I haven't blogged in a while. Over a month. I typically don't blog unless I feel I have something significant to say. Being a rather ordinary guy, that doesn't happen all the time. And even when it does, "significant" is a matter of perspective.
But that's not to say nothing significant has happened lately. In fact, these have been some of the best days of my life.
My regular readers (all three of you) have followed along as I've blogged about a nasty period of church dissension; moving 1,600 miles from home to a place where we literally knew one person within 1,000 miles; finding new friends and a new church home; the implosion of my marriage, separation, and eventual divorce; going from owning a 4br/2.5ba house in the suburbs to a rented 1br apartment in downtown; from a house filled with three kids, a dog and a cat... to... a cat, and silence.
The circumstances of my breakup left my ex, and my kids, 250 miles away. The continuing circumstances mean I only get to see my kids once a month; if I'm lucky, twice, or sometimes they stay a week or so, if school is out. Tim has transitioned into a group home and I see him even less. Yet, for him, and for my other two kids, life is better. He has the care, structure, and support he needs.
For the past few years, I've concentrated on just being a Dad. I dated a few times after our split, once for about 4 months, but I didn't really expect to find love again. I reached a point where it was better to be alone than to settle for just anyone who would have me. There was a certain safety in being alone.
But about four months ago, I decided to give it one more shot. I signed up for a short Match.com membership. I met a few nice ladies, but not the right fit. Then I traded a couple of emails with a very pretty young lady. I gave her my real-life email address, but didn't get an email. I figured I'd said something to scare her away. Not an unrealistic expectation.
Then I got a message on Facebook. She asked if I was getting her emails. "Um, no..." So she tried again, and I'm so glad she did! I was so impressed that anyone would go to the effort of finding me when I was seemingly ignoring her emails. I felt like an idiot, though, because in an aggressive attempt at spam filtering, I'd somehow managed to block EVERYTHING with a ".gmail" address. We met for coffee, then a mexican lunch and bowling. We spent a Sunday together at Lincoln City, lunch at Mo's, walking on the beach on the most beautiful April day the Oregon coast has ever seen. Not a cloud in the sky and calm winds. I've never been to the beach without 40mph winds, and I don't know where everybody was, but we had nearly the whole beach to ourselves. Maybe I just couldn't see anybody else. She's funny and sweet and highly intelligent, and... absolutely beautiful! I never imagined I'd find someone like her! Let alone someone like her that wants to be with me!
A few weeks later, I met her and her kids at the park, kind of a big step because there's a lot of creepy guys in the world that make it tough for moms to trust nice guys like me! I admit I was a little nervous, but her kids quickly put me at ease! They're awesome, and we had a great time!
This weekend, we passed another milestone event: our kids meeting each other. By this time, I really wasn't worried; we both have great kids and I knew they'd get along fine. The boys played video games while she took the girls to the store. They later ambushed us boys in the parking lot with Silly String and inflatable "Avengers" mallets!
But as great as everything has gone, it only got better today! We went to the Dallas Aquatic Center, a place I had always assumed was expensive (it was $12 for all 6 of us), so I had never taken my kids. I had such a great time swimming with them while she got some work done. I had the easy part; I just played, she had to be an adult!
I feel like I have a new chance at life! Walking through the valley these past several years has been difficult, at times heartbreaking. I've always said that if I could go back in time, I wouldn't go back any farther than 2003, because I wouldn't risk not having my youngest son, but it hasn't been an easy road. And I wish I could take away the hurt and turmoil my kids have had to suffer. But if I knew I had to walk every step of my road to be where I am today, well...
"I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten..."I feel like I'm born again!