ESTRANGED

Over a year ago, in my post ‘The Good Me & The Bad Her‘, I wrote the following words –

Some of you know my feelings about me as a father to my sons.  Many years I felt like a failure because I was out of my son’s lives at a young age – they do not really know me.  This is one reason for starting this blog; I want to share me and who I am and my life in writing so my sons may someday know who I was and know who I am.

In today’s post, I write the following –

From Google –

es·tranged

iˈstrānjd/

adjective

adjective: estranged

(of a person) no longer close or affectionate to someone; alienated.

“Harriet felt more estranged from her daughter than ever”

(of a wife or husband) no longer living with their spouse.

past participle: estranged

“his estranged wife”

I just do not understand why?

In the past, I had asked myself, what did I do or not do to deserve the absence from my life; the no communication and the appearance of not caring?

I refuse to blame myself any longer.

I refuse to cry anymore tears.

But it does still bothers me, more so today, because my life has changed, my health has changed.

Life threatening or not, shouldn’t this bring us closer?

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I have not written about my relationship with my sons in quite a while.  I have written posts about their birthdays, but nothing specifically about our relationship today.

My sons have known about my cancer since I found out about it; I have hidden nothing from them.  You remember it was important for me to visit my family for Thanksgiving.  I did see my 3 sons at that time and I feel fortunate to have spent some time with them.  For many years I would not receive a call from my sons and it was always me calling them because I was interested in them and their lives.  Many years I did not receive a call on my birthday and even Father’s Day.  I blamed their lack of interest in me on myself; it was my fault.  I overcame this self-blame last year after writing posts about them and me and our relationship.  Today, I no longer blame myself.

One of my sons calls on a regular basis – thank you son.  The other two sons do not call me and in the past I would call them, but now no longer do I call.

These 2 sons I saw at Thanksgiving and they were aware of my surgery.  These 2 sons I have not heard from since my surgery.  These 2 sons I have not spoken with since Thanksgiving.

Are we estranged?

Again, I just do not understand why?

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In the past, I had asked myself, what did I do or not do to deserve the absence from my life; the no communication and the appearance of not caring?

Again, I refuse to blame myself any longer.

Again, I refuse to cry anymore tears.

But it does still bothers me, more so today, because my life has changed, my health has changed.

Happy Tuesday

It is not just Valentine’s Day‘, is a post I published a year ago today and it started with the following –

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, hope your day is a special one.

Today is a very special day for me, not only is it Valentine’s Day, it is also the birthday of my son #2.

He was born on this special day 32 years ago weighing in at 9lbs and 12 ½oz.  Yes, he was a big boy!

In today’s post, I write the following –

Yes, it is son #2’s birthday again – Happy 33rd Birthday Son

Yes, it is Valentine’s Day – Happy Valentine’s Day

For those that do not have a birthday today or celebrate Valentine’s Day –

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A state of mind

I now call myself old.

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They say age is nothing but a number and a state of mind.

I now call myself old.

I googled ‘you know you’re old when quotes’, and received many different results.

buzzfeed.com has a list 56 Signs That You’re Definitely Getting Old(er) that includes the following –

You consider going to the post office as a “busy weekend.”

Crowded places easily frustrate you.

You wake up early on days you can sleep in.

You get teary-eyed during wedding scenes in movies.

You cannot believe people were born in the 2000s.

The celebrities at the Kids’ Choice Awards are complete strangers to you.

You just like to sit down sometimes.

Yes, I now call myself old.  But it is just a state of mind, right?

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My son #3’s birthday is today; he is 30 years old today.  I remember when he and my other ‘boys’ were born, then toddlers and preschoolers; and I remember when they were teenagers.  It does not seem long ago, they were going to school, playing soccer and marching in the high school marching band.  Time continues on, never stopping for any reason and then one day the younger one; son #3 turns 30 years old.  Yes, I now call myself old.

When I turned 30 only 26 years ago, I remember feeling middle aged.  I can remember feeling good about my life, my age and looking forward to what life had to offer.  Fast forward and now all my sons are in their 30s, I wonder how they feel about that?  I have not asked them how they feel about being in their 30s; I would be curious to know.

