Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Well, my mother called me this morning to tell me that my Uncle Clyde had passed away yesterday at around 7:00 p.m. It was kind of a tough blow to take early in the morning, but somehow there was a sense of relief. Poor Uncle Clyde had problems with his health for years and years. He was nearly 6'8", very handsome, and a very sharp dresser. I will really miss him, and I wish that I had been able to see him the last time I was in D.C. It was just a very few months ago that his oldest son, my cousin had succumbed to cancer. It is strange like that sometimes, how it seems like tragedy upon tragedy occurs. All in all my Mother's side of the family has been blessed...my Uncle Grover passed away in 63' After that my Grandfather in 92', then my Cousin, now Uncle Clyde. From what I understand he mended some severed relationships before he passed, and that is such a blessing. To me, it was a very important lesson. I hope that I am never in a position where I am not in communication with those that I care about, and that care about me. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a second chance. That is why it is so important to tell everyone that is in your life exactly how much they meant to you, because tomorrow is never promised. Not much to say today, I am working out the rest of my schedule at Elder Beerman before I go to contingent status. I hope that perhaps when the legislative session is over I will not NEED to work part-time. There are so many things that I want to do with the Renee and the boys that I think are so very important. After all, they are my family....and strangely enough it seems as if they always have been. Well, there is more to come later.

Monday, January 22, 2001

Well, once again it is Monday morning, and I have a multitude of things to do....but right now I choose to reflect upon those things that I experienced this weekend. Renee and I went to our marriage preparation class together from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The day flew by because we were doing so many fun things. Most of the exercises were very revealing in the sense that I learned almost as much about myself as what I did about Renee. There were some things that I was nervous about going into in regard to conflict resolution because I always have this anxiety about arguing. But after the initial ice was broken I got a clearer understanding of Renee's point of view on a lot of things. There is no sense in embarking on the "how and why" of many things that we go through, but just to understand that they are there, things happen, but we need to accomodate one another as much as we can, and to live our lives solely for the purpose of bettering one another, and the people that are intimately associated with us. Mainly the boys, and our respective families and friends. Though I felt pretty good about the day, and some of the things that we covered I remained in a pensive mood. Renee and I decided to go to Barnes and Noble directly afterward to browse the publications and have some of that Godiva Hot Chocolate. I looked through some books on poetry and photography, and Renee looked at some books on the wedding. I had a good time, but I just really wanted to spend more time with her. We went home and had a few moments to ourselves before Randall and Tee came down. Don't get me wrong, I didn't mind them coming, and in all actuality I had looked forward to their arrival, but something at that class made me really take an introspective look at myself, my life, my career, my spirituality, and my position with my immediate family. That night Randall and I went to R&C's and I whooped him in quite a few games of pool. :-) (That is my game you know), and I had a chance to take my mind off of some of the things, but only for a moment. Don't get me wrong, it isn't that I am not grateful for what I have, but I just want to see more reward for the things that I do. I want more money so I can do more for Renee and the boys. I want more money so I don't have to work two jobs to maintain. I want to spend free time with them, and be there for them if they need anything. I realize that hard work and time away is the sacrifice that we sometimes must make in order to achieve a better life down the road, but I also realize that my carefree ways in the past have also helped to put me into my present position. I shared these thoughts with Renee, and she was very supportive, and she just said that no matter what we had one another, and that is all that mattered. She was 100% correct...for some reason I felt like crying all day long, and I didn't know whether I was sad, happy, relieved or depressed for a long time. But when I look at it, it was a catharsis for me because I finally realized what I have needed to do, and where I need to be, has been painfully obvious for a long time, but to date I have just attended to matters at hand for the most part. And in a sense I have lived "Carpe Diem", that is fine and good for some things, but matters of the heart and soul need to be looked at thoroughly from all angles. In fact your long term goals should dictate your day to day behaviors...it only makes sense. I look at some of the issues that one of my Fraternity brothers is going through. Though he is intelligent, artistically gifted--and could have any style of life that he chooses if he would apply himself--I have met "living room furniture" that makes better thought out decisions in life. It is easy to look at the extreme things that he has done to himself, because of his "over-indulgent nature" and shake my head in dismay; but when we apply a little relative perspective, I too, have not made the maximum use of my upbringing, resources, and alloted time. I think I would be better served to do a little more work on myself before I comment on anybody else's lot in life. Lastly, I am looking at the prospect of converting from Evangelical Lutheranism to Catholicism, but I want to fully educate myself in both faiths before I make a decision. I think that it is highly important for me to not only be a true part of my new family in all ways, but to be a leader. I don't mean to lead in the sense that I am the sole decision-maker, and orchestrator of every move that we make as a family, but rather that I will be a leader by example, and the one thing that all leaders do whether it is in the military, the church, or politics is lead by example. Anything else points toward hypocrisy.

Friday, January 19, 2001

*sigh*...Just by the date of the entry you have an idea of how long it has been since I have been into my weblog. Things are going pretty well, though I just found out that an O2 sensor for my car will not be covered by the expensive extended warranty that I purchased. Therefore I will have to relinquish $327.00 if I ever want the Dodge, (which Renee has named Jody), to ever travel any faster than 50 miles per hour. So little time, so much work, so little money. That is my new saying for about everything in my life right now. I am very pleased however, to be attending a marriage retreat with Renee tomorrow. I suppose we will find out how compatible, or how compatible that other people perceive us to be on this retreat. We took a Meyers-Briggs'ish' type test called a FOCCUS test, and it basically asked the same basic question in a multitude of ways. I was fearful that perhaps we would have little in common by the way some of the anwers were annotated, but just like Renee always says, "I wouldn't want to marry someone that was like me.", Perhaps she is right. I wouldn't want to marry anyone like, me, as a matter of fact you would be hard pressed to find someone like me out there. I consider myself to be an Original, in a multitude of ways with both good and bad results. I wrote a poem the other day called, "I, Step-Dad" this was a poem that kind of evolved as a was listlessly doodling during hours and hours of endless testimony at a Committee Meeting. This poem made me aware of my true feelings for Devon and Robbie. After I wrote it, I reflected on how my relationship with Renee began, and how it evolved and blossomed, I was not aware that the same thing was happening with the boys as well. I really do love them with as much intensity and devotion as I love Renee. To me that pokes big holes in the idea or sayings that men have in relation to children that do not belong to them. Usually we hear someone say something like, "I have learned to love him", or "In time I may love him like my own son." That is completely alien to me. You don't "learn" to love your soulmate...it simply evolves, occurs, happens, originates, or any other word that you choose to use for that which happens without your efforts.

Be that as it may, I am still amazed at how things have progressed within the confines of a 15 month period. I am amazed, but yet not the least bit apprehensive. This seems like the most normal, natural if you prefer, process that I have ever embarked upon. This wasn't a case of it "being the right time", it was more like, "I finally found the one, and luckily I was ready." I think that it was divine intervention that prevented me from ever meeting Renee until the time that we did, because certain events, people, problems, and situations may have precluded us from ever coming together had we met any earlier. People say, "Things happen for a reason", and I wholeheartedly subscribe to this theory. The greatest thing that happened to me was my engagement to Renee, and the reason was that it was meant to be.