Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Quit Claim

As of yesterday, my obligations to Noy are finished. I paid her off early so we could get our home loan processed. They couldn't give us a home equity loan as long as Noy still had a lean against the home. It was a bit of a hassle getting her to make it to her attorney's office to sign the Quit Claim but she finally did that for us yesterday. It's sort of odd but for the first time in over 20 years I have no obligations to her. I know for certain that she would like to talk occasionally to see how I'm doing and what is new with my mom and siblings and I'd like to stay up with what's happening in Joe and David's life but I don't think that will happen. We need to go our own ways now and if fate has it we will meet again someday. If her kids ever do make it back into town I hope they would give me a call and we could meet for lunch but I don't even see that happening. I don't think Joe and Dave are very interested in having much to do with me. I'd be surprised if Noy doesn't now move to California to be closer to her sons and grandkids. She has no family here...just some friends. Had it not been for the friends her life would be much different (in a good way) than it is today and I'm sure she knows that. It's been one of my continual prayers for her that God would bring good people into her life who would lead her in a more positive direction.

I wrote this while going through our divorce several years ago...

1-23-97

Emptiness owns my life tonight
But I'm focused on getting well
Do you know what it is to be afraid
To stop
To listen
To tell

When all I believed was important and true
Has left me broken and feeling used
My heart feels heavy
My head feels dizzy
I question what's right
I'm so confused

I try to be Strong
I try to be kind
I need my freedom
I need peace of mind

Where do I go
And when will I get there
I'm scared
It's my life
And I've lost all control

Will I be happy
I don't want to be angry
Will I find someone
To love and to hold

I'm trying not to worry
I have to keep myself busy
I'm trying to understand
What's important to me
I've spent time by myself
Too much time by myself
I'm much more lonely
Than I wanted to be

I hope Noy finds happiness
I hope she remembers
The good times
The better days
The love we once knew
I'm hurt
I'm not bitter
I'm sorry
I'm tired
I need to move on
It's what we both must do

I was going through my old writings and I found this written a couple days later...

1-25-97

I think too much
I don't sleep enough
I care too much
I never give up
I'm too organized
I need a close friend
I'm much too shy
I'm at my wits end
I could use some advice
I could use affirmation
I'd like a one way ticket
Not an explanation

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Jars of Clay

We saw Jars of Clay at Grace church in Eden Prairie tonight. What a good show they put on. Rachel has really developed a taste for Christian rock in the past few months. I know she can't wait for The Elms to come back through town so we can go see them again. Here's a song they played tonight called, Show You Love. It's a song about stepping outside your comfort zone and reaching out to those in need around the world and giving of our overflowing abundance.

Speaking of abundance...Tammy and I went to a few homes on the Parade of Homes list to get some ideas for our basement. Some of the homes were in the million dollar price range. It was interesting to see what you get for that price. We found a townhome we both liked very much and could probably very easily be talked into something like it after we retire.

I made my last payment to Noy yesterday. I dropped off all my canceled checks from the previous year's payments at her attorney's office so he could review them before she signs the Quit Claim on the home. I want her to be certain that I haven't short-changed her and that everything is as it should be. Her attorney called back today and said it appears I've overpaid her by $250. I told him to let it go and asked that he send me the bill for overseeing everything. He was expecting her in his office today to sign away her interest in the home but she never showed up. I'll need the Quit Claim signed before we can get our home equity loan to complete our basement. I can't help but feel that she's hoping for a different outcome which keeps money going from me to her indefinitely. I could be wrong. I have no idea if she knew this day was fast approaching. It's a significant amount of money she won't be receiving any longer and that has to be hard for her to accept.

I'm actually very sad for her. I know I shouldn't be after all she put me through but I still am. I'm sad for what has become of her life and the hopes I once had for our future. I used to be so happy to provide the lifestyle I did for her and her sons. I've only ever wanted what was best for her and I still feel that way. Everyday she is in my prayers. I pray that good people will come into her life and that they will lead her in a positive direction. I pray for her well being and peace of mind. I pray for her happiness and that she is able to move forward and find love again and I pray for her protection.

