MY STORY 2000 to 2010

Written by Captain Mary on Saturday, August 27, 2011

 Hardly touched on all the details of my life, but I don't want to bore the hell out of my readers. Perhaps I will recall stories now that I am caught up. Life passes by so quickly, it feels like each blink of my eye, time passed. In reality it has, making each blink of my eye count is the hard part.
The new millennium starts with a very happy life and at 45 years old I still feel 25. I am in fantastic shape, tanned and tight. A great husband and a great family. I am surrounded by love and it makes waking up every morning a new adventure. Still out on the boat every chance we get and heading to Bimini as often as possible, which is a lot.
My customers understood that if the day was good, I would not be working, but fishing instead. The routine for my life was far from routine, but exciting and always happy. This was the year that I became grandma for the second time. I so enjoyed my granddaughter, the excitement of another would be twice as grand.
My husband and I had this 3 bedroom house, so it didn't bother us to take in a couple of room-mates. My son and my nephew. It was good for the guys to have each other, they watched sports together and it all seemed to be harmony for the most part. Now there was even more people to go out on the boat and have fun with.
Another year passed when I came home to find my husband standing in the middle of the house looking around as if a tornado had hit. Our wonderful happy home had been violated, someone had broken in and taken anything they could carry, destroying and throwing things everywhere. The things they took, really didn't matter except for the watch my now sick mother had just given me. We did recover about two thirds of our belongings, but none of that seemed to matter. It was the sick feeling I had that someone had violated my home. Someone came in and destroyed the comfort and warm feeling a home has.  The thieves were caught and convicted, but it was too late to change anything. The only way to protect ourselves from this happening again would be to get a big dog. That is what we did, a 110 pound bull mastiff, named Scooby, and his partner Baby, who is still around.
In the meantime I was battling with the thought of loosing my mother. Her diagnosis was bleak, and my last visit with her I knew would be the absolute last. Remembering the drive home from visiting mom, my brother and I talking about not ever seeing her again. The horrible truth was what had happened. A few days later I had lost my wonderful mother and confidant. I was so lucky to have Steve and my brother close by. I don't know how I could possibly pick myself back up alone. Every time I picked up the telephone I had to remember that my mother was no longer there to answer my daily phone calls. She was not there to answer my crazy questions and give me those famous recipes. It was as if I lost a leg or an arm or both. My brother gave me a couple weeks to morn, when he grabbed me by the arm and said he would take me to work himself if I didn't get moving. This is when I began to start my life again. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't miss her and sometimes I look at her beautiful face on my wall and tears fall down my cheeks. I miss her so much. I do know that she watches over me. I would hear mom call me in the weeks and months after she died, she has a very strong spirit. She was watching over the whole family and the spooky things that happened only prove it. She told me before she died that she would always watch over all of us.
Life moves on as always, even though there are hiccups along the way.
Things were becoming different in my marriage, we were fighting, over things that did not make sense, Steve also began drinking after 6 years of sobriety. I didn't really understand what was happening.
Now, my nephew is moving on to his own place and not so long afterward my daughter moves in, after a drama in her life, then again that is her story to tell. I had both my kids with me, now not as parent and child, but as best friends, unconditionally. A couple of little children running around was adorable too. Steve and the kids had a very special relationship, he was so good with them. Like a warm cuddly Santa would be.
It was a full house on weekends, when his children would visit. Yet things were tense, Steve would have more and more out bursts of anger, that I simply could not understand. The drinking getting worse and worse, he drank until he passed out.
My children moving out and getting their very own home, just a couple of blocks away. My son finding a woman to love and my daughter dating and having a good time. We got together for another fishing trip, all went well, until we arrived home and Steve and I had a argument over who was going to clean the fish. Which is always me, I walked to the kitchen and he followed me, still angry he pushes me through a glass door. My son grabbed Steve and stopped him, that was when I began packing my bags and boxes, moving myself to the spare bedroom. My kids kept a real close eye on me after that and would come by often. My boxes packed and piled up in the living room I was ready to leave. Steve looked at me and said not to bother he wasn't going to live much longer anyway. I thought he was tying to get me to forgive him, I was not willing to go through another relationship with violence. Things got calmer and once again back on the boat, this time to Bimini with my daughter as a passenger.
