Monday, December 27, 2004

The LAST Monday of 2004

It is less than a week until the end of a busy year. It has been a year that has seen many changes. One of those changes has been the addition of this blog to my writing enjoyments. It seems somehow fitting to talk about the year and those far reaching effects in this forum. This blog has been witness to several of the key events happening this year, and every one of them that happened since August.

It has been a salt and pepper year. There have been good times and bad. There has been tumult and serenity. Someone (well, several someone's) sent me a little thing about life. It stated how that life should be lived in such a way as to come screeching sliding to the curb at the pearly gates and jump out of the car saying, "Man, what a ride!" Whether I agree with that statement or not, that has certainly seemed to fit for this year.

A major change happened in October 2003, when Tammy and I got married. We took our relationship as slowly as we could for as long as we could. There is a danger in burning so brightly. The fire destroys its own survival. Eventually, it will have burned all there is to burn and it will die. Our relationship seemed to come like a gangbuster. We pulled the reins back as hard as we could, but it seemed that life itself conspired against us. Mind you, I am not complaining. I don't think I would change a thing if I could. I think, from the first time we really sat down and talked, inside I knew I would fall in love with her. I tried to go slowly. We even talked about taking it slowly. From around April of 2002, my heart has been weaving itself around hers. In September of that year, I nearly knocked her out of her chair, when I told her for the first time that I loved her.

Then, I went off to work in Indiana, last of September 2002. My apt. Was being largely unused, so, when her landlords told her they were tearing down the house in which she lived, I offered her my apt. That was in January of 2003. We lived there together until we moved out on August 31st. By then, proposals were made and accepted, and she moved into my Father's apt. house. Since he does not rent to unmarried couples, and we were still a month and a half from being married, I moved in with Mom and him. On October 10th, I moved into the apt with Tammy and the kids. This was a major change. All of 2004, Tammy and I have made decisions as husband and wife. I was married the first time for 20 years and then single for 6 years.

Another of the changes that had great affect on 2004, happened in 2003. On Dec. 9th, Tammy was injured by a client under her care thru her job. She has been off work since. My work (construction) has been terrible this year as well. I worked less than 2 months of 2004. This gave us a lot of together time. Remember the fire burning brightly thing. We were, thru not faults of our own, suddenly a 24/7 couple. It has been a wonderful year. Our relationship is more solid than it has ever been. In this, 2004 has been a great year.

Tammy had corrective surgery on her wrist in April of 2004. It was a surgery that produced more problems than it cured. Since the surgery she has endured nearly constant pain on some level. In September, the DR treating her gave her a MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement) rating, and her benefits stopped. We were without income. KEMI assured us that a settlement was coming based on the 80% rating of the Physical Therapist and the 12% full body impairment rating by the hand surgeon. This is the last week of 2004 and there has been no settlement offer and still no income.

In August, two friends of the kids (one was a close friend of everyone in the family) were involved in a murder/suicide. David (17) shot and killed Tommy (18) and then turned the gun on himself. Within a week, another acquaintance of Sierra's was killed in a shooting. This was a 16 yr old girl. She was shot by another boy in a senseless act of violence for the sake of the violence.

Jody Vest, a friend and roomie from online died from a heart attack this year. Another friend and roomie, Donnie died from a heart attack as well. Last week, we got a call from Susan that her partner, Tom, suffered a heart attack while driving and was killed. Tonight is the visitation. Tom was a friend, as is Susan. My great aunt died this year at the age of 96. The year has been sprinkled with death.

There have been births as well. My grandson Ian was born in March. Brandy had Cadence this year. Alison had her baby girl this year. Tammy's niece Jamie had Ethan this year.
October, Tammy was hit by another driver and totaled my 96 Blazer. The Blazer was a way dependable ride and paid off. While I do love the newer Bravada, we now have a monthly payment. To pay bills and provide a Christmas for the kids, I borrowed money from myself. I took out a loan from my own pension. There is another payment.

Tomorrow, I begin a new job. I will be a teacher at Clark Co Vocational. I will be teaching Electricty to high school students. This is a new path for me and one which I have no trouble admitting makes me nervous. I have no qualms about doing the job. I have been teaching all my life. At 17, I started teaching in Sunday School. I taught every age group from toddlers to adults. It is a thrill to visit a church and hear the pastor or assistant pastor talk glowingly of their days in my class. It give a sense of accomplishment that is indescribable. I, also, get to go back to school. I must get my Associates Degree in two years, and my Bachelors Degree in the two years after that.

There are still 4 days left in this year. That is 4 more days to reminisce. God help us all.

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