I realize age is nothing but a number and a state of mind.  But, I now call myself old.

I do consider going anywhere on any day a busy day and crowded places do frustrate me at times.  Every day I can sleep in, but I do not; I always wake early.  I do get teary-eyed during wedding scenes in movies as well as many other scenes especially the movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Are there people that were really born in the 2000s and since when did kids have their own award show?

Many times I just like to sit and think and reflect.  I often reflect on life, my life, my sons and the current day’s events.

I now call myself old because today all 3 of my sons are in their 30s.

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But, I realize age is nothing but a number and a state of mind.

Happy 30th Birthday Son #3.

# 34, my ‘kid’!

In my post ‘will I cry or will I smile?‘, I wrote the following –

I do not really like Father’s Day!

Why, you ask?  Not because I dislike my father, no – it is because I dislike me as a father.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Guess who turns 34 today?  No not me, I wish!

Today is my son #1’s birthday.  Image1He turns 34 years old today!

Wow, seems like yesterday I was changing his diapers and burping him.  I have images in my mind of him dressed in cute outfits such as a little baseball one piece with the matching baseball cap.  I remember him sleeping on my chest the nights he had colic.  I remember feeding him, bathing him, taking him on vacations, spending time with him and helping him with his homework.

Those days are gone and a memory now.  Today he is doing those things because he has ‘kids’ of his own.  I call my sons, ‘kids’ – they will always be my ‘kids’, my sons.  But being in his mid-30s, I guess he is no longer a ‘kid’, but a man.  Yes, he is a man, but he is still my ‘kid’, my son.

So, today is my son’s birthday, and he is now 34.  Amazing!  Where did the time go?

For those of you have followed me for quite a while, you know I have struggled internally about my role as a father and as a dad.

After writing numerous posts last year about my role as a dad, my relationship with my sons and the feelings of disappointment in myself as a dad; I decided it was time to move on.  I decided it was time to move from thoughts and feelings that weigh me down and prevent me from going forward.  The past is the past and are embedded in memories.  I am unable to change those memories, but I can create new ones.

Image2So as I celebrate my son’s 34th birthday, I will also celebrate me moving on from the less than perfect father and the less than perfect dad.

Today is my son #1’s birthday.  He turns 34 years old today!  Yes, he is a man, but he is still my ‘kid’, my son.

Happy Birthday Son #1!

Happy # 34, my ‘kid’!

 

It is not just Valentine’s Day

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❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

 

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, hope your day is a special one.

Today is a very special day for me, not only is it Valentine’s Day, it is also the birthday of my son #2.

He was born on this special day 32 years ago weighing in at 9lbs and 12 ½oz.  Yes, he was a big boy!

My son #2 has proudly served in the United States Military for the past 8 years.  Upon graduating boot camp, he was stationed in Japan for 4 years and is now stationed in the US.  He is a special man to me, not only because of his service to this country, but because he is my son.  He was married last year to a beautiful young lady who is a very nice addition to the family.  I am extremely proud of him as well as my other 2 sons; they all have grown into great men.

It amazes me how this baby, grew into a boy and then into a young man.  Where did the time go, and how did he grow up so quickly?

As you know I am downsizing and I am sorting through boxes and deciding what to keep and what to throw away.  I will not be throwing anything away about my sons; the newspapers articles, school pictures, graduation announcements, event programs and accomplishments they achieved.  No these items will someday be given to my sons.  For son #2, I have those awkward school pictures, you know what I am talking about, the photographer catches you by surprise when you least expect it and you are not smiling and your glasses are positioned crooked on your nose.  Well son #2 I have those pictures and I also have pictures of you dressed in your cute Halloween costumes when you were very young and then there are the school report cards of all your good grades and the newspaper articles of all your achievements.

Son #2 today is a man of 32 years.  The pictures today are no longer awkward; you stand tall and proud in your Military Blue Army Service Uniform.  And your cute Halloween costumes are now replaced with the Army Combat Uniform.  The school reports cards, newspaper articles and achievements are now replaced with Military Decorations, Insignias, certifications and accomplishments.

