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02/14/2006: "if you cant be with the one you love"

happy valentine's day - harrumph.

at about 4AM this morning my wife woke up fairly sick. i left for the shop at around 6AM and by 10AM she was in need of medical attention. she's still in the emergency room, where they have administered all sorts of drugs and run a gamut of tests. at first glance it appears that it is food poisioning, but that hasn't been confirmed. sadly, looks like we are not having date night tonight. not a good way to spend valentine's day for her.

with those turn of events, my day has been kinda sour. been sitting her in the silence of the shop ruminating on the past several months, the insanity of it all. blogs can be several things: a vent, an ATM, a journal....

jump and i'll explain more.


when i started sellthekids.com i was using it as an online journal. i used to keep a written journal off and on, from ages 16 to about 23. it would wax and wane as my romantic life did the same; i considered it a good place to hash my thoughts out and to keep me from feeling a Columbine-type episode coming on. thanks to technology, the old written form is pretty much dead and instead i can share with others all the random thoughts that used to clog my head.

when poker came along, it took over the blog. hand histories, bad beats, and tales of woe aside, there is a thriving blog community for poker players; i read many every day.

so with poker to the fore - music, current events, and my personal life were pushed aside. no big whoop, i don't think i am that much of a public person. don't get me wrong, i am not shy, but i would prefer to not air all my laundry in the public. unfortunately, not having that outlet has done a couple of things: one, it makes for a damn uninteresting blog (all poker and no play makes Homer something something.) two, because i live in the 'burbs now and no longer have a corporate job, my life has become isolated from those friends and aquaintences i used to see on a daily basis. in the beginning the blog kept all of us in touch; now, not so much. lastly, without the blog outlet, my emotions have no place to go. i feel isolated, which looking back i can see that i am. so in that vein, i am going to catch-up on all that has happened since about Nov '05 - all the things i have not talked about and probably should have.

one thing i did post about was my Mom suffering congestive heart failure and having a pacemaker/defibrillator put in. that was late Nov/ early Dec. around the same time, my wife and i got a call at home, a call i knew was coming at some point and one that i hoped my wife was ready for.

before we married, my wife and i spent a lot of time talking about what we wanted in and out of life. we agreed that we didn't want kids; me because i am too selfish to be a good parent, and because i could not stand to have one more thing in my life where i was unable to live up to my father's example (e.g. pops spent 5 years in college, 4 years schooling, one year working; made dean's list all semesters, made only one B and graduated Ga. Tech magna cum laude. me? i spent my first year at Baylor making a staggering 1.9. thank god i finally got my act together and made the dean's list for my final two years.) anyway, Dar didn't want kids, but for a different reason: she already had one.

when i met my wife in 1994 she had been estranged from her family (mother, father, two sisters, brother, and daughter) for several years. the estrangement was over her daughter, Megan, who her parents chose to raise and Dar chose to let them. Dar harbored a lot of pain and guilt over that, something that i knew one day would come to the surface.

around Nov '05 Megan called out of the blue, not sure if she had the right phone number, looking for her mom. Megan is 19 now and i had been mentally counting the time knowing that at some point she would be old enough to search for Dar on her own. Dar was of course excited, upset, panicked - pretty much any and all emotions at once. i called Megan back, chatted with her and explained that she had the right place and that her mom indeed wanted to talk to her, as soon as she could gather her strength and thoughts. that call took place the next day and went off very well. Megan appears to be a well-adjusted young adult and was interested in getting her mom back in her life. a week later Megan and her boyfriend came to visit. believe it or not, it went really well and they instantly became good friends, which is about the best you can hope for in that situation, where a mom has been absent from her daughter's life for roughly 14 years. Megan was living in Stephensville and attending Tarrelton State, a small college in central Texas. when Megan came to visit our hardwoods were being installed, so all the furniture was out of the house in storage and we had new furniture coming as soon as the floors were done; wasn't the prettiest the house could have looked. upside? post hardwoods, i volunteered to take a small load of our old stuff up to Megan, since what college student can't use free furniture?! (thanks Otter for your help and company!)