We had a great time, fishing and visiting friends, but it was time to go home. Suddenly Steve pulls back on the throttle of the boat in the middle of the Bimini channel. He says to us, "this is where I want my ashes sprinkled", I replied with, "yeah, yeah, lets go, its late". I didn't have another thought about it. Was I just not paying attention to the signs, or how would I know or think about what would happen next.
Three days later, Steve was having problems breathing, so I took him to the hospital. Numerous tests and one doctor after another, they finally have a diagnosis for Steve. What I thought was horrible heart burn was so much more. The doctors stood in the room explaining all the medical terms, which didn't mean anything, the words that stuck in my head was "30 days to live". Oh my, are you kidding, he is only 47 years old. In all this horror the only thing he worried about was if I would be alright. Steve tried all the treatments and without fail he passed in the same time, with or without chemo. I know that the chemo ruined his chance for quality last days. How could anyone think it would be good to take those last days and squander them with doctors and treatments. I waited with him, holding his hand, hours passed and I would never let go, until he did. I could feel the minute that he moved on, I reached over and took his ring with me holding it close to my heart.
I don't know how I got home, I was so dazed. I had lost my mother and husband in less than a year. By the time I arrived at home my sister was there to help with all the arrangements, she knew exactly what to do. My brother was there with my children also. Everything happened so quickly, I just wanted time to morn. Steve had wished for a party and cremation, and that is what he got. You don't know how many friends you have until someone passes away. Steve born on the 4th of July, dies on St. Patrick's Day, a man celebrated. The party was fantastic, all his friends telling stories and making me feel loved. They made me think about all the fantastic adventures we had on the motorcycle and the boat, and they told me stories of how much he loved me. What could be a better tribute to my soul mate.
My sadness abruptly interrupted by his x-wife, who kept calling for child support checks and wanting half of everything in the name of his children. I had to fight and claw my way through the children and family examinations and the financial turmoil. I never got to morn the passing of my husband, a year had past when I finally got a chance to honor him properly. I started remembering the things he talked about, one of which was where he wanted his ashes spread. I got the whole family together, which was by now my son and his pregnant wife, my pregnant daughter and the two grandchildren. We spent a week in Bimini and spread his ashes in a special private moment, first flower petals to mark the spot, and each of us spreading a piece of him where he wanted to be.
It wasn't all of him that went to Bimini that day, he always wanted to be close to me, so he also requested that I put his ashes into the boat compass, to always act as my guide. After that the boat would always steer directly to Bimini, as strange as that sounds, I have witnesses.
 He also talked about going to Australia, so I saved some of his ashes for just that thing. I plastered pictures of him all over the walls of the house, so I could always be reminded of his smile.
My son moved away with his wife and my daughter and her two children now living with me, things were easy. I wasn't alone, the kids made life so happy, because that is all they knew.
The year had not ended when I was gifted with two more grandchildren. Exactly nine months after the passing of my husband, we all have different ways to morn. Another year had passed when I decided it was time to fulfill my dream, and take my husband with me. Even though he was inside a baggy tucked into my bra. I was headed to Australia. The trip of a life time.  My outback adventure, Strapped on my backpack and jumped on a plane.
My first stop was New Zealand in September 2003. I jumped off the Sky Tower in Auckland and traveled the countryside, taking in all its beauty. Then it was off to Australia--Sydney, Tasmania, Ayers Rock and the Olga's, Alice Springs and the Mac Donnell Ranges. I also traveled to Darwin in the Northern Territory, where I rented a car and drove for days seeing the wonders of the Outback.
In Queensland, my final destination, I drove the coastline and went diving on the Great Barrier Reef, which became the final resting place for my husband's ashes. It was the adventure of a lifetime--and beyond. I never felt alone or scared as long as Steve was with me. A month of wonders and unforgettable visions.
I wanted to share some adventure with my father after my adventure and we traveled to Bimini for a week or so and he now knew what I found fascinating on the islands. Except for the boat ride back, Dad had a great time.
2005, June was my trip to East Africa, 20 days with my sister-in-lawn. Boy I thought Australia was fantastic. Here is a collection of some of my stories. Sