XXXI: Cheers Old Friend


I’ll be the first to admit that death really isn’t my thing. I’m the person who has the horrible reaction, awful timing, and is frequently thinking about what food will be served after the service has concluded.

Horrible human, right?

Death is just that; it’s death. Personally it’s merely a gateway from this fragment of life into something eternal. Therefore, it isn’t the easiest thing to accept, fret, or even try to stir emotions over.

Again, horrible human, right?

While sitting with friends this afternoon, enjoying lunch with colleagues of our house church, I received a notification on Facebook. The obituary for an old friend. I’ll confess; it stirred my emotions over the time of our existence, friendship, and overall presence in unison on the earth. Continue reading

O: Losing Myself


Confession: I cried this morning.

OK, it wasn’t the nasty, snot nosed crying like the goal keeper I listened to this afternoon from across the field [she wore that injury better then most Brazilians…soccer fans would get that joke], it was more of a brief moment of relief and gratefulness.

Thankfully, like any smart person who hates crying, I was in the shower at the moment of uncontrolled emotion. I was getting ready to step out and when I grabbed the towel and found my face being buried in it and a simple whisper:

Thank you.

It’s no lie for anyone who has kept score along this tiring journey of excitement, adventure, and heartache, that the realization of myself living on my own, in the city [it has 75,000 people, so it counts], that in many ways, many view this as a bigger accomplishment then releasing the Kansas City Shock to the world. It is what you make it out to be I suppose. Family friends and family see this far larger, and realistically it is just nice to have a place to call my own.

Yesterday, after MC, Jim, Dur, and my girlfriend helped with the moving process; my parents and I were found at the local furniture store; where a 50% or more leather sale was going on. To further complicate the identity of my own life. I’m not from the wealthiest status, and was not in good shape at all last year, but I have a crazy taste for modern decor, deco, etc…I thoroughly enjoy modernization. If my Sims could talk, they would use me as a reference to this style.

Of course, while at this furniture store something caught my eye. Black, leather chair, couch, and love seat. Set up in a display that reflects modernism and simple earth tones. In other words; I was looking for my check book.

It was about this time, mixed with a Facebook message that I had received a few days ago that I started to muster up the thought, “I can’t lose myself.”

I’ll be frank by stating, and my girlfriend knows this as well, that my number one fear is to wake up with absolutely no one and nothing. Why? Because I’ve witnessed it before and I never want to know that feeling again. However, as this moving process has taken place I’ve also started to note another growing fear; I don’t want to lose myself, my identity, my story.

Why? Because you don’t get to make up stories like the one that I’ve lived in the past year, year and a half. Knowing that people have been inspired, knowing that God has been saturated throughout everything; that’s what puts my mind at ease at night. All of this is so much bigger then myself. It’s bigger then any of us can comprehend. Realistically, I have the ability to bring in this new furniture to my  apartment, there’s going to be a new TV soon as well. I’m flying to Los Angeles next month, and I’m traveling to Chicago in October. It’s no longer about the financial risk, because I can literally do it now. The rough realm of my life, that storm that nearly drowned me, it isn’t over, but the waves have resided. Now, as I’ve expressed to my girlfriend, I face a temptation that is something I know is an overwhelming temptation: power.

It isn’t easy to confess to, because of its reality, but as a flawed human; I crave power. I love leadership, I love being the one to guide. I enjoy a “power suit” for a reason. I told my girlfriend a few months ago that the devil and temptation is like an allergy test. With the allergy test you are pricked with several little needles until you react to one of them. I believe temptation is no different. You are pricked with so many different things that can bring upon sin, and eventually you’ll react to one. I know what I react to; power. Power with jobs, money, influence, everything else an egomaniac can’t live without.

I remember looking at her, my girlfriend, and I said, “You watch; the Shock is going to take off in ways we can’t even envision and the temptation that is associated with it; it’s going to be nearly overwhelming.” I still believe that, I hope the Shock does take off, just because it is an amazing creation. However, already, i’m finding myself having to more and more careful.

