I have been moved in thought to want to talk about my life and how I got here, who helped me, who I helped, who hurt me and who I hurt (that last is a small number thankfully). I don’t know how to go about it without sounding like a saint or a whiner. I am neither. I have also had to think about how to make these statements without sounding like I’m about to off myself (I am not).

First off, there is my mother. She has had lots of cause to completely dissociate herself from me, but felt the obligation to hold on. There have been many dark times between us, but she is still here. Actually, at my age, the fact that she is still alive is a blessing not commonly found. I have always needed her more than anyone could have willingly signed up for, and except for a few periods where “tough love” was probably appropriate (regardless of how I felt at the time), she has always been there for me.

Then let’s start with the angels. There has been one person at least in my life, perhaps others, for whom I had no direct connection and neither of us had any obligation to the other, but who stepped up and helped hold me together at times when I was in the most need. She was a child at the time. The Internet is a wondrous thing, it bring a level of equality unknown by previous generations. “Flaming Lavender” made many phone calls, sent many texts and spent hours in Yahoo Messenger with me at a time when my life was at its darkest. Her advice was the best I was getting of all available sources. I only found out years later that she was only 15 at the time. Not a single untoward thing was stated or expressed (should memory serve and not volley). She will forever be in my heart as my sister.

Many of you know I’ve been married 5 times. Two of the resultant mothers-in-law have been angels to me, the first and the last one. My thanks to Edith Smith wherever she is (passed on) and Mary Parks (last I knew, she is still on Earth, but is likely very ill).

I have to be thankful for most of the women who have come into my life in relationships. I am not an easy person to live with, and I am not exactly your breadwinner type. I have done my best, and it has not been enough; some of you have also done your best. I tend to feel incomplete when I am not in a relationship, and if I were a better learner I would have stopped punishing myself and the women in my life and gone solo. But you have each had a place in my heart.

The innocent victims in all this are my two children, Dan and Chandra. I could never be what they needed, and for most of their life I have merely been absent. I’ve made a few attempts to crawl back in, but there is not a place there that I can see. (Let me know if I’m wrong, and I’ll do what I can to fill the hole.) In some way I was bailed out, as Jim did everything in their life that I was slated to do. I’m thankful for him, and very proud of how both my children turned out. I have learned that there have been some lies told about me which make me out to be even less or worse than I was, but that’s what I get for not being around.

I think that’s all I have the energy for at this time. Maybe I’ll get back to it.

May you all be blessed. My presence in some lives has been a large blessing, to others a small one, and to a few a vacuum or negative, but there is love in my heart for all of you who have been a part of me.


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