Part 2 On My Own..


It was amazing, I was actually running my own home, paying bills,feeding us and happy. I was constantly fearful that I would mess it all up.  I was afraid to buy anything extra. I had a car payment soon after moving into the house.  I worried so much when the twins had to go to their dads. I prayed so much. I learned way later that they were off to parties and taking their dads car. I am so thankful they didn’t get arrested or have something awful happen to them.

It was about two years later as I was getting ready to go to work at my second job, at the restaurant.  I stood in the bathroom putting up my hair and just stopped and looked at myself.

“Lord, I think I’m ready to meet someone”. “Only if you think so, and don’t let anybody wrong get near me – maybe NEON lights over the head of the right man”.. I laughed,  I could hear God laughing too. Off to work I went, worrying about the kids when I left as always 3 teenagers home alone…never a good idea.

Work was the hottest restaurant in the county, I was ready for a big Saturday night and in great spirits too.  Right off two guys came and sat at either end of the bar, and then seconds later a guy I knew from church also sat down. I greeted each one and filled orders for the wait staff I was going like crazy.  This handsome striking man came in and sat at the far end of the bar.  For the next few minutes I was in a whirl! Each of the men at the bar started to hit on me one right after the other. I am laughing in my mind..”Lord do you have a sense of humor!”  I was spending as little time with each one as possible and tried to not make eye contact with the guy from church. He is so nervous I know he’s about to ask me out. I got down to the handsome guy at the end and I was nervous.  He asked me my name and I ask him his.  I got him some red wine and he called me by my name, which was nice and surprising to.  As I went down the bar the church guys stops me and here it comes..”Ty would you like to go to a movie with me or something?”  I was just sick, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings or reject him.  “I just don’t think I’m ready to be dating just yet”.. he was surprised but ok with it. He finished his drink and left. I check with the first two guys who flirted with me a little and made my way back to “Don” he was older than me but just seemed to be the nicest guy.  He said he hadn’t seen me here before and I explained that I am only here on the weekend nights and work for a veterinary hospital during the week in Atascadero.  He smiled and asked which one, and turns out he was a patient there, or at least “Bo” was. Bo was a yellow lab, she was his love.   I didn’t know his last name but I figured I could look up “Bo” with an owner first named “Don”.   Anyway I’m trying to cut the two at the other end loose, and it’s not working so I told the host to seat some single girls at the bar to help me out. That worked great!  Don asked me if I was single, was I dating anyone, would I consider going out with him..I was again amazed.  I went to print out his ticket and I wrote my number on the bottom..so not like me.  I sat the tray on the bar in front of him and still had my hand on it, he looks up and says, “Ty can I get your phone number?”, I just looked down and tapped the tray, he looked down and smiled. “Oh – well I’ll call you!”

We had a vaccine clinic on Tuesdays and who shows up..you guessed it. We gave Bo her shots about 6 months early.  He picked me up for dinner a week later, in a beautiful silver Porsche.  He treated me very special.  I was so excited with the prospect, of being in a relationship.

I was in love, I think I loved him immediately.  He was so different. He wasn’t really sweet and cuddly, but he made me feel like I was special to him and that he respected me and admired me also.  He told me later that he just saw a short-legged runt and figured he would get lucky.  I learned that he could be so brash at times.  He took me by his house under the guise of letting his dog out, but in fact it was to show me his house.   We walked into his beautiful house and he held his arms out and spun slowly around, ” is this what you’re looking for? – Security”  I was so surprised, and without really thinking about it I told him, “My security & my treasure is in heaven – if this house and your things are your security & your treasure I feel so sad for you – you will likely be long gone and someone else will have your things”  He stood there looking at me and chuckled, “So are you sleeping with anyone?”  “No, I’m not I’m a Christian woman and I don’t sleep with anyone I’m not married to!”  “Really..” he said this with some skepticism, “How long have been single?” “About 5 years”,”Really!” he found this very unbelievable.  We looked at the house and the yard and the pool and the sheep and the boat etc.  When we got ready to go he ask me, “Do you mind if I sleep with someone?”, “No not at all  – Just don’t bother to call me anymore”.. he again chuckled and said, “understood”  My Don was a retired LAPD detective, he was very jaded with people and life too.

Don had married his girlfriend right out of high school because she was pregnant, it ended badly when he went to Viet  Nam.   He later married again more happily and they struggled to have children.  All sorts of medical intervention were tried and they finally had a son and then a year later became surprisingly pregnant again. They had so much joy to have two sons.  It wasn’t long after the second son was born that they became aware that something was wrong with the first son.  They were stunned to find out both sons had M.S.  They lived their short lives in wheel chairs and with much pain.  Don took them to the house in Mexico in the plane and took them hunting, carrying them in a backpack. They had exciting and amazing lives.   They died at 12 and 14.  Don  had started to attend church with his family when the boys started school. The church school was the only place they could go at the time.  Don got to know the pastor and got support in this time.  Before the second son died Dons wife had a stroke and went into a coma for a time. She did eventually come out of the coma and regained her life. Don told me she was forever changed and they could no longer continue the marriage.  He took his son and gave her the paid off house.  His second son died about a year later.

Don had met a lady who had helped him with his son and ended up living with her for many years. He married her when he had a heart attack.  He divorced her as soon as he got better, they weren’t a good match really but it was so sad anyway.  When I met Don he kept from me that he was still married to her. He had not finalized the paper work. He was dragging his feet because he didn’t want to give her any money. When I found out I told him I really just had to walk away because he was married…long story short we took a drive to his attorney in SLO and he signed the papers and wrote the check.   That sure sounded to me like he was interested in me.

We dated for almost 2 years, during which time I broke my vow and my heart as well.  I slept with him and I cried and he was confused.  I loved  him so much and I let myself believe I could casually just go on like this.  I could not. I told him I could not do this and not be married. He true to himself said, “Your not that good!”  He would just toss some grave humor in when ever he felt boxed in.  He said he couldn’t afford to start all over again when I took him to the cleaners.  I protested, “Do I at all seem to be that person?” He lit up a cigarette and said, ” women change”.   I was heart-broken. He poured me a glass of wine and said, “You don’t want to marry me”,  I told him with a glare that he had no idea what I wanted, he laughed.  We continued to banter like this for months and months. I went with him to a wedding for the daughter of his longtime friend. We flew down in his plane. This was so very different for me I loved it.  He was always watching me and if I seemed too friendly to someone he was mad.  He would randomly ask me if I would sleep with my ex if he asked me.  I told him I was not ever going to sleep with him ever again.  I was somewhat heated about the constant inquiry – I said, “I don’t ever want you to ask me this again”    He took me out to a nice dinner a few days later. We had just been seated and received a cocktail.  He looks at me and says, ” you look very sharp tonight” “Why thank you kind sir”  I smiled and raised my glass.  We ordered dinner and I had taken one bit and he looks at me and says, “So are you sure you never think of sleeping with your ex?”.. I was somewhat stunned, “No”…”But what if he came over and was really coming on to you?”  I was so angry, I stood up from the booth and opened my purse and tossed two twenties on the table, “I have told you many times I’m not interested in anyone but you” I was snapping my purse and putting on my coat, he was shushing me and waving me to sit down. I stormed out the door and right by him.  I called all over trying to get a ride home, I had given him my last cash and couldn’t even call a cab.  I had to swallow my pride and walk over and sit by his car I asked him If I could please have a ride home and he said yes. We got in the Porsche and he tossed the cash back into my lap and said, “don’t you ever do that again”  I didn’t even look up I wiped the cash into the floor and said, don’t worry, I won’t”  I noticed that the E brake was on and we were headed up the grade, ” Your e-brake is on”..he was totally surprised, “Thank you, he said in relief.  I went home and didn’t call him or see him for 3 weeks, It killed me. I talked to God about it every night and ask for strength and guidance.

