E……

The summer of 2003 was a tough time for me. After college graduation in 2000 I took a job with an Internet based start up and they had failed miserably. I was let go in January of 2013. Despite applying for any and every job I was qualified, over qualified or under qualified for I was still unemployed in August. So at 25 years old I moved back home to deliver pizzas like I’d done most every summer during college. I was devastated and had almost given up hope.

Shortly after moving in with my parents I had started hanging out in the Yahoo Chat rooms and one evening I met a kindred spirit that I’d later learn went to the same high school as I did and actually lived less than five miles from me. We hit it off immediately and began talking on yahoo messenger shortly after. We’d spend hours talking to each other at night. This girl was amazing, we had so much in common and I wanted to pursue her, but she was just 19 and a sophomore in college. She was too young for me and I wa certain that she had no interest in some 25 year old loser who lived with his mama. After several months of talking on messenger I’d finally convinced myself that age was just a number and I was determined to ask her out. The problem then was that I had no idea how to do that and didn’t want to lose what we already had. As fate would have it in January 2004 I’d get my opening. A huge winter storm had hit South Carolina and had shut down the roads. She was snowed in and Dominos was closed due to the weather so I had the day off. She told me she was hungry and didn’t have a way to get out. So I offered to bring her something to eat, but she declined. Luckily for me I didn’t give up and 2 months later she was talking about her family going to see The Passion of The Christ, but she was working and couldn’t go or maybe didn’t want to go with them. Either way I took a chance and asked her to go with me and she accepted this time. So on March 8, 2004 I finally met E, the love of my life and we watched The Passion for our first date. I’d like to say I loved her at first sight, but the truth is that I probably loved her long before that. As Joe Fox said, “and if she’s turns out to be as good looking as a mailbox I’d be crazy not to turn my life upside for her.” Over the next several months we’d spend as much time together as possible. She lit a fire in me and I started looking for jobs again and thanks to her my career was back on track.

I could write for hours about how special and important she is, but I’ll save some for another day. She’s given me everything. Love, support, guidance, two beautiful children and more than I could ever have imagined. She is now and will always be the OBG, my love, my E.

Let’s Call Him B

Let me take you to rural South Carolina circa October 1983, before my beloved E was even born. I was in kindergarten, yeah I know I’m a cradle robber, and my buddies and I were on the playground having a good time. We were doing our best impersonations our favorite wrestlers. I of course was The Nature Boy. Call me lame, but I was always a sucker for a good heel and there’s never been one better than Ric Flair. My best friend B loved Ricky Steamboat. Everything was going great until the girls showed up. B upped it a notch to either impress or run them off I’m still not sure which. Either way he knocks me down and climbs up on the climbing toy, aka the top rope, and delivers Steamboat’s signature finishing move. Too bad he landed boot heel first on my shoulder and snapped my collar bone like a twig.

Flash forward 30+ years and we’re still great friends, brothers is more accurate. His wife, J, and E are best friends as well. He’s been a constant influence on my life for over 30 years. He’s an incredibly talented artist, photographer, athlete and just about anything he ever tries. He’s taught me that blood isn’t the only thing that creates family. Bonds grown out of love and mutual respect are just as strong if not stronger than any bond created by shared DNA.

We shared great times and unbelievable sad times. I was a groomsmen in his wedding and he blessed us with the wonderful gift of donating his photography skills at our wedding.

Probably the greatest joy we’ve shared was finding out that after years of trying J was pregnant, unfortunately less than a month later it was followed up with one of the lowest points of my life when they found out she had miscarried. That loss shook my entire foundation. I was angry at myself for having a kid and them not and I was pissed at God for pulling the rug out from under them. Later I would be torn between the joy that BG was on the way and this wonderful couple had nothing but this tragic loss. 

Their baby would be just a few months older than BG. I often imagine what those two kids would grow to be. Best friends? Husband and wife? Would they even like each other? The thing is I’ll never know, but what I do know is that he’s my brother and he deserves better.

A to Z Theme Reveal

I’m relatively new to the blogging world, but so far I’ve enjoyed my brief time here. Between working a full time job and helping my infinitely better half raise our two delightful leaches writing 6 posts per week will be a challenge for me, but I’ll give it a go.

Without much fanfare, if any, I give you my A to Z theme.

Peoples, places and things that have shaped my life.

Bilbo Strikes Back

Saturday evening I did Mother’s Day shopping the only way an isolated man can, I went on Amazon and had it shipped to me. I ordered several gifts including a gift box of Lindt Lindor Truffles.

Those truffles were supposed to be delivered today! So I started watching out for the UPS truck to make sure I get the stuff in before E gets home.

I must have missed the knock of the delivery guy, but around 2:30 I look out the front door and see bits of red paper all over my porch. I open the door and Bilbo darts out across the yard and runs and lies down under a tree with his tail tucked between his legs. I knew he had done something, but didn’t know what at first until I find the box lid with Lidnt written on the top. I look on the front steps and see the Life Is Good T-shirt, I look in the yard and find an Amazon box with a huge hole chewed into it along with lots of brown packing paper.

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What I didn’t find was the delicious chocolate truffles or their red wrappers. So either Bilbo will have some very colorful piles over the next few days or he’s buried E’s favorite candy in the back yard. Let’s hope for the latter, maybe E and I can send LM on a treasure hunt tomorrow.

Sweet Isolation

Where do I start? I was born in a small rural community just south of Charlotte, NC where I still live today. I attended college in the “big city” and moved back home a couple years after graduation and a few months later I met the love of my life (E). After LM was born we moved back “home” to where my parents, brothers, most of my cousins and even my in-laws live. Despite this abundance of familial connections Me and my immensely better half still feel for the most part isolated. Part, if not most of this isolation is the lack of kindred spirits around us. We do have two couples that we do things with occasionally and I love them dearly, but for the most part it is just me (Batman), E, LM and BG alone together.

Don’t get me wrong this caped crusader loves his life and wouldn’t have it any other way, but this feeling of isolation is a major part of my life. I work from home 95% of my work days. When I go in to the office I sit in a cube isolated from my peers staring at my beautiful little girl on my wallpaper desperately trying to reconnect the broken linkage to her and her mom who in my mind are nervously waiting on me and LM to get back home.

This isolation doesn’t define me, but it is a huge part of what I am. A husband and a father……..and more importantly BG’s Dark Knight.