Wednesday, December 1, 2010
We are going to church every Sunday now and that makes me feel really good, and I think it makes my wife happy too. I am working on personal growth and trying to get my mood swings and emotions under control. I am always trying. That and praying is all that I can do. I do not plan on giving up. This is my home, and this is my family. I love them and they are worth whatever effort it takes to get this marriage on track.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
I do know that I pray for a "visit" from my Brother, to see him in dreams, to hear his voice... anything. I get nothing but more sadness. No mystical visits, no comforting dreams. Nothing. Tap tap tap... is this thing on?
And I wonder. Why can I not see him when others do? Why can I not hear him or smile with him in my dreams? Have I done something wrong or am I being punished? I just don't know. It just doesn't make sense. This entire thing is senseless.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I am going to have to put this thing together on a shoe string budget and will likely need to accumulate building materials. I have broken the materials list into two categories: materials needed to frame the home from the ground up creating a livable structure that will keep the weather off of me while I live there and continue to build. The second list is comprised of materials needed to finish the home off. Things such as toilet, sinks, tub, pvc piping, faucets, electrical wiring and various electrical extras needed to run appliances such as an a/c, refrigerator, small stove, small washing machine, ceiling fan, and 5 plug boxes throughout the small structure.
If I am able to pull this off I will post pictures as I go. This has been my life long dream and sadly, in my dreams my Brother helped me build it and I shared it with someone I would spend the rest of my life with. I guess if it works out and I do get to build it I'll share it with Sunny and Daisy May, who have been my faithful, loyal and trusted friends for the past 11 years.
The first list
List of building materials:
Framing lumber (enough to create a walled and roofed shell with sub floor/floor)
-osb (Oriented strand board, which is far less expensive than plywood) (4x8x3/4) quantity of 78 pieces
-2x8x8 (pressure treated) quantity of 90 pieces
-2x4x8 (pressure treated) quantity of 200 pieces
-FGUR20 ASTM 30 Lb. Felt Quality Roof Deck Protection quantity of 3 rolls
-Black Fiberglass Mineral Surfaced quantity of 6 rolls
-Grip-Rite 2d, 1 In. 5-Lb Electro-Galvanized Roofing Nails quantity of 1 box
-Grip Rite 16d, 3-1/4 In. 30-Lb Bucket Coated Sinker Nails quantity of 60 pounds (two buckets)
-Grip Rite 1-1/4 In. Coarse Drywall Bucket 25 Lb quantity of 50 pounds (two boxes)
-Deck Mate 1 Pound 2-1/2 In. Green Premium Exterior Screws quantity of 5 pounds (five boxes)
-Exterior latex paint, OD (olive drab) quantity of 5 gallons
With lots of prayer, dreaming, hard work, and help from friends I just may be able to make this happen. Stay tuned.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
And then it fades away and I am left with that terrible knowledge of what really is and I drive on.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
When I was growing up my mother would tell me "we learn from our mistakes... we just don't want to get our whole education that way" and also "life is lived going forward, but understood looking back" and I can only pray that we'll both take some positive things from this. I am so sorry that I let you and the kids down. I have laid awake for the past week and a half wishing I'd done so much so differently, but what's done is done and I don't think I'll ever be able to outrun or live down the mistakes I made. I hurt your heart in far too many ways, and that is something that will never leave me. Hurting the people you love is the most terrible thing a person can do.
I don't know if we'll be friends in the future. I don't know if I'll come here and fish with your father and do things with the kids... I don't want to do the wrong things and send mixed messages to young minds. I know the kids will be ok before long because they have their dad who is a really good guy, and they have their mother who is a wonderful woman.
My prayer is that you find true and lasting happiness. I hope that you meet a man that puts you over the moon in every way and that you live long and happily together. I pray for the boys to have wonderful independent lives that are productive and filled with love. I pray that Bella is happy and continues to strive for perfection. If anyone can achieve it, it will be her!
I will find my woods and build my cabin, I will smell the rain on the pines and hear the rooster crow in the early morning hours... and someday it'll all be alright for us both.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Well, here were are, fast forward to 2010. My wife has informed me that "it's over" and even though it really comes as no surprise, I love her. I love her kids. Heck, I even like her ex. But what I don't like is Alabama, or city living, or being six (6) hours from my family and the places I am "deep in my DNA" familiar with. I don't like that. I have felt cornered and have had a fair amount of resentment that has caused me to act poorly and mistreat people. People that I love. No, I am not alone in this, it always takes two people to fight, but I can and will admit that I have been uneasy to live with, emotionally abusive, and unpredictable. This is my cross to bear. I WILL bear it. I will carry it and I will strike out at anyone that comes along and tries to lift it from my shoulders. Why? Because a hard head makes for a soft ass. I have both and a face with no nose.