My cell phone rang, I answered it without checking to see who it was. “Hello?” it was quiet, “Hello?”, “Ty?” ..”Yes, ” and then I realized it was Don. He said he must have called me by mistake, “No problem”I said – “So what are you doing?” he asked lightly. “Oh, I’m out with some friends”,  “oh, where?” ” just in town running errands”  “Oh, well, ” -I decided to take charge and no games. “Don, do you want to talk to me?”..”Why, he asked, “do you want to talk to me?”.. “ok Don you called me, If you want to talk I’d be happy to stop over later”..”Sure he said, “That would be fine if I’m home”  “No problem another time then, good-bye”  “Ty?” he sounded a little frantic, “I’ll be home”  good, I’ll be by in a couple of hours” I hung up the phone and prayed it was the right thing to do. I got there and he had two twenties sitting on the counter in the garage.  He had washed the porche and found it in the floor, he couldn’t believe I didn’t take it. “I’m not a hooker, Don”  ” whoa, nobody called you a hooker”, “you did the next best thing” “I’m sorry” ,”I am too”,he said  “Ty you don’t want to marry me?’ he sauntered over to his stool in the garage and sat down with his cigarette. “I told you Don, don’t tell me what I want – you obviously don’t know”   “Can we just start again?” , “no we can’t start again” I stood up and the tears began to fall, “Oh don’t start that” , he said – “I’m not starting anything I’m mad and hurt and a woman and we cry – get over it”  “I have invested my heart and soul into this relationship.  I gave myself to you feeling that you loved me and wanted me” ,he came over and wiped my face with a paper towel “you look so ugly when you cry”..”that’s ok, you look ugly when I cry too”

Don took me to lunch, I worked for a veterinarian in Cambria now and Don called one day to take me to lunch. It was a nice treat and I was happy as a clam.  We drove over to moonstone beach and parked to watch the surf.  I was just sitting there and he opened the console on the truck and pulled out a little box, my mind was blank.  He opened the box and showed me this beautiful diamond ring, I thought of the ring I got from #1 a silver band after 8 years, and #2 a fake, and ,third times the charm?   He looked at me and said, “Ty will you marry me?”  I just started screaming and jumping up and down, he looked at me real serious, “Ty – you didn’t say , yes?”  YES YES YES, I cried, it was so wonderful.

I took another year before I was ready to leave because he wouldn’t set a date.  We got married that day, Dec. 3, 2002.  We had the best life ever, we would fly the plane to Mexico and land on the beach and stay at the beach house for weeks at a time, and go out fishing on the boat in Morro Bay and trips to Cabo.  We enjoyed each other so much, when he finally decided I was not going to take his stuff!  He was diagnosed with lung cancer Jan,12 2003 and gone a week before Thanksgiving.

I know I skipped a lot,  I will have so many memories over that last 11 months.  Don was never one to say “I Love You”..he even told me once when I had prompted him to say those three little words, “I told you I love you, if that changes I’ll let you know”   I turned it around on him our first married , well our only married Christmas. I told him I wanted those three little words for Christmas, He said as a question, “I Love You?” , “NO silly, Solid Gold Bracelet”..it was so funny and he was so surprised.