Son #2, I remember changing your diapers, feeding you, watching over you and keeping you safe.  Today, no changing diapers on your part – not yet, and I know the Army feeds you well and I know you are watching over me and keeping me safe.  Thank you son #2 and all other amazing military personal for giving of yourselves and your time for the service of our country.

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I am proud to be a military dad, but more importantly I am extremely proud to be your dad.

Happy Valentine’s Day my son #2, but more importantly Happy Birthday!

 

 

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I’m Moving On

As some of you know, I have written posts about how I feel about being a father to my 3 sons.  You see for many years I felt I was a failure to my sons because of the expectations I placed on myself.

You can read more specifically about this in these posts ‘Failed to be the father I wanted to be‘, ‘Happy Birthday Son #1‘ and ‘My 3 Sons‘.

As some of you know, I have written many posts about my 3 sons; the feelings, the surprises, the disappointments, but most importantly the love for them I greatly have.

You can read more specifically about this in these posts ‘No Phone Call Received‘, ‘He started it!‘, ‘Son #3 Now Married‘, ‘Son #3 Birthday Wishes‘, and ‘Amazing Grace to my sons’.

I’m Moving On

I’m moving on from the feelings of failure and disappointment of myself to feelings of acceptance and forgiveness for myself.

I’m moving on with my life, the past is the past, the present is here and the future is in progress.  I am moving on to the next chapter of my life.

The song ‘I’m Moving On’ by Rascal Flatts has the following lyrics –

I’ve dealt with my ghosts and I’ve faced all my demons

Finally content with a past I regret

I’ve found you find strength in your moments of weakness

For once I’m at peace with myself

I’ve been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long

I’m movin’ on

To my sons – I love you more than you will ever know – this blog is for you – to express who I was – and when you read this one day – know – I have overcome my doubts.

I’m Moving On

The song ‘I’m Moving On’ by Rascal Flatts has the following lyrics –

At last I can see life has been patiently waiting for me

And I know there’s no guarantees, but I’m not alone

There comes a time in everyone’s life

When all you can see are the years passing by

And I have made up my mind that those days are gone

To my sons – I love you more than you will ever know – this blog is for you – to express who I am – and when you read this one day – know – I have overcome my regrets.

I’m Moving On

The song ‘I’m Moving On’ by Rascal Flatts has the following lyrics –

Maybe forgiveness will find me somewhere down this road

I’m movin’ on

To my sons – I love you more than you will ever know – this blog is for you – to express my love to you – and when you read this one day – know – I have forgiven myself.

I’m Moving On

Me as Dad: I did what I needed to do

In my post ‘The Good Me & The Bad Her’, I wrote the following –

I have never spoken badly about my ex-wife to my sons – and I never will.  I feel no need to, it will benefit no-one, it is not necessary after all these years.

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I do however feel a need to explain me during this time that I documented in these notebooks.

Some of you know my feelings about me as a father to my sons.  Many years I felt like a failure because I was out of my son’s lives at a young age – they do not really know me.  This is one reason for starting this blog; I want to share me and who I am and my life in writing so my sons may someday know me and who I was and who I am.

 

In today’s post, I write the following –

The time during my separation and briefly after my divorce, my sons lived in the same area as me.  Living in a large metropolitan area did not mean we lived 10 minutes apart; it was more like 1 hour apart.   These notebooks I have and other documentation reflect the effort I put into being a father to my sons.  I drove miles to be with them after school while mom was working.  I helped with the science projects, the homework and the learning to read during their early years of school.  I took time to visit their teachers to discuss how they were doing in school.  I kept them on my ‘official visitations’ as well as when their mom needed me – which was more often than not.  I kept them when I felt they might be in harm’s way – I felt I needed to protect them.

I always payed the required child support and health insurance – never missed a payment.  I always gave money to their mom when she requested it – well beyond what was required of me.  I spent many more hours, days, weekends and weeks with my sons than what was required of me.  We spent time together, playing games, going to the movies, visiting parks, making meals, and even visiting Disney World.

