

I really doesn’t matter who loves who more, I’m not sure that it’s possible to gauge that. What was enough for Tate was to know that no matter how big her love was for me, I would always say ‘Plus 1’ and prove to her that no matter how much she loved me, I would always love her just a little bit more. That’s a pretty safe and secure feeling for an 8 year old.

I love you Bo, Tate and Newt, ‘Plus 1’

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I'm not really alone.

I was not looking forward to the holidays this year (but since my marriage fell apart at Christmas, when have I looked forward to them?) Christmas is hard when you’re alone. Sure I can suck it up the rest of the year, and pretend that I’m ok being alone. Sure I can pretty much ignore the fact that everyone in my family has someone, except me. I usually don’t see them as couples; I see them as my family, one large whole.

Christmas is different. I know that at the end of the day, after all our presents are opened, the food has been eaten, our bellies are stuffed and we’re all delightfully miserable, and the kids are ready to go home to bed, everyone else in my family will go home and get to kiss their honey ‘Merry Christmas’. I’ll go home tuck the kids into bed, haul the loot in from the car, drop exhausted on my couch, and there will be nobody there for me to share a Christmas kiss, holiday hug, or a knowing I really love you smile with a twinkle in his eye.

That’s the hardest. Yes, I know that alone is so much better than being in a dead-end, no-good, destructive, unhappy, unhealthy relationship with the wrong person. But that logic does little to ease the loneliness I feel this time of year. It’s small comfort when everyone around me has a honey to kiss on Christmas eve, or at the stroke of midnight New Year’s Day.

I should be focusing on where I’m not this year, instead of where I am. I am not in an abusive relationship. I am not living in fear for my life. I am not living in fear of losing my children, not because he wanted them, but because he wanted to keep them from me.

This year is different now. This year, I have a secret, a two-week secret, only a handful of people know. While I’ll still be alone for the holidays on the outside, on the inside I’ll know I’m not. Which makes these holidays just a little bit sweeter.

My budding little artist


I have a budding artist in my house. Apparently a very good budding artist. Tate’s school is a participant in the FundingFactory recycling program.

“Educational and nonprofit organizations within the contiguous United States and Ontario, Canada, can earn technology, classroom and recreation equipment, and even cash through the FundingFactory Recycling Program.

Since 1997, FundingFactory has been supporting schools and nonprofit organizations through its unique printer cartridge and cell phone recycling program. Prior to August 2004, the recycling fundraising program was only available throughout the contiguous United States. Now schools and nonprofit organizations in Ontario, Canada, can join the ranks and start earning.

Participants have found great success in this program, earning a combined $15 million since FundingFactory began. Much of the earnings were redeemed as technology or classroom equipment through the FundingFactory online Rewards Catalog, while a portion was taken as cash.”

Every year, Tate’s school (Newt’s school too) participates in the Picture Points contest that FundingFactory holds. The basis of the contest is, students in participating schools submit original artwork with either a recycling/conservation or holiday theme. All submitted artwork is featured on WWW.FundingFactory.com/art . Parents and friends can purchase products customized with the student’s artwork from the site. Points are earned for the school with every purchase made.

Tate’s school, allows the students to enter their artwork, then the school votes on the best from each grade. Those are then submitted to FundingFactory. Tate’s picture was chosen again this year, (her 2nd year in a row) to be submitted.

I think it’s a great idea all the way around. It teaches kids about environmental issues, the importance of recycling. It allows them to express themselves creatively and receive positive feedback and recognition for their talent, it helps the school earn points which in exchange can be used to get new equipment for the school. It also gives parents/grandparents/friends and family a chance to brag about the artist in their family.

Way to go Tate! I’m so proud of you!

Monday, December 19, 2005

What's for Supper?

As the couple of readers I have out there know, I have recently moved into a new apartment.  Two weeks ago to be exact.  I am still ‘unpacking’; that is to say, I am still trying to find homes for things that seem to have no home in the new place.  

