Print Story Decade in review?
By Phil the Canuck (Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:00:01 PM EST) (all tags)
I've been slow to review my decade.

The short of it is simple.  I started the decade with a wonderful wife, a great kid, and a fantastic job.  I ended it with a wonderful wife, two great kids, and a shitty job.  Different wife, same job.  Odd that.

Things seemed really, really good in January 2000.  Marriage suited me, fatherhood suited me, and I was making more money than I was accustomed to making.  The problems of the previous few years were gone and the problems of the next few weren't on the horizon yet.

Other than stressing out every year when visa renewal time came, my life was on track.  Life doesn't give you a chance to prepare for the really big changes though.  Waiting for the cancer diagnosis over Christmas 2003. Getting that phone call where they kept telling her to come into the office and wouldn't say anything more. Going to the office only to be told that it was not an ordinary lump, but a super-nasty killer lump.  Those things hit you hard.

Then all the other tramas.  Chemo.  Hair loss.  Surgery.  Oops, second surgery.  Locked-up shoulder.  Emotional issues.  Oh hey, she's probably going to die.

It's strange to look back once you're out of the fog and realize that you were dying right along with her.  That your life was so toxic and unhealthy that if things were to continue as they were too much longer you'd just stop being able to cope physically.  Mentally, I fell apart somewhere around early October 2004.  I only saw brief flashes of the woman I married during the last two months of her life.

Burying your wife at 33 is a hard thing.  I know, thank you Captain Obvious.  But there it is.  Telling your kids their mom died.  Picking verses, an urn, arranging for a plot.  Going to her fucking funeral. Standing up and reading the letter you should have sent to her years before. Being pulled away from her grave, not because you didn't want to leave but because your brain had just shut down from the weight it was carrying and your brother had to grab you and steer you back to the car.  Hard sums it all up nicely.

Being told by a bunch of people that you'd never see again how much they wanted to help and how they'd do anything they could. Anything they could do without having to see or speak to you, I guess.

Single fatherhood.  Fights with the in-laws.

The low point had to be March 2005.  My idiot b-i-l decided to call and read me the riot act on the phone, threatening to do all sorts of things.  Kick my ass (part of me still wishes he would have tried), take the kids away.  None of it would have mattered.  I wasn't close to a perfect father, but I was good.  They got fed.  I read to them.  Set aside time to play with them.  They maintained a schedule.  Funny thing is, five-year-olds don't make the distinction between Daddy playing on the computer and Daddy working his ass off on a network migration that's critical to keeping the family's sole income.  Everything snowballed from there. 

My family circled the wagons.  Mom cam down to stay with me and the kids.  The next morning, due to quitting a medication too quickly, she collapsed in my living room and had a seizure.  That, right there.  That's the low point of my life.  Wife dead.  In-laws lobbing threats at me.  Mom twitching on the floor.

I picked myself up from there.  Told the in-laws that lobbing more threats would result in legal (real, not fantasy) action.  Found someone to love me, who loved the kids.

When I proposed to her in April 2006, she thought I was breaking up with her.  I suppose that means I'm not very good at it, but I got the job done anyway.

Moved. Mom died.  Suddenly isn't any easier than long and drawn-out, I learned.  If I'd been alone, well, I don't know.  I just don't know.

Moved again, wife adopted the kids, and here we are.  A whole bunch of crap happened at work that made my job hell, made it good again, and then made it hell again.  None of that's important though.  The personal stuff will always be with me, the job stuff vanishes when an offer rolls in.  That may be next week, or it may be next year, but it will happen.  Don't sweat the temporary stuff.

Happy New Year.

< Attention mobile device infidels | Cleaning up the place. >
Decade in review? | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden)
I hope you never see a decade like that again by georgeha (4.00 / 4) #1 Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:57:21 PM EST

Or anyone (nt) by Driusan (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 03:59:25 PM EST

Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
holy cow by codemonkey uk (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:06:38 PM EST
well that put things in perspective

--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.
So much of your decade by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:14:37 PM EST
seems like it happened a million years ago. I keep thinking "only a decade ago".

Thanks for turning everything all around and sharing with us.

A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
My Name is Earl

My hat's off to you. by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:57:21 PM EST
That's all I can say.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

We're glad you made it. by ana (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 02:03:51 PM EST
I read all that with interest, plus the bits you posted at the time, and I'm most impressed.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

I have always said by clock (4.00 / 2) #6 Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 02:39:30 PM EST
that you, my friend, are made of the toughest stuff.  I admire you for your courage.  I'm so very glad you made it.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

I admire by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 02:59:19 PM EST
I admire your strength.

Take care and happy new year to you as well!


"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
So glad by littlestar (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 04:23:36 PM EST
you made it through to the other side. I hope it just keeps getting better.


Here's to a decade... by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:07:50 PM EST
with more highs and lots fewer and less devastating lows.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
I had no by johnny (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 09:39:10 PM EST
flipping idea.

Call me Captain Oblivious.

Thanks for the update.

Thanks for making it through.

Stick around.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

*hug* by duxup (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:26:12 PM EST

Decade in review? | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden)