Thursday, February 26, 2009

In Memory of My Son's Dad

I've debated whether this was the right thing to do, the right place to share an event so difficult for my son and I. But I decided to listen to my heart, asked my son if it was OK with him, since this blog entry is also very personal to him. Since this is a blog about life etc, I can hardly avoid speaking about an event of this magnitude. A couple of days ago, after rejoicing that we had finally been able to get in touch with my ex-sister-in-law and my niece Malanie through Facebook, we found out that my son's dad had passed away. He didn't pass away a few days ago, in fact he passed away more than a year ago. You see he didn't stay in touch with us and after a few years, we stopped pushing to stay in touch with him. We did try to reconnect shortly after that with his sister, but our efforts failed, as did hers to get in touch with us. I guess it wasn't meant to be. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, that doesn't mean that we stopped caring what happened to Shaun's dad or that we are not feeling bereaved by his passing at far too young an age.

Joseph Wayne Lewis Whalen was born in 1953 and never quite made it to his 55th birthday. He was always a bit of a rebel, which made his choice of joining the military rather unusual and his service not always smooth. I spent more than 20 years of my life loving him from up close. Then I spent over a year mourning our life together, followed by 13 years of loving him from afar. That love was not the same as the one I felt when we were married, and it was certainly tinged with regret. Regret for what we had at one time and what we could have had, but mostly a excruciating gut wrenching regret that he and my son did not have the relationship I always prayed they would have. If only the picture above had been a truism of their relationship, rather than a rare moment on a very rare occasion.

The life that Wayne chose to live, was not one that I could follow him in, nor one that was right for a 15 year old child to be exposed to. However, I wished Wayne well, hoped and prayed for his happiness and wondered if he had given my son a half brother or sister. Needless to say, it was a shock to find out that he had passed, and as a believer in the after life, I can only hope that he is now in a better place, free of pain and worry. I am sure that his family misses him. I just want them to know that we have missed him too, despite going on to have happy and productive lives in another country, surrounded by another family who was kind enough to take us in and love us both.

My son and I look forward to being in touch with the Whalens again. They were part of our lives for many years and we hope they will be part of our lives for many years to come.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Flop Goes M-C

I made it home yesterday around 4:45 pm. I should have been home earlier, but a couple of accidents, slowed things down considerably as did a whole lot of road work in Georgia. I think I can call my trip a success, despite the fact that I ended up staying a couple of extra days. I was really tired when I got home and after dealing with a minor crisis and eating some pizza, that Rick was kind enough to order for me, I flopped down on the bed and to my surprise, fell asleep at 6:45 pm and save a couple of short periods where I was awake for a few minutes, I slept pretty much till 9:30 am. Today I've just been chilling and watching HGTV.

I did have a little time off between meetings while I was up north. I visited the Archivers in Cincinnati and was suitably impressed. The people were really nice and the products were much more updated than what I had seen in one of the local scrapbook stores. I also stopped at the Archivers in Marietta, GA as it was just the right time for a break before I headed into the Atlanta traffic. They had a free make and take going, a thank you card, and I did stop to make that before getting back in the car.

I've got to say that I fell even more in love with my iPhone when I noticed that the map application let me know instantly if the traffic was heavy and for what distance . It sure helped seeing how fast I was travelling through traffic and being able to see roughtly how long the slow down would last. Because of the rubber necking you can even figure out if it is construction where only one side slows down, or an accident where you see a slow down on both sides, with the actual accident side being red for a longer distance than the rubber neck side. The iPhone also allowed me to type in just the word Archiver and the phone would show me where they were and select the closest one. Select the one and you instantly have directions with maps and timing and yes, traffic. I tried doing scrapbook, but I'm afraid that the tree times I tried, the stores had closed. Such a shame really!

Todays two pictures are of the master bedroom in two different decorated models of the same Valmont model. Amazing how the paint color on the wall behind the bed makes such a difference. The paint color in the first picture really makes the height of the ceiling stand out and because it is a warmer color it also makes the room look a lot cozosier! I can't wait to furnish mine and paint it.
I do hope to catch up with my buddies over the next week and I really need to do some serious packing. I'll do that maniana, tomorrow... yup tomorrow.