Anyway, in the move I realized I have an enormous collection of cookbooks, and recipes that I have clipped/printed/copied/saved from various sources through the years.  It suddenly struck me as quite funny.  You would think with the plethora of recipes I have at my fingertips, I would be able to make something besides Hamburger Helper for dinner.  

That is one of life’s greatest mysteries.  What’s for dinner?  It used to be, when my husband would ask me ‘What are you making for dinner?’  I would answer with ‘Reservations’.  That usually meant ‘I don’t have a friggin’ idea, so either come up with something on your own to make, or don’t ask me again.’  He usually left me alone. Far be it from him to actually cook dinner once in a while.

Even now, I am faced with the daily dilemma of what to make for dinner.  As a single mom that choice now falls entirely to me.  Of course, the kids get options, and they get to voice opinions, but dinner usually gets determined by any one or combination of the following factors:
1) What’s in the cabinet/fridge/freezer
2) Do I actually feel like cooking a good, healthy hearty meal or am I going to ‘call this one in’ and do quick and easy.  
3) How much mess making and clean up are involved,  
4) What else do I have to do tonight.  

That is why, regardless of how many cookbooks and recipes I may have, I still rely on the quick and easy Hamburger Helper.  

Of course I don’t like it.  Of course I’d rather have the kind of dinners I grew up with, where there were mashed potatoes and gravy with virtually every meal (Newt would love that too), where there was the main dish and at least 2 veggies to chose from and some other sort of side dish as well.  But I grew up with a stay-at-home-mom, at least until my little sister was in school all day.  By that time I was 13 and old enough to at least start cooking dinner when I got home from school.  Mom would finish when she got home from work.  

I look for recipes now that have the following criteria:

  1. Quick

  2. Easy

  3. Made with ingredients I have actually heard of and have at home

  4. Kid friendly (and by that I mean, looks good enough the kids will eat it without rolling their eyes or gagging)

  5. Not Hamburger Helper

  6. Little prep time, little mess, easy clean up

  7. And did I mention quick and easy?

Maybe Santa will bring me my own personal chef for Christmas.  Hey if my 6 year old can wish for a cell phone from Santa, I see no problem with wishing for a personal chef (who fills in as the maid too) for myself.

What’s for dinner?  Not Hamburger Helper, at least not tonight.  Maybe peanut butter and jelly.

Two sides to every story

Friday night, on a rare and wondrous occasion, my best friend L was able to escape her house and I was child-free.  GIRL TIME!  L is the (step)mother of 3 kids, and I am the single mother of 3 kids which means free time is a rarity for both of us.  For us to both be free on the same night is actually unheard of.  In fact the last time the two of us got to hang out (besides the quick lunch hour) was 3 years ago, on her 21st birthday, exactly 3 days before she found out she was pregnant.  

So, we went out Friday night.  YEAH!  Got out nails done, grabbed a burger, then had a couple of drinks at a dive bar and caught up on all the latest in each other’s lives. In other words we talked about the kids. Even when we’re away from them, there they are.  We’re such good moms and pathetic party girls.

At 10:00 she had to head home and save hubster from the 3 little Indians.  I headed home too but thoroughly thrilled to have spent a few hours with L.  On my way home I called Z, who happened to be out with his best friends who had come in for the weekend.  

Z: So, what are you two doing?
B: Going home.
Z: You’re going to your place?
B: Yes, where else?
Z: Will you be there all night?
B: I live there, where else would I be?
Z: What are you going to do when you get there?
B: Probably go to bed
Z: Oh my God. Oh my God.

What makes that conversation exceptionally funny is that Z was thinking, hoping, praying, wishing, dreaming that both of us (L and I) were going home to my place, all night, to go to bed, together.  I didn’t lie.  We were both going home, yes we would both be home all night, yes I was going to my place, and yes, we were both going to bed when we got home (to our respective homes).  Is it my fault his fantasy was a little over the top, and completely out of hand?

Love and Rockets


(I will give full credit for the title to my Sister, from whom I borrowed the phrase 'Love and Rockets'.)

