Goodbye 2010…

… I could say I am sad to see yet another year go by.  However, I am impossibly enthusiastic for 2011 to be here.  Then again I have been waiting for 2011 for most of the year.  With the New Year comes resolutions.  For me, this year’s resolutions will be deeper than just the typical few. 

For I have the opportunity to start over, to move forward and not look back.  And rather than look this gift horse in the mouth I am going to seize the opportunity.  Actually, I am seizing this opportunity early.  It is the wrong time of year to start looking for permanent employment but I will have too.  Maybe even move from this place if things work out right.

As I prepare for Christmas and the New Year I will be working more on these resolutions and will post them when I have finished.  I am also thinking about working on my picture taking.  I used to love it sooo much and just haven’t had the time, nor the energy to mess with the cameras. 

Until later – H

Change

It has been a while since I’ve even felt like logging into this blog.  The last few months have been hard, but as money tightens and relationships rock, things have slowly become worse.  Because we all know that the world doesn’t stop just because you get your feet swept out from under you.  Most times, it is going to take every hit/kick/pull it can… just to make sure you are down.

2010 will be remembered as a year that I had to simply rely on my faith.  Now, I am not one of the outspoken Christians.  I am not the one running to the altar every time there is an ‘altar call’.  I am not the one volunteering all of my time or making it a point to be at church every time the doors are open.  I am probably not the person you would ask to say a prayer outloud.  God and I do our talking, but it is in our own way… much like that of everyone else.  But being none of these things does not make me any less Christian.  It does not make my ‘work’ on Earth any less significant than those who are more vocal.  I rely on my faith to get me through day-to-day.  I learned this when I was young.  This week will be the first week that my husband and I do not attend our normal church.  We’ve missed Sundays before, but this one will be different.  This is the beginning of something new.  I have never been put in the position to pick between a church or the pastor or a certain way of doing things.  This church is one of the main reasons David and I are even together.  The decision was hard and has long been in the making.  We volunteer, excuse me, we were volunteers in the sound/media department.  With the change in leadership 2 1/2 yrs ago we felt like we were slowly being lowered into a well… one in which no one could hear our comments/suggestions/requests.  After a series of unfortunate events, we’re both out and feel awesome about the door that has just opened in our lives.  It wasn’t burn out – it was just a difference of opinions.

Believe it or not, I am much older than I seem, and my childhood wasn’t anywhere close to peaches and cream.  I have had to fight, not as much as some, but certainly more than others.  My father is an alcoholic.  Now, he will never admit to that, and Lord knows I will probably get chewed out if he ever saw those words… he is a gambler, as well.  Many of my birthday parties got pissed away from the mere fact that no one would stand up to him and send him home.  His late nights in the bar at our local country club forced me to become an adult, even a parent in some cases at a very early age.  I cooked, I cleaned, I washed kids, I watched kids, you name it – I did it.  I realized that first time we were left to wait for our father that, that would be the case just about every day for the rest of our lives.  All by the age of 10.  Who’dathunkit?

Of course, that’s not where it stops, but that is where I choose to stop.  I am far past my ‘daddy issues’.  One thing he taught me:  No expectations = No disappointment.  For a short minute there, I had set that train of thought aside.  Where did it get me?  In a dead end job, robbed at gun point, and a few family members that could really have cared less.  Here we are 4 months after the fact and I can say that without shedding a tear.  Guess that counseling is paying off, eh? 

Of course, every thing comes back to that date 4 months ago when my life turned upside down.  Now I do not dwell on it as much as I used too.  There is a point where it just becomes a part of your life.  A lot of tears/screaming/counselling have gotten me to this point.  I am looking forward to figuring out what is in store for David and I on this journey called Life.  He is currently waiting on word about a full-time position with the PH Conference.  I am waiting on being released from the doctor’s care to be able to return to work.  Not the position I was in before, but something better (hopefully).

Not all change is bad… or waiting in the balance…  We do have a new niece… she is a cutie.  Born Aug. 17th, she really has been a bright spot in the last few weeks.  Even though I want to spoil her, but can’t because my money is low.  She doesn’t know any better and that makes it all the more better. Who knows, maybe there will be a baby in 2011 for these Rowdy Gowdys…  I’ll leave it there.  Promise to catch up on more later in the weekend.  I am re-committing to the exercise program I have been putting off for a while… it’ll be interesting to see how well that goes. 

-Until then…

Marriage

Saw this on Facebook a few days ago… posted it there, but thought I’d share it with you as well.  Get your tissues… this one’s a tear-jerker!

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside
the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead.
My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.– At least, in the eyes of our son— I’m a loving husband….

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you.

