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Soapbox * Disclaimer – Opinions Are My Own December 23, 2013

soapbox

Anyone that knows me personally knows that I have a slight, if not significant dispute with God.

Actually, it’s quite significant.

I sometimes feel like a hypocrite because I send my son to catholic school, even though I haven’t been to church in years. Not because I don’t believe in God (even though our relationship is very strained.) It’s because I don’t want to sit in the back of church sobbing, that’s why I haven’t been to church in years.

Look, I have rules. The two things I don’t talk about ever on Social Media:

  1. Religion
  2. Politics

Because honestly to whatever, whomever, you do or don’t believe in… I seriously don’t care. If I care about you personally, I will do whatever I can, whenever I can, if you need me I will be there to help you in any way I can.

Then I’ve seen all this crap spewed over Facebook and Twitter over these Duck Dynasty assholes,

Congratulations, you’ve got everyone talking about you. Good for you A&E!

I’m sure the hillbilly’s have never blown anything except a duck call device.

So I suppose I’ll break one of my own rules. Look, my parents paid a lot of money for me to go to catholic school, and I AM PAYING A LOT OF MONEY FOR MY SON TO GO TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL. That, by the way, does not mean that I agree with all of people that call themselves “Catholics” or “Christians” or whatever the hell they like to call themselves these days. It’s been my experience that all the heavy handed “God Squaders” (as I like to call them) are the biggest sinners. They’ll look you in the face and stab you in the back; unfortunately I’ve experienced this first hand.

Shame on you.

That’s right.

SHAME ON YOU.

Have you ever heard the expression “people that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?” While you’re preachin – you might start thinking about practicing what you’re actually preaching.

So why don’t you (that would be all of you barking up this tree)  just shut up?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t the idea be to LOVE?

Love – Beyond – Politics

Love – Beyond –  Religion

Love – Despite differences.

It’s easy if you try.

I think someone wrote a song about that once…..

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The Question I’ve Avoided For 14 Years.. September 24, 2013

me and kam

Until tonight.

“Mom, why did you and dad get a divorce?”

Honestly, I’ve prepared myself for this moment for the last three or four years. I’ve gone through the situation in my head over and over again until it was completely exhausting. I’ve read books, watched so many Dr. Phil shows it’s almost embarrassing, but nothing, and I mean nothing, could have prepared me for tonight when my son asked me that question.

We were just sitting around the dining room table finishing up dinner and doing social studies notes when he looked at me straight in the face and asked “why did you and dad get a divorce?”kam glasses

I sat in silence for what seemed like an eternity, it was probably only a couple of seconds, but it felt like the last fourteen years of my life has suddenly passed before my eyes. I looked across the table at Mr. D who looked as surprised as I was, anxiously waiting for me to answer. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I got my son into counseling about two months ago. He was having some anxiety about being in the eighth grade, high school, puberty, girls, friends, stress – I’m happy I found him someone to talk to, but I wasn’t expecting my usual non confrontational son to ask me about the end of our “happy” family at 7:30 on a Monday night.

The truth is, I should have seen this coming. He was questioning his dad (I use ‘dad’ very loosely) about why he didn’t get any one on one time with him. Why he wasn’t as important as his other kids. Why his “first son” wasn’t as important to him as his other children. I mean I gotta tell you, I’ve always encouraged some kid of relationship with his dad, no matter what it was, but his dad is a poor excuse for a dad. He’s an embarrassment if you want to really know the truth. If you don’t know me, I’m kind of a loud mouth, but I have made the exception with my son’s father, no matter what he says. I’ve watched enough Dr. Phil to know that children learn what they live, and saying something detrimental about his father would someday come back to bite me in the ass. He would resent me, it’s just a fact. I’ve kept my mouth shut, bitten my tongue more times than you can imagine, and it all comes down to that question.

