Saturday, January 20, 2007

a tough week...

This week has been a fairly rough one. First, just being away from my new wife is not easy. I miss her. Second, I have some neighbor who thinks that my dogs bark too much. Rather than come to me and knock on my door, he has decided to take this to the town that I live in and I have received a notice that I have to make sure that my dogs are quiet or face further legal problems. What is stupid is that I live on a golf course. I hear dogs barking all of the time. I have played golf on this course and noticed that dogs bark on virtually every hole on the golf course. It is stupid. What is even "stupider" is the ordinance. It is extremely vague. It gives almost no direction on what is excessive. Basically it boils down to an opinion. It is a headache.

On Thursday I learned that my cousin passed away. I feel bad for my aunt and uncle, but this has brought back some not insecurities that I had thought had been put to rest. I was reminded that part of my family, while having access, chose to more or less exclude me from their lives. Why? I have no real idea. It seems that they passed judgment on me early in my life and never allowed themselves to re-evaluate me.

Then I read my step-daughter's blog. What a punch in the nose. All I have done since I married their mother is to try to be understanding of their situation. I know that it cannot be easy for them since their mother is no longer near them. We tried to invite them to our home for thanksgiving, and then I find out that on their way home they spent much of the trip trashing me. Talk about a kick in the teeth. I don't think that I have been hurt this bad in a very long time.

Personally I don't care what they think of me. I know what kind of a person that I am and if they cannot see that then it is there loss. What hurts is what this might do to my relationship with L. She is in the middle. She loves me and loves her kids. I am not here to drive a wedge between them. I know that I am not their father, but I want to be something more to them than what they had with their father. I am not sure that they will let me.

I guess I am just venting. There is not much I can do.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm a grandpa

I certainly did not think that I would be a Grandpa at 39. But then again I never thought I would have had the year that I had. Here are the proud parents and their beautiful baby. I am so happy for them. Their baby is beautiful and healthy.

It is a surreal thing to be a grandpa. It is the signal to me that I am not a kid anymore (as if turning forty this year was not enough).

This is such wonderful news. It's news that our family needed after the seemingly endless string of bad news. Hopefully the cloud that seems to have gathered over my head are finally dispersing and some sunshine is starting to shine through.

Regardless of my trials, I still am very blessed.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Frustration and Joy

It is difficult to put into words my frustrations. I feel so misunderstood. All of my young life I felt like an outcast, like someone who did not belong. I felt that people often misunderstood me or misjudged me. I have come to several conclusions as I have gotten older.

First, I stopped worrying about what others thought about me. The reason is not because I no longer cared what they thought but finally came to the conclusion that I am a good person that has much to offer the world. I care for others. I try to help other people as often as I can.

Second, I have the type of personality that is going to rub some people the wrong way. I have a strong outgoing personality. I like to laugh and to make others laugh as well.

I don't know why I am writing this. I guess a number of insecurities have resurfaced. I have felt always like I was on the outside looking in with regards to my family. I am not sure my parents understand me very well. I can understand why they might find me an enigma. Being adopted I share no genetic similarities with my parents. I have come to the conclusion that some of our personality traits are almost hard wired into our genetic code. Having two children of my own, I often see them acting much the same way that I used to act when I was a child.

I am nothing like my parents. They are quiet and passive. I am outgoing and strong willed. So I guess that I can understand their frustration. I am just venting.

Its been a tough couple of days. Being newly married is a tough adjustment in and of itself. I was not single that long, and so being with someone is not an issue. I was married for 13 years. They were not perfect years, but they were good. But mainly I knew her. I knew her looks, what made her happy, what got her upset. I knew her sounds; when she was unhappy or happy. I knew when she was in pain (whether it was physical or emotional). In a nutshell, I knew her well. Now I have to start all over again.

I am not worried about this challenge. I feel very fortunate to have found such a wonderful companion to spend my life with. We have much in common. It takes time to get to know someone new.

But now we are apart. It is difficult. I need her. But her son needs her more right now. It is still very difficult though.

And today I found out more very sad news. My mother called me today and informed me that my cousin passed away. He was only a few years older than me and it is very sad. Unfortunately he battled drug and alcohol addiction for much of his adult life. I was not close to him, but that is not my fault. For some reason my aunt, uncle and their children chose not have a relationship with me. I am not sure why and now that I am almost 40 I don't care. Regardless, I cannot imagine what my aunt and uncle are going through. They have brought five children into this world, but have lost three already. Having experienced loss in my life, I still cannot imagine what it must be like for them.

The good news is that I am about to become a grandpa. My new stepson and his wonderful fiance are about to have a child. I did not think that this would happen for a number of years but I welcome this new title and challenge.

Despite the challenges, life is wonderful.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dark Clouds

So I had hoped that this new year would be better. It has not started out that way. Just before Christmas, we found out that my step son was nearly killed in an auto accident. Fortunately he only lost his left leg. No brain injury, no paralysis. No, I am not trying to minimize what happened. I am being honest. This has changed our lives again. Both my wife and I have had to make tremendous sacrifices to help him in his recovery, but he will recover and will be able to live a normal healthy life. He should and is counting his blessings.

As I say I want a break, I am reminded that things could be worse. I have my health. My wife and kids are also healthy. We have a wonderful house to live in. I have a job that pays my bills (barely). I have friends and family who love me. I have my faith which guides me on a daily basis.

I need to be more thankful for what I have. I need to be more patient. I need to remember why I am here.

No, there is no anti-Israel Bias at the NY Times.

Recently the New York Times published an Op-Ed of a Palestinian who describes the deplorable conditions that he says exist in Israeli prison...