If you do, you just might save a marriage.
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

A CHRIST-CENTERED MARRIAGE IS A MARRIAGE THAT IS SURE TO LAST A LIFETIME.

So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. Matthew 19:6

Something different…

The last several posts have been almost completely related to the robbery in April.  My crazy doctor and I have decided that it might  be time to start thinking of other things.  Things… that might be… uh, more positive.  So, this post will be about nothing but positives that have happened in my life recently.

I will have to say that in the last three months, I have definitely learned the value of a good family.  I am blessed with an incredible family in which I was born into.  My mother and sisters to which I am always thankful and know that they have my back, as I have theirs.  As a family, we have been through a great deal in our lifetimes.  We definitely live by the motto: What doesn’t kill us, only makes us stronger.  We have met adversity head on, and I will say without the shadow of a doubt, that they are the main reason I was able to come through this.  For it is our past that creates us, and makes us into the people we are today.

I am also very incredibly blessed to have a husband that is (not to sound cliche) but the yin to my yang.  In the last three months I have learned what a truly special gift he is to me.  Not only has he dealt with my clinginess, my paranoia, the sleeplessness for the first bit… which brought on the hallucinations and the anger so quickly… I cannot begin to understand how I was able to make it through that first month or so.  I do not know how he found the strength to deal with me.  But, I am eternally grateful.  I now know that we can get through anything so long as we remember that we have each other and really need no one else.  Love you D!

My baby sister will be having grand baby #2 in the coming weeks.  I cannot wait for baby T to come into the world.  B (#1) had so much to do with my getting better.  As I sit here typing this, I am starting to figure out that there might have been a plan here.  See, I am a workaholic.  I work, work, work until it consumes my life.  My last job had done so to the point that there was no line between work/home.  And there needs to be for sanity purposes.  I missed out on so much because I put so much responsibility and pressure upon myself.  I don’t even want to think about it.  Now that the pressure has been removed, I feel like a completely different person.  Of course, if you compare me to 10 yrs ago, 6 yrs ago, 6 months ago, 3 months ago, and 6 weeks ago… these were all variations of what you see today.  This time off from work has been wonderful in that I haven’t missed anything.  And I won’t miss baby T’s birth.

In the weeks after the robbery, I knew there was no way for me to walk back into the situation that I had managed for the 4 yrs prior.  So, I started looking for something else to do.  After looking and applying to some not so great choices, I was approached about applying for a position with EJI.  After 65 pages of name, ssn, address, and blood type (not really…), I applied and 20 days later received a phone call stating that I was hired.  Yes, in this economy, this is a big thing.  To me, however, it was even bigger because this is the first job I have received because of my merit.  Not because someone knew me or a family member, not because I was supposedly going to learn a ‘family’ business, not because of anything… other than the fact that I looked good to them on paper.  The sense of accomplishment was enough.  Right now, this position is an ‘oncall’ position – which basically I just fill in for the BOA when they need me too.  So it is has worked out nicely.  Seems to be helping with my therapy and stuff too.  Next week will be a real test because it will be a full time thing… The doc thinks it will be good for me.  I sure hope so, because I am going crazy at home!

I am completely tired at this point, yet wide, freakin’ awake.  Going to find an info-mercial to put me to sleep.  Good night!

Anniversaries

Anniversaries.  Not normally associated with a bad thought… it really depends on what you keep in the memory bank.  For me, as with most people, anniversaries are normally from some significant event in life.  Tomorrow is an anniversary, not a very happy one, but just as meaningful.  Tomorrow is the 3 month anniversary of the biggest change in my life to date.  A day that has taken 3 months of life from me, but at the same time, freed me of a world of stress, burden, guilt, and unusual sadness in a job that I liked at one point in time. 

I had a break through of sorts during my last counseling session.  I managed to make it through an hour and a half of talking about this robbery, the suspects, my co-workers, my family and their reactions and lack there of… without a single tear.  Doesn’t seem like much, I know.  However, to me, this was HUGE.  That was a first and personally I hope it continues.  It is a sign of the next of many baby steps to come.  To have something like this consume your life and have people so close, yet feel so far is hard to stomach.  It’s one of those times that the old addage “Actions speak louder than words” rung very true.  My view of some will forever be changed by their actions… and in some cases, even their words.

The next baby step, I hope, is finding something to do on a regular basis.  This sitting at home has been driving me crazy.  Kinda funny when you think about it…  significant event happens, you go to counseling to keep from going crazy… while sitting at home is starting to have the same effect.  Wonder if there is counseling for that?  Or is it to just get back out there?  Who knows.  I am interested to see where the next few weeks lead.  I am winding down the approved allotment of sessions, so I guess it will be time… soon… to see if they’ve worked.  At this point, the only thing I do know is that I am super happy to not have to return to insurance.  That place sucked the life out of me.  The summer cold I caught last weekend has been doing the same thing.  This entire week I have spent either on the couch asleep or in the bed… with a few intermissions, esp for our yard sale and for keeping B for the night this weekend.

In other news, things as a whole seem to be looking up.  Business for D had slowed to a crawl (not the first time in our brief 2 year marriage), and we’ve been having to do the cut back on our expenses.  I’ve been praying hard for a path that is clear, but we all know God works in His own way and His own time.  That has been one of the biggest lessons of the last 3 months.  In two days there will be another anniversary – the day I quit working to take care of myself… since no one else seemed to be trying.  As I look back on that week, the most trying of my life (outside of the time my parents separated), I can’t help but think it is all apart of  a plan.  There is a higher being at work here, and if I’m patient enough I will see the road ahead.  Right now, it’s like driving through fog with no fog lights and almost running off the road.  After the events of the past few days the road seems to be clearing up some.  I don’t want to jinx the works, so I will leave it at that.  Just know that there will be more on that soon!

- Good night!

And then the Earth opened up…

and swallowed me whole.  Or, at least that is what it feels like.  I’ll tell you.  If I had the option to go back in time, right now, I wouldn’t do it. 

My last post was dated April 9/10… Who would know that change would come so quickly there after.  On April 12th, my life, and those of my co-workers, changed forever.  Our small insurance office was the target in an armed robbery.  Which you can look at two different ways… 1) it was a once in a lifetime experience and 2) it was the scariest thing you’ll ever experience.  Shortly after this robbery, I had to leave my position working for the family.  As nice as it was to work for family, the robbery really changed my life.  For several weeks afterwards sleep was barely an option – dreams were the enemy.  We all know what sleep deprivation will do to a person… hallucinating noises and people in (and around) the house, I was cranky… it was like constant PMS…

Thankfully, in this time period Workers Comp finally got off their ass and got me into counseling.  PTSD was the diagnosis and it has definitely screwed with my way of life in every way, shape and form.  To give you an idea… on top of the hallucinations and crankiness, there were a lot of tears.  There were places I couldn’t go that I had been going for years.  The office, banks, restaurants, convenience stores… anywhere with cash and open doors scared the hell out of me.  Actually, they still scare the hell out of me, I have (thanks to the counseling) been able to work on the anxiety that is associated with these places.  I am not fully recovered, but I am steady on my way… I hope.

Since then, I have been working on myself, the house, and myself.  I think I might start posting more regularly.  Might as well, since I have soooooo much to do right now.  Yes, that is sarcasm.

Goodnight!

New… uh, April Resolution

I have been saying for months now that I need to start back blogging.  I even went as far as to log in and clean out the old stuff with the hope of starting fresh as of January 1.  As you can see, it is now April 9th… only for another hour and twenty.  Let’s see where this takes me…

I am not entirely certain what I want this blog to contain.  It was started in a (failed) effort to have one spot where the entire world could come for an update on us, the Gowdys.  However, life happened, as it normally does.  I certainly have not had a lot of time since my last semester of school started, my boss/father-in-law got sick for the entire month of February, and tax season.  Who knew life could be so, uh… busy? 

The last three weekends alone have been fun-filled with various family outings.  First there was the Carolina Cup – which our family only misses when the weather is poor, but this year was beautiful.  The first in five years that I can recall where the weather did not make you want to find a shelter from the elements.  Our family actually goes with the hope of seeing the races, unlike other patrons or the popular assumptions by those who do not attend.  I will admit there is a lot of drinking and a lot of people… however, the front row has never been a real ‘party scene’ and thankfully, that has allowed for good drinks, good times, good family/friends, and good races! 

Last weekend was Easter; and as many do, I hit the road to the small town of Westville… just a 12 mile drive from Camden to join the rest of the family in the gorge fest that was prepared.  D and I have always ‘split’ holidays or rotated… this year Easter with my family, next year with his… it is hard on us since a lot of holidays his family does not do much celebrating.  My family, on the other hand, seems to always be looking for some event to pull the clan together.  Anyway…

I will definitely get into more ‘blogging’ later.  From what I’ve seen and read of others’ blogs, this should be an open forum, of sorts, for me to share all that is ‘me’ or ‘my life’.  I guess in other words it means “Look out, another crazy person looking to share way too much information has created another blog.” 

Well, lucky for you the washer has finished and I now need to move the comforter that B so merrily peed on early to the dryer.  The world never stops with a 2 year old.  Thank goodness she’s only my niece AND I only have her for the night.  Kids…  haha, something we will probably discuss here at a later date.

Good night world!  Catch ya later :)