Sunday, December 31, 2006

Reality Check

The end of 2006: THANK GOD!

I made it.

I must confess...this weekend has not been the piece of cake that I had hoped for. I thought that it would be like Christmas, my 25th anniversary, and Thanksgiving....all nonevents.

But this one thus far has been different.

I suppose what hasw made this holiday so different is the fact that I'm spending it alone, with my 3 kids. The only person missing is Lovey and it makes me feel sad. I know that I shouldn't be feeling this way....intelectually....but I I just need to deal with it.

I worked very hard today to cook a wonderful New Year's Eve meal. (Yes, I can cook!) We had baked honey ham, mashed potatoes, fresh veggies, salad, hot rolls, apple sauce and cole slaw. It was delicious...and I sat there and looked into the eyes of my now adult children and asked them what there goals are for the coming year.... #1 says that she wants to arrive in El Salvador safely...and have a good time on her 27 month adventure. #2 said that she wants to find a job (she just graduated from college) and pursue her dream of becoming a peformer. My son the marine just looked at me and said he had no goals....until he leaves the marines in about 16 months.

Then, they all turned to me and asked what my goal was.... After some thought, I said, I just want to be happy.

With those words, I fell apart.....and sobbed.

They all understood why.

#2 looked at me and said.... "Dad...we understand. You're going through mourning....and it will take time. BUT....remember, you have three kids who love you dearly, a dog that loves you, a beautiful home, a wonderful job, your help is continually improving, and YOU are so much better off."

So, this was my reality check.

It's at times like this that I realize I do not have it all together. That I'm still a bit fragile around the edges. My pride has been damaged..... And this whole process....the separation...the upcoming children's imminent departures to parts unknown......have all stripped any facade I had away from me. I live in the nakedness of insecurity...and see how fragile life is. How fragile the world is. How fragile the world I know is. How fragile my parents fragile I am.

It all is so scary.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

It's Saturday Morning

I'm sitting near the Christmas tree. All my kids are asleep in their beds here at my house. It's great feeling to know that they are safe and warm.

With all three of them expected to go their separate ways in a matter of son back to Camp LeJeune, #1 to El Salvador and #2 to Nashville....I find myself feeling just a bit of melancholy.

How I wish that things had been different for them. I mean, I wish that the mother/father relationship had not disintegrated entirely. I wish that our family had remained intact.

Sort of.

I mean, I'm gay...and I'm not sorry about that.

It's just that old feeling of failure......and being "damaged goods" that's rearing it's ugly head this morning.

I think I need some coffee.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Mom and Dad left around 4:30 this morning. It certainly ripped my heart out of my chest to see them leave.

They've been through so much this year...but they have fought it together: Mom's cancer removal, Dad's cataract removal..... They've also been there for me....during all the drama of this year...and the year before that. Quietly they have been there...supporting me all the way through.

I am so blessed to have them.

With the grandkids in and out, I didn't get to spend as much one-on-one time with my parents, but the time we did get to talk was special indeed!

Dad's ministrokes have left him appearing so fragile....and so "out of it" at times....but Mother is alert.....fiery as ever.......and her memory quite keen. As a matter of fact, she spent many conversations beginning with, "Do you remember when Lovey did this or that?" I must confess....the things she remembered, I didn't remember quite as vividly...but hearing mom speak of them really served as confirmations of the fact that I am doing so very, very well without Lovey.

Throughout my time off, I have run across additional journal entries.....and notes that Lovey had written to God.... These notes also set forth some rather outrageous accusations about me. I won't list them out here...because I am not trying to use this blog as a BASH LOVEY forum. But, rather, this provides a safe place for me to write my feelings and observations and to obtain your feedback.

Now that I have many months of distance from me and Lovey....and what was.... I'm finding these writings troubling. It shows how far along the journey I have come. I used to want to jump up and defend myself to these accusations.... But now, I just sigh....file them away.....and pray for vindication to come in other ways. I am confident that it will come -- in time.

I am such a complex creature. New facets of my personality appear to emerge almost daily. I say "new"...but actually they are really like very old...and very trusted friends who have been away for such a long time. My care and compassion have desire to do little things for people is back. My interest in a variety of hobbies is desire to do some traveling is back. This is all merging into the New Old Frank. I'm liking what I'm beginning to see. I'm also working hard to trust my instincts again.

Remember my poor God Foresaken Christmas Letter?

I received a telephone call from Lovey's aunt. She left me a sweet and nice voice mail about it. She said in part that it was the best Christmas Letter she had ever read and that she was very impressed as to how I handled all the issues so tastefully. So, here is another voice from Lovey's "side", who didn't see it as "cold" or "harsh."

I still receive such odd comments from others. My brother-in-law....and my sister-in-law, who had Christmas Dinner with us...they both said to me that I looked so relaxed...and younger. Well, I can assuredly say that I am NOT younger. Relaxed? Well, a better term might be exhausted. But my blood pressure numbers are down. Everything else seems to be getting better. So positive things are happening.

But, today the blues are back. Perhaps it's because the holidays are almost over or that my parents have gone home. Or maybe it's the dread of knowing that my eldest daughter, #1, is moving off to El Salvador on February 5 to begin 27 months of work for the Peace Corps and I'll be alone in my house, with my dog.

Hopefully the divorce will be final by then.

This fog is manageable.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New Christmas Traditions -- I think!

Christmas Morning began very early.

Mom and Dad and Daughters #1 and #2 were all at my house. I explained to all of them that this was an important day for me because it was the first one without Lovey on the premises.

(Last year was totally strange...we were separated as you will remember, but still under the same roof. [The state of Virginia permits this arrangement.] All my kids were there....Lovey was there...and me. We opened presents last year on December 23. On December 24, the kids and I headed off to our annual vacation in Sarasota, Florida...followed by Lovey on December 25. We were all STRESSED out....and it was just not a good time at all.)

I wanted this Christmas to be one of the best ever...simply because of the significance of my being by myself and this basically being the beginning of a new phase of my life.

The kids were pleased with all their "stuff"..... Mom and Dad were pleased with all of theirs. Me? I was just pleased to have them all with me. (Of course, it would have been nice to have some special hunk to snuggle with....and to share the day with....but one day --)

Then, the BIGGEST gesture of holiday spirit I could muster...I invited Mom O'Lovey and Lovey's niece, Amanda down. Amanda is like a third daughter to me...and she really doesn't have a good relationship with her mom/stepdad...or even with her dad/stepmom for that matter.

So there we the glow of the Christmas lights....gathered around my dining room table....sharing breakfast on my new china. My mom was amused with Mom O'Lovey, because Mom O'Lovey is such a control freak.... So my mom just graciously backed away and allowed Mrs. O'Lovey to control whatever she felt she needed to in order to be happy.

The conversation was light...and no real stress.... Then, we all said our goodbyes...and they left. Mom O'Lovey had to be at her house (two blocks away) for Lovey's arrival. They had to be at the train station at 2:00 in order to load their car on the autotrain. They were headed to Florida for two weeks...and the train was scheduled to depart at 4:00 p.m.

My daughters went down to wish their mother a Merry Christmas and to give her some presents. But, as I had predicted privately to my mother, the girls wound up having to help their mom and grandma pack. They were stressed to the max....and just running around. The girls got them packed and off toward the 1:50. Needless to say, they were late getting to the train station.

Finally, when their train steamed out of the station....and as they were happily chugging down the track, #1's cellphone rang. It was her grandma. Grandma had left her check book, would #1 send it to her via mail as quickly as possible? "Sure, Grandma." #1 cherrily replied....and hung up.

Ten minutes later, her cellphone rang again. This time Lovey needed for #1 to call one of her church members to get a telephone number of another church member. So, #1 had my house line on one ear....calling Fred, the church member, in order to get church member Charlotte's phone number; while on the other ear Lovey waited patiently.

It was a little comical to here my daughter say, "Fred? This is #1, Rev. Lovey's Daughter. She's on her way to Sarasota, but needs Charlotte's phone number. Can I get that from you?"

Well, with the information written down and repeated to Lovey....Lovey happily hung up.

Fred hung up.

#1 hung up.

So, sweetly I asked #1, "Why didn't your mom call Fred herself?"

#1 shook her head and said..."I just don't know."