Yes, I love my wife.
I wish that we could live in that simple trailer out in the woods where I was when we met. We can't though. We all know we can't.
Today is the 17th. It's September 17th, which is 3 months to the day from my Brother's death. The time is 4:56. In 9 minutes it will be the time that he died. At 6:02 p.m. it will be the time when my youngest sister called me and forever changed my life. I hate answering the phone when family calls now. It scares me.
I miss Jake. I wish we were together, but I have a life here on this flawed Earth where people foster and spread apathy. Here where I along with everyone else is imperfect. I have this life to live until it's my time to leave it and go where the Lord deems I merit being. I will carry out this sentence and try to do so with "good behavior" in spite of my past poor behavior. I will bear this cross just like everyone else.
So now that my wife has told me that it's over and that she is just keeping me grounded in reality when she tells me how I have messed things up, it somehow hurts a little less. My tears come mostly at night, when I realize we are sleeping in separate rooms and I will not feel her soft warm feet rub my calf and warm my heart. That's when my tears mainly come. I see her body and it calls to me. I want to hold her like a husband does and love her. I haven't done so enough and she thinks that I hate her or am not attracted to her. Neither is the truth. I have just built up a wall of misery and have not been able to chip it down enough to love her in all the ways she deserves to be loved.
But it does... it still hurts the second time. I guess scar tissue forms over all wounds. I know I will miss her. I miss her now. I miss so many things. I miss you Jake. It's now one minute after you left that human body and this flawed Earth. Yep. I miss you. I guess there is just o much hurt in the air that the hurt from this isn't noticed over the hurt from that. All I can do is wish love, health, and happiness for my wife. She is a remarkable woman who has overcome things that would drive most people to complete resignation. I wish her all that she deserves, including better than me. I love her, and I miss her and I will keep loving her and miss her more.
I love, I miss, I hurt, I carry, I this, I that.
Welcome to life. It's a hoot.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
The time we had was beautiful
The 40 years was not enough
Taking it from us was like robbery
The void you left is bigger than time
It’s like a force of sadness leaving me crying
I can not forget and remembering hurts
Its like losing you again every time I remember you
I want to so bad, want to see your face
I want so bad to hear your voice
I wish so bad that we were together
But nothing here in this place
Can bring you back
And I pray and I pray
Just to dream about you
But I dream of mundane
And things untrue
I ask God to bring me dreams of you
Or bring me your ghost so we can talk
Mostly my shame and all my regrets
Are driving me sick and wont let me heal
Because all that I should have done
And all I should have said
So much left undone
not having you here
not seeing your face
it never gets easier
each day is a waste
but the times we had
they were so beautiful
your smell, your voice,
all of it perfect in every way.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Back then (which wasn’t all that long ago, early June 2010 to be exact) I thought dying was my greatest fear. I had truly lived a blessed life. I lost all of my grand parents when I was young, but that was really it as far as my experience with my family’s mortality. I can remember that even as a young child the thought of dying would send me into a panic. I had known people that died, and I had seen people die. I had helped to try and save a few people who died despite my efforts. It had always been traumatic, but it was always something I could eventually shake off.
I always had a healthy respect for my own mortality and even though I participated in dangerous activities such as riding motorcycles, hunting, deep sea fishing in Alaska and many dangerous military activities I always made a reasonable attempt to be safe. For instance, I would not play golf or fish if it happened to be lightening outside, or I always wore a helmet while riding, even in places with no helmet laws. I didn’t want to be injured or killed, so I tried to think safely.
Times change. Life happens all around you and then one day everything you thought you knew is different.
I’ve always been bad with times and dates. I basically remembered three birthdays in my family, mine, my mother’s, and one of my nephews. I was able to remember my nephew’s birthday because it was on Halloween. Dates can mean all sorts of things to people. Some are exciting and joyous, some are important dates to be remembered or observed, and some are dates that mark life changing events.
The times and dates that changed my life are: June 12th-16th, and June 17th, 2010, 5:05 p.m., and 6:02 p.m.
June 12th through June 16th was when I was supposed to drive back to Louisiana to spend time with my Mother and my Brother, but was unable to leave town because of car troubles.
