Sunday, October 25, 2015

Life Settles Down for a While

They say you "never forget your first love".  Well, I guess that's true in a sense, I have never forgotten my first love, but I've also not forgotten other loves througout my life either.  I think you just remember meaningful love in general.

Dick was my first love, but more importantly he was one of a few Angels that have passed through my life just when I needed them most.  The day I met Dick was just another day.  I had walked up to the Station which was only 2 blocks from our house and my Dad was talking to Dick.  He immediately introduced me to him.  I was smitten at that very moment.  Dick had deep brown eyes that felt like they could see the core of your soul through your eyes.  I remember thinking how he must have a girlfriend, and if not, plenty of girls to choose from.  I didn't think he would ever be intrested in me, 4 years younger, the bosses daughter, still had my braces on....need I say more..?

I did find out he had a job at the Dairy Queen down the street as a Manager.  He was apparently keeping it a while longer until he was sure things worked out for him at the Station since he had recently been hired on there.  One evening I had been at the school for a group I was part of and afterwards we decided to go to DQ to get an ice cream.  Much to my excitement he was working.  To be honest, I just enjoyed catching a glimps of him.  As we were all sitting there chatting and laughing, next thing I know he comes over and sits next to me and asks how I'm doing.  I couldn't believe it. My heart was racing inside, but this time for good reasons.  We chatted a bit and then he went back to work.  Well, now I was sure I was in love...  so funny how things are at that age.

The very next weekend, on Saturday I walked up to the Station to say hi to my Dad and hang out a bit.  I had an alteriative motive, Dick worked on Saturday's and I wanted to see him again.  Well much to my disappointment he was off work.  It turned out he only worked every other Saturday and this was not his Saturday to work.  I hung around a bit, trying my hardest to not let any disappointment show.  No one knew I had this crush on Dick.  As I was walking across the lot, much to my surprise, he pulled in, and when he did, he got out of his car, looked across the roof at me and motioned for me to come over.  I wanted to turn around and see who was standing behind  I could not believe he wanted to talk to me.  So I walked over and we started chatting.  He wanted to know what I was up to and if I was busy.  Of course I wasn't.  He told me he had a bunch of errands to run and asked if I wanted to ride along and keep him company., ride around with you for a while, I couldn't believe it.  I checked with my Dad who was fine with it and off we went.

Dick was really sweet.  He was very curious as to what had happened with me, because he was hearing bits and pieces around the Station.  Despite the fact he grew up in a solid family, he was very compassionate about my situation and was not judgemental in any way.  I don't think the butterflies settled down in my stomach for hours after he dropped me back off.

This went on a few more times, we just kind of hung out together, until he asked me to go to dinner and ice skating.  By now he knew all about Michelle, my Mom and all the dynamics related to how I ended up at my Dads.  The cool thing was, he not only asked me to dinner and ice skating, but he told me if I could get it worked out, he would drive me to Michelle's so she could join us and I could spend time with her.  I couldn't believe it.  It was such a generous offer and I had not seen Michelle in months by now and boy did I miss her.  Now I just had to figure out how to make it happen.

I was desperate to see Michelle, so getting up the nerve to call my Mom wasn't that hard. Besides what could she do to me that she hadn't already done?  He nosiesness and curiousity far outweighed anything else, so she was happy to let us come out and pick up Michelle.  Michelle was so excited.  This is where Dick was an Angel.  How else would I have been able to see Michelle?  I couldn't drive out there myself yet.  So his volunteering this gift was amazing and life changing for myself and Michelle.

We drove out there and those old familiar knots were right back in my stomach.  I didn't know how she would behave around Dick and I didn't want her to act like a fool and embarass me.  I'm sure she knew he had been told plenty about her, so she acted like June Cleaver.  She had cookies to serve and behaved as if she was Mother of the Year.  She welcomed him with open arms, took an interest in him, and chatted away.

We had a wonderful night after we left.  We laughed, Dick teased and had fun with Michelle at the ice rink.  It was a night you never forget.  One of those memories that brings that same smile right back to your face.  I was really falling for Dick, but in a deeper way because now he had helped my heart in a deeper, healing way, like only an Angel can do.

There were more nights like that to follow and many more memories made. Dick even started spending his weekends with us when we went to Lake of the Ozarks.  He would ride down there with us and help my Dad around the house during the day, then we would go out at night together.  I was, for once in my life, looking forward to each day, sleeping well, and feeling some peace.  He helped me find this place in my life, and for that I was so grateful.  I was also learning.  I was learning what it felt like to be normal, for me it didn't come natural.  Dick was patient, fun, and had a calmness about him that I loved.  His personality was consistent, he didn't anger easy, his behavior was predictable.  I was trusting him and it was such a breather in my life, one I had never experienced before.

Dick and I continued to create memories for two years.  A lot changed during those two years, which I will cover next week.  If I leave you with anything this week, let it be that dropping my walls was so worth it.  Not everyone is out to hurt you, and by taking a leap of faith to trust, I let such joy into my life.  I'm thankful I learned this early in life, because it allowed me to feel joy, love, and every other wonderful emotion starting with him through present day.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Life Moves Forward

Hello Everyone!  I want to thank all of you who have stopped by the read and take an interest in my life.  Many of you have left very sweet comments after reading various segments I've posted.  I really appreciate your kindness and the recognition of my strength to have risen above the experiences of my childhood years.