I sat there and looked at my son waiting for him to look away, but this time he wasn’t looking away. He wanted answers, and I suppose it was high time I gave him the best answers I could. So I did.

kambo

I told him that his dad and I were married and that we were both very mean to each other. I told him that when I found out that I was pregnant with him, his dad and I were very excited and optimistic about the future. I told him that when he was born it was the most amazing thing that ever happened to me or his dad. I told him that when he was about a year old his dad and I started having problems, grown up problems, that didn’t have anything to do with him (even though I know kids have an amazing way to feel like everything is their fault.) I told him that we tried the best we could, but in the end, his dad and I decided that being together wasn’t the best thing for him. I did tell him that his dad and I did not do everything we could do to save our marriage. If I told him that we did it would be a lie, he was looking for answers, not lollipops and rainbows. I asked if he ever remembered his dad and I being together, he said no. Which I think is a blessing. I’ll admit I made mistakes, but I honestly gave my best effort the last time with his dad. In the end, he decided other things were more important, which reflects how he is today, and the relationship he has with his son.

The best part of this story is that my son has my husband Mr. D. He’s everything any kid would want in a father. He’s loving, appreciative, patient, kind, funny, responsive, active, I could go on and on, but I don’t want to inflate his ego…

Being in this position is terrible. It’s just a bad situation. The worst part is that I don’t have any answers for my son except for the answers I gave him tonight. I don’t know if that is the end of the questions, I doubt it. At least my answers now (I hope) ensures that he won’t hate me later. Maybe those answers he’s looking for he will figure out for himself, if he hasn’t already.

I know I’ve done my absolute best, I know it. I’m good with that.

 

What I Wish I Didn’t Wear June 17, 2013

necklace sA necklace.

If you work with me or know me you might have noticed I wear a silver necklace. It’s a longer necklace so the charm on it isn’t obvious unless I pull it out or it makes its way out of my shirt. What hangs from that necklace means more to me than most things do. It can’t be replaced. It’s my Dad’s thumbprint.

It’s hard to believe that my Dad has been gone for four years in September.

People leave memories with us that will last for the rest of our lives. Some of the memories my Dad and I shared were the best times of my life. Teaching me about football, and watching me learn to love it. Kameron being born, and what a great Pop he was.  Mr. D and I getting married, knowing that the third time really was the charm.  Going to Lambeau Field together, our first trip together! Watching the Packers play in Indianapolis, tailgating with those silly Indianapolis fans.  Sunday football, coming over to my house every Sunday to watch the Packers play. Catching my first fish.  Teaching me how to jump a car. The difference between a flat head and a phillips head screwdriver. How to check a breaker and change a fuse. How to buy a car. How to make home made french fries. That Mikesell’s Rippled Potato Chips work best with Dean’s French Onion Dip. And the way to his heart was through my deviled eggs. Those are just a few of the millions of things that he taught me.

The selfish part of me missed my Dad, even though I know he’s in a better place.

The worst part about it for me now is that I know he would be so proud of me (not that he wasn’t before.)  He would be so ridiculously proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish. It really has been awesome, and I thank sincerely the people that have (REALLY) supported me (Firebelly Team – Duncan Alney)  -my gratitude and your belief in me is immeasurable. I sincerely from the bottom of my heart thank you. I’m so happy!

Without my Dad there is a space in my heart that can’t be replaced. I don’t get to tell him about the awesome day I’ve had. I don’t have that smile, or pat on my shoulder anymore, he was the one person who always believed in me, no matter what the circumstances.

Things aren’t the same without you Dad, I love you and miss you so much.

I’m kicking ass Johnno, I hope you know.

 

Why I Don’t Like Halloween October 30, 2012

Most of the names in this post were changed to protect the guilty.

 

Right now the kids are getting all geeked up about their costumes, plotting out which houses they will be hitting for the best candy. Every year that passes, I get less and less enthused. I mean Halloween was fun when Kameron was little, now it’s like when is enough enough? You’re thirteen, I’m thinking next year he will be passing out candy instead of giving it away.

When is enough enough?

This post isn’t about candy, it’s about something that most people don’t know about me.

Imagine a 19 year old girl. Just graduated from high school. Worked full-time selling shoes for Nine West because I wasn’t interested in going to college right away, and when your parents tell you they’re not paying for college, you need to explore other options. The options were, live with my parents (yuck), continue working (yay), anything else could just come my way. I was young.