I braved the crowds this weekend and did my Christmas shopping. I believe in going once, doing it all in one trip (if possible) and being done. That way I don’t second guess anyone’s gift, and I don’t spend more than I have budgeted. So, Saturday, with no kids and no plans for the entire day, I sat out on my holiday gift buying mission.

It was wonderful! This is the first year that I can remember EVER, being able to shop alone. I had the best time because I didn’t have a schedule, I didn’t have to be anywhere, I didn’t have tired kids, I didn’t have a cranky Grinch husband tagging along constantly asking ‘Are we done yet? Are you finished? Who else?’ or “I’m going to sporting goods to look at stuff for myself because I’m a selfish bastard and won’t spend a dime on anyone, but myself”. This year, even with the crowds, and the traffic and the lines at the check out counters, it was fun, fun, fun!

Then, every once in a while, I find the PERFECT gift for people on my list. Mission accomplished this year! I have two absolutely wonderful nephews I love almost more than life itself and I want nothing more than to see their eyes light up, their smiling faces and them jumping up and down screaming in excitement over a truly awesome wonderful gift. I am sure I will get to see most of that this year.

At ages 5 and 3, my boys want ROCKETS. They want kits to build and launch rockets. When my mother told me ‘Stealth wants a rocket for Christmas’ I decided a rocket he shall have. And my mission on Saturday was not only to get the biggest majority of my Christmas shopping done, but was also to find the boys Rockets. And I did, (on sale, ½ off to boot).

Now, if I know my nephews, they will want to go outside and launch these babies the very day they get them. Fine by me. I’m not the one who will have to 1) put them together, 2) take the boys outside in the freezing cold, or 3) tell 2 very excited boys that it’s too cold to go outside and launch them. Those joys belong to my sister. That’s the best part of being an Aunt. All of the glory, none of the agony. Awesome!

Merry Christmas Stealth and Duck. May you launch many missions to the moon and stars. May your hopes and dreams reach as high as your rockets. I love you. Enjoy the newest space program in central Mo.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Bored

I hate Friday afternoons, because there is nothing to do at work and I’m bored.  Yeah, I could leave early, but I don’t get paid for the time I don’t work..er..the time I’m not here.  So, I kind of have to stick around till 4:00 to get a full paycheck.

I hate sitting here surfing the web, because I feel like since they are paying me I should be doing something productive (as if writing this post for my blog is actually productive) or at least look like I am. (It does sort of accomplish that)

Minus 1 Knucklehead

I found out some interesting things last night about one of my knuckleheads.  I happen to run into a mutual friend of ours at Wal-Mart.  We were catching up on the latest gossip, and my knucklehead happened to come up in the conversation.  

This is the knucklehead who told me last week ‘This time I’m not going to lie to you’.  This time.  Great.  Well, I found out what ‘This time’ meant.  Earlier this summer, he started hanging out with another salesman at the dealership. B brought his girlfriend over to Knucklehead D’s house, and the three of them proceeded to get plastered, plowed, shit-faced, you name it, drunk.  When B and GF decided to head home, D suggested he follow them home to make sure they made it safely (sound innocent enough, especially if you’re drunk), then he suggested that GF ride with him instead of B.  She thought it was great, B didn’t see the ‘greatness’ in this plan and was understandably miffed.  Once they get to B’s house, GF has decided she’s not staying with B since he’s pissed off, and ‘she’s done nothing wrong’, so she asks D to take her home.  D obviously thought she meant his home, not hers, and proceeds to take her back to his place, where they spent the night together. (Why she didn’t protest, call a cab, call B, when D took her back to his place, is anybody’s guess.  It doesn’t take a brain surgeon here.  I can not lay all the blame at D’s feet for this.  She stayed of her own drunken volition.)

When D relayed this story to me later, the GF slept in the guest room.  Ok, buddy, I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night. I knew the truth, but since we weren’t talking at the time this happened, I didn’t say anything, but filed it away in the ‘Good information to know and remember’ file in my mind.