Why do I do it? Why do I ‘need’ it? What’s the glory going towards? Is it my voice? Is it my dream? All these questions I have to constantly ask myself, in hopes of finding redemption in answers and grace in words that I cannot even begin to grasp or comprehend.

I suppose this is where I ask, “Is this the grown-up life now?” Is this what it’s all about? The constant temptation and fear of falling into the risk of power and greed? Of losing focus ? Forgetting your roots?

I had a high school coach send our company an e-mail a few days ago; it was asking if we were going to be like other clubs; requiring players to choose between high school athletics and club play. That’s the gist of the idea. Calmly and thoughtfully I replied back with my take on developments of programs, focusing on importance of community and education. In other words; I was attempting to tell this man that his fears were noted, but we weren’t in the political game. Realistically, it came down to the simple question, “Are you going to be rich kids club, or a community program?”

It was in that moment that I went back to my roots, I went back to my struggles, and I explained to him very clearly that based off my upbringing and my experiences. Why? Because I wanted that trust, and I want him and everyone else to know that our integrity based off my experiences far surpasses financial gains through political chess moves.

While drying off, after my moment of emotion this morning, through the crazy, empty 900 square foot apartment, I could only hope for one glimpse towards being humble:

The day that the leather, the trips, and even the soccer ball eclipse the determination to demonstrate the amount of grace shown to me by God, is the day that I’ve missed the target. May God take me away, in order for His legacy of His grace to maintain and that my selfishness dares not tarnish such an incredible story.

-D-

X: MC


Honestly, I was going to write tonight about the concept of stress, frustrations, questions to God, and everything else that is created with fried chicken and coffee late at night.

However, as I stumbled into my bed, getting ready for another business trip down to Southeast Kansas tomorrow morning; I was greeted by a box of chocolate and a Valentine’s Day Card.

Please understand, I hate Valentine’s Day; all for selfish, childish reasons, but I’ve always despised this day. While I was married it was because of the thought, “If you have to wait until one specific day of the year to be sweet, you lose”, while I was single it was, “What a bunch of loser. Better to waste your money than mine.”

Truthfully; it was because I was just lonely and just not like anyone else.

With that said, there is a rather strange constant within my life that runs in line with the over celebrated, under spent, forever Dutch holiday:

MC

For one reason or another, my mother always has done something for me for Valentine’s Day; whether it was the WOW CD’s through the early 2000’s, or chocolate covered cherries as a kid [you have no idea]. MC always had something for me. I guess to many it would come to no surprise that this box of chocolate on my bed was indeed from the sneaky woman as well.

In turn; and to the world, I’m just going to tip my hat to the world’s greatest mother and explain a little bit about our…unique…relationship.

MC and myself are so similar it is disturbing in some cases. Both of us are always right and we consistently argue. Our ‘logic’ is undeniable, and between her botany and my meteorology ‘hobbies’, how we have friends at all still stands as a mystery.

Truthfully though, I’m a ‘mamma’s boy’, that woman has saved my skin so many times [and tanned it] that I lost count years ago. However, what is frequently not addressed, due to the humble nature of her, is what makes her a crazy, cracked out, insanely caring mother.

She. Never. Gave. Up.

MC, though I will not give an age, is 6’0 tall, and for her age that is really saying something [it’s saying ‘corn fed’], and she utilized it to her advantage on the basketball court.

This was before Title XI was passed.

MC ended up going to college right after Title XI [athletic equality], and literally has seen the vast progression of women’s athletics from its git-go to the point it is at now [enter my unique taste of women’s soccer]. MC was a coach and a teacher; a scary good coach from what I’ve been told through the years. She loves the outside world, hates being cooped up inside, but would never deny a Pepsi, popcorn, and a bad movie on television [even worse; CSI]. I think deep down she’d much rather be out in the countryside on a farm, but her garden tends to keep those emotions from over running [us].