It's strange how life plays out though. Had Noy and I not divorced I never would have become a part of Tammy and Rachel's life. They are such a part of who I am and my reason for living that I can't imagine life without them. There's no question that God brought us all together. I don't question why anymore...I just accept that I'm where I'm supposed to be and that I've never been more in love with both Tammy and Rachel. Thank you Lord.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Rachel

I can't begin to say how much I love my daughter. She is such a good person and her heart is in the right place. Tammy has helped to give her a very good foundation upon which to build her life...oh, I suppose I have helped some too. I'm worried though that she seems to be drifting apart from her father the past few months. When he has her for the weekend he seldom engages her and when he does it's usually in a critical way. I dunno...I think maybe he's a bit insecure and becoming more so as Rachel grows and matures. I think his heavy handedness is some sort of a control that he feels he needs to maintain.

Last week, Rachel put a tattoo on her arm of Jesus' name in the shape of a fish. She had it there several days and proudly displayed her devotion to Christ. She mentioned to me that she filled out a questionnaire in choir class and one of the questions had to do with what are you passionate about. She wrote down Jesus Christ. Wow...I'm so impressed at her openness and her faith. We've been trying to set aside one night a week where the three of us sit on the couch and do a devotion from a book of stories and talk about what it means to us. We'll also pray together and bring up concerns we have. Rachel mentioned that she'd like to have the devotions two nights a week if we could...again...wow. She's got such a hunger for Christ right now and I don't want to get in the way. I simply want to be a facilitator and help her however I can. It didn't dawn on me until several days later that the tattoo of Jesus on her arm was really meant to advertise to other kids at school that she's a Christian and she's searching for Christian friends. I mentioned that to Tammy and thinks I may be right.

Rachel went with her church group back to Spencer Iowa this weekend. It's a 'recharge' weekend and picks up where the summer bible camp left off. She was very excited to go. I talked with her on the phone from work this evening and she said she had a good time. When I got home and talked to Tammy she said it was another very positive experience for her. She mentioned how she's such a happy kid...she was singing away in the shower and she mentioned that she wished I was home tonight. I won't see her till tomorrow night and that will only be for about 15 minutes before she'll have to go to bed. As I said...I sure love that kid!

Rachel and I have this elaborate hand shake we do together. It's evolved over the past 18 months and last week we added two more segments to it. It's something just she and I do together...our own little thing.

Anyway...I have to run as it's getting late.

Sunday, September 5, 2004

The End of Summer

Do you ever wonder how your world would change if you lost your job? How would you react? Would you be bitter or would you strive to be better? Would you be angry at God or would you feel that everything happens for a reason and continue moving forward not knowing how you're going to manage in the weeks and months ahead. Would you crawl into a shell and withdraw from those who love and care about you?

I think I'd first do a lot of thinking about what is really important to me and begin to understand that possessions take much more of a secondary role than we realize. Houses, cars, furniture and other material trappings can be sold or they can hold you back.

I've been doing some thinking along these lines lately because I'm at a bit of a crossroads at work. In a worse case scenario I could be without the job I've had for over 22 years. I pray that I'll be able to work through all of this and come to a realistic agreement with management about how to proceed but nothing is certain.

Love Break Me by Starfield

Mark me with Your grace
Shape me in Your wisdom
Place in me a heart
Of mercy
Open up my eyes
Let me see Your glory
Lead me to the place
You want me

Love, break me now
Strip me down
May Your beauty
Deep inside of me resound
Through me be found
Come break me now

Guide me in Your truth
Mold me in Your nature
Birth in me a hope
To hold on
Show me how to wait
Teach me how to listen
Be in me the strength
To let go

Break me now…

Love, hear my plea
Rescue me, bring Your peace
I have come to You on bended knee
I’m desperate for Your breath in me
Your ears to hear, Your eyes to see
Set me free, come set me free
Like rain flowing over me...


Saturday, September 4, 2004

I'm Outa Sorts Tonight

I don't know why but I'm feeling out of sorts tonight. I think I'm preoccupied about some issues at work. I have no idea how this is going to play out and it has me worried. I went for a long ride Thursday after I woke up. I was hoping to sort through some things and I think I did that but it still leaves a lot of questions unanswered and that is the source of my anxiety.