Last night, while talking with A at Wal-Mart, I found out that not only had D slept with B’s GF that night, but on several other occasions too.  Fine. (Because in D’s telling of the story to me it ended with B telling everyone at the dealership ‘D slept with my girlfriend last night’.  And D telling him ‘Nothing happened. I haven’t slept with your girlfriend, but you can bet I will now.’) Then she proceeds to tell me that he had tried several times, and was still calling and trying to hook up with her.  Even when she told him to ‘Back off, I’m not interested. I’ve known you too long, it would be just too weird, and besides I don’t know where things stand with you and Becky.’  His response to that?  ‘It doesn’t matter, she’ll never know anyway. Besides, we’re just friends.’

Well, there you have it folks.  He’s right, I would have never known had A not told me.  He’s also right in that we were not exclusive; we had no relationship boundaries or definitions.  But to hit on a friend of mine, a mutual friend of ours? Kind of tacky.

I’m not pissed off, I’m not mad, I’m not hurt, I’m not angry, I’m not anything. I don’t really care.  It didn’t surprise me, it didn’t shock me.  It was just another confirmation of things I already suspected. I was calm about it all, and didn’t feel anything when she told me.  It was almost insignificant.  I didn’t care, it didn’t matter.  

It did bring to light, for me anyway, just how desperate I was to cling to him and hold on to the ‘healthiest relationship I’d ever had’.  I thought, and my therapist thought this relationship was pretty normal and healthy, compared to the ones I’d had in the past.  What did we know?   He’s a great actor.  He was wonderful and loving and sweet, and caring and attentive to me when we were together, but apparently he was that way to a lot of girls at a time.  He was lying and cheating and I never knew.  

So if the relationship could look and feel so healthy and normal, and turn out to be just like all the rest, is there any hope of finding the real thing, a REAL normal and healthy relationship?  Do they really exist?  I’m sure they do, but do they exist for me?  

Am I so starved for attention, and positive reinforcement, from years of lack of both, that I rush into something and make it more than it really is?  Do I rush from first date to full blown coupledom in my mind, long before the guy is ready to make that kind of commitment.  Why is it so hard for me to just ‘date’ a guy instead of jumping ahead and expecting too much too soon?  Then that leads to the question, am I truly the only one to blame here, or does the guy have some degree of responsibility here?  I don’t think so; it’s my expectations that are the issue here, not theirs.

So, this morning, I am minus 1 knucklehead.  Not that he’s been in the count for a while now.  He’s been pretty much absent from my life for a while now. I don’t even miss him.  Even when he comes up in the topic of conversation, I have to remember ‘You’re supposed to miss him’, then I tell myself he’s not worth it.  Obviously.

Lesson learned.  Still have to find answers to my questions, but those will come with time and experience.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sometimes I am such a grinch

Sometimes I hate Christmas.  Now, don’t get your panties in a wad, let me explain.

It’s commercialized, and filled with Gimme Gimme Gimme.  My kids have asked for things they really don’t have any business wanting, and have no needs for them.  I mean really, does a 6 year old really need a cell phone?

Then there’s the cookies, the candies, the meals, the holiday parties, the treats and the goodies.  All our customers send ‘holiday wishes’ in the form of Russell Stover candies, everyone has the required candy dishes on their desks, always full of chocolates, we just had our employee holiday meal today, all you can eat more food than a person has a right to put away.  

I have 3 kids, by two fathers, each of the fathers’ parents are divorced (as are mine) which means the kids will have
     Christmas with me
     Christmas with their dad
     Christmas with my mother
     Christmas with my father
     Christmas with their dad’s mother
     Christmas with their dad’s father.
My father and my brother are both coming in from out of state, so their available time is limited as they also have numerous other obligations.  So I have multiple schedules to juggle.  I have to arrange Christmas celebrations to accommodate everyone’s schedules.  O’Hare has nothing on me.  