June 17th is when my Brother died. It was a Thursday and he died at 5:05 p.m., and I found out at 6:02 p.m. 6:02 p.m. on that Thursday afternoon (a day which had been pretty good for me up to that point) of June 17th, 2010 is when everything I thought I knew and felt about life changed. It changed in one horrible second after answering my cell phone. The world became a different place, family gained a new meaning, and I became a different person. They say you never get over something that terrible. They say you learn to live with it and each passing day becomes unnoticeably easier than the day before. They say that eventually you start to remember the good memories and are able to laugh and smile. They say a lot of things, but none of it means anything until you get that call or knock at the door. That’s when the terrible wisdom of the ages rushes into your mind and heart like a runaway train.
June 17th at 6:02 p.m. is when my forever became “no more” and everything I thought I knew about death and loss became real in my mind. I’ve often heard of older folks or terminally ill people saying that death no longer frightened them. They somehow had come to a place in life where it wasn’t scary, and to some it was even welcomed. I thought they surely must be insane. Now I know better. The thought of my own mortality no longer frightens me. I have faith in God, and I believe in the supreme sacrifice that Jesus made for me so that I could enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. I also have faith that my Brother Jake is now in Heaven. The thought of dying isn’t scary to me anymore because I have faith that the moment my soul loses it’s spark and my body expires, I will open my eyes and see that lopsided grin of Jake’s. I long to see Jesus and truly know God, I long to have the wisdom of the ages availed to me, and I long to be in eternal paradise… but I so long to see my Brother again. I dream of walking side by side with him, sitting with him, eating and drinking, laughing, talking. I long to be in the glow and warmth that Jake’s amazing soul had always put off and surely now must be innumerably more intense.
Today my forever is no more, but I know that someday it will be back, and it will be real. It will truly be forever.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I'm getting ready to head out to derby practice. We have a home bout coming up against the Chattanooga roller girls and we hope to have a win. I have to stay on these girls and keep their nose to the grindstone, but it's fun. I wish you could come see a bout, I know you would just love it and maybe even find a good woman! ;)
Anyway, I love you and you never leave my heart or thoughts. I look forward to seeing you again someday and never leaving your side.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
It's been a while since I wrote to you. Usually when I write it's to tell you how to take car of some kind of animal, or where the best woods around my house to hunt in are. I just wanted to tell you that I really miss you. It's been a long time since I saw you and got to hug you, or to kid around with you and share a laugh. I just got back from momma's house the other day. I drove up and spent some time with momma, dad, Lori, and Shari. I even got to see some of the grand-nephews and nieces!
We're getting ready to send Malcolm off to school. He'll be living in the dorms with lots of other kids but he'll get to come home regularly. It's going to be tough sending him to school, but it's the best thing for him. We all know that he has the potential for a good and independent life, and this school is going to be the key to making that happen. We're going to miss him and worry about him. Maybe if you get a chance you can check in on him from time to time. I would really appreciate that. I think Add and Bella are going to be OK, but we're worried that other family who love him so much can't see what a great opportunity this is. We're hoping they'll come around in time as they see the positive changes in Malcolm.
Momma told me she saw you in a dream the other night and that it really made her heart feel better. I really wish that I could have a dream like that. It's still really hard for me to look at your pictures because it just reminds me of the terrible truth as we humans see it. It's impossible to imagine what Heaven is like, so I can't conceive of what things are like for you, I just know they're wonderful. But I miss you, and I am an imperfect human, so my grief and selfishness stand in the way of knowing that you're in a better place than this war torn, hate-ridden world we live in. I have my own share of hate. I'm going to try to give it over to the Lord though. Knowing that some terrible person hurt your heart is almost more than I can carry around. The "Buddy" in me compels me to act like a grizzly bear protecting it's family, but the "Lance" in me compels me to keep myself in check so that our families aren't further hurt. It's so hard. It's not for me though, it's for them. If it were just me, I wouldn't care. Anyway, you know what I mean so I won't go into it any more.
I finally started talking to dad again, I wish you could have been with us when we started talking. I know how powerfully good it would have made you feel. It's just another of my regrets. I also got saved, because it was heavy on my heart and I remember how concerned you were for me. Don't worry, I took care of it. I may be slow, but I come around eventually.
I will keep trying to be a better person, to help our families, and to be a better Christian. I miss you and I love you and some day we'll get to see each other again. I look forward to that time more than words can say.
I love you.
Your brother Buddy.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
It's hard for the other people in my life to understand this, and for that I am so sorry. So sorry. I love my wife and children, my parents and sisters, my two dogs that I've had for the last eleven years... but I am so overcome with loneliness and grief that I can not smile. I can not eat. I feel like I am just marching in place.
