Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I'm a grandfather.

I just checked my email and got a reply from my son Bruce. I’m a grandfather and didn’t even know his wife was pregnant. This hit hard. How I miss not being in touch with them. He’s also about to be deployed to Afghanistan. After two tours in Iraq I thought he would be safe but not so. I think I’ll go to Midland and do some laundry and think about this. Don’t even know if it’s a boy or girl yet. Has my head reeling.
I’m depressed. Not just a little, a lot. Learning of my son’s having a child is hard on me. I know it should be joyous news but it reminds me of my failures and like my answer to Jeff’s comment on this post it tells of the prices I pay for my sins. We all reap what we sow but some reap more than others. There are those who say they’ve “lived a life without regrets”. What a load of crap. Everyone has moments and decisions they’ve made that they wish they could have changed. My life is one of many regrets, many mistakes. It doesn’t matter what excuses I have or the justifications I find for my actions, the results speak for themselves. I find myself wanting to be able to hold that baby, to cuddle it in my arms and hear it’s coo’s and cries. I wonder what it looks like and now I go back to the early years when Bruce and Adam first came into my life at the ages of five or six. I can’t remember how old they were but remember well certain moments. It was them I fell in love with, not so much their mom. Even today seeing children anywhere is my bright spot for the moment.

How I miss Bruce and Adam, but it’s my fault we are no longer close. One of my goals has been to write them regularly, to regain something of the father son relationship that I imagine once existed. I’m not terribly sure of that. Those memories are still part of the jumbled fragments that have not been fully restored, and may never be. It is a sad aspect of this brain injury that I have not followed through on this desire to reach out to them, just like I continually forget to write my sister regularly or anyone else. What I want to do I can’t seem to accomplish. I told Cherie that I need to get back to using the calendar to schedule these tasks so they get done. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I wrote them with the exception of the emails I remembered to send a day or two ago, the one that triggered Bruce’s response where I learned I was a grandfather. My sister told me, in her response to the email I sent at the same time as the ones to my boys, how much she wished we could be one big happy family. I am alone regarding that, I’ve been alone much of my life with the exceptions of the times Cherie and I had together in our first marriage and the times we have today. It’s hard for me to have friends, I don’t really know how and social interaction is real hard for me. I’m uncomfortable around others and that makes them uncomfortable as well.

I saw my friend Don today. Isn’t that a contradiction to my previous statement? I guess in retrospect I do have friends. I know I want to. Regardless, I saw my friend Don today. Don is a man who has been a strong Christian his whole life, or at least much of it. I don’t know for sure. He is diabetic and has been on dialysis for not just years but decades. The bones in Don’s ankle have deteriorated and collapsed. They are going to see a specialist tomorrow to see if he can have an artificial one installed. As you can imagine he is depressed, with much better cause than I have. He is facing losing the ability to walk all together. He has prayed and prayed for God to heal him or at least relieve him from some of the pain but to no avail. This tears at his soul. He must contemplate the possibility of dieing early and talked to me of this. Don, I know you read this blog and hope you don’t mind me sharing this. His concern isn’t for himself as he is confident of going to heaven, but for his wife, children, and grandchildren. Compared to my problems it puts me to shame. But it brings up the question I ask all the time, “why me”. The “why me” has nothing to do with the hardships I’ve endured but the blessings I’ve been showered with. Why should a good man who has been faithful and always eaten right and taken care of himself suffer these diseases? It really should be me. I’ve lived hard, beat up this body, and turned my back on God, yet I am blessed above all men. Well not all men but I deserve none of it. “Perhaps” I wonder, “Perhaps I am blessed for the sake of Cherie”. Perhaps God did this for her knowing how deep her sorrow and loneliness had been after that terrible divorce we had twenty four or so years ago. The bible says that the rain falls on good and evil alike. These things I don’t pretend to understand.

So I love my stray dogs intensely. Just spent time with them outdoors giving them the hugs and attention they so desperately crave. I must put Rascal and Trixie in the house to do so as they are jealous and interfere. Ben and Gretchen just bury their heads into me and soak up the love they had always desired, like all animals do, but had not received from their previous owners, getting beatings and abuse instead. I suppose my past is what spurs me to reach out to the unloved so hard. They are just coming out of the depression they had from losing their daughter, Ginger. It’s good to see them happy again, to see the spring coming back into Gretchen’s step.

I’m tired and crawled into bed hours ago. There are things I should do but have lost the desire. These depressions come and go. I hope this doesn’t last long. Pray for my friend Don if you could. Bye now.


Jeff said...

Bob, boy or girl ... congratulations!

Bob said...

Thanks. I am happy for my son but this news renews a great sadness that comes from the distance that now lies between us. It's not just a physical distance but a personal one as well. This gulf is part of the price I pay for mistakes made in the past and is one of the hardest burdens I bear. It's a hard law of life, a man reaps what he sows.