A holiday mystery to solve on another day!

Lovey had left her white cat at her mother's house. The cat, aptly named SNOEE, was set to spend its vacation in the home of Baby Lovey and her husband. (Lovey's Baby Sister)

Now, dear readers, keep in mind that SNOEE used to live in my house and so I know SNOEE quite well.

SNOEE does not like men....even gay ones (me)!

SNOEE does not like to use a litter box for liquid evacuation. He does however use it for solid disposal...just doesn't cover it up. This is all translated that he pees everywhere.

SNOEE is blind in one eye.

SNOEE has arthritis and can hardly go up and down the stairs. Lovey never remembers to give it baby aspirin to make it more comfortable...but I digress.

Baby Lovey and her husband just lost their cat, Alex, just before Christmas. So Lovey thought that taking care of SNOEE would ease them through the pain of their loss. (I'll say. Since they live in a palace....after Snoee christens the carpet a few times, they may be sending it to Sarasota in a few days!)

So, Baby Lovey were coming to Mom O'Lovey's house to pick up SNOEE.

They had no plans for Christmas Dinner. They have no children of their own.

Hmmmmm.....why don't we have them over for diner we thought!

#1 called, invited and they accepted.

And we had a grand time.

We laughed....we talked...and NO stress.

This was momentous for me because we had not hosted any substantive gatherings in my house since 1995. The house was always a wreck. Lovey was always stressed when we had company. She was never happy.

What a neat way to begin this new stage of my life....

It also doesn't hurt that they LOVED the house and all that I had done to it.

I'm sure that Lovey will get a full scale report...

and that's okay.

Oh, and Snoee is all safe and warm!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christma Eve in Northern Virginia

Christmas Eve 2006.

As I write this, I am sitting in my den, with my parents, and 2 of my 3 children, watching THE FAMILY STONE. It has been a very busy day...just trying to get some last minute gifts. YIKES. I'm exhausted...and the girls, bless 'em, have decided to have Mom O'Lovey down for breakfast at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow. So, I'm going to get to hear about the fact that I didn't do any of the decorating tips she would have done.

So, this is going to be an interesting Christmas celebration.

I went to church this evening....and I felt flickers of profound sadness....but now I think this has totally passed. I'm feeling a little bit better...but just a little bit tired...and a little bit down.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Presents from my Doctor!

Today has been a really busy day....but it has been quite productive.

My soon-to-be X is at her mother's house....just about 2 blocks from my house. My parents have arrived safely....and they are full of awe and wonder at the changes I have made to my house.

My dog got groomed, and looks and smells like a million bucks.

I also had a doctor's appointment....for two reasons actually. One was because I haven't been feeling particularly well ever since turns out that I have a nasty sinus infection that has spread to my ears! The other was because it had been too long since my last visit... I am going to be going back to her on a more frequent basis because I want to live a full life now that Lovey is gone.

So, the doctor took her time with me. We talked about everything under the sun...including the divorce, the kids, the soon-to-be-ex, etc.

The good doctor loaded me up on antibiotics, nasal sprays and refills for my various and sundry ailments. As I got to the waiting room to make my next appointment, my doctor hands me a sizeable brown bag that is sealed. She says it is a Christmas present that is great for diabetics.

So I made my next appointment.

When I got into the car, I opened the bag and almost fell out from laughter. God, it feels so good to laugh again.

Inside the bag were samples of VIAGRA, CIALIS, and LEVITRA!

Do you suppose she thinks I might get lucky over the holidays?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Some News

My attorney called today.

She heard from Lovey's attorney.

Lovey's attorney says that we are all now in agreement on all points concerning the separation. It has only taken a year and a half to reach this point.

The main sticking point has been my reservation of spousal support. In the state of Virginia, when you are going down this awful path, you must state in certain language that you reserve the right to seek support in the event your circumstances warrant. When Lovey saw this language in my first draft back in October '05, she went full tilt. It was basically okay for her to get everything....and basically take me to the cleaners....but woe unto me if I expect some things out of this processs.

The last draft she sent to me this past July, she had a hand written note that said: "I'm not comfortable with this language."

My attorney said that regardless of what she thought....I had the right to have this reservation, made in the statutory language. So, the attorney's have been pretty much duking it out.