I don’t remember where I met “Chris” it must have been at a party somewhere. Chris was 21, so he could buy alcohol for all the parties . Chris also had just graduated from an in state college with a degree in electronics. He had a fast car, a charming personality, an apartment that I was welcome to stay at whenever I wanted (which pissed my parents off.) He would me make me  feel like I was the only person in the world, and he did for awhile.

We had been dating for a while and Chris decided it was time for me to meet his parents. Terri, his mother, was a nurse. She worked third shift at a hospital in southern Indiana. Chris’s dad wasn’t around. He never paid any child support, never saw Chris, the typical dead beat dad story. Terri got remarried several years later to Bob. Bob, Chris, and Michael (Chris’s older brother) never really got along. I don’t know if it was the stepfather thing, or that he just seemed to be in a rotten mood whenever we saw him. Except when I was around. Bob and I had and instant connection, we both loved IU Basketball. It just happened when Chris and I were dating it was basketball season, and I was able to get tickets for a ballgame. Bob had never been to a game at IU, so that carried a lot of weight, besides the fact that he liked me already. What he didn’t like, and that I really didn’t notice until later that Terri was giving Chris money under the table. I remember Chris being on the phone with his mother asking her how many extra shifts she would be working because he had some bill he had to pay. I should have thought there was something wrong with that, now that I’m 30ish I would totally think there was something wrong with it. It just happened so often, and it never seemed to be an issue that the 19-year-old me didn’t give it a second thought.

That should have been a red flag right?

You have to remember I was 19, and when a handsome guy gets down on his knee to ask you to marry him, it’s pretty overwhelming. My parents weren’t happy. Not that they didn’t like Chris, they just thought we were too young. Then I reminded both of them how old they were when they got married, that pretty much ended the conversation.

We decided on a Halloween Wedding. How much fun is that right? A traditional Catholic wedding, and a costume party reception.Chris even went through the RCIA to become Catholic, I think he did it mostly to please my parents. People loved it. Even my parents warmed up to the idea. So the plan began. We were married on October, 31 on a perfect fall day. Everyone showed up in costumes. The diner was delicious – my family cooked it. The music was scary and fun. It was a fun wedding.

In the mean time Chris and I moved in together. It was a town house on the upper west side of Indy. It was odd, because he worked on the south side, and I worked downtown. While we were in the townhouse we began looking at houses. I think it took us less than three days to find the lovely chateau in Whiteland. Our backdoor lead us right to the park, where I imagined our children would play someday.

Dealing with mortgages in the 90’s was just as difficult as is it now. I took months to get the financing (which Chris fudged the numbers a lot, he was getting his salary and added the money he got monthly, sometimes weekly from his mother.) We begged my grandmother for the down-payment which was $5,000.00 that we promised we would pay back. I somehow knew Chris would never let happen, he talked her into it, he was conniving.

I suggested that maybe we should wait to move, that maybe borrowing money wasn’t the best idea.

That was the first time he hit me. I was in shock. Then he grabbed my face and said “don’t ever question my motives again, I’m doing this for you bitch.” It scared the shit out of me.

We were approved for the house, and the excitement of starting in a new space made me have a little hope that things were going to get better. When my sister was over helping us pack for our move she said something to piss Chris off, I don’t even remember what she said. Chris choked my sister, and came after me. I threw my rings in the snow and swore I would never come back. I went to my parents to stay for a little while. I think they knew what was going on, but I was too ashamed to acknowledge they were right. On the day of my wedding my Dad said to me “you know you can hold my hand and we can walk out of here.” I knew then he was right, but I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I was young and impressions were a big thing to me.

Chris crawled like a dog, promising counseling, a new life in our new house, and he had finally got a full-time job, so the stress was going to go away. I was still 19, and I still wanted to believe him.

So I got married. Not too long after the abuse continued. He would hit me in places that people couldn’t see. Never my face, always my legs, ribs, upper thighs. He would taunt me, “who are you going to tell, no one will believe you, because everyone knows what a whore you are.” This from the man that suggested that I have an abortion after taking a positive pregnancy test six months after we were married. It turned out that I wasn’t pregnant, thank God I wouldn’t be attached to him for the rest of my life.