Before I continue with my life story, I also wanted to respond to the many inquiries Mike has received asking how I am doing.  I'm happy to say "Thank you" for the many prayers and well wishes, because I'm doing much better.  I haven't had any more panic attacks, my heart doesn't feel like it's going to race right out of my chest and I've been able to relax more.  My craft room is organized, and while I haven't crafted as of yet, I'm hoping to start making Christmas cards next week.  The one thing I have noticed is that I haven't felt this "safe" and relaxed since before I was involved in social media.  I like how I feel so I've made the decision not to return to social media with the exception being that I will continue to blog.  I will simply socialize with my close virtual friends.  I may try to find a small group or community where I can share pictures of my work and get inspired by others, but I haven't decided on that for sure yet.

Ok, back to where I left off.

My Mom and Butch arrived back home before my Dad could make it out there.  I was a nervous wreck.  I handed the paperwork to my Mom and said, "this came while you were gone".  She opened it up and went nuts.  She didn't know who to be swearing about first, she was swearing about my Dad taking her to court over the custody, and swearing at me for answering the door.  I think I even learned a few new words that morning.  She was yelling at me "who in the hell do you think you are answering the door, you don't live here".  Then she would switch to "and if your _____ Dad thinks he's getting custody, he has another thing coming to him".  The whole time I'm thinking a million thoughts... what if my Dad doesn't get custody, how will I finish school?  where will I go to school?  how is this all going to work out? and "where the heck is he, I need him to pick me up!!!!"   Finally I heard a honk outside and I was out the door, but not without hearing "get the hell out of my house and don't you ever come back".   So much for my first visit back to see my so called family, and all the while stood my 7 year old little sister, listening and taking it all in.  I don't know who suffered the most damage that morning.  I guess it would be a toss up.

After I got in the car with my Dad and shared with him how it went, which by theh way, he felt terrible about, I learned what was probably her biggest reason for being so mad.  The divorce decree stated my Dad had to pay child support while she had custody of me, so even though I was no longer living with my Mom, my Dad was paying her weekly for my support. She didn't want to lose her income.  And, of course she wanted my dad to "PAY" in every way she could think of because she was just plain angry at the world.

Needless to say there were no more visits out there, at least for quite some time.  I missed Michelle and worried about her all the time.  That never left my mind, even as I grew up, the worry changed over to guilt, and at times regret.

Meanwhile I went to school at Webster Groves High School.  I was now in 10th grade.  I had started Kindergarten at 4 years old, so I was always the youngest kid in the classroom.  I was now 15.  I did well in school, somehow by the Grace of God I had always done well in school.  I was a straight A student with the exception of gym class.  I didn't like this school much though.  There were a lot of kids in class that were disruptive and many of the teachers spent a lot of time "babysitting" rather then teaching.  It wasn't good because I needed something to focus on and keep my mind off of my life.  Plus I really did enjoy learning, I liked school overall.

The court date was nearing and it was constantly in the back of my mind.  I didn't know what to expect.  My Mom was such a loose canon.  I also didn't know what would be expected of me there.  I was 15, I had never been through anything like this.  I did know one thing, my Dad had to win custody and that worred me too... what if he didn't win, then what would happen to me.  I was a ball of knots at times over it all.

Finally the day arrived and we all went to the courthouse, my Dad, Betty and myself.  We got called for our case to be heard and wouldn't you know it, my Mom didn't even bother to show up.  Her attorney was there to represent her. She was making her statement to let me know I wasn't worth her time and she had no interest in having me as her daughter.  She may have thought it was her last hourah, but it was my ticket to freedom and I couldn't have been happier that she didn't show.

The judge asked her attorney first to hear what he had to say and he said some garbage about me being an unruley child that was difficult to handle and other nonsence I can't even remember.  So then the judge asked my Dad if he found the statements my Mom's attorney had said to be true.  My Dad responded of course with "no, he found me to be a very compliant and easy child to deal with".  The the judge asked me who I wanted to live with and I said of course, "my Dad".  At that moment, he put down the gavel and said, "custody is awarded to the Father, Mr. Robert ____".  and it was over!  I felt like I was walking on air when I left there, we were all smiles, for the first time in many years we were all free of my Mom, she no longer had any control over any of us!!  What a day it was.  We all went to lunch to celebrate.  

From that day forward I felt like I could really start my life, make plans, actually live like normal, oh my gosh it felt good.  In all my happiness and changes in life something else was developing.  I had caught the eye of one of the guys who worked for my Dad.  He had caught my eye the moment my Dad introduced us when I moved in with him.  He was 4 years old then me and he was really good looking.

Some people are put in your life as Angels, they are people you never forget.  This guy, who's name was Richard, but he went by "Dick", was definitely an Angel.

I'll continue with this segement next week.... and if you think life is settled forever, you would be wrong...  it couldn't be that easy now could it..

Thanks for dropping by!