These notebooks reflect the times, the events, the effort I put into being the best possible dad I could be.  This is reflected by my actions not just those my sons witnessed; the words ‘I love you’, the taking care of them, the hugging and the providing.  But these notebooks reflect the times, the events the effort I put into being the best possible dad I could be by those actions my sons never witnessed; those that are behind the scenes.

But I will throw these notebooks away because of the documented words from me about my son’s mom.

I did the best I could for my sons in their presence and in their absence.

I did the best I could for you my sons what was required of me and what was not required of me.

I loved you my sons then, and I love you now my sons to no end – Me as Dad; I did what I needed to do.

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The Good Me & The Bad Her

Over 7 months ago when I started this blog I started a series of posts titled ‘Thoughts From Years Past’ and this series concluded the end of October.  The first post of this series included the following –

Occasionally I will be sharing these thoughts, events and reflections about my life that I have documented over the years.  At times I read my writings and found it interesting how I have changed over the years.  My ideas, opinions have changed over time as well as my feelings and emotions.  What was once an important segment of my life, today is absent from my life.  As the documents of my life are revealed, there is a constant and consistent thread in me that reveals inner struggles.  Though I feel as I write and as I reveal; the constant and consistent inner struggles in me are drifting away and giving away to a better understanding of me, an acceptance of me, an improved me, a changed me.

Today I write the following –

A portion of the documentation that I wrote many years ago, includes 2 notebooks; a diary of sorts.  This diary was written back in 1992 and only for a couple of months.  I remember the reason for these notebooks; I knew why they were written at that particular time.  Though I have had access to them all these years, I had not read them again until a couple of weeks ago.  Ultimately these notebooks will be destroyed and thrown away.  You see they are evidence of sorts of when I was unhappy with my ex-wife at that particular time.  This was early in our divorce, and I felt I needed to document those things my ex-wife was doing with regards to our sons.

I have never spoken badly about my ex-wife to my sons – and I never will.  I feel no need to, it will benefit no-one, it is not necessary after all these years.

I do however feel a need to explain me during this time that I documented in these notebooks.

Some of you know my feelings about me as a father to my sons.  Many years I felt like a failure because I was out of my son’s lives at a young age – they do not really know me.  This is one reason for starting this blog; I want to share me and who I am and my life in writing so my sons may someday know who I was and know who I am.

But for them to know me, to learn about me, I debate with myself if I should share what is documented in those notebooks of long ago.  What I wrote is obviously one-sided as I wrote it from my perspective and these are my views only.

So I am not out to write bad about my ex-wife, the mother of my sons, to my sons – I am out to write good about me, the father of my sons, to my sons.

But I struggle with how to share the good me without sharing the bad her!

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Happy Birthday Son #1

Today is my oldest son’s birthday!

He is now approaching his middle 30s and I am honored to say he is my son. Since he was a baby, I would always say “He is just like me, he has my personality”. Many times I have regretted saying that because I do not wish upon him or anyone else to be like me! He is his own man; working, having children of his own and has become a very responsible person. But he does have some of my genes; the genes that cause struggles and challenges. We have a good relationship; we talk on the phone and I provide him advice when he wants it and I provide him support when he needs it. In person we easily hug and say ‘I love you’. I have always tried to be there for him the best I can, but I have failed on occasion. I hope someday he really understands how truly important he is to me and that I really attempted to be the best dad I could to him. Really the main reason for this blog, the writing and the putting out there my life, my experiences, my struggles is to provide to him and my other 2 sons an insight into who I am and the reason for my failures, my actions, my personality, my life as it is. I have always felt I failed as a dad; I failed them all and specifically my son #1.

I know from experience it is not too late to be a better dad, because as I have grown older my relationship with my dad has developed for the better (post: Happy Dad’s Day). I believe with time my feelings of failure as a dad will change and I will grow out of this negative label I have given myself.

My hope is someday when reading this blog my son #1 will gain a better understanding of me. My hope is someday when reading this blog my son #1 will gain a better understanding of himself.

Happy Birthday Son #1 – I love you!