Prompt 115: You Awake in Your Childhood bed. You just had a nightmare. What did you dream about?

Prompt 115: You Awake in Your Childhood bed. You just had a nightmare. What did you dream about?

I have generally had a hard time dealing with abstract thoughts. I deal much better in reality. The second of my four divorce attorneys told me I was living a nightmare.

Little did he know how much worse it could get. At the time I lost him I still had custody of my children. Losing them was devastating. I often have dreams about my in-laws. They have destroyed me. Life could certainly become much worse than it is now. I feel like I am living a nightmare.

In many ways, my life is a nightmare. It’s hard to imagine waking up in my childhood bed and it being a nightmare. If we are only talking in terms of the bed specifically I would not want to wake in my childhood bed versus the bed I sleep in now.

I presently sleep in a queen size bed. My childhood bed was a trundle twin bed. Other than my last year of college I slept in a twin bed until I was 29. I can’t imagine having to go back to sleeping in a twin bed.

I was a very heavy sleeper as a child. I can’t visualize nightmares that I had. I remember one storm we had. My bedroom overlooked the patio in the backyard. I looked out in the morning after sleeping through the night and all the patio furniture was strewn all over the place. It’s amazing I did not wake up.

Things that would have kept me up at night as a child was anything that involved being assertive. Stepping out of my comfort zone heightens my anxiety. That remains true today.

Although I had a good childhood a lot of my thoughts from then have faded. I can remember being teased often by schoolmates.

I was told my epidermis is showing, pushed to do things I that made me look and feel foolish and generally felt like an outsider. Having to wake up in my childhood bed and going through that would ultimately be what would cause a nightmare in my childhood bed.

There are some events from my childhood I would love to relive. On the whole, I don’t want to go back there.

One of the biggest things I am proud of is going rappelling off a 100-foot cliff in Israel. It was totally out of character. I was then and still am afraid of heights.

 

Prompt 109: Your Earliest Memory of Being Separated From Your Parents

Prompt 109: Your Earliest Memory of Being Separated From Your Parents

The earliest memory I have of being separated from my parents is when I was about three years old.

When I was three, I went to California with my mom’s cousin. We are not even in touch with him anymore and I don’t remember who it was.

My parents also had a housekeeper that began with my family when I was six months old. She continued working for my parents well into adulthood for all of us. She also has frequently cared for my parents ten grandchildren was well. That included my son twice per week for 18 months when he was a toddler.

I have very little memory of my trip to California. I can remember one picture of the trip amid the Palm trees. It was of me and the cousin. I also vaguely remember flying Pan Am. Eastern airlines somewhat creeps into my memory about that as well. That would not make much sense though.

How come there was an Eastern Airlines and not Western? At least as a major airline. There was also frequent time spent with grandparents growing up.

My maternal grandparents lived in the same area we did, while my paternal grandparents were in another state. I think I once went to visit my grandparents out of state when I was about six or seven. I remember going to a fancy party with my grandfather.

My paternal grandparents were much simpler than my maternal grandparents. The party was something special for my grandfather to go to. It was in the party room of their condo building. I remember having a nice dinner and that there was a band and dancing.

There was also frequent sleepovers at my maternal grandparents because they lived only a few miles from us.

When I was separated from my mom it was much more frequently time alone with my father. He would travel a lot and bring me with him. My brother had been ill frequently as a young child.

My mom had to stay behind to take care of my brother and at times be with him in the hospital. For the most part, we were not separated from my parents very often as children.

 

Prompt 87: Seeing a double rainbow has nothing on that time you were struck with mind-bending, jaw-dropping awe, what did you see?

Seeing a double rainbow has nothing on that time you were struck with mind-bending, jaw-dropping awe, what did you see?

I don’t have a specific time that I had “mind-bending, jaw-dropping awe”.

My experiences are more varied. I was fortunate enough to travel to some amazing places in my youth. A few places stand out more than others.

The first place that I was in awe of was Rocky Mountain National Park in general and it’s the highest peak, Long’s Peak. I got to hike to the summit twice. It’s an awe-inspiring, amazing place that on a clear day you can see hundreds of miles in a few directions.

The first year I ascended to the summit was an overcast day and it was difficult to see. I was able to go back the next year and get to the top on a much clearer day. It was amazing to know I could see a few states that were hundreds of miles away.

The year following being able to hike to the summit of Long’s Peak I spend six weeks during the summer in Israel. While there I got to go to Masada. I had learned about Masada through many years of religious classes. Being able to get to the top of Masada meant a lot more being there than listening to stories about it or seeing it on a slide.

Out of 40 teens and four adult counselors in our group I was the third one to reach the top. My training over the previous few years set the tone for me to be able to be one of the people in our group to set the pace. We made it up for sunrise and it was an amazing experience.

The most beautiful place I have ever been in the United States is Sedona, Arizona. It’s different from any place I have ever been, particularly in the U.S. Its red rocks and mountainous terrain and canyons would inspire almost everyone.

My final sense of awe came in 1994. I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer for the 1994 World Cup in the media area. Because I volunteered for two months leading up to the June kickoff, I was asked to work on the field for the opening ceremonies.

It was an experience that I was truly “struck with mind-bending, jaw-dropping awe.” Being able to do a job that two billion people around the world would like to have been doing was an incredible experience.

