“It’s all about to change.”
My life was on a stable track, an even keel, relatively speaking. Married at 19 to Shelley, I became a father at 21 (to F) and again at 23 (to J). A university education followed fatherhood as priorities shifted and gelled, culminating in a BSc in Chemical Engineering. Next came the career. And life, of course. Life is the tapestry against which our struggles, steps forward and retreats occur. I changed jobs some, we moved around some. We had many adventures.
Accounting for (and in spite of) the dysfunction that seems to be present in every extended family, our lives rolled down the tracks pretty smoothly, passing all the stations and checkpoints that one is “supposed to” in modern life. House, pets, kids growing through adolescence into adulthood.
The kids were raised into pretty good model citizens which meant that the empty nest years were upon us. We looked ahead to the adventures that awaited us next. Career changes? Life changes? Major upheavals were being considered and in a positive sense.
Then everything suddenly changed with a diagnosis of malignant melanoma in 2005. Shelley died shortly after our 25th wedding anniversary in 2006. Our plans, our life had run off the rails.
I fell into despair. And almost lost the will to go on.
But there is something out there that we cannot see, cannot know. And it – whatever it is – had other ideas.
A combination of a series of events, much healing and a lot of work on my part ultimately led to my meeting a kindred spirit. At first only virtually. Then by voice through the telephone. And then in person.
I married Ann in 2007 and became a dad a third time (to K).
My life is on a new set of rails now and moving forward again. Sometimes I get a glimpse of the old rails in the rear view. Sometimes it makes me sad. But sometimes it makes me smile. Of course, I have my two eldest to remind me of the old rails, but I am in no danger of forgetting. There are times as well, when I might see the old rails from where I am now. Unused and weed choked, though, as they have become the path not taken. Not by choice, but by happenstance.
I was never big on journalling, but I have found that writing things down has been very helpful since I was first widowed. Many of my early widowhood writings were public – on a public message board – but I had those taken down. Mind you, not before I saved the important (to me) ones. I may make them public again. Or I may not.
In the meantime, I plan to utilize this blog as an outlet to formulate my thoughts, discuss pretty much anything that is front of mind on any given day, and to learn and grow. And plot the path of my new life’s rails.