Already? 3 Months? Really?

I’ve been wanting to blog lately, timetoblogbut somehow it has become a lesser priority. I mean, I know what is going on in my life now, so why would I need to do this? Simply put, I need to do it for self-reflection and therapy. It started out such for when I was initially diagnosed (seems like eons ago now…). During this time, it has become a place for me to vent about various things going on in my life or just make a note to myself that I will come back and read “some day”.

Three months is pretty inexcusable, but I’ll try to catch myself up here :)

Since that time, many things have gone on, while some things remain unchanged. Firstly, my son seems to be “too busy” to keep in touch with me unless it is a birthday or day like Father’s Day. I never quite got David, and sometimes I wonder, “Was I like that?”. The answer would be NO. I was always very much aware of family and priorities – even when I was in high school and hanging out with friends post-high school. Maybe it’s the new generation. No, because my step-kids aren’t like that. No, David is just David. He has always lacked a sense of priorities. I mean, what does it take to call OR TEXT me? And why am I always the one who has to do it? I was never like that with my parents. I am sure he does it to his mom too. I still do not get his moving away 2500 miles away? With his girlfriend?

Despite the divorce, it saddens me that David and his sister do not talk. Again, not surprising. Both are self centered, with his sister being the queen of brats. Whatever. It’s not even worth thinking about much.

I was sadden a couple of weeks ago (yeah, I should have blogged) about the passing of Martin Milner, an actor on one of my favorite shows growing up (“Adam-12”). It is sort of a reality check.

Then today, I was going through my computer to organize some pictures, and ran across some pictures of the kids around 2007 – just months before the divorce. It is kind of a surreal thought, still to this day. Those days literally seem like a lifetime ago. The divorce was horrid, and kids were younger. Now they are both gone their own ways. Weird. Life is just weird.

Tonight I was going through more pictures and saw some of my mom and dad, with Uncle Larry and Aunt Sharon. Geez. They’re all gone now :(

I know, I won’t live for ever. That’s life.

About three weeks ago I practically had a mental break down [I was alone at home]. I was going through a box I received of my dad’s belongings from my sister. It was a necessary but hard thing to go through. I cried, hysterically. I am glad I was alone, because real men don’t cry, right? Sometimes life just sucks.

Sigh ……

11243710_690760727736127_8380477387183767805_nLately Lena and I have been considering where we might want to retire. This has been really exciting (yea, something happy for once!) as we’ve been looking at houses we both like (but don’t always agree on!) and also looking at our calendar and finances. I would retire now if I could, but I can’t damn it. We are both in love with Bend, but also trying to be realistic about when that might happen. From the looks of things, it is a good five years off, minimum. Sparks is a consideration too, it’s just so damn dry.

Work has been the usual pain in the a**. Thank God this project is winding down. Enough said.

I still have yet to hit one of the chess clubs. I really want to start doing some over-the-board instead of online or computer (where I am always losing lol).

Overall life is good. I am generally happy. It helps to have a wife who loves you <3

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New Old Addiction

Ever since a few months ago when I re-connected with Daryl, he renewed my interest in playing chess. I had my days of geekhood in high school and for a few years after that. chess_book_hugeSince my resurgence in playing, I have downloaded some amazing chess game software and downloaded nearly 5M games to populate them. I played one of my cousins for a while (Brandon, Larry’s son) and we played about 20 games. I think I won 17 of them – but most were very good games, especially a couple. Now I am ready to play some live face-to-face chess and just have to break out of my reclusive shell. I’m also ready to start reading and learning more about the game and recently bought a couple of books to get me back into that.

I had done a search for “chess” on Craigslist and found a massive piece of work by László Polgár – father of the famous Polgár sisters. Unbeknownst to me, this is an iconic work that I happen to find in a stitch of time (don’t you love those old sayings?). What a deal – over 5000 puzzles filling 1100 pages. What a behemoth volume of work – six pounds of paper bound with endless figures of games. I walked some four miles round trip from my office during an extended lunch break to snatch up this gem.

Realistically, I will never go through all 5,334 chess puzzles, but it will certainly give me some fun while trying!

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Somber Week

I’ll be blunt. This week sucks.

This is the week that I dread every year. My parents both passed this week, 13 years apart from each other. Monday, two days ago, was the second anniversary of my mom’s passing, and today is the fifteenth anniversary of my dad. Fifteen. How is that even possible :(

My mom’s passing was something of a relief, as she had suffered from stage seven dementia. She didn’t know who I was, and needed help to do even the most mundane tasks like brushing her hair. I hated to visit her because it was just so damn depressing. When she passed, I think everyone was a little relieved, though sad. It was a horrible, slow, agonizing death. Where is the dignity in dying if you have literally no memory of the moment? She would have glimpses of memory flash back then it would all quickly fade as fast as it came in for a brief moment. At the end of her life, she didn’t look anything like her former self. Sad, sad, sad.

My dad’s passing struck me like a freight train. dad_shawna_c1996Rather, as if I were run over by a freight train. His passing was unexpected. Though he had several health issues, imminent death was certainly not in the forefront of any one’s mind. On this occasion, my dad had suffered a stroke, this time a bit more serious than before. It was not entirely surprising since his body was under stress with a recent history of collapsed lungs, strokes, and fighting multiple cancers. Perhaps we should have been more prepared. I saw him twice that week while he was in the hospital. I had driven as fast as possible the weekend I first heard he was admitted to John Muir. I was oblivious to traffic laws. He seemed to be in good spirits, and obviously did not want to be there.

I then visited him again on Wednesday afternoon. His body was failing and bones were snapping because of his bone cancer. Another horrible death about to incur. My father and I never hugged, played ball, or said “I love you”, and there was always a healthy mutual respect between us. But this time was different. I knew he was in a lot of pain and this was more serious. The drugs they were giving him to ease the pain of the bones barely even helped he was telling me. He was hurting, literally. I grabbed his hand, looked in his eyes as my mother and sister were also in the room. I told him “I love you”. These words rarely escaped my mouth, much less to my father. A few hours later he slipped into a coma, and we all just sat back and watched, and waited, and hoped for the best.

On Saturday, July 15th, 2000, I got a call from my spouse while I was out shopping with the kids at Comp USA. She told me to come home immediately, something bad had happened. I knew what it was. I grabbed the kids and we rushed home. I couldn’t even concentrate on the way home. Once home, I got the bad news I never wanted to hear: my dad was gone.

I felt intense anguish like I had never experienced before. A blanket of emotions overcame me as I tried to comprehend the moment. For some reason, I remember feeling this in depth pain, as if tearing my clothes was the only thing I could think of that may help direct some of the pain I was feeling. I had never experienced this depth of loss ever. I had remember reading in the Bible in my younger days about the ‘tearing of clothes’ and looked up a reference:

While they were on their way, the report came to David: “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons; not one of them is left.” The king stood up, tore his clothes and lay down on the ground; and all his attendants stood by with their clothes torn. (2 Samuel 13:30-31)

One web site explained it as such:

“On the most basic level, the tearing is expression of pain and sorrow over the passing…But there is also a deeper significance. Judaism views death as a two-sided coin. On the one hand, when someone passes on, it is a tragedy. They have been lost to their family and friends, and there is a feeling of separation and distance that seems beyond repair.”

I have never felt that emotion but once, and hope I never have to feel that level of disparity again.

My last words to my dad were “I love you”. I will never regret that visit despite his passing. That is ideally what you always would want your last words to be to someone.

My dad would have been 88 today. Hard to believe. One thing I know for sure, is that this does not get any easier with each year. I miss him every day :(

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