I've kept a pretty low profile with Love on all this....and today, I got the word that she finally agreed to all this.

So, after the first of the year, we should have a signed Separation Agreement...YESSSSS.

My attorney then said that at the end of the voice mail that was left by Lovey's attorney....he kind of stammered and stuttered as he said, "Do you think your client might be willing to begin paying alimony before the agreement is signed because Lovey has spent her proceeds from the sale of the family home?"

My attorney giggled a bit....and said that there is no requirement for me to do anything like this. I then asked, "What's in this for me, if I do that?"

My attorney said, "No offer has been made of any kind."

I said, "Well, I'm not inclined to do this..."

So both the attorney and I are ignoring this little twist. I haven't a clue as to what she did with her share of the money, which was pretty sizeable. BUT...this is very typical of her spending habits..... No one believes that she couldn't control her spending....they all think I was the problem. Which wasn't true.

Oh well.....interesting.

Tomorrow night is the big Christmas bash at Mom O'lovey's. This time I did receive an invitation....but I'm not going. My parents are in town...and I want to spend as much time with them as possible.

I've decided that 2007 is going to be a big year for me. To heck with Lovey and her family!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Yesterday evening, I got home rather late. So, I decided to take the girls out to dinner...

Over the course of dinner, my Christmas letter came up again. This time, #2 announced that she thought my references to her mom were "cold."

For those of you who did not read is the "Harsh" and "Cold" mention of Lovey, as it appears in my holiday letter:

"Lovey moved out on June 20, 2006 to begin pastoring her churches elsewhere in the State of Virginia and to officially begin her new life. I spent the remainder of the year trying to get rid of the remaining junk, and to obtain replacement pieces of furniture that she had taken with her. It was quite a job, but thankfully, everything seems to have come together nicely. With the help of my daughter #1, and a few close friends, I have been able to showcase my sense of style and tastes throughout the house so that it now reflects me. The house has been repainted and certain rooms repainted. New carpet has been laid throughout the house. I have a new deck and back fence, along with a new drainage system and sump pump. We also planted new grass in the front yard! Yes, the place is certainly beginning to take shape."

After #2 made her pronouncement, I asked, " would you make all this warmer." To which she responded with all manner of throat clearing, squirming and associated movements. suggestions.

It's amazing to me how people read things between the lines that just aren't there. They read what they want to read and then think what they want to think. So, in the end, I must be the bad guy. I mean, after all, I wrote the letter.

Gee, I guess I am more evil than I thought.

[Note to Frank: "In the new year, work on being a good person for a change."]

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Well, I have now returned from my wonderful weekend in Nashville. Of course, the main highlight for me was to get to spend some quality time with all of my children. They all appear to be doing quite well in all that they have chosen to do with their lives. I applaud each of them for their many talents and abilities.

I now have both girls at my house. When we arrived from the airport last night, #2 finally got to see the house in its relative final form. #1 had been working fiendishly to put the finishing touches here and there...but the final product was simply OUTSTANDING.

The girls, who adore each other, sat up way into the evening playing Yahtzee. Laughter drifted throughout my house as I faded into sleep, in order to get to work on time today.

One of the first things that #1 said to me this morning is that Mom O'Lovey...or as we refer to her "Grandma"....was not pleased with my holiday letter. She said that she thought my references to LOVEY was "harsh."

When I heard all this, I was frosted.

BUT...I took several deep breaths and started to analyze my feelings:

Why did I get frosted?

What does it matter what Lovey's Mother thinks about my letter?

I then quizzed #1 a bit more. She told me that Grandma says that Lovey told her that I didn't want the furniture...that I would have gotten rid of it anyway...had she not taken it.

I responded by saying that she's right. I did tell this to Lovey because I hated that furniture from the moment we got it into our house. UGH. I would have sold it....donated to Goodwill...anything....but leave it in my house. So she took it.

I'm truly glad she took it....and that she can get some use out of it.

I think Lovey is upset that my world did not come to a crashing halt when she left....or that I didn't just shrivel up and die. Oh, there were times I wanted to, but I didn't.

But, hey, I have made it. I'm feeling pretty good at the moment.