It was surreal, I prayed constantly that God would heal him, I had people tell me he would be healed. I have always been disappointed to hear people try to know the mind of God or His plan.  Don grew so much during the year of suffering.  He told me one day that he was afraid to die because he had sold his soul to the devil – begging him to save his sons.  I was so happy to be able to help him with that. “Don, you’re not going to hell, you can’t sell something you don’t own and the devil can’t buy something that Christ paid for with His life”  Don just sat there with his mouth open, ” how did I ever get you?”  “Just blessed I guess”   I told him that the devil did not and could not keep his end of the bargain, because his native tongue is the lie and  he can’t speak anything but lies with the occasional 1/2 truth which is still a lie. He knows his fate and is trying to take as many with him as possible, but you will not be one.  My husband was teary eyed,”Will we still be married in Heaven?”,  my heart just swelled,”Honey, the bible says that death dissolves marriage, but you won’t care a bit. You will be with your sons and they will be whole and will have been so, longer then they suffered on this earth.”  He pulled me into his arms which I loved. I cried and praised God.  He had undergone many rounds of chemo and the cancer had spread to his liver, game over.  The liver filters out stuff like chemo drugs.  Don seemed weak and suffered from neuropathy in his hands and up to his knees, that is a numbness and non stop tingling like when your foot falls asleep.  He was uncomfortable being touched and he said walking felt like balancing on balls, like the bottom of his feet were rounded and numb.   The chemo was so awful I don’t know how he stood it.  Don all of a sudden got lost in another place, he thought he saw dolphins jumping and sea turtles swimming by. I would just say wow, how neat.  He couldn’t get up and down for a couple of days, he slept on the couch and I in the floor in front of him listening for every move.  The third day he wanted to go sleep upstairs. I held on to the back of his pants to get him safely up the stairs with him swatting at me the whole way, “I can do it!” He had not eaten or drank for almost a week, this worried me.  I was so exhausted and afraid to sleep that he might wake up and try to go down the stairs, I closed our door and put a chair in front of it.  I laid in bed well over on my side of the bed and prayed that God would stop his suffering, but that I wanted so bad to have him hold me in his arms and say I love you, I silently cried.  He got up and walked to the bathroom and was very lucid when he came back and drew me tightly up to him,”Have I told you how much I love you”, I was crying and smiling and praising God. He got up a second time and went to the bathroom  and when he returned he drew me up again tightly in his arms, ” have I told you you’re the most beautiful woman in the world?”, I was again smiling crying and praising God, he got up one more time and he came back and looked me in the face kissed my eyes, nose, and mouth and said,”have I told you I’m the luckiest man in the world?”  this time I giggled like a school girl and cried.  Don did not wake up the next morning.  My son Travis,  who adored and loved him, carried him down the stairs with one of his fireman buddies. Done looked up at Travis and said, “don’t drop me asshole”, Travis laughed and so did Don. They put Don carefully in the hospital bed, Travis kissed him on the forehead and ran from the house.  Don didn’t open his eyes anymore after that, was barely breathing he had morphine patches on his back he just slowly left over the course of the day. My family was there and I had been up for 3 days straight watching over him I told my sister I just need to close my eyes,  -she woke me up – I was jolted,”oh no was I asleep?” I got off the couch,”Is he ok?”, my sister was at my side, “He is almost gone”..I just stood there, “Ty tell him you love him”, my sister pressed me forward , I gently kissed his forehead and said I love you, tell the boys hi from me”  his breath came out one last time and he was gone.  I called the Neptune society to come pick Don up. He had made those arrangements years earlier.  It was about 3 am when they arrived.  My oldest son, Mike said, “mom lets go in the den while they get him ready to go.  I walked with him like a sleep walker. I think we talked about something but I don’t know what it was.  I heard a noise and looked up, there was a gurney with a black bag on it – I broke down totally, “oh no, I didn’t want to see him in a bag.”  Mike held on to me and they left.  Andrea came in to calm me down, “sissy I watched them, they treated him with respect.”  “He is not in that body anymore”  I couldn’t get myself to calm down I thought I was going crazy. I remember my sister Faith sat on my bed with me until I feel asleep. The doctor had given me something to take and I took it, they pretty much all insisted that I take it.

There was much more to this story, it was so hard. I cried the day they told us the chemo wasn’t helping I begged Don on my knees not to die not to leave me.  He told me I was not to cry again.  I had to go back about a few days before he died and tell him that I would be ok, that he was free- he didn’t have to stay here for me.  He looked at me and was confused, “Am I going to die?”..”Yes my love, you are someday”, it all went very fast after that.

