Prompt 97: Write the First Line of your memoir

Writing a memoir is something that I will do someday. The first line of my memoir is “It had already been long and difficult summer. We had hoped the worst was behind us.”

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Writing a memoir is something that I will do someday. The first line of my memoir is “It had already been long and difficult summer. We had hoped the worst was behind us.”

It was a crazy summer. We had dealt with a frequent turnover of the nannies from our children, a flood, issues and misunderstandings with bills and four days without electricity.

We thought the worst was behind us. We finally had about a month of tranquility from the end of July through the fourth week of August. Things finally seemed to be getting back to normal as school began.

The day before the school year began, my wife got sick. She spent nearly seven hours in the ER with the doctors trying to figure out what was wrong. They gave her a pain killer, I drove her home and everything seemed to be ok.

The next day as school began she had severe nausea and had to go to the nurse’s office at school. I later took her to the doctor. They sent her back to the ER of a different hospital.

That afternoon they admitted her to the hospital. She would stay for four days before being released. He stint at home would last about 12 hours before she was readmitted.

Less than 48 hours later she became paralyzed because of a misdiagnosis from an illness. It was the most devastating that I have ever dealt with. Her life and the life of our children were going to be changed forever.

There was a lot to consider and ponder in the short term and long term. So many questions to be asked and answered.

Unfortunately, things turned into a power struggle more than what was in her best interests or the interests of our children. Her family ultimately won out in every way.

I cannot say that I was surprised. Her devotion was frequently much greater to everyone in her life than it was to me.

Prompt 94: What’s the Most Consequential Act of Your Life? Good or Bad?

The most consequential act of my life was the moment I sent an instant message to my ex-wife. It was mostly good.

The most consequential act of my life was the moment I sent an instant message to my ex-wife. It was mostly good.

Being with her gave me “the best day(s) of our life”. The best and some of the worst days of my life were being with her. When we were alone its was usually the best. When everyone else got involved is when things were difficult.

What could have been a very inconsequential act and one that would have very easily been long forgotten is one I will always remember. I sat at the computer with my IM box open. I kept going back and forth in my mind whether or not to send her the message.

I had been online dating for about five years. I had been on AOL in the chat rooms and iming women for about seven. We even used AOL and some of the dating sites to find people for our soccer team.

As I contemplated sending the message, I thought about my past successes and failures. Three of my good friends at the time I had met on AOL. Another friend I had met on a dating site.

We have big decisions throughout our lives. Sometimes a small one can change the course of our lives. I finally sent an IM and we messaged that night. About two weeks later we went out for the first time.

We would date for two years and got engaged on our second anniversary. Less than five months later we got married. We had actually basically been engaged for about five or six months by the time I made it official and put a ring on her finger.

The only people who knew were the temple, my mom, and my aunt. My aunt is a professional wedding planner and planned the wedding, my mom helped me with the ring and we had to reserve a date at the temple.

I often think I married the right person from the wrong family. On our second date, she told me her family was in her words “dysfunction junction”. Little did I know just how dysfunctional they were.

There was a woman I was pursuing for nearly two years when I met her. The other woman came from a much more stable family and I often wonder how much different my life would have been.

When I was dating my ex I was never really sure if she was “the one”. What I did know is that I cared about her more than anyone else I had dated. I had gone out with some women after a few dates and then not pursued things.

While I never wanted to hurt any women, with her it was much different. The thought of hurting her was much greater than it was with anyone else.

Sending that instant message changed my life forever. I sent me on the path or getting married, having children with her, having to deal with a life-altering illness she had and her filing for divorce.

As with most people who have been married and specifically those that have been through illness and or divorce, that consequential act of sending the instant message was both good and bad.

Being with her was everything I dreamed of. Unfortunately, the dream turned into a nightmare she gained custody of our children in spite of not being able to take care of them. It had been two years and I haven’t seen them.

What began with love, promise and hope has turned into devastation, loneliness and often despair. As an I near a milestone birthday I search for new ways to define myself and the newest most consequential act of my life.

Prompt 11A: You Can Choose Any Dream to Dream Again Tonight. Which One do you Pick and Why?

There would not be one dream I pick again.

There would not be one dream I pick again.

I would pick a compilation of multiple dreams.  When my ex-was hospitalized I had multiple dreams if her feeling better. I’ve also dreamt of us still being together and raising our children.

Who knows dreams tell us? Our subconscious is a strange and fascinating thing. Sadly dreams are often it not mostly better than reality.

 

Prompt 83: A Moment When You Wanted to Younger Than You Were

The moment I wanted to be younger than I am is less about age and more about being in a better place in my life.

The moment I wanted to be younger than I am is less about age and more about being in a better place in my life.

I’ve spoken extensively about my divorce and the ensuing custody battle I went through. I have often felt through my entire marriage and subsequent failure of it that I married the right person from the wrong family.

Those thoughts have subsided slightly as the more comes out, but I often wonder how much of the decision-making process is my ex and how much is her sister and brother-in-law.

The first year we were dating and then four years later when we had our first son through about six weeks before our second child a daughter was born was bumpy but still the best time in my life. It could have been any age.