Mom married dad some years ago, moved out to western Kansas, worked at Arby’s [literally, food industry and myself, it was destined] for years, substitute taught, got pregnant with me [joy], and moved to the other side of the state of Kansas. I was born in ’87, we lived in a small trailer in a trailer park next to some railroad tracks [active] and a steel factory in a town of 1,000. Looking back, we had absolutely nothing, by the time dad left she was working two jobs, I was hanging out with her while she was on shift at McDonald’s, and we were barely [and sometimes not] making it. Dad, frankly, was a jerk to her during and after the divorce [hence why I try to control my tongue], and in many ways between dad and being all around disowned by her own family [because she married dad, who wasn’t “good enough”], mom was all alone with a little kid.

I never once saw her cry from frustration. Mom didn’t drink, smoke, chew, yell, or break things [on purpose]. She kept composure and fought through everything the world through her way, including the lumberjack looking Paul Bunyan lookalike that we all now affectionately refer to as Jim. They dated for less than a month before they got married, they’re 20th anniversary is this year. The waters came in ’93 and washed our home, mom never cried in front of me. We lived in some shady areas afterwards [mom, due to the divorce had filed for bankruptcy and you know the affect that has one being able to obtain certain things, like a house], but we finally came out to where they currently live to this day [a house smaller than the trailer, but with double the lot size, hence the garden]. A few years into our ‘new life’ [seems like a constant theme of mine], mom had several miscarriages and ended up in surgery. She never demonstrated the emotion in front of me, but truthfully, I think it broke her heart. She rarely made it to my soccer games on Saturday’s because she was working for a company that involved driving for hours from business to business delivery and picking up boxes [prior to UPS], she never came out and said it, but I think it hurt her that she wasn’t there all the time.

By middle school we ‘hated’ each other, mom dragged me to church on Wednesday’s and Sunday’s. Jim went with us, and eventually it became routine, she never forced me into a sports program [I chose soccer], but she encouraged me to try mission trips [yep, that’s where that came from also], and church camp. She never forced me to partake in speech/debate, but also suggested that I stand up for myself and speak my mind [uh-hu]. Unfortunately, due to my arrogance and our similarities there was much fighting within our household. Just constant arguments about money, savings, jobs; things to this day I still feel like I failed at in her eyes. Additionally, not being the amazing athlete that her [and the rest of the family] put a bit more pressure on me. I was dead set on impressing my mother, I had to.

By high school mom was wearing out, summer’s were hard on her, she was starting to stop sweating; and a few times I got called out of school because mom was in the hospital.

No one knew what was wrong. Because of that, mom had to attempt to work and because there was no diagnoses, she couldn’t collect from her insurance to cover the bills. Health bills are extremely expensive. Jim was working two jobs, mom was trying to work her job, while tolerating me, a teenager [*shudders*], and still being as involved as possible.

I’ll never forget the day I walked into the house, one summer afternoon, mom was in the kitchen, hung up the phone and sobbing said, “No one gives a [insert certain word] about me.”

My divorce wasn’t even as heartbreaking as hearing those words.

It was the first time I remember mom crying, and it wasn’t that long ago. Mom made it to my graduation, but limited on sporting events, and never saw a single speech/debate meet [partly due to my arrogance of asking her not to come, because when she was present, I got so nervous I failed…miserably].

My freshmen year of college, while sitting on my bed in my dorm, mom told me that she had gone to the doctor and they knew what the problem was.

In the stupid tense I stated, “So…what kind of cancer is it?”

They’re not sure yet.

I dropped the phone. I had been joking, I seriously didn’t think that MC would have cancer. She couldn’t, she’s my mom, she’s strong, terrifying, she beat me, not Jim or dad. There’s no way the icon of my life could actually be that sick.

She was.