Grandma is just bent out of shape because she has decided to read between the lines of my letter...and read things into it that aren't really there. She also made the comment that my letter was going to some her friends too. When my letter discusses Lovey, it just reiterates facts...without any characterization. She left on June 20....she took all the furniture. She began her new life. End of story.

I think this is all translated into the fact that this divorce...after 25 years....isn't one of Lovey's more stellar achievements. It's not stellar for any of us actually. But given the fact that Lovey is a minister, well....appearances are everything. And without any window dressing, the facts are pretty well....HARSH.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I'm Bustin' Loose

... and #1 doesn't know what to think!


Greetings from Nashville, TN!

Graduation for my daughter came last night. She was radiant as she walked the stage twice to receive two separate degrees....and she was graduated Magna Cum Laude! She missed Summa Cum Laude by .1! We were all so very proud of her!

It's been a great time of family celebration. I've gotten to spend significant time with my 3 children.... God only knows when all of us will be together again.

I am very blessed to have these kids....and to have them know about the gay thing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Made It!

Well, this is certainly another milestone along my journey...I can say that I not only passed my Silver Wedding Anniversary (still technically married), but I did so with flying colors....all colors of the rainbow intact!

The morning had begun very early. #1 came bounding into my room:

"Happy Anniversary Dad!"

I responded cheerily, "Happy Anniversary to me!"

I bounded out of the bed, gave her a big hug and began my day. The day weather wise was very similar to that day so very long ago.

I showered and got dressed. Went into the office and had a very busy day. Then, in honor of my big day, I took a couple of hours off and went to Macy's and purchased a brand new set of china...since Lovey had taken our wedding china and stuff. I picked my own has silver edging......and I got some silver colored chargers.....all in honor of my 25th. AND....I got it all for 50% off!

I then took myself out to dinner at a mexican restaurant....and reflected on my life. I was not down....I was not depressed....but very thankful that I had expereinced all this stuff and lived to tell about it.

I came home...#2 in Nashville called to wish me a happy "Unanniverary"...(that's novel)...and came home...lit up the tree....and continued getting rid of junk.

Fell into bed around 11....and all was well at my house.

Today was boss called me into his office and gave me my annual performance a $5400 raise..... Then, he gave me a one time bonus of $4500...all totally unexpected.

I've been thinking that I needed some small victories in my life to keep me moving forward.

Well, thank God....this week I've had some MAJOR ones.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Midnight Thoughts

As I write this, the clock has just hit midnight. My grandfather clock is chiming 12...and you know what my milestone is?

At 2:00 pm, I will have been married exactly 25 years. This is my SILVER anniversary...and it is so exciting. I remember so clearly how my day was then. The night before had been my rehearsal dinner. All of my groomsmen...three of them with their wives/girlfriends, and Lovey's Bridesmaids...three of them were her sisters....and the daughter of the minister who married us was sort of a junior bridesmaid.

The minister had a deep booming voice.....and the service began with his voice resounding through the church..."And there was a marriage at Cana of Gallilee...."

About 125 people watched us recite our vows....before God and everyone else. My mom and dad were there...not quite knowing what to make of the family I was about to connect to.

It was a big I won't ever forget. I also have the service on audio full stereo. You can hear all of our vows....The music.....the minister... About 3 years ago, I transferred the cassette onto CD....and it sounds great. I've played it for the children...and they get a real charge out of it.

I remember my gay feelings then....but I felt that I was following God's will.... I believed that he would save me or deliver me from this awful sin of perversion.

Now as I think about it 25 years later, He has delivered me. You see, I was gay....I was trying to be straight -- something that I clearly wasn't. Now I'm delivered from the perversion of "straightness." I realize now that I wasn't ever destined to be straight. I am what God made me to be....GAY! GAY as a GOOSE!

It just takes a while to get used to all this.... and to figure out how to deal with it. Living gay in a straight-centric world is a challenge...

But, when I think about things....and see how far I have come along in the journey, it literally blows my mind.

Some of you may think I'm preaching...not really. I'm not trying to convert any of you. Each of us must make our own decisions...follow our own path to happiness....and fulfillment. All I'm doing is offering you a glimpse of my what I hope and believe will be a happy and peaceful new life.

I choose whether to be a victim....or a participant.... I'm learning to cast aside feelings of victimization. A good example of this is the fact that as I write this, I have only received TWO Christmas cards. Last in previous now I had received about 20 of them...and more arriving every passing day. Not this year. Divorce kind of makes people you know behave strangely. I don't know, but maybe they think they're supposed to take sides. I don't think so...but yet....a lot of 'em have gone to pay attention to Lovey....and her ministry....and her "gifts" and her "talents". I find that at my church I am INVISIBLE.

#1 and I have not been to church in over four weeks. We've been busy...with the house...and in my fit of depression...I just wasn't in the mood.

Last night, a member of the church called to say that they had noticed that #1 had not been in church in over four weeks...and they wanted to make sure that she was okay. Not a word was mentioned about the Dad -- me. YAWN.

Just another sign of my lowered status I suppose.... I think my title is "estranged husband."

Remember all that foolishness about my pastor writing to apologize about not ministering to me.....and how he begged me to give him another chance? Well, I did....and I still haven't gotten that face time with him he promised. Smoke and mirrors....

And you know something?

It doesn't bother me like it used to. I don't give a fig actually....

BUT...I'm not going to be a victim. I have a list of 84 people/couples/families, that I am working to send Christmas cards to. I selected a wonderful and elegant card. I've put in a personalized greeting to everyone on the list...and signed it, "Frank, #1 and Davy the Dawg too!!"

I've sent one to Lovey....and her mother....and all three of her sisters..... I'm sending it to my pastor.... I'm sending it to those people who have been concerned about me....who have hugged me when my heart was heavy.....or when I thought my heart would break.

For all the 84 folks on my list, I've included this letter.... It's only appropriate that I include it here for you all...because you are my family...and friends too.

So, consider this my Christmas card to each of you!

The card is a beautiful glossy painting of the Madonna and Child entitled, "Innocence" by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Inside the card is a simple greeting that reads, "Wishing you many blessings at Christmas and much joy in the new year."

I signed it.

The letter reads:

"To My Family and Dear Friends:

It is a real privilege for me to be able to write you this Christmas letter. The year 2006 is almost a memory and it is a time for celebration and for giving thanks for the many blessings I have received throughout the year. This has been quite a year! A year of concerns. A year of change. A year of new beginning. And, a year of joys.

Lovey moved out on June 20, 2006 to begin pastoring her churches elsewhere in the State of Virginia and to officially begin her new life. I spent the remainder of the year trying to get rid of the remaining junk, and to obtain replacement pieces of furniture that she had taken with her. It was quite a job, but thankfully, everything seems to have come together nicely. With the help of my daughter #1, and a few close friends, I have been able to showcase my sense of style and tastes throughout the house so that it now reflects me. The house has been repainted and certain rooms repainted. New carpet has been laid throughout the house. I have a new deck and back fence, along with a new drainage system and sump pump. We also planted new grass in the front yard! Yes, the place is certainly beginning to take shape.

My children continue to do well. #1 graduated Summa Cum Laude from Old Dominion University in Norfolk on May 6, 2006. She received her degree in International Studies and Spanish. At present, she is scheduled to leave home for El Salvador in February 2007 for a 27-month tour of duty with the Peace Corps. Although I am happy for her opportunity, I am saddened by the fact that I won’t be able to see her for at least 27 months. (No one ever said that being a dad was easy.)

#2 graduates Summa Cum Laude from Belmont University in Nashville, TN on December 15, 2006. She will receive a Bachelor of Music AND a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. She plans to pursue her goal of becoming a performer aggressively at the beginning of the New Year. I am confident that with her talent, her contacts, and her charm, it won’t be much longer before you hear her on a radio station near you!

My son the Marine is now in his third year in the United States Marine Corps and at this writing is still stationed at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. He just got promoted to the rank of Corporal and appears to be doing well in his work performing Logistics Support. He may be deployed to Iraq in the coming year! He’s excited about the prospect, but I’m a wreck. (Nope, being a dad is downright hard!)

