Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cooler than the flip side

Uncle Kracker sings it best in his song "Smile".  ATM just makes me smile.

Honestly I really was not sure when he came along if I was ready to date.  NoDIY really soured the grapes of dating.  I had turned back on an online profile that I had but had not done anything with it and really was on the fence about if I wanted to even be on there.  But, then he messaged me and he seemed too perfect and I thought, maybe?  At worst, I would lose two hours of my life, to never get back?  It could not hurt, could it?

Well, as they would say, the rest has been far.  He has been the well kept secret to a certain degree.  I mean we have dated for four months now and he is just now making the blog...that is a pretty good secret.

For our first meeting/date, we went to a wine bar and had a couple of glasses of wine and just talked.  I should point out that I was way under dressed compared to the suit he was sporting, as he had come straight from work.  I will say that it was my first experience having someone pull a chair out for me, in a good way.  After the wine, we walked across the street to a Louisiana cafe for some Cajun.  We shared some appetizers and just talked the night away.  It felt like we were there for hours but do not think it was more than two hours.

He is one of four boys and grew up in Philadelphia.  Both of his parents and a brother have passed and for different reasons does not have much contact with his other two brothers.  It truly is probably the one thing that is completely different in our lives.  He played five years of minor league baseball.  Part of his contract allowed him a free education so he made the most of it!  After the minor league baseball came a stint on the pro golf circuit.  No idea how one manages that since the swings are completely different but who am I to judge.  He is now in the real world with the rest  us and working the ranks up in the banking world, hence the name ATM.  He is a church man and attends services weekly at St. David's Episcopal Church.  I have never been but hear it is not a far cry from the Catholic world.

Since he started with Texas Star Bank a few months ago, the time that we do get to spend together is not as much as I would like but at the same time, so absolutely enjoy the realm of just dating and taking things as they come.  No matter how much time we have together, or what we do, we always have a good time and end up laughing.  Dates have ranged from brunch on Sunday's after we both go to Church to running errands that we have to going to this little dive bar to have drinks and watch the old & the young dance.

I truly have went 360 with ATM from where I was.  I have a true gentleman that opens doors, pulls out chairs, carries the shopping bags (I really want to test how far he'll go on this one) and orders for me.  He works hard and is passionate about his career.  He has a faith and practices it.  He has his own place and a dog.  He does not feel it is necessary to drink all the time and alcohol does not consume the relationship.  (This makes Momma Bear happy). 
Although there is one qwirk I hope someone can explain...I still do not understand the concept of why I have to walk to the inside of him on sidewalks, etc.  I guess it's so he gets hit first?  But he is pretty insistent on it, so I just go with the flow and learn to give up some of that independence. 

He definitely has been the positive I have needed in my life and the rock that has helped me with the tough times we have gone through with my little brother.  He has been stead fast and has not made a run for the hills when NoDIY went crazy, instead asked if I needed anything.  It's easy to say I am truly blessed for him entering my life and he makes me happy.

"Don't know how I lived without you
'Cuz every time that I get around you
I see the best of me inside your eyes
You make me smile
You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like the gold
Buzz like a bee
Just the though of you can drive me wild

Oh, you make me smile"

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

They always say it is out with the old to make room for the new.

Well, I don't think there could be a more fitting day to blog about the old so I can start sharing things about life with the new.

Oh , NODIY.  Where does one begin. Honestly, until September of last year, things were good.  We had our ups and downs but overall, things were good.  Of course, I had some pretty thick blinders on but what did I know.

Our trip back to Nebraska in September was not what I had ever hoped for or imagined.  At that point in life, I imagined a future with him.  But, you take two alpha males, stir in a lot of booze and how quickly can things get so ugly so fast.  Things were said, people became offended and punches were thrown.  It was the beginning of a long end.

NODIY headed back to St. Louis to finish up his job in the wee hours of that following Monday morning.  It was a job that continued to drag on and on and on.  Of course, through the course of things, I some how was the one that was to blame.  I don't know how or why but that was his thinking.  I was suffering from Bells Palsy and he wanted to do nothing to do with me.  He wouldn't take my calls, rarely answered texts, it was a mess.  I was trapped in limbo of not knowing if we were going to have a future or if we were.

Eventually he made his way back home mid-December.  Ironically he came home without a dime in his pocket from a job that he lived at his sister's house to do.  He also didn't send a dime my way during that time either.  But when you live together, you at least have to try, or so I thought.  That was what relationships that were meant to last do, if the going gets tough, you work at it.

By the end of January, things had not improved at all.  His mom, niece and great niece came for a visit to help him with his business taxes.  Ironically he was too busy with work, aka sitting on the back porch smoking cigarettes and talking on the phone, to help with anything.  I, on the other hand, was working 8+ days and coming home to cooking dinner, watching the baby and entertaining.  The last night of the visit we were laying in bed and he just blew up at me about how dirty the house was and how embarrassing it was that his mom had to clean and how rude I was to them.  I went to the couch and he came out and started yelling at me in full ear shot of his family.  I was done.

The next day was the Super Bowl and he thankfully he left.  I knew things were done and he just needed to move out.  I was treated to him coming home at 3:30 in the morning and him feeling the need to wake me up in his drunk state.  It started with we need to fix things to quickly turning to how terrible I was, my family was, blah, blah, blah when he didn't get the answers he wanted.  I was finally able to get him out of the room and lock the door but it didn't slow him down.  Threatening me, threatening the family, the list went on.  I just wanted sleep and I also knew that calling the police would have made matters that much worse.  Eventually I fell back asleep around 6 am.

The following day was made making calls.  Sadly he was a squatter ($500 in 6 months for bills) and he had rights.  I had to give him 30 days notice to vacate before I could evict.  Pretty sad in my mind but not much I could do.  So, that evening, I kindly served him his eviction notice.  He had 30 days to get out.

It was the longest 30 days of my life.  I was treated to at least a couple more nights like the Super Bowl night as clearly he forgot I was the one that worked a real job.  I knew things were done and how different we really were.  He was LAZY to a new level.  He could have made great money at what he did if he started a day before 9 or 10 in the morning and actual did work.  My family will tell you the horror stories of how he left me mow the lawn in my walking boot while he relaxed...he was tired from working so hard.  Clearly by the end of the 30 days, I was done and wanted him out and wanted to move on.

Of course, he was not going to make it easy.  With a day left in his 30 days, he was showing no signs of moving out.  So, I did what I had to do and went crazy on him.  I started the texting early in the morning and by noon, he was packing his crap to move out.  It's amazing how much 'stuff' he had that was of no value.  So much stuff he needed a U-haul.  By 7 pm, 4 pick up truck loads and a U-Haul later, he had his stuff out.  I cried and mourned the good parts of the relationship that we had. 

I wish that was where things ended but they didn't.  He continued to show crazy colors.  He still had a few things that needed to be picked up.  He showed up at 10:30 at night, full knowing I was in bed threatening me with mail fraud because I had a stack of his mail.  I just wanted done, so I opened the garage door and started hucking into the driveway the shit that remained.  After it was out, I told him to leave and never contact me again.  Then he had the nerve to ask if he could come inside to see the dogs.  Go to Hell were my words.  Two weeks after coming back to get the last of his stuff, he started texting me and telling me what a terrible person I was, how fat I was, how he had some hot new girlfriend and they were in love and going to get married and have kids, blah, blah blah.  I kept asking him to stop, he wouldn't and well now I have a new cell number and know I will never hear from him again. 

The funny part of the whole story is my Hispanic neighbor asked me where he went.  I told him we were done and he was gone for good.  If he ever saw him near the house, call the police.  He then proceeds to tell me how he told his wife that one month of him moving in, he knew we wouldn't last.  He said "They no last".  She told him that was nice.  He said, "Look at her garage...before he move in...meticulous...he move in, stuff, crap everywhere.  You can't walk through it.  They no last."

The Thursday after he moved out, March 14th, a new chapter began with ATM.

Here is to Independence Day, to a day where we celebrate Freedom, I celebrate Freedom with NoDIY and the new found Freedom I have with ATM.

Monday, July 1, 2013


“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”

― Russell Brand

I write today's entry with a heavy heart. However, I write today's entry so you know the whole story. The rumors and the judgments make it so much more difficult. At this time all we ask is for prayers that the help is taken and comfort to the rest of us.

On Friday, June 28 the family made a decision that forever changed our lives and the life of our little brother. It was by no means an easy decision and one that was done with a forever heavy heart.

As most know, or have assumed, Junior was a drug addict. He has been one since his high school years. To what level, I don't think any of us really know or probably will never get a truthful answer to. We know there was the obvious marijuana, but we also know there was at least cocaine and prescription pain pills of oxycontin. Of course, with the drugs came the poor choices and bad decisions that also resulted in the 3 DUI convictions.

It's so hard to write this. I still remember that sweet innocent little brother that use to come visit me in college. He was such a chatter box and some days I wish he would just be quiet on those drives to Hastings. Everyone loved having him around, I was proud to have him visit.

To some level, I realize today that I mourn the loss of my baby brother. That loving kid has been gone for quiet some time. He really didn't talk to anyone much because I think he was just too high to do so. It breaks my heart because the last visit home in April, he said some pretty hateful things to me. Of course, I realize that it was the drugs talking but also hope that is not the last time I ever hear from him. He might be so angry at us that it just might.

Sadly, the drugs really took hold of him this year. He was no longer any semblance of a brother or son that we knew. As most know, he was not at sausage making this year. What you do not know is that he spent that weekend ransacking my parents and brother's homes looking for any kind of pain pill. My visit at Easter was hard in that it was the first that light was being shed on the level of addiction he now was at. He was stealing things from the house and pawning them for drugs. He was stealing checks and using credit cards without permission. He no longer cared who he was hurting, he just wanted a fix.

Of course, we confronted him. I will not say it was an all out intervention. The fence was split on what to do. On one hand, you wanted him to be the brother & son you loved, you wanted to trust that he would get help. On the other, you feared that he would just keep stealing and hurting those that he loved the most, just for a fix.

On Friday, June 28, we learned that the drugs were still winning. One of his friends called us concerned because he was so "hopped up on pills, he kept falling asleep trying to light a cigarette." We then realized the stealing had continued. The amount of money that was stolen this year through checks and credit cards makes me sick to my stomach. I just do not get how you can do that to your own family. Let's just say that what was taken in two months, most would say you were half way home to a good salary for the year. He was in way deep. He had found a "friend" that would run the credit card numbers for purchase and a lot extra and give him the cash. It was easily $200 a day. How did one not know? It was way too easy for him.  He lived at home and could intercepts the bills.

Through the course of everything, we learned that there was a warrant for his arrest for him not completing the probation for his 3rd DUI. On that Friday, we all agreed that the best place for him to be was in jail. A place where he can get clean and hopefully get treatment for his addiction.

So on Friday evening, the Lancaster Sheriffs office was contacted to notify them of his location for the warrant. The Sheriffs office was very considerate of my parents and wanted to try and make sure that the arrest did not happen at their home. Unfortunately due to another call, they missed him coming home. So, around 5 am, the deputy handling the case was contacted and shortly thereafter, 4 deputies arrived at my parents home to take the shell of a brother and son away.

It is and has been the hardest decision a family would ever have to make. A decision you hope that you never would have to see in your life time for either yourself or anyone close to you. There is never a moment in life that it is easy to have your son or brother arrested. We pray that the decision that was made was one that will save his life and that maybe one day we will have that son and brother back.

Obviously at the time I write this, we do not know how long he will be there but we hope that it is for a good while and that he can get his life back on track. I share this today to spare my family some of the questions of what happened and why he will not be at my parents anniversary. You can never understand the level of hurt and pain this has caused all of us.

My brother faces a lifelong fight. A fight that I believe I speak for all of us in that we will embrace him and help him if he can stay clear of the drugs, stealing and lies.

We just ask that you pray for my brother that he embraces his addiction and is willing to accept the treatment for it. We ask you to pray that he will be able to walk a sober life the rest of his days. We ask that you pray that he can forgive us and some day love us for the decision we made. We ask that you pray for our family, we all hurt and all grieve in our own ways for that brother and son that has been missing for so long. We finally ask that you respect our privacy as we try and make sense of all of this and we mourn the loss of a brother and son we may never get back. 

For now, though, he is in a place that he cannot get his next fix and maybe one day thank us for making the decision that saved his life.