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Archive for November, 2008

The Holiday Season

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Yes the holiday season has begun. People out getting gifts for their friends and family. I too have been getting things from my family. I have also been thinking about my life (yes for those of you who have read the pure blog posts will see a lot of things happen towards the end of the year). This is a holiday season, I am not looking forward to. Christmas is usually a time for enjoyment and sometimes fulfillment of dreams (well at least if you are a child, speaking of which, I am still waiting for my original Obi-Won Kenobi action figure I asked for back in 1977, are you listening SANTA!). Well this will make for the third unpleasant Christmas in a row for me. Let’s go back to 2006.

In 2006, I was coming off my weight loss surgery and still under lifting restrictions. My wife at the time has just been diagnosed with “abnormal cell growth” (in English, CANCER) in her uterus after we lost what would have been our second child. Being 33 and hearing that the woman you love more than anything in the world has cancer is extremely scary. I looked at her every night and nearly cried, and in some cases while she slept, I did. Christmas came and that week, she began her Chemo treatments. She was worn out, she was fighting with all her might, and I was doing everything I could think of to help, which as the spouse of a cancer patient isn’t as much as I would have hoped I could do, I know I felt helpless. At the same time I was so proud of her. she was fighting something very scary and with a lot of dignity and grace. I had remembered thinking I wish I could be as strong as she is right now. She was truly amazing and I was in awe of her strength.

As we went to my folks to celebrate Christmas, we got out of the car in their driveway and got our daughter out of her seat. Walking to the door, I looked at her and said a prayer, I hope none of you ever have to. It was in essence, “Lord, please don’t let this be my last Christmas with her. I love her so much and please get rid of this disease fast because I don’t know if I can live without her.” In the end, she did beat it. For a long time I wore a yellow LiveStrong bracelet in honor of her and the way she fought something so terrible. Even to this day, I am surprised about the prayer that I said, and what would happen within 11 months.

2007 was one that was tough. As I see it now, my marriage had ended, I just didn’t know it yet. I had started a new job after being laid off from another. My then wife helped me get it. I was really excited to be working with her. I felt this could give us time to have lunch together, maybe take the train together. You know, spend some quality time together just as a couple. When I accepted the job, she got mad at me. Not the screaming and yelling mad, but more the brooding seething kind of mad. We were not talking much, and when I tried to resolve it, she would just say, wait until after the holidays. Something was up, and I didn’t know it. Walking on egg shells for the holidays is never fun. I was made to feel like a second class citizen by my own wife (well, I thought she was at that point, but she had given up on the marriage at this point, and in her mind there was no going back, which her actions proved). I felt I had dome something wrong, but felt I could fix it. We had arguments before, and a healthy relationship has many of them, but you work things out. I felt we were at this point. It was still fixable. One thing that should have been a huge red flag for me is when she didn’t want to put up any Christmas decorations. She always loved to do that, and the house always looked so beautiful when she did. She really had a talent for it, one where I think she could have made a lot of money over the holidays being a consultant for house decorating. I put up a very small tree with a few ornaments that I found around on Christmas Eve. I didn’t have to work that day but she did (I have a feeling she didn’t have to work that day, but there was something else that made her want to go in to the office and not be with her family). It was pathetic how I had everything up, but I was running on very little time and wanted to surprise her with at least something. I swear that Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree was better than what I put up. I wrapped all the presents and had them ready to put out that night after my munchkin went to bed. The next morning, I had so many gifts for my ex and my daughter, but for me, I got a shirt. It wasn’t wrapped, and is now way too big. It was just tossed at me in the Kohl’s bag from which she had purchased it. Needless to say, I felt slighted and ignored.

What merges in to that holiday season for me is that I had found out when I started working with the then wife, I had stumbled upon something that would effect not only me and her, but someone else whom I used to have an immense amount of respect for, but no longer do. All three of these people worked at the same place and now none of these people work for that company due to the actions of one person, the willingness of another to go along with the first, and then an innocent bystander who just tried to do what was right. Needless to say just a few weeks later, it was really all over except for the lawyers.

That brings me to 2008. Christmas hasn’t arrived yet, but I am already dreading it. It is amazing how having a special someone at your side, even if you think you are just having an argument, really makes the holidays special. I know most of you will say, “You have your daughter.” Yes, I do, and I love her to death, but some of my dread comes for her as well. She is now coming from a broken family. The actions of one, a year before, hurt her as well. The biggest part is that I won’t be able to kiss a special woman under the Mistletoe, go to some to the holiday romantic comedies (yes I really do like romantic comedies) that come out this time of year. I see things in stores that I wish I could buy for someone, but I don’t have anyone to give them to. I will most likely be with my family this year for Christmas. I love them so much and they have supported me though the worst year of my life. But it won’t be the same without anyone who I can just turn to who will give me that special smile that is between two adults who love each other.

This holiday season, I now can fully understand why the suicide rate always increases around the holidays. No, I am not saying that I will do that nor do I condone that, but I now understand why it is. It is hard to be single again in the holidays, namely when most of your friends and all your family, and ex aren’t.

I believe I could get in to a relationship at any moment I want to, there has been a few opportunities, but I am making sure that I am ready to give the woman I will be with the kind of attention she deserves. I am almost there, and maybe the holidays of 2009 will be better for me. Finally one without drama (which ALWAYS happened with my ex) and just enjoyable. Who that woman is, I don’t know yet. I hope to be able to meet her soon. I feel the saying that a lot of people say is true, love comes when you least expect her. But for this year, I am single and maybe not so Merry.

I don’t ask for pity, but if you are in a religious service, please say a prayer of comfort for me. It is going to be a hard one for me. Also at a holiday party, have a drink for me as well. It will be much appreciated.

119. Barely Thankful – Voice Mail (206) 984-3675

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I am back, and I will hopefully be getting shows back out on a regular schedule again. Enjoy episode 119

BARELY INTRO: The Big Show

Chewed out for nothing
Opps, I did it again
Jack-o-lantern eyes
A business card
Vote for me
Butt Steak
Two places at once
Here is the link for the news article I refer to at the end of the episode. http://www.nowpublic.com/tech-biz/lego-loses-its-trademark

Thanks for listening!

Anniversary of a new life

Friday, November 21st, 2008

November 20, 2006 is one of the many days in my life that makes a big mark. It was the day that I took action to change my life. Early that morning my then-wife and I dropped off my daughter at my folks place at 5 in the morning and went to the hospital. By 7 am I was being rolled in to surgery. this is the surgery that changed my life. The Lap Band procedure for weight loss. It was the start of a journey that in some ways got me to where I am today.

While the impact of this surgery wasn’t noticed until well over a year later, it was the start of a journey that began two years ago yesterday. With the Lap Band procedure, you have to go in for regular adjustments. I didn’t have my first adjustment for almost 6 months because of my phobia of needles, then had a picture taken the next day. I was at my heaviest weight at 312 pounds. Here is that picture

At my heaviest, 312 pounds

One year later to the day I had been through a lot. Betrayal that lead to a divorce, many moves, discovering who I am and rebuilding my life from what could only be considered to be ashes that it was when that first picture was taken. I had dropped 102 pounds in the following picture from the one before. I am wearing the same jersey in both, believe it or not.

One year and 102 pounds later

What a difference a year makes and it all started two years ago.

118. Barely a Guest – Voice Mail (206) 984-3675

Friday, November 7th, 2008

This is the recap of my trip to the cornfields of Central Illinois to visit my good friends Matt and Amy from the Redboy Podcast. Enjoy the show! Next week I will have a regular show out!