There was  Thanksgiving a funeral  and so many tears, I at last could cry and cry I did. The doctor put me on some kind of medication that just made me …well blank. I just didn’t feel for another month or two.  In January I got a registered letter from an attorney.  My husbands son from his childhood was suing me.  I had met him a couple of times and my husband had told me not to contact him or tell him he was sick or that he had died.   He left his son a 25 thousand dollar insurance policy and I had wanted him to know his dad loved him so I called in December when I received the first Christmas card from him in 3 years.   I had just sold my condo and put the money in the bank 2 weeks before Don died.    I was now working two jobs again to pay the bills on the house. Don’s retirement died with him.  We  sold the Porsche before he got real sick and the guy who bought it said he would come and get it after Don was gone.  He did. That money went to the bank.  I was told I couldn’t use the money or sell anything especially the house. It was a terrible ordeal which lasted almost 18 months, cost me $67 thousand dollars. He got nothing and wasted his inheritance too.  I could not believe that the world could allow such a thing to happen, he had attempted to prove I had killed his father and plotted with my husband’s LAPD motor partner to steal all his money and belongings. The judge sat with his head down most of the time with his jaw clenching and unclenching.  When the opposing attorney suggested that I had overdosed my husband with morphine, I thought I was going to prison. The judge jumped to his feet and said,” Are you saying that Mrs. Fox killed her husband?”  The attorney said, “We hope to prove that, yes”   The judge spat,”Too my chambers NOW!.  I sat there sure that I was going to prison.   When the attorneys came back into the courtroom my attorney looked smug. I was confused.  The judge said, This poor woman has suffered enough, there will be no more mention of anything to do with her killing her husband, do I make myself clear?” “Yes your honor” came the response from both attorneys in unison.  My dear young attorney was such a wonderful woman, strong and so amazing.  Her husband had been badly injured and suffered brain damage due to a bicycle vs car accident one week prior to this case starting.  I was praying for her and her family and trying to be supportive. I decided that this was about her and I was going to be prayer support for her as much as possible.  After the family doctor and the oncologist and friends and even our attorney friend who wrote our wills all testified, and I was questioned as to the where abouts of the Porsche, Truck, Plane, house in Mexico, house in Atascadero, and even the dog – it finally ended.  They just ran out of questions and settled with prejudist or without I don’t know – It just meant they could never sue me again.  We had sold the plane right after the initial diagnoses “Bo” a sweet yellow lab , Dons other blonde, had bone cancer in both back legs I took her to work with me did x-rays and had to hold her on my lap and hold Dons hand when we put her down in March of that last year.  I never went back to work at the Vet. it was just too vivid and ominous.

Back to work, it was at this time I started to work for a large Cardiologist office in SLO.  I went into the job cold no experience with human medical at all. Well, if you don’t count my 20+ years as Dr. Mom.

A whole group on new friends that I didn’t know yet. My Virgie, was a stinker she “acted” like she was kind of mean and unhelpful and most folks just left her alone.  She was my first project.  Virg and I are still buddies many years later. We became Grandma’s about the same time which we both found to be the best thing in the world. I was at the Cardiologist office for about a year when one of my co-workers ask me if I wanted to go to a botox party at the plastic surgeons office down stairs. I guess I was in an odd mood, go figure for me.  We went and  they would not take her check so she gets me to pay her 200. dollars in exchange for her being my personal trainer for 3 months, – DEal!  While waiting for the doctor I scanned some pamphlets about a tummy tuck.  I had forgotten until now that I had talked to Don wanting to get this done, so I was crying softly when the doctor came if.  He asked if I was afraid, “No”, I told him, Happy! -and I handed him the pamphlet and said, I want one of these!  Long story short I made and appointment and got the surgery.  I was going to Hawaii with my girlfriend and we scheduled the trip for the first day after the doctor said I would be able to go.  Nice huh? – Not so fast.

When I got home from the surgery my daughter was taking care of me, she noticed right away that the center of my abdomen was turning purple and called the doctor he said watch it and come back in tomorrow, by that time I had the beginnings of Gain-green – the area slowly died and sluffed away. I had a huge hole in my lower abdomen that was just open, I went to Hawaii with my friend with bandages and burn cream for the area.  When we got home I started on a bedsore machine , it is a suction devise that is taped over the area and carried around 24/7.  It took about 6 weeks for the machine to clean out all the dead stuff then I was left with a “cup holder” looking spot.   I told the doctor I wanted it fixed – we chatted back and forth for awhile and I told him I had no intention of suing but at the same time I knew he of all people would be most motivated to fix-it!   He did a skin graft from my upper thigh – note to self avoid skin grafts at all cost. Most painful thing ever. The end result was a more attractive “cup holder” – when I again voiced my disdain he actually stood there and said, “You will be the most beautiful naked woman, in the room”  – “No one will even notice it”  – #1 I am a recent widow – #2 I have no intention of anyone seeing this – and #3 It bothers “ME” and that is what is important. He apologized, while at the same time making it clear that this was not at all his fault. He said he would be unwilling to do anything further for at least a year.I booked a trip to Europe and stayed there for 6 weeks, I decided that before anything or anybody took anything else from me I was going to get away.  In the end the doctor declined to do anything further as “my body” was probably going to do this again.   He was a nice man and truly honorable, he was killed in an airplane crash years later on his way with a group of doctor to do some “Doctors without borders” work with children in some 3rd world country.