My Brother. Oh how he was such a sweet person. He loved me and I him, he loved us all and cared so much for us. I missed the last six months of his life and we seldom spoke on the phone. There was no problem between us, life had just taken us in our own directions, like the flowing river that it is. Now all I feel is deep, deep regret that I didn't swim against that river and make more of an effort to be in his life. After all, he was truly my best friend. I will always feel like I let him down by not staying in touch. I have an anger for myself for allowing this to happen. I was the big brother. It was my job to be the one to keep the ties strong and I failed. Now it's all gone. There will never be another dinner with him, or fishing or hunting trip. There will never be another chance to help him with a project, or to just see him while visiting my mom. Never another hug and an "I love you, Brother" when I would bump into him somewhere in town. It hurts so much and it is so big and awful that I can not wrap my mind around it. It still hasn't sunk in like I know it will someday. I still can not completely accept that he is gone, but at the same time I do and that is why I am so miserable and filled with loneliness.
I don't know when or if I will ever get past this, but I am sorry for the way it must surely be affecting the rest of my family. To my wife, it is not you. You are just as beautiful as you have ever been, my heart still loves you and needs you. To my kids, both two and four legged, I still love you and am not angry or displeased with you, you are all wonderful and I am so proud of you. To my parents and sisters, I love you and pray that you all are having less difficulty with this than I am.
I love you all, but my heart is so broken that I do not know how I will ever put it together again.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I can't remember seeing him alive and it's breaking my heart. I almost can't remember his voice. I can't look at pictures of him because it hurts so much. I hate being alive without him. I hate so deeply not having him with me. I've had my heart broken before, but this is beyond that. This is like having your eyes cut out and knowing you'll never see again, or having your back shattered and knowing you'll never walk again.
This hurt will never go away.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I asked him what it was, thinking he was say that he missed his mom or would miss his brother who is soon going off to school, but he said "I miss Jake."
And that's all he said, but he said it with a deep and genuine sadness. I told him that I do too, every moment for the rest of my life.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Last week I was walking up my driveway thinking of Jake and wishing that I could just hug him once more, and I realized that my arms were out in front of me, encircling the empty air.
I pray Dear Lord, give me strength. I know that it is not my place to understand your will. I ask Dear Lord that you give me the strength, that you help me find the strength to accept it. I ask Dear Lord that you have pity on me and that you have mercy on me. I know that you are powerful beyond all measure and that anything you will can and will happen. I know that you can and often do teach us harsh lessons that we think of as cruel. We do not understand these lessons and often our faith in you comes into question. I ask you Dear Lord that you bolster my faith, that you make me like a rock in my faith. I ask that you make me thirsty to know you better and that you compel me to read and learn more about you.
I pray Dear Lord that you drive me to be a better man, to take responsibility for the things in life that are mine to own up to. I ask that you help me find the strength, wisdom, and patience that I need in order to be all the things to all the people in my life who need me, and whom I love. I ask Dear Lord that you compel me to never forget to do more for others than I do for myself. I ask for a servant's heart, Dear Lord. I have been humbled and my world is shaken to its core. I ask that you build me up, Lord. I ask that you guide me to do the right things, and to be a better person and to be the Christian that you wish for me to be.
I ask that you give strength and all the things that I ask for myself to my family as well. I ask that you keep us all close together, and that we never forget how to love each other, and that we always love, honor, and respect each other. I ask to be a better son, a better brother, a better husband, and a better father.
This is my prayer, Lord. I pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ and ask that you hear my prayer.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
When we are wrong it is the most terrible kind of wrong in the world. Without my Brother I have no care for life. I took him for granted, thinking him being younger he would always be here with me. I was so terribly wrong.
Even though I rubbed his hair and held his hand while he lay there in his casket I still can not accept that he is gone. I feel like there is a place somewhere where if I go and wait, he'll come along and we can go on living as Brothers and best friends. If I could just find that place. I feel dead inside. I feel empty and even though there are people in my life who love me, I feel alone. I am wracked with regrets about what I should have done, or should have known, or could have done or said to make things different.
I dream of him and we are doing things, going places. Mostly I am trying to keep him safe in my dreams. I feel like there is a stop watch or an hour glass at work and I an desperately trying to gain control of a bad situation and make it turn out all right, and then when I awake... I know that I have failed, and nothing is right.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Yesterday I finally had the tooth removed. They put me under and cut it out. I can finally look forward to some relief when this thing heals. Did someone say "ice cream"? Oh yeah!!!
Friday, January 1, 2010
I believe that 2010 is going to be a good year. It will present it's share of challenges, but I believe it'll be filled with love, laughter, and happiness.
God blesses me daily. I am thankful for the blessings and lessons he bestows upon me and wish the same for all of you.