I began a plan. I don’t know if that is exactly right, I decided that I was going to leave Chris, but I was tremendously afraid that he would kill me .He held a shotgun to my head and swore that he would kill me if I ever left him.  I knew in my heart of hearts that he would kill me. I lived in fear everyday.

I met a friend Susan thorough another person that I worked with. Susan did nails, and from what I saw from Teresa they looked beautiful. Chris and I were making a little more money, so he encouraged me to get my nails done – he was always about appearances, I was living in a fog.

I remember the first time I met Susan at her apartment, she pulled back my sleeves and looked at me. I think she said “are you ok?” I said “no” and “could you just do my nails?” About an hour of getting to know each other Chris showed up to her apartment, just to make sure how things were going (actually checking up on me to see if I was where I said I was.) After playing twenty questions with Susan he decided to leave. After he was gone, Susan asked “are you ok?” I think the expression on my face told her all she needed to know.

The next weekend Susan asked me to go with her to the Bob & Tom Lake Monroe Party. I spoke to Chris about it. We fought, it was bad this time. He kicked down the door, threw everything off the walls, and left me in a corner of the bathroom with fresh bruises and a bloody nose.

When Chris would beat me that severely he would leave all night. I decided when Susan came to my house I was going to the lake. I was going to think long and hard about divorcing Chris. I figured that if was going to get the beating wrath when I got home, so why not have some fun for a few hours? When Susan knocked on my door, it fell right into the living room because Chris had kicked it in the night before.

When I did get home I found the door still kicked in, all of my things knocked off the walls, the coffee table on it’s side..and a note from Chris saying “I made him do this and he wouldn’t be back in the morning because he had to work, but he would deal with me later.”

Then the phone rang, it was Chris. He said” have you been listening to Bob and Tom?” I said “no.” “Turn it on” was all he said, and hung up. I immediately turned on the radio, my friend, Zack Steinke, who I went to grade school and high school with was dead. Dead at the age of 17. The cause of death was the life loving child was wanting to go on a bungee jumping in South Carolina. The elevator that took Zach up to where he would jump snapped and Zach fell to his death in front of his parents. Zach was a thrill seeker, outstanding student, he was the Ferris Bueller of Chatard High School.

I got beaten because I wanted to go to his funeral. “You whore, you probably slept with him didn’t you?” I was paralyzed with fear, but went to the funeral anyway.

After Zach’s death I decided the life I was living was no longer for me. I was going to get killed. So when Chris left for work at a very early hour I left. The only things I took were my clothes, I called my friend Susan, and she just asked where and when. I asked her to meet me at my house between 8:30 a.m and 9:00 am. That way I knew he would be gone. I shoved all of my clothes into Susan’s car and kept saying “I’m sorry.”

Months later we got divorced. He got the house, I got the clothes on my back and my day bed. And my life, I got my life back.

You are stronger than you think, and even then, you are stronger.

 

A Letter To My Husband July 14, 2012

I cant believe that we’ve been married for five years. Five years has gone by so quickly! I still remember the first time I ever saw you. Standing by the pool house with your cream sweater on. You looked so handsome and gentle. I remember after our first date telling a friend “I’m going to marry him.”

Months later we got engaged, and married on July 14, 2007.

Ten days later I lost my job. You told me “don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.” You supported everything I did with enthusiasm and encouragement.

A few months later we had something devastating happen with the kids. I was crushed, you were in so much pain. Again you looked at me and said “I can’t be without you, and I won’t.”

When I had problems with my ex you looked at me and said “Kameron is like my own son, I’ll take care of him.”

When my aunt Jeanne got sick and was in the hospital you sat in the waiting room and held my hand. When she passed away you held me as I cried.

When my Dad got sick and was in the hospital you had to keep things together at home so I could be there for my Dad. When he came home from the hospital you did a lot of homework and cooking so I could hang out with Dad. Part of me died when my Dad died, you know that. It was the darkest time in my life. I cried, screamed, and cried more. I wasn’t good for anyone at all during that time, and you stood by me.