The ongoing months would involve radiation, the lack of Pepsi [a food group for MC], and random muskrats being found in the bathroom sink [wigs]. She was weak, sick, but beat it. Poor Jim was working 12 hours in his job up north, traveling down to the hospital, spending the night, and going back to work. With me in college, there were days in which the house was never visited. I can’t fathom its emptiness.

I stayed away for most of the cancer treatments because I couldn’t bring myself to see my mom helpless, it logically made absolutely no sense. I can’t even imagine how emotionally unbearable it was or her only child, that she raised, to not even be at her bedside.

I dropped the ball on that one.

By the time I graduated college, mom had finally gotten it all out of her system. She was laid off from her job when the economy dropped out [and the whole cancer deal was going on as well]. After the treatments mom got a job in a factory, and to this day she still has it, and loves it. I remember asking her why her, a college educated individual would do that kind of work. Her answer?

Because I can. I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to do this again.

MC is a God fearing woman, but expects the best out of everyone. She was very proud of me the day I graduated college, and while lacking emotional output, was ecstatic when I proposed [I think my lack of a relationship life seriously worried her for years], and enjoyed the whole wedding preparation experience [including making the most amazing wedding cake ever seen by man].

The second time I heard mom cry was when I told her my ex-wife had left and filed for divorce. Not because she was upset with the whole circumstance, but because I was 180 miles away and she told me over the phone;

They don’t know you. They just don’t know you. They don’t know you.

Like a child beaten down from the bullies in school, my mother did everything humanly possible to protect me during my divorce. She never said a single negative thing about my ex-wife, but her heart was shattered. When she saw how I was living in the apartment prior to moving up here, she nearly started crying again when she hugged me and said, “I’m sorry.”

While typing this, I had no idea how emotionally attached I am to MC as many instances I’m attempting to fight back tears.

Mom and Jim don’t have a whole lot, but as stated in several posts throughout this site, they gave it all just to bring me back home; for protection.

She. Never. Gave. Up.

She never gave up on me.

My mother is a deer shooting, gun toting, motorcycle driving maniac. She was a choir director, Sunday school teacher, and school room teacher. She doesn’t yell, her voice gets lower, and if the Pepsi is not properly mixed in a gas station; she’s going to let you know.

As this night ends, and the next day begins. I know where this gift is going this time.

To MC.

Forever this kid’s Valentine.

-D-

I need a Kleenex… 

The lovely couple; MC and Jim

 

Mobile Minutes: Lost Sibling


I am an only child. However, while I was married I gained two teenage sister-in-law’s.
One of them, based off personality, could have easily been biological to myself.
I was at a store today and a girl walked by to get some cookies.
I took a double look, just to make sure I wasn’t crazy. Naturally it wasn’t her.
So I went back to work on my computer, while my heart continued to fall apart…

X: Wedding Challenge


In my checklist of life, I’m coming upon my next challenge in my daily activities:

I’m back in a geographically safe location
I’m near family that cares [though I drive them up the wall]
I’m away from the city
I’m able to start the recovery

Recovery is hard.

My best friend from high school is getting married tomorrow, and I’m in the wedding party. Tonight was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. I told myself going into the whole event that it could be a mental/emotional challenge. That it was going to be vital to ensure that the groom is relax and that he is having a great time.

I failed.

The majority of the people in that group this evening had last seen me with KJ at our wedding.
Strike 1.
I was in a party with people who were my age and were happily married.
Strike 2.
There were tears and laughter, excitement and tension, overall mystery of what great things tomorrow holds.
Strike 3.

I failed.

I hope I put on a good front this evening, for the sake of the group, and most importantly for Sam. Inside though, I was broken, my heart destroyed, and my soul filled full of anger. Nothing directed towards anyone involved in tomorrows celebration. I was angry at KJ and I was angry at myself.