Thursday was a hot day with the temp well into the 80s. It's been so cool the entire month of August so I really wanted to be in the hot sun. I rode out Cedar ave into a southwest wind gusting to 25 mph. I zigged and zagged until I got to hwy 2 and took that west through New Market I continued on hwy 2 struggling to maintain a good speed with the wind making the ride difficult. It had been years since I'd taken hwy 2 this far and I really wasn't sure what to expect. I went through the town of Union Hill and remembered how I used to come through this area on my trips back from Huron with Noy 20 years earlier. I contemplated how fast my life was moving and wondered if I'd still be actively riding in another 20 years or would I get my clubs back out and rediscover my passion for golf.

Hwy 2 abruptly turned into a dirt road at the junction of hwy 11 so I headed south on 11 until I picked up hwy 19 and rode that west to hwy 169. I took 169 south into Le Sueur and stopped to refuel at the Holiday station. Back on the road about 15 minutes later and I found myself climbing 169 with a tail wind out of Le Sueur. It's a steady 5 percent grade, not quite a mile long and I always enjoy the challenge. It was odd when I came upon a bunch of corn stocks along the shoulder of the road. I'm guessing some grain truck must've spilled the corn last season and they sprouted there. It's amazing what can grow out of asphalt.

Along the way my mind kept returning to my situation at work and I was working through several different scenarios in my head trying to decide what to do. Just as I got to Jordan I decided I needed to approach management and level with them about my troubles. It could cost me my medical certificate to be a controller but I had to do this for my peace of mind. I'm hoping the loss of my medical will only be temporary and that we'll be able to work out a solution where I'm able to take myself off the boards when it becomes necessary to work through the headaches. I stopped at the Burger King in Jordan and sat with a drink while I phoned Tammy and told her of my decision. She's very supportive and is in agreement that I should be up front with management about my situation.

I pedaled home with what felt like renewed energy from the weight that was lifted after making this decision but I think it may have simply been the 10 minute rest and bottle of water. Anyway, I decided that rather than go straight home I'd stop at Mom's and visit with her and her company. Some of my aunts and uncles are staying with her for a couple days and I really haven't had much time to visit with them. I rolled in there as they were sitting out on her back patio enjoying some drinks and conversation. I'm not sure how many times we'll all see each other again as some are getting quite old. They were all interested in my bike and its technology...my mp3 player, heart rate monitor, shoes and all the other stuff that goes into riding. They brought up the time in '81 when I rode to Michigan for the family reunion and had to do 196 miles on the last day to make it. I have one photo of myself from that day but apparently both Maria and Eva have other photos as well. I'm hoping they can send them to me so I can scan them. That was one of my more memorable days as there was no way I was trained to do that many miles but I was able to and I was and still am very proud of that achievement. I sat around with them for 45 minutes then had to hit the road and get home for dinner. I finished with 111 miles on the day and my 20 century ride of the season completed.

After dinner I sat down and composed an email to my union rep at work...oh yea, I'm in the union now as of last Monday. There are so many problems with management now that I had to finally join. I think our membership stands at around 76%. Many of the controllers I associate with aren't in and most likely never wil be but that's their decision. Anyway, I wrote Rob, my union rep and told him of my situations with the Cluster headaches and what my intentions are. It's Saturday night and I still haven't heard back from him as to whether or not he agrees with my intended approach. I'll see him tomorrow at work and talk with him about it then.

We went to the Minnesota State Fair today and totally wore ourselves out. We got up way too early for us...6:00am and got there by 8:30. It was another hot day so it was nice to beat some of the heat. Rachel had her picture taken with the Lollipop Kid munchkin while we were there. His name is Jerry Maren and he was there with another one of the munchkins to sign autographs. Tammy asked if she could take Rachel's photo with him and he was happy to do that. Just as Rachel settled in next to him he pulled out a lollipop and presented it to her in the same way he did to Dorothy in the movie. It was very sweet.