I shared the field with international soccer stars, and entertainment superstars Oprah Winfrey, Jon Secada, and Diana Ross. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and American President Bill Clinton were in attendance and yet I had a better view of the action than they did.

These are all experiences I will never forget. Someday I’d like to at least get back to Long’s Peak and Sedona.

Prompt 43: Describe a place where you’ve been to their least like you hometown and explain why.

I‘ve been for fortunate to travel to many places that are very different from my hometown. I even got to live somewhere that was fairly different. 

During two family vacations we went on cruises in the Caribbean that made stops at nearly ten ports between the two. Some of the islands were more like the US than others.

In Cozumel, Mexico there was a Dairy Queen and some other American chains right at the port. Other islands were less American and were much poorer than the United States.

The one that stood out the most to me was Ocho Rios,  Jamaica. When we got off the boat at Port it was dirty, run down and seemed liked there were slums nearby. It was heart breaking. It made me realize how lucky I am to live in the United States and particularly in the area I live in.

In contrast with that area was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been and one of the most amazing things I’ve ever gotten to do.

Dunn’s River Falls is a naturally beautiful place. It’s an incredible waterfall that has natural steps that allow you to climb and walk up the waterfalls.

I wish I would have had more time to spend in Ocho Rios and see more of what makes up the city. Often we when travel we don’t see enough of what makes up another city, state or country.

With a Starbucks on every corner and almost every town having national fast food chains, the world and country has become more homogenized. Celebrating differences, tasting cuisines from other cultures and learning about those cultures is what makes the United States great.

Too many people don’t get to experience life different from their own and/or interact with people they are different than them.

If we all learned to experience cultures and people different from our own it would help greatly to alleviate the hate that has seemed to rise in the last few years globally.

Prompt 38: What’s the Largest Block of Time You’ve Ever Had to Kill? How did you go About It?

The largest block of Time that I even remember having to kill was eight hours in JFK airport. I was with a four group.

I don’t really remember what I did other than playing games with my friends and just chatting. It was at the end of six weeks spent touring Israel. I was the only one in my group that lived in the metropolitan area I am from. Two others lived within a five-hour drive.

Almost the entire group was from the east coast and they had a reunion a few months later. I was on vacation with my family and was unable to attend which made it difficult.

It was a magical summer. How often do any of us have time to kill anymore and what do we decide to do with it?

In present day too much time is spent trying to maximize every second in many ways and yet most of us waste time on social media and /or our phones.

What do we truly take time for? I went through a stretch without a cell phone. I said to one of my friends that he probably liked it better when we are out without my phone. He basically said since I mentioned it I pay more attention to him while I was without a phone.

Go into any airport, train station or children’s activity and the vast majority of people will be on their phones.

Do we even know what killing time is anymore? We strive to maximize time more than we ever have,  yet we waste more time than we probably ever have.

Prompt 24: What was your favorite trip as a child and why?

We traveled a fair amount when I was growing up. We had trips to Florida, Mexico the West Coast of the United States and some closer weekend getaways.

My favorite trip as a child was the six weeks I got to spend in Israel. It’s a beautiful historic place and what you learn has far more meaning as you climb Masada, pray at the Western Wall and swim in the in Red Sea than learning about it in a textbook or having a teacher give a lecture about it.

Israel is beautiful and has mange different types of topography for A small country. Jerusalem is amazing. Beautiful, historic and volatile it can be argued it’s the most important city in the world.

Tel Aviv is more cosmopolitan, similar to New York City, Miami or Los Angeles. Its full of beaches, beautiful people, nightclubs and great restaurants.

The trip was a great preparation for college. There was 40 of us in the group and I did not know anyone in the group before I went. It was an incredible experience and one that forced all of us to grow up quickly.

I’ve been fortunate to travel to some amazing places in my life and have some incredible experiences through travel and at home. That trip packed more into a short period of time than anything I’ve done in my life.

Prompt 16: Write About a Goodbye you didn’t know was a last goodbye

This will likely be my most emotional post. After a nearly three-year battle I lost child custody.

I was outlasted and outspent until I lost custody. The day they were they were taken from me was supposed to last a week. They were taken for a week partly because of a verbal dispute I had with a school administrator.

She had stepped into the middle of the custody battle and exaggerated or lied about things regarding our children. I called her out on it and that was used against me. About a week later in court I continued to be upset with the progression of the case. The children’s attorney then extended to a month.

On the day the kids were better picked up, my son didn’t want to leave and asked me when he would see me again. At the time I told him it was only a week. My ex had the local police escort her to my house to pick up the children.

Almost losing my wife to an illness a devestating. I cried myself got sleep every night the first two months. Losing custody is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life.

Ever since my parents brought my sister home from the hospital when I was 12 I wanted to be parent. By seventh grade I yearned for a girl and as I got older the attention of a woman.

When someone goes through a tragedy with a spouse, they are often told to be strong for their children. Its  often the children that bring the strength. We became each other’s Rock and hoped for the bes for their mom.

I have not seen our children in over a year. The last time I was in court her attorney was attempting to take away my paternal rights. I desperately Hope it wasn’t a final goodbye. Not having them in my life has been soul crushing.