we glided into Dec, me still dealing with my mom and Dar and i both suffering through the holiday season and the bustle of the shop. remember, we make roughly 30% of our yearly profit in Nov and Dec - it is a busy, stressful time. Dar was also reuniting with her family, which seemed to be going well. unfortunately, her father has been sick for several years, on the downside of a long running battle with cancer. Megan and Dar travelled to Tyler to visit their family; this was the first time Dar had seen any of her family in over fourteen years. again, believe it or not, it seemed to really go well. all of this, while very time consuming and emotional, was surely helping heal long standing wounds.

as an aside, through all this i tried to just be a passive bystander, offering help when it was needed, but otherwise staying out of the way. Dar didn't need any stress from me and i made a good effort to be as helpful and passive as possible. it was tough, esp when things where happening that were changing our life, but hey, that's what marriage is about. and anyway, what kinda schmuck would i be if i couldn't take a little change. plus, i always knew in the back of my mind these days were coming.

into Jan we rolled. the shop settled down. i lost about 1/3 my bankroll playing online ring games. i doubled my prozac dosage without consulting my doctor and immediately saw all the benefits that the 10mg daily dosage was supposed to do but wasn't. around mid-month Megan's boyfriend decided he needed to slap her around, causing her to file domestic abuse charges and off to jail he went. Dar and i decided that this was a great time to move Megan down near us, so we took a couple of days, rented a 24 foot truck and loaded her up and headed to Houston. we rented her an apartment close by and she quickly found a job. that was a lot of change in a short amount of time, but for the better.

now, if you asked me in Nov/Dec what the future would have held, i would have told you that Megan's move was going to happen at some point. i expected her boyfriend to be around, but with or without him, i figured Megan's best opportunities would be to be near her mom and in a larger city like Houston. so while the move was time consuming, it wasn't too shocking. if anything, it has been nice for Megan to be so close to Dar. it certainly increased the amount of time they can spend together.

early Feb Dar's father took a turn for the worse. his cancer had spread so rapidly that he wasn't expected to make it until the end of the month. he passed on Feb 5th in hospice care in Tyler. while sad, i was glad Dar had gotten a chance to see him again before he was gone. it was good for all their hearts.

and then here we are today: Dar is down in Memorial Herman Southwest, having tests run and hopefully she'll just have a case of food poisioning and nothing else. it sounds wrong to hope for that, but you know what i mean - i don't want it to be anything else, more serious. healthwise, Dar has turned a corner: she stopped smoking on Jan 26th and really feels that she has quit. i think having Megan around and seeing how badly cancer had treated her father was a real push - and i am happy.

so, in a nutshell, that's my last couple of months. things have been weird, but not in a bad way, just a lot going on. i think it was a blessing i doubled my prozac all on my own, kinda before things started to pile up. i feel a lot calmer, which in some ways sucks, b/c i kinda enjoy the rage and anger...but those around me don't and i can see how much it was killing them.

moving forward, i will be returning to the corporate workplace sometime soon. basically i have to get a job for benefits. i'll be one of the millions of americans who works solely for health care (my mom is one too.) nice system, United States. dunno what i am going to do; i have some plans, but nothing i want to talk about - that way if i fail i won't feel to bad about it. ;-)

have a happy valentine's day - love the one your with.

Replies: 2 Comments

Dar was released from the hospital last night at about 10PM - a ten hour valentine's stay!

after a myriad of tests, including a CAT scan that i am sure i don't want to see the bill for, she was diagnosed with gastroenteritis, or what the kids today commonly call it, the flu. at least she got some drugs which ended the vomiting and such and she was sleeping soundly this AM when i left.

bcd said @ 02/15/2006 08:19 AM CST

okay. so it's f$cking sad I had to hear about her dad dying online. fmitga. calling now.

dac said @ 02/17/2006 06:52 PM CST

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