One Year Ago… Part XVI

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All through this I still went to see my friends, A LOT. It’s good to have friends to rely on when things get hairy! We went out to eat at a Thai place every Wednesday night, I went over on weekends that he wasn’t in town, I went other nights of the week even. Actually the month of August we took up doing P90x so I was over there every night of the week. It was very difficult the week of August 8-14th. My parents had gone on vacation to Hawaii so I was left to take care of all of our critters. My dad had 2 horses that had “colds”. It was the best option the vet could come up with anyway. I had to give them shots and take them out and let them relax every night and it was hot that week.

Kalem & Josh came over a couple times as did Evelyn to help me with the horses. They didn’t always want to cooperate with me… The little rascals.

So the Friday before my parents left, my mom looked at me and asked if she was supposed to bring him and his daughter something home from Hawaii. I looked at her with a strange face and told her, she didn’t have to do anything. I never expect anything from her. Later that night she changed her tone and said she’d like to bring them back something, what size did they wear and what should she bring them home. Would he like a Harley Davidson shirt or another shirt or what? I told her I wasn’t sure. I was still really just learning about him myself but if she would like to bring him back something anything she’d bring back would be just fine. She wanted to know sizes so I shot him texts to find out his size and his daughters size. When he replied I told her and she asked me to text it so she’d be sure to have it while she was there.

While they were in Hawaii my mom was calling or texting me with different things they had done or different questions. She told me she found the perfect shirt for him, told me about it and asked if he’d like it. I told her I’m sure he would. She also found something for his daughter. I told her thank you and I’m sure they would be pleased.

He and I continued to talk through our normal portals. He didn’t come home the first weekend my parents were gone. I’ll admit if it weren’t for my friends, I would have been bored out of my mind. It was to hot to go outside except maybe to jump in the swimming pool but the swimming pool hadn’t been opened this year yet so that was out.

I woke up on Saturday morning (the 8th) and wandered into my mom’s sewing room for some reason. Not sure what possessed me to do this but anyway I did. I had made myself a John Deere blanket with the normal green and yellow colors, then I found all the colors for a Pink John Deere blanket. I was standing at my mom’s sewing table and saw all my pink material I had bought and it hit me almost like a freight train, I wanted to make him a John Deere Blanket. I had a few pieces of green and yellow JD material left over from different projects but not nearly enough.

I called my grandma to see what she was up to. She said she was just sitting at the house.

-What are your plans today?

-Well I didn’t have any, why?

-If I ran to town and bought some material, would you be interested in helping me make a blanket?

-of Course. You get the material and we’ll do it.

I love my grandma! I ran to JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby and found all the material I needed. They even came through for me and had some John Deere fleece so I bought what I needed for the backing and flew to her house. When I got there they were just getting ready to eat lunch, so I ate lunch with them and then we headed up stairs to work on his blanket.

I’m so glad I went down there first because she had a faster way to make the blanket than I knew about. Saved a world of time! We had the blanket done in about 5 hours. Then I had to run home, do chores and head to Joplin to do my P90X workout.

The next day I went down with all my pink material and fleece and we made my blanket too :).

My parents came home on the 13th. When I got home from work my parents were home. My mom showed me all the things they brought back with them from their trip. She got me a t-shirt, the t-shirt was like hers and like the one she got his daughter. Then she showed me the shot glasses for my collection and then she showed me the shirt she got him. She told me I could give them to them. I told her she should wait and give them their presents when she saw them.

He came home on Friday and came by my house when he got home. That was the first time my mom had met him. She gave him the shirt that she got for him and told him he could take the shirt to his daughter. Later in the evening my mom suggested that he and his daughter come over the next day. We’d grill burgers and have some mac and cheese. They could come over, she could meet them and we could all hang out. He said that would work, his mom was picking his daughter up that night when she got off work.

My mom’s attitude started to change toward him, I wasn’t complaining but I sure was curious what brought about the change.

The next morning we got up early (and you guessed it) headed to town to the store. We got all the stuff for lunch that day and then we got some silly string and some water guns. Mom said it would be fun. Then we headed for home. I was to call him and let him know when we were almost home so that he could head our way. He pulled in about 10 minutes after we did.

Our house isn’t exactly kid friendly. No one in my family has kids so we had no toys, no crayons, nothing other than a swimming pool that wasn’t exactly clean. That and to ride horses. So his daughter and I proceeded down to meet my dad in the driveway and he volunteered to grill for my mom. His daughter wanted to get the silly string out but my mom said we had to wait for my dad to get up here. That’s why we headed down the driveway to meet him. We took his can of silly string and we each had one. The we proceeded up on the deck to attack.

[he knew what we were up to] He was sitting in the deck chair with his eyes shut and his ballcap pulled down over his eyes. We ambushed him. He got covered in silly string. It was fun, even if he did know :).

After lunch we all changed into swimming suits and jumped in the pond like pool. In August you expect it to be warm but it was anything but warm. We stayed in the pool as long as we could until we were so cold we were shivering and then we got out, dried off, and went in and sat in the house for a while.

His daughter was so full of energy that she was bouncing off the walls so he and I decided to take her outside and if nothing else walk around a bit. We wound up eventually sitting in the bed of his truck. She entertained herself with a big barrel in the bed of his truck while he halfway snoozed and I talked to both of them.

We sat outside doing this for about an hour and eventually decided it was too hot to even be sitting in the shade so we went back in the house. Well my dad called and said he needed some help and to bring his truck. His daughter decided to ride along with me so we jumped in my dad’s truck and went to look for him.

I went to the wrong hayfield (and forgot to take my cell phone) and by the time I found my dad I was in deep trouble. The tire had gone flat on his tractor so we hooked on to the tractor and towed it inside my grandparents gates. Then I ran him down to my grandparents house to get the other tractor so he could go back to the hayfield. His daughter was getting restless and she didn’t want any part of my dad upset at me. I was having to tell her to calm down.

She and I jumped up in the tractor and she “helped” me hook the baler up. Once I got that done and my dad was done with my help she and I headed back to the house. She wanted her daddy.

We walked in the house and he had fallen asleep on the couch talking to my mom. That didn’t last long, she woke him up. They wound up staying for dinner and then he had to get her home so that he could get her to bed. He left the house around 9pm. He asked me if I’d be willing to go with him to take her back to her mother the next morning.

Boy, that was really one thing I didn’t want to do. That was one more reality thing that this was “real”. Not like an uncle type thing but that he was a father with an ex-wife. I hesitated before I said “Yes, I’ll go.”

After he left I went into the living room where my dad was and he asked me what was wrong. I told him about my feelings of all of this. I’ll never forget, he told me to look at this as an opportunity. Don’t write this guy off just because he has a daughter and an ex-wife. If it works, great if it doesn’t, that’s fine too, but don’t write this guy off because of his past. He did what he could to make up for a past that may or may not be picture perfect. He’s trying his best and his best is good enough. The past is also done. You can’t judge him, that’s God’s job. You just have to forgive for what you may or may not like and decide if you are strong enough to deal with all of this. If you are, you can’t let the past detour you. If you aren’t, then now is the time to figure this out before you get to far in with this.

My dad is a very wise man. What he said really made sense. I smiled and told him I loved him and headed upstairs and went to bed.

…To Be continued…

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