I was angry at the people that we let down
I was angry and upset that my parents are going to sit through a wedding tomorrow, and it isn’t going to be their own son
I am disappointed that I couldn’t keep my promise
I am sad because of the amount of people that have been hurt
I am frustrated that my recovery isn’t going as I had hopefully planned
I’m merely venting of this evening. I found myself having to control my emotions [aka tears] from today. I’m stoked for Sam, but as I’m sure so many other people would already tell me, “Well I could have told you that”, this merely was a catalysis for myself. Granted it is late tonight and I’m thinking on all eight cylinders, but I know that I didn’t listen to God, I know that I broke His heart, I know that KJ got hurt, that her family was damaged, and I’m not about to say that things will be ok, eventually they will be, but not right now.

This is what I get, this is what happens when you fall, you fall hard and fast. God has blessed me with many things, ten times over, but He and I both know that no matter the worldly possessions…

My heart is still broken.

-D-

X: Growth


Growing…

Plants need water.

Birds need food.

Humans need…mistakes.

I’ve noticed that life around me, both realistic and digital has been comprising of a general theme; people showing concern over the fact that I’m overlooking the fact of what cards have been dealt to me. In other words, I don’t understand the severity of what a divorce is, I’m not mature enough, and my ‘love letters’ are merely a ruse to further implicate those actions.

I’ve been thinking throughout the day, while getting fitted for my friends wedding on Saturday, and talking to my attorney about paperwork and contesting issues inside the decree placed in the dockets [what? I’m an adult, I can use big words too], how I want to address this concept. Obviously it would be rude and non-satisfactory if I just went off on some immature tirade about people not getting it, or the fact that their not in this position, or just the fact that I’m not having the best day.

They’re all excuses.

This site was established to show you, not the proper way, but the realistic way, through my personality, of traveling through a divorce. Please understand that I try to keep things semi-positive around here [exception being anything involved with the internet down south], so there are some things that you are not ‘privy’ too.

  • The entire month of June will not be disclosed
  • Packing up the apartment last weekend will not be addressed in detail
  • Traveling to the attorney isn’t needed to be discussed
  • Most nights when the lights go out aren’t for sharing

I make those points because I have done a poor job in addressing the fact that I’m hurt. I’m broken, bruised, been kicked around, in many ways do not feel worthy, and it is painful emotionally to walk into a shell of an apartment, what once was a ‘home of love’. When KJ left, the bedroom door was shut, it wasn’t opened again until last weekend. I could go on with more thoughts, but I hope that I have portrayed the proper image; I hurt too.

However, this is where the difference begins to take place. I have the opportunity to dwell on the reality, to establish the fact that something in my life has drastically changed, for the worse.

-or-

I can accept the cards that I have been dealt, learn from them, and then choose to move on with my life.

I choose to move on.

There were very damaging things that have been said and done within the past two months. The fact is that KJ is gone, divorce papers were filed June 29th, 2011, and I was ‘served’ on July 7th, 2011. The only thing that is left is following through with the court’s wishes [and paying that stupidly high attorney fees along with it], move to northwest Missouri, start my new job, and carry on with life, without KJ.
I do believe it is vital to say that in my marriage I made mistakes, I did try my best, but I still screwed up like everyone else. Unfortunately in the eyes of some and/or many my mistakes were amplified, acted on, and blown up for the world to see. I will continue to make mistakes, that is my nature. I met an individual at  Starbucks this weekend, they made the comment that their life got better once they realized that they’re going to sin, they’re going to hate it, but they’re going to be forgiven. She didn’t say she enjoyed making mistakes, but she understands that perfection is impossible, and in many ways hypocritical. My thought process is similar, I have to make mistakes in order to learn about myself, the world around me, and how to carry on.

This site focuses around not just one large mistake, but mistakes as a whole, and not exactly what those mistakes were, but how the recovery was handled. Trust me, I could whine and complain about a miserable life, feeling alone, and knowing that love will never find me. However, instead of fulfilling the desires of so many, I instead will follow Mr. Frost:

Two roads diverged upon a yellow wood
And I
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference

May we carry on together, learn from our mistakes, and challenge each other to strive for knowledge on a daily basis.

-D-