When I wanted to start my company you supported me. I remember you saying “I think that’s a great idea!” It was a few months after my Dad died and I remember feeling good about something when so much had gone wrong.

The point is because of you I now believe that true love exists. I couldn’t have made it without you.

My Mr. D.

With you I’ve seen the pride of a father’s face when his oldest daughter graduated from high school. I also saw the tears that ran down your face the first time she pulled out of the driveway. I’ve seen the love, and encouragement that you’ve given to my son. My son has grown into a kinder more respectful young man because of your example.

With you I’ve experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Sometimes I think how did we get through all of it? One word.

L.O.V.E.

 

The Date Heard ‘Round The World October 21, 2011

Filed under: Stuff — stepheppichdaily @ 1:28 am
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Well, at least to three people.

Sunday, October 22, 2006 the (1-4) Green Bay Packers (with Brett Favre) were playing the Miami Dolphins – in Miami.  It was a typical Sunday afternoon for my Dad.  He got up, went to church, and came over to my house to watch the Packers play.

What he didn’t know is that his “baby” met a man the night before.  A man that she had planned to go meet at a winery around 4 p.m. the next day to do some wine tasting and get to know him (without the crowd of people who surrounded them the night before –  at a party she had crashed.)  Which meant she had to leave her Dad alone, at her house,  in the latter part of a Packers game (an unprecedented event.)

Dad didn’t seem to notice that I didn’t have my typical Packers gear on, he probably thought since their record was so crappy I was testing out a new outfit to help our superstitious minds/Packers karma.   Nothing was out of the ordinary as far as he was concerned.  We had beer, we had chips and dip, we were both cussing and yelling at the game.  He was focused on false starts,  I was watching two clocks.  The game clock, and the clock on my wall.  I thought when I planned the meeting that the game would surely be “over” or in the hands of the Packers before I announced that I had to leave.  Sometimes, if the game was completely out of control (Packers winning)  Dad and I would switch over to another game just to see what else was going on in the league.   This particular game, the game Gods were not in my favor.  The game was entirely too close, with the Packers down a touchdown at the end of the third quarter, my Dad sighed, cracked open a beer and said, “let’s see how the Skins are doing baby.”  I never knew why my Dad was interested in the Redskins, until later, I realized that it was where Lombardi went after he left the Packers.

Fourth Quarter and my clocks are not agreeing with each other.  I knew I would have to leave my house at the very latest by 3:30 pm to make it to the winery on time, or at least with a few minutes to spare.

I remember the fourth quarter, watching most of it, while keeping my eye on the date clock.  I finally went in my bathroom, checked the make up, checked the outfit, and with a sickness in my stomach, ventured back into my living room where Favre had thrown a touchdown, and the Packers were up by 7, I felt confident that they were going to win, and that Dad would totally understand the plan I was about to present to him.

I remember walking into the living room and Dad saying, “can you believe this shit- they’ve (the refs) have  been calling offsides on us (Packers) all day today.”  He looked at me, and I said “Dad, I have to go.”  He ignored me at first, until I kept standing there.  I looked at the game clock, there was 3:23 left in the game (I know that was the exact time, I’ll never forget that.)   He looked at me and said “where the hell are you going, the game isn’t over yet.”  I looked at the game and I said “Dad I know, but I met this guy last night,”  my Dad took a disapproving drag off his cigarette and shook his head.   I went over to him and kissed his cheek,  just about then Longwell had kicked a field goal to put the Packers up by 10 points.   I put my hand on his shoulder and said “Dad, if I didn’t think this might be something special, I would never leave, can you just lock the door behind you when you go?”  I remember him smiling at me and saying “Baby, I’ll lock everything up, if you don’t mind, I might stay a while to see how these other games turn out” – then he said, “whoever he is, does he know you’re leaving at the end of a game to meet him?”    I smiled and said “no Dad.”

Nine months later my Dad walked me down the aisle to marry that guy that interrupted the Packers game, he was pretty happy about it.