On top of this I have to find time to get Christmas shopping done while the kids are with their dads.  Since I have primary physical custody of all 3 kids, I have them the lion share of the time.  That limits my shopping opportunities.  Which brings us back to the commercialization of the holiday and the gimme gimme gimme’s.  

I hate Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Scary really

I got the following email the other day in my myspace.com inbox.

Wow, I think you are gorgeous, and I really like your profile. I am an experienced submissive and exhibitionist. I have a house in Arnold (just south of St. Louis), I am 6 foot 4, athletic build, short dark blonde hair, brown eyes, little body hair, clean cut and most people would describe me as being attractive. I am educated and lived in Dallas for nearly five years. I knew I was submissive before then, but it was in Dallas that I had the fortunate opportunity of being owned by a professional domme. There is very little I have not done, I have very few limits and am very creative. I am having a difficult time in St. Louis looking for someone like you to own me. I have a profile on collarme.com that goes into more detail of what I have done and really enjoy. There is too much to list, so I will happily answer questions you have for me. I also cook, clean and do other house chores. I am on yahoo under the address of grholmes44 (email and IM), and I have some more pics I could, but everyone who knows me says that I look much better in person. I'm not photogenic at all. I really hope to hear from you. Thank you, Gordon

I have no idea what prompted this person to send this to me.  I don’t know him; I have no real desire to know him.  It’s definitely a very bold email, and he makes no balls about what he wants and what he’s looking for.  

It’s scary who’s out there.  It takes all kinds.  It’s a sick world out there folks.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I have a secret

I have a secret I’m dying to tell anyone who will listen, but I can’t, hence it’s a secret.  I can’t tell because I’m not sure the extent of the secret yet, and I don’t want to jump the gun, say something too soon, and jinx the whole thing.  So I carry on, day to day, with a knowing smile, and a twinkle in my eye.

Monday, December 12, 2005

O Christmas Tree



We put up the Christmas tree this weekend. Actually, I put up the Christmas tree this weekend. The kids thought it was a good idea, posed for 1 picture, then sat on their butts and supervised. Then, ran outside to play in what remained of the snow, while I cleaned up. Santa's workshop has exploded in my living room once again. At least this year, it looks and feels like Christmas in our house. It's been awhile. Hopfully the kids will get into the spirit soon. Happy Holidays everyone.

Military Holidays

I got these two emails today.  The first from my ex-husband, who was military, and fought in Dessert Storm.  The second from my mother who has sent her son off to ‘play in the giant cat little box across the ocean’ more times than she cares to remember.

Whether you agree with the war effort in Iraq, or not, there are still men and women over there fighting to defend our country.  They have family, friends and loved ones back home who will celebrate Christmas this year without them.  Remember them this holiday season.  


A different Christmas poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
a lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's  freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light.
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's  a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.
"My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and  blue... an American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting  and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I  asked, "or prepare you a feast?"
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.





The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that  either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm howizzitor. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march. He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient.  He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.

He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle.

He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low. He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime.

He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid  attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.

He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.

Friday, December 9, 2005

Natural High

Things that make you feel good

1. Falling in love.
2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.
3. A hot shower.
4. No lines at the supermarket
5. A special glance.
6. Getting mail
7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.
8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.
10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.
11. Chocolate milkshake. (or vanilla or strawberry!)
12. A bubble bath.
13. Giggling.
14. A good conversation.
15. The beach
16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter.
17. Laughing at yourself.
19. Midnight phone calls that last ! for hours.
20. Running through sprinklers.
21. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.
22. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.
23. Laughing at an inside joke.
24. Friends.
25. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.
26. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
27. Your first kiss (either the very first or with a new partner).
28. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
29. Playing with a new puppy.
30. Having someone play with your hair.
31. Sweet dreams.
32. Hot chocolate.
33. Road trips with friends.
34. Swinging on swings.
35. Making eye contact with a cute stranger.
36. Making chocolate chip cookies.
37. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.
38. Holding hands with someone you care about.
39. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.
40. Watching the __expression on someone's face as they open a much desired present from you.
41. Watching the sunrise.
42. Getting out of bed every morning and being grateful for another beautiful day.
43. Knowing that somebody misses you.
44. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.
45. Knowing you've done the right thing, no matter what other people think.

Our First Snow of the Season



We got our first snowfall of the season on 12/8. Of course, the kids were visiting their dad so we had to wait a day or two to get pics of them playing in it. Newt was thrilled to have snow, enough snow to call off school, and enough snow to make snowballs and throw at her brother.

I have discovered that the older I get, the lower my tolerance for cold is. When I was there age I would play outside for hours, and no matter how wet or cold I was, I didn't want to come in. Now, I, like my mom did with me, watch from the warmth of the house.

My kids don't get to enjoy the snowfalls I used to have. They get 2-3 inches, I used to play in 2-3 feet. The world, the weather, the environment, the atmosphere, everything is changing.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Bouncing...A lot liike crashing

I shouldn’t have been surprised, I had a gut feeling it was coming, and it didn’t take a brain surgeon to figure it out.  The walls were up, he was keeping his distance, and he kept finding excuses to not come over.

He promised on Sunday he’d be over to see the new place.  He called Sunday night to say he was too tired to come over, definitely Monday.  Monday came around and he called ‘T’s in town thought I’d hang out with him tonight.  I’ll call you tomorrow’.   Don’t insult my intelligence.  T lives in town, he’s always in town, and you can see him any night you want to.  Just be honest with me, tell me the truth, I already suspect it, just admit it already.

Finally I just asked him last night, point blank, after being blown off Sunday and Monday, and completely ignored on Tuesday.  “So, is there somebody else?”  Einstein’s answer?  ‘Well, this time I’m not going to lie to you, yes, there is.’  Well, thank you so very fucking much for that consideration.  This time you’re not going to lie to me?  Christ!

I don’t know what pisses me off more, the fact that he strung me along, and lied to me (and the kids), or that I was so desperate to hold on to him, that I completely ignored all the signs that were telling me what I already knew.  I could lie to myself and say ‘As long as he doesn’t say it’s over, it’s not over.  As long as he doesn’t admit it, it can’t be true.’  Kind of like the ostrich with my head in the sand. It’s a toss up, does the rejection hurt more than the embarrassment I feel for having played along for so long, when I knew in my gut, it was over.

If it didn’t hurt, it would mean I didn’t care, and I did care.  Maybe too much, probably for too long, definitely more than he did.  I have legions of people lined up ready to tell me how I was too good for him, how he didn’t deserve me,  how I deserve better and he’s not worth my tears.  Yada yada yada, blah, blah, blah.  It’s not like I can flip a switch and just poof not care any more, not feel anything.

Time for another Goodbye in my life.  Another Goodbye at Christmas no less.  I seem to be doing that on a regular basis (this will be year #3 in a row). Gonna bounce out of this one too.  Get as low as I can go for a day and then back at it, back to life, back to accepting.  Bouncing. It's like crashing except you get to do it over and over again.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Numbers mean nothing


Here is the 5 day outlook from our local television station. Frankly, when it get's below, say 40 outside, cold it cold. Numbers mean nothing. Can you really tell the difference between 20 and 28? It's just freakin' cold. Bundle up, wear so many layers you can't move. When it's this cold outside, it is physically painful to be out there. Wind Chill? Forget it. Those numbers are smaller than the actual temperature.

Nestea Plunge of Life

Today I am cranky.  And I guess I know the real reason why, and how to get out of this funk.  I’ve been trying once again to control my life, and my corner of the universe.  Trying desperately to get people in my life to do the things I want, to behave in a way most becoming to me.   My bitchiness is a result of the ensuing frustration.  I realize it, I know it, and I know how to alleviate the frustration… Just allow the universe to evolve on it’s own.  In other words, give up trying to control something I can not control.  

I have the option to sit in the corner and continue to be bitchy, which isn’t very pleasant for the people I work and live with.  I can chose to throw a temper tantrum along the lines of ‘I don’t want to let go!  I want things MY way!’ but, being a mother of three, I’ve seen my fair share of temper tantrums, and know just how effective they are. (or aren’t)

I will work hard this afternoon, to remind myself to let it go.  Let go of the ineffective need to control my universe.  Nestea ™ plunge life if you will.  The Nestea ™ commercials when they would fall back into the pool, just let go, and fall.  And so I have to adopt that attitude towards my life, the people in my life and the universe around me.  Nestea ™ my life.  

Besides, I’ve discovered in the past, that once I let go of the need to control, things have an uncanny way of working out better than I could have orchestrated by myself.

Christmas Wishes

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Time for a change, I was bored

I got bored. I have a new home now, a prettier, healthier home. It’s once again a chance to start over. Claim it as mine, and create new memories, no ghosts from my past haunting me here.

A new year is right around the corner, which in another chance to start over, a clean slate. A new year, a chance to make a fresh start. Let go of ghosts, hurts and tears of the previous year.

So, I changed the blog as well, a new start, a new look, nothing from the past to haunt me. A fresh start. Hopefully this one will be happier than the one before.

Monday, December 5, 2005

Captain Jack is Back



It's official, Pirrates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest, is out in Theaters July 7th. Only a mere 7 more months to wait and see Johnny Depp as the uber-sexy Captain Jack Sparrow, and the ultra-hot Orlando Bloom as Will Tucker. YUMMY!

Birthday Wishes


Sending out Birthday wishes to my cousin RDV (which, if you know my cousins could be any one of 4 people, but he knows who he is, and they all know who's birthday is today.)

Growing up, my cousins on my my mom's side always thought we'd much rather be spending time with our cousins from our dad's side. After all B & J had their own pool, they had a bigger house, more toys, better toys, they came from the 'right side of the track'. I guess our V cousins always felt as if they could never compete or measure up to the M cousins.

We had to wait until we were all adults to discover that little nugget of truth. The rest of the story is, yes, B & J had the pool, the bigger house, more toys, but we always has more laughs, played harder, had more fun, and created greater memories that have lasted far longer with the V cousins.

As adults we still sit around sharing stories of things we remember from our childhood. We laugh at and with each other until our sides ache and tears are rolling. We may tell the same story year after year, and we all know them so well, we can finish any story that gets started. We don't have that kind of camaraderie with the M cousins.

So,Happy Happy Birthday to RDV, the cousin who put the fish he caught in the swimming pool until he could clean it, who cleaned his gold fish bowl with Comet, who got chased through the neighborhood by a billy goat, the cousin who has a heart of pure gold and is bigger than the whole of him, who would give you the shirt off his back, who is growing old before his time, the cousin who loves with his whole being and has never learned to hide his emotions. Where ever you are today, whatever you are doing, know that you're in my heart, and I love you, even if I don't always get the chance to tell you.

We are moved

We are moved, across the hall, to the new place.  That means, aside from a few stray boxes I have to get tonight, everything that was in apartment C is now in Apartment D (if it didn’t get dumped in the trash).

The bathroom had been over-run with mold from the pipes leaking in the wall.  The ceiling was molding, mildew, caving in, about to fall. Every time the neighbors above us took a shower, it rained in our bathroom.  I had sheets of plastic nailed to the walls and ceiling to funnel the downpour into the tub so that our floor didn’t flood every night, and to eliminate the surprise shower while sitting on the throne.  It was nasty, sickening, and unhealthy to say the least.  

I didn’t realize the extent of the mold problem until the furniture came out and things got moved around, and I actually got to walls and carpet in all the rooms of the apartment.   I knew there was mold in the ceiling of my room and in the carpet, it was on my furniture, (we had to actually throw away a table, it was so far gone, lost to the mold and mildew).  Once the furniture came out, I could see it was on the walls, on the backs of my furniture, it was taking over everything.  On the backs of pictures, nick-nacks that were sitting on shelves were losing the battle to the black plague that was taking over everything.

The nasty mold was in the girls’ room, it was even in Bo’s room.  Every where we looked, there it was.  It was behind dressers, behind beds, hidden in closets, behind toy boxes.  The more we moved out, the more we dug out, the more mold we found.  It was in the air, you could smell it, it had invaded and taken it.  It was everywhere.  I began to realize I had been fighting a losing battle.  I could never get that apartment clean, because the mold was growing faster and pervading everything faster than I could chase it.

I took pictures as we moved, it was unbelievable.  You could never believe what I saw unless you saw it too.  The mold was growing, out of my carpet under my dresser.  GROWING!  Like a plant.  This was a living breeding growing THING that had taken over.

The more we disturbed it, the more we uncovered, when it became air-borne, the longer I spent over there in that apartment, the sicker I got.  I got congested, I started coughing, I couldn’t breathe, I was getting sicker and sicker as the day wore on.  It just makes me ill to realize I lived in that, lived with it, and allowed my children to live there with that too.

I am glad to be out of there.  The saga is not over, there may still have to be some sort of legal action taken on my part because I had made several complaints and the problem was ignored, or at best, just cosmetically fixed.  No good there.  

Pictures will follow later this week.

We are in a better place now.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Scheduled to open Jan 1, 2006 Hualapai Indian Reservation. Juts about 70 feet into the Canyon, 4000 feet above the Colorado River.

Will Accommodate 120 people comfortably (how comfortable can you be?)

Built with more than a million pounds of steel beams, and includes dampeners that minimize the structure's vibration.

Designed to hold 72 million pounds, withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake 50 miles away, and winds in excess of 100 mph.

The walkway has a glass bottom and sides four inches thick.

Uh.. No thank you. I like my feet firmly planted on THE GROUND, not 4 inch thick glass 4000 feet above a river.

A short Story

He walked into the restaurant, dressed in black head to toe, looking better than anything found in GQ.  He walked with a confident air, sure of himself, unconcerned by his surroundings, unaware of the effect he had on the women in the room.

She saw him walk through the door; she had been waiting for him.  The sight of him caused her heart to skip a beat and her breath to catch.  He never failed to take her breath away.  She was always a little surprised at how beautiful he was, and that he still wanted her after all this time.

His eyes met hers and instantly his whole face lit up, the smile on his lips came from inside and radiated in his eyes.  To anyone watching them, the chemistry and attraction was instantaneous and undeniable.

The electric current arced and buzzed between them but they were unaware of it, so comfortable with each other and their relationship.  The love they felt for each other created a cocoon around them shutting out everyone else.  There was an ease and comfort to their relationship that came from years together.  

They sat at the bar, catching up on each other’s days, talking about the kids, the usual chatter of a couple who have a shared history and a past together.  Soon enough, the conversation turned to a more serious topic.  She could see the change in his eyes and knew it was coming before he brought it up.  She fought to maintain the smile on her face, and the love in her eyes and voice, but inside her heart was gripped in a panic.  

He told her as gently as he could, he was going away for a while.  She didn’t want to believe it, but she completely understood.  Understanding only made it worse, because she knew he was right.  She loved him even more for making the right decision, no matter how hard it was.

He told her he had wanted to be honest with her, he always had been.  He wanted to make sure she understood what he was asking of her, and maybe of himself too.  The fact was, she understood, almost to well.  Understanding did not make it hurt any less.  But she didn’t cry, she understood, and even put it into words that he couldn’t find.  He promised her that his going away was gone forever.  He would come back, he would miss her, he would always love her, but he felt as if he had no choice in the matter.  She assured him she knew all of that, that she would miss him too, always love him, possibly even more for doing this, and would wait patiently for him to return.

When he kissed her good-bye that night it was with a promise to talk to her soon.  She tried to convey all the love she felt for him without saying a word.  She knew she had to let him go without any pressure to add to the guilt he was already feeling.  The best way to love him, she knew, was to let him go and do the right thing.  He would come back, he loved her, she loved him. Nothing was going to change that.