I didn’t get married until later than most and had a child older than many people do. My ex used to call the times we would go out with just the two of us and our son. We called it a tridate. We didn’t have a ton of money. It was far more about the time spent together and where we went than what we were doing.

We would go downtown and find a place in an ethnic neighborhood that was reasonable to try. In the summer would attend festivals. It was everything I had spent 20-25 years dreaming about.

I had always wanted to have my own family and raise children with the woman I loved and chose to share my life with. Almost losing her first through an illness and later to her family and then divorce was devastating.

She was eventually laid off from her job 16 months before become sick. It was three days before we moved into a single family home after living in a townhouse for three and a half years. The layoff came less than two months before our daughter and a second child was born.

We received at the time what seemed like the shock of our lives when we became pregnant with twins about three months after child number two was born. We didn’t find out until ten weeks into the pregnancy.

My ex-went back to work three and half months after we had twins. A year to the date she became ill and it changed our life forever. We never got to be a family. I would like to go back to the time when we were a family. It’s something that will be lost forever and something I will likely never get to experience again.

Prompt 74: What is the Meanest thing you’ve said or done to someone else.

The old adage is that the pen is mightier than the Sword. We all have said and/or done things we wish we could take back. They often occur with those we love most.

The old adage is that the pen is mightier than the Sword. We all have said and/or done things we wish we could take back. They often occur with those we love most.

I cannot narrow down one thing that is the meanest thing I have ever said or done. I can remember two events that stick out in the meanest thing I have ever done.

When I was in eighth grade there was a woman who was overweight. Some friends and I called her fat. At fourteen should we have responsibility for what we say or are we young and naive and don’t understand the power of our words?

The truth is probably somewhere in between. After we said it, she went out of the classroom crying. I remember it being in science class. It’s something I have always regretting saying since. I am friends with the woman on facebook. She no longer lives in the area.

She is married with children and I am glad to see she is living a seemingly normal life. We often don’t know how what we do or say can impact a person’s life.

The other event came as an adult. Arguments with our significant others can often hurt the most. This is the person who is supposed to love us, protect us and be our most loyal confident.

Do we even remember what causes most disagreements in a relationship? We had many. There were a lot of obstacles in our relationship. The particular argument in question I don’t even remember what the original cause was.

This particular disagreement occurred in what became a turbulent summer for us. Before I got in some trouble and she became very sick from an illness in the middle of an argument I said ” I hope you die”

I had even thought that about another person only once in my life. That came in sixth grade and my best friend’s father would not allow us to play basketball in their driveway because they had just put new sod down. I was upset and thought to myself I hope he dies.

A relatively short time after that my friend’s sister who was only a year or two older than us found their father passed out in the shower. He had a heart attack and died at the age of 38.

Since that time I had tried as much as I could to carefully choose my words. These are not thoughts and actions I am proud of. We can all learn from our mistakes at any age. It’s often difficult to think something through in the heat of the moment. Everyone has done or said something in their life they would like to take back. As we get older, hopefully, those actions diminish.

Prompt 71: Your Memoir is Becoming a Movie Who Should Play You? Desrcibe the Opening Shot

I currently have three chapters of a memoir written and this thought recently came to me. I would choose Ben Affleck.

I currently have three chapters of a memoir written and this thought recently came to me. I would choose Ben Affleck.

I began my memoir when my ex became ill. She is paralyzed from the neck down from an illness. I view the opening shot as Affleck playing me taking care of our four children and calling my mother who would have to be played by Linda Evans. In the 1980’s everyone would comment how my mom looked exactly like her then.

I called my mom when my ex was having what was thought to be a routine procedure. I asked her on the phone to come watch our four children so that I could be at the hospital for my ex. She refused so I was unable to be there.

About two hours later I received a call from the doctors that she woke up from her procedure. The pain she had been suffering from for a week had completely dissipated. This was because she had no feeling from the neck down.

Before this had occurred, the hospital had called me and asked them to get my sister in law and mother in law to stop badgering the doctors.  I had to call my mom again to appraise her of the situation and insist on her coming over to take care of the kids so I could go to the hospital as my ex was rushed from one hospital to another for emergency spinal surgery.

That would end the opening scene. Me, my brother (who is a Doctor), mother in law and sister in law stayed at the hospital all night while the surgery on my ex took place. The opening scene would end at the first hospital. I remember my ex being rolled out on a Gurnee to the ambulance and not being able to talk mouthed “What happened”. It was heartbreaking. The next scene would be at the new hospital.

Prompt 40: Describe the Supernatural Experience you Had (or never had but wish you did)

The closest I have ever come to a supernatural experience was when I lost nearly half my blood volume. 

If I had lost one more platelet of blood it would have been half my blood volume. The doctor had forgotten to give me a clotting favor during surgery.

I could have easily sued the hospital but I felt the doctor made an honest mistake and I did not want to sue.

Sitting in the emergency room I had a gun shot victim on one side of me and a patient that had suffered a heart affect on the other. I learned that by listening to the medical personal.

This was the closest I’ve been personally to a near death experience. I was never in danger of dying but I did have to stay in the hospital for five days. This occurred a day after what should have been a routine outpatient surgery.

It probably should have changed my outlook on life. Others could have become more grateful, maybe change the way they think or act. I was still young and once I healed after about six weeks I just went back to how my life was at the time.