The summer brought bad news for me. My mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. We spent several anxious weeks during July and August as we went through the process of Mom’s surgery to remove a sizeable tumor (a success), biopsies of various surrounding tissues, and awaiting the results. Thankfully the cancer had not metastasized; she was found to be cancer-free and as a result, was not required to go through any follow-up chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Meanwhile, in October, my dad had cataract surgery and came through it with flying colors! He can now see almost 20/20! (Yes, modern medicine is amazing!)

Needless to say, as 2006 draws to a close, I am so very thankful for making it through another year. I’m also so very thankful for each of you – and especially those of you who have taken the time to drop me a card, or to send me an email, or to call with a word of encouragement or to offer a shoulder on which to lean during some of my more trying times or to put a hand on my shoulder or to give me a warm hug. These small acts of kindness and love will not be forgotten.

You are SO loved!


So, I'm gonna send them out. It just feels like something I should do.

Thanks for all YOUR support. It has meant so much.

I'll let you know how the rest of my day goes today.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Busy Good Weekend

#1 and I have been working like fiends to get the house in final tip-top shape before everyone comes home for Christmas. #1 and I will be hosting #2 and My Son The Marine, along with my parents. It will be the first time any of them have seen what all have been done to the little townhouse. I'm excited. #1 is excited.

WHEW...and I'm exhausted.

Yesterday (Saturday) I passed a milestone of sorts. All during this time of change and turmoil and cleaning out junk, I would generally lose my composure when I would run across an anniversary card....or a Valentine's card....or a birthday card from Lovey. When I would reread all of her prose, I would tear up...and I would have to stop what I was doing and go do something else. It bothered me to read those cards and all her affectionate sentiments.

BUT YESTERDAY, I ran across some really mushy ones from early on in our marital relationship and you know what? They had no effect on me whatsoever. I just put them into a folder and filed them away with other very old keepsakes. I found Lovey's will....I found a multitude of sermons. I read several of the cards to #1...and #1 shook her head and said, "They're all sermons!"

I responded...."Yes, that's all I remember getting." All the cards we found bore this out. #1 was amazed.

I didn't tear up once. I didn't sob...

I just shook my head and went on about my business.

This is a sign of tremendous growth for me.

I never thought I would get out of the rut...but I think I'm getting there.

Friday Night this week is the big night! #2 walks across the stage at her school and receives two degrees. Look out baby girl is on her way.

I'll be with all three of my kids. I think it will be wonderful.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


It’s Been A While

I apologize for my silence… It has been a hectic couple of weeks as I prepare for the holidays. I’m actually looking forward to some down time – time to relax and visit with friends and family. Next week is the long awaited graduation of #2 in Nashville. So, I plan to do some holiday shopping there, and do some things I like to do. They have some fantastic antique/junk stores and the usual tourist traps. It’s going to be fun!

I’ve decided on some new rules for this blog. This is based on my experience last night.

You see, I’ve always said that I would never try to edit myself, or to make myself look good…just to maintain a good appearance for all of you. However, last night, I wrote a post and posted it. A few of you may have read it.

I deleted it first thing this morning.

It was BAD.

However, when I wrote the thing, I was in a very bad mood. I guess that made it rather appropriate. Nothing seemed right….and I was very depressed…

Why? You may be wondering.

Primarily because waiting for me in the mailbox yesterday after noon was a letter from my attorney that enclosed correspondence from Lovey’s attorney concerning an offer I had made to her.

I had offered her a fairly sizeable hunk of money and leave a hunk of her money alone, provided she would agree to leave my pension alone. (50% of it.) It meant that she would walk away with over $100,000 in her retirement accounts NOW, which would continue to grow over the next 15 or so years.

But, her attorney says that this is not negotiable… The only catch is, she only gets my retirement, “if, as, and when” I get it. In other words, if I choose not to retire, she doesn’t get the money. So, given the fact that her portion will greatly reduce my retirement annuity, I’m not planning on retiring anytime soon…God willing.

This appears to be a no-brainer…but then, what do I now?

So the letter from the attorney….and my personal email to her, arrived with my attorney…and then back to me. And, all this hit me wrong. The letter from the attorney to mine…..the email she had written her attorney….

All of it played into my mood….and did a beautiful job at ruining my evening.

But today all feels better in the world.