Now what? Well I’m healed up and recharged.  I loved Germany, France, Chezk, the food was amazing the scenery was breath taking every where I looked. I was admired by many and that felt wonderful. Truth be told my ‘cup holder” was like wearing your granny panties 24/7 no one was ever getting to see the body up close ever again.

It was for the first time in my life just doing whatever I wanted. I loved every minute. Alas, home again. – the real world.  That is when God sent me my very best friends in the world. The two K’s their first names both start with K,  just the most wonderful people in the world..probably our only point of contention is Rep vs. Dem.  So I just try to keep my Rep. ideas to myself and let my Godly side be my guide.  We are like family and it really happened so naturally, they needed a place (they sold their house and were having one built in AZ.) I needed the company and the help too.  The house and the yard is just too much for me.    It was so good for me to see how other people think and act and feel about all kinds of things.  I felt like I was in a relationship but that I could be who ever I am..  many times in my life I have been “the run away bride” one of my favorite movies ..kind of just fun and silly.  But it spoke loudly to me.  The “bride” had run away from several weddings, but the thing that got me was when the reporter was interviewing her ex’s and they all said she liked her eggs like they did..fried, scrambled, boiled..that was me..I didn’t know what I liked- I liked making people happy. My thoughts and feelings weren’t important.  That silly film helped me so much. I started trying to see if “I” knew what I liked. Sounds crazy – but I had to decided ..so I just tried everything and let nothing be odd to me..I speak my mind now.  It is so freeing..I’m still kind and tactful too. I feel like my opinions are relevant and viable.

Don has been gone about 3 years now and I started to think about maybe dating.  Tons of guilt fell on me to the point I couldn’t hardly function. I went and talked to my godly councilors…older women in my church that would tell me what was right and not what I wanted to hear.  I was in shock..when they all said, “Date ..your young and obviously need to share your life with someone else – that is what Don would want”  Well that was not expected.  I really had thought they would council me to stay single and even go into the ministry..that might have been a relief.   But… go back out there and see if I was a grown up yet…that was very frightening indeed.

Everything changed, my new friends were now my most beloved family.  It was so good to have them there and to learn to just live slow and easy.  I decided to get online to a singles site.  They laughed at first but they were also supportive and looked forward to every coffee date I had.  I had no idea there were so many, dare I say wackos out there.  It was good practice and safe the way I did it. I did learn I was still very vulnerable.  I guess I have to grow and change and just keep trying and learn to be assertive.  It is so hard, I decided that the way to do it was to plan it in advance. To plan answers and plan reactions, and plan, escape routes to.. Do not give out my address or phone number or very much information about myself, plan to see if I liked them not if they Liked me.  Get in the game..and be a player?  No not a player but not a bench warmer either.

Court was over but it was very much like PTS or something. I just felt like I was not able to take care of the house and the yard and pool and weeds..I know you might be thinking – really sad.  I was working  just to pay for all this constant work. My K’s were moving on to AZ, in another month. I flew out to Colorado to see my son and his sweet family. I was so happy playing with my grand daughter and being a grandma.  While there I looked at a house a few blocks from them..I did the scariest thing I bought the house.  In Colorado! – I’ve lived in California for 40 some years.   My house was in escrow and I made it contingent on that sell.  The K’s left one after the other and I tried to just be brave and smile and I had to turn around and walk into the house because I just broke down.  I later learned it hurt my friend that I didn’t seem to care.  So I do have far to go, I have to let people know when I’m feeling- good, bad or indifferent.

 

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