Memories


Recently I wrote a post about The men in my life  since my divorce. One of the “what ifs” was The raft guide. He and I met on POF almost a year after my divorce. Our first date, he drove out to my town to one of our few bars and we met for drinks. As usual, I was a bit nervous. I hadn’t dated much at this time. I had never hung out at this bar previously. It is a bit of a dive and my ex-husband and I never went out anywhere. I will always remember our first date. Oh my goodness, I laughed so much. I had a great time and could not wait to see him again. We really hit it off. Our next date, we went out to eat and ended up making out in the parking lot a bit. We quickly decided that we needed to be a couple. I actually loved every minute we had together. We would go out at times. We would play on the river. We would cuddle on the couch and rub each others feet. He was very kind and sweet BUT there was an issue. I was so damn insecure. As an avid rafter, he had trips planned before he met me. At the time, I didn’t know how hard it was to get permits for some of these trip. They sometimes are planned a year ahead. I had no idea the protocols. When he got ready and planned for a long trip and didn’t invite me, I was hurt. I didn’t know that part of the permits are who is going. I thought that he just wasn’t that into me. I needed to be the center of his world. I was so damn messed up and clingy. I ended it with him and regretted it almost immediately. We didn’t speak for a long time. He ignored my messages that I would send occasionally. Over three years, I sent maybe a dozen messages, saying hi. There were a few that told him I was sorry that I handled it improperly. One telling him I got a ducky for the river. I apologized to him and knew he would never talk tome again. I was so sad as he was so much FUN. I never stopped missing him.

When I started this job, I would occasionally run into him on the street and we would talk for a few minutes. It was always nice but I still missed really talking to him.  I wanted to be his friend and knew I had probably hurt him. When I signed back up on the dating site, he sent me a message telling me that I really am a good person. We started talking from that moment. I have no idea what the future holds. He says he is not looking for a relationship with anyone at this time but I have the friendship back. We have spent some time together, including paddling down the river this past weekend. It is nice to be hanging out with him again. I wish I had been ready when I had met him and we had taken it slower. Who knows where things would be now. I will never forget his original dating profile. He said he wanted to find someone to grow old with. He said he wanted to be one of those cute little old couples holding hands. That is really what I want, too. I do wonder if I blew it with him but his friendship is more important. He is the kind of man that is a good friend. Only time will tell what will happen here but I am glad he is back in my life. I have missed him a lot in the three years we were not talking.

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The year of the divorce (2013) was the second year that Denver had a Comic Con. We had known about it the year before as a friend  of mine had had her photo taken with James Marsters and I was quite jealous but I really never thought that Con was a place for me. I knew it was something my kids  would enjoy and in 2014, when it was announced that Stan Lee was going to be there, I knew I would never be forgiven if I didn’t bring them. I had no desire to attend. I was going through the divorce. I really wanted to hide from the world but bought tickets. We drove over 300 miles to my mom’s in Denver and went to the convention center the next morning. I was sure that I was going to be bored senseless. I brought a book and money for wine. Little did I know that I would love my weekend. I hardly saw my kids and didn’t read at all. I ended up people watching the entire time. I even had a gentleman buy me a glass of wine and we spent a few hours talking. I sure needed that.

This weekend just ended out fifth Con. One child was unable to attend but the three of us that did go had a great time. We have become avid cosplayers and we all have our different things that we like to do at Con. My youngest loves to go to gaming and cosplay panels and hang with friends. I love going to celebrity panels and meeting the various celebrities. My oldest does the same as I do, for the  most part but spends a LOT more money on autographs and photos. I love getting to know that a celebrity that I like is a good person. Occasionally, we find out the opposite. My middle kiddo likes to people watch and meet people. She rarely meets celebrities or even goes to panels.

I am not a person that normally likes crowds but it is so different when you are in a crowd of nerds. It is funny how polite everyone is. Everyone is just enthralled with others creativity. We talk to so many strangers. I love seeing all the different fandoms and have developed a lot of new ones due to Con.When you bump into someone at Con, both of you apologize profusely. You do not hear about fights. You are much more likely to get a random hug than a scowl. Due to Con, I have embraced my nerdiness. I plan on sharing some of my Con experiences here, too. I definitely have some new loves after this year. None that are relationship bound but actors that I will follow after finding out what amazing humans they are. I will share in a later post.

I, once again, am baffled by humans. My friend, the ex-con, dumped me today as a friend. I have no idea what happened. When he first got his parole transfer to Arizona, I figured I would never hear from him again. Not only did I hear from him but he wanted me to come visit. I was in the process of planning a trip when he told me that he had met someone. We texted a few times after that but eventually, he quit texting. I sent him a message yesterday just saying that I hope he was doing well. He responded today yes and please don’t message him again. WOW. I am just baffled. Originally, I was quite hurt. I thought that we were friends. For several months,  I was his only friend outside the halfway house. We had fun together. I felt so comfortable with him. My guess is that the new gal doesn’t want him talking to me. That is fine but he could tell me that. I hate not having closure and not understanding why. I guess this was better than being ghosted. I told him that I would leave his life but would like to know why. I unfriended him and deleted the conversation and his number from my phone. I will never beg someone to stay in my life again and I deserve better than he gave me today. I did tell him that I was hurt before I said goodbye. In the final text, I told him that I had deleted everything and that he ever wanted to talk again that the ball was in his court. I will be surprised if I ever do hear from him. I do wish him well and have missed his friendship. I guess it is over now.   I don’t understand as it takes a LOT for me to dump a friend. There are only a few people in my life that I have ever cut out and I have tried to let them know why.

The other day as I was walking around town writing tickets, my thoughts kept going to the various men that I have met since my divorce. Some have brought lots of joy, some not so much. I have gone on a lot of first dates, several multiple dates, and even tried relationships with a couple of men. I was thinking about the effect they have had on my current life, my views on dating, my views on love, my mistakes with them, their mistakes with me. It can be very interesting when you spend most of your day alone. You have a lot of time to think.

There have been a few men that I barely remember meeting. I wouldn’t recognize them if I saw them again. Obviously, they didn’t make much of an impression and we only went on one date. There are a couple that made enough of an impression that I remember the date and why I didn’t like the guys. I don’t remember their names or what they look like.

There are a few that almost became special. They are the If Only’s……The builder was the first one that I dated. It was too early for both of us. He was going through his divorce. He is a wonderful man, that unfortunately is an alcoholic. We have remained friends. The Mechanic was a perfect gentleman but took it too far (to the point of being chauvinistic) and closed off to his emotions. Our last date we saw The Fault in Our Stars and he told  me that men don’t cry and that is why he didn’t at the movie. We do not have anything to do with each other now. The Engineer….oh how he makes smile. I think we would have really given it a go if he hadn’t lived on the other side of the mountain-300 miles away. We had a few months together meeting halfway between for the weekends when we could. We had so much fun together. We have remained friends. The raft guide was so much fun and I just wan’t ready yet. I blew that one. I think he really liked me but I was needing so much more than was healthy. I was clingy and felt insecure when he didn’t want to be with me all the time. I wish we had met later. I would give us a try again if he were willing. We talk when we see each other. I wish we could be at least friends.  I actually miss him a lot and think of him often.  Of course, there was the one I called Mr Perfect. I wrote about him this past fall. He became clingy way too fast. I wish all these men happiness and wonder IF with a few of them.

Then, of course, there is the ex-bf. I don’t think I was ready yet but he was so good for me. He truly taught me to love again and that I was lovable. He and I are still close and as much as it hurt to lose him, I will never regret our time together. R is wonderful. I have no idea what the future holds. I do know that he is still looking.

 

My ex-husband was the youngest of seven kids. He was raised in Iowa. His mom was the oldest of thirteen (I think). In other words, he was from a big family. We got married without meeting each others families and I thought for most of our marriage that if I had met his family first that I wouldn’t have married him. I had nothing in common with most of his family. I got along well with many of them in small groups but when everyone was together, I always felt like an outsider. My ex-husband would not stand up to me when his brothers or parents treated me poorly and there were a few times that I was treated TERRIBLY. I don’t know how many times I would leave family events in tears due to my treatment. It eventually became a big issue for us. The only “vacations” he ever wanted to take was to visit his family in the little town of 750 in Iowa. I was bored and lonely the entire time I was there. His dad was obnoxious and rude and a pig. The TV was on 24/7 so there was never any quiet or music.  Even after 23 years, I never felt like part of the family. I did love a couple of his brothers but since the divorce, I am definitely not family again. I was right in my feelings. Except for my mother in law, I never hear from anyone in the family. She and I were not always close but we got there after lots of bumps.

When I met R I found out that he was the oldest of many children. I don’t remember how many right now but I think there are fifteen of them. Five are full siblings, the others are half. He had a unique isolated childhood. This scared me to death. I was tempted to run immediately when he told me this. I figured the chances of anything going anywhere were nil so I went out with him again. Within a couple of weeks of our meeting, I was at his place and it was his birthday. Four of his siblings called him on a video call. I decided to stay out-of-the-way so they could have their family time. Almost immediately, I was being introduced and was part of the conversation. I was welcomed immediately and felt comfortable with them but I still was nervous about the large family. The next day, the eldest of the girls friended me on FB and I found out that I have a lot in common with her. He and I quit seeing each other as a couple but remained friends. His brother-in-law works for him so I had met him and eventually met his wife. Super nice couple. She is a singer and into aerial dance. This weekend, one of the sisters that I met on-line was in town and we met in person. I immediately felt comfortable with her. She told me how she had a good feeling about me immediately. Tonight, we had a family dinner and by the time I left, she and I were hugging, exchanging numbers and talking about next time she is in town. When I offered to babysit his son so they could have brother- sister time, she insisted that she would want me to join them. I have so much in common with his family and feel so embraced and welcomed by the ones that I have met that his family no longer scares me. I wonder if this was one of the things holding him back. He actually wanted me to stay the night tonight with his sister there. I feel we are dating again but it hasn’t been said. I will continue one day at a time and not rush things. It has only been fifteen months since we met. No one can accuse us of rushing……

I find it interesting that I was terrified of the large family but I guess is depends on the family. W have so many common interests, even in our families. His sister has heard of my sister and her husband (dancers). A few of his sisters are into Aerial dance. My middle kiddo used to do that. I have always been a singer as is my son and a few of the family members are singers one is even touring and has a few CDs out. Maybe the size of his family or any one elses doesn’t matter. I feel I could belong in a family like this though I never belonged in the other one. This was a big aha moment for me this weekend.

It is funny how some things will trigger me and remind me of how bad things had been. I was at work, walking up 12th Street and there were three cars at the intersection. The first one was turning left onto Main Ave. The traffic on Main doesn’t have a stop sign so it can be a long wait to turn left. The second vehicle was going straight and the third wanted to turn right. This is a small town with relatively little traffic but it has grown a lot over the years. I admit it has not been fun watching it grow over the thirty years I have been here but it goes with the territory. The guy in the third vehicle started screaming and cursing profanities and honking his horn. He couldn’t see that the first vehicle wanted to go left. He was being very impatient and letting himself get super stressed about such a minor thing. When the first car finally was able to turn (maybe ninety seconds), he squealed up to the second car and turned right very quickly and potentially dangerously while revving his engine. I immediately thought to myself how glad I was to not be with someone like that anymore. The ex-husband used to get such horrible road rage. There were times I was afraid that he might even get us shot or hurt. He would flip people off on the highways in the city, cut people off, tailgate on purpose if someone cut us off. You never know when someone might pull a gun. If I said anything to him, he would then yell at me. I was often very nervous in the car with him. The stress and tension in the car was always so bad from that moment on. It was bad for all of our health. Stress increases inflammation which increases pain, diabetes, and so many other health issues. He was slowly killing us all.

I will never put up with that from someone again. It was one of the many ways I was mentally abused and controlled by him. He had a nasty temper that I was afraid to set off. he never physically hurt me but I was scared of him and so were the kids. I wish I could say that he never laid a hand on them. He never beat them but kids should not be scared of their parents.

About the man in this story, I feel bad for him (and the ex). Life is too short to get so upset over such insignificant things. His blood pressure was up, I am sure. His behavior was bad for his health. Luckily, there was no one else in the car and I am sure I was the only one that heard his language. I was the only other one really affected and it made me feel grateful that I no longer have that kind of stress in my life.

I will never forget leaving work at the hospital and seeing the flight for life helicopter coming in. It is never something you want to see but I remember on that day having this strange urge to turn around and go to the ER. Had I known what I found out when I got home, I would have.

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Maddie and her mom

I got home and did my evening Facebook catch up and found out that in that helicopter was a young girl that I had known since she was four. She was my middle kiddos classmate. She was one of her best friends when they were young. She was a girl in my girl scout troop when I was a leader. She had been to my house many times and my kiddo had been to hers.  My family and I loved this girl. Her parents are teachers at the local schools and loved by community and kids alike. Maddie had been skiing since she could walk. She was an expert skier. It was the last day of winter break and she was up on the mountain with some friends while the parents were in teacher planning. Dear sweet Maddie took and edge on an easy part of the mountain and hit a tree. She lacerated her liver and died on the operating table. We are a small community that has had a lot of loss and the loss of Maddie hit us all very hard. She was a freshman in high school. She was nice to everyone. She was a unique soul and we all will always love her. She was in band and the band commissioned Dr Randall Standridge to compose a song in her name. In 2012, the band performed With Every Winter’s Breath at the local college and brought tears to everyone in attendance. Our dear sweet Maddie would be 21 now and probably near finishing college.  Instead, her younger sister suddenly became the oldest and she is a freshman with my son in college. Our community will never forget this day and Maddie’s smile and laughter. She was another reminder to all of us that you never know when your time is up. She was fourteen and an expert skier and died from a fall on an easy run. The tree she hit is decorated and people stop by and see it all the time.

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Me at her tree  in 2014

Maddie is one of the many reasons that I will never take anyone for granted again. Maddie was full of love and our town will never forget her. Hug your loved ones extra tight and never forget to tell them you love them. Freak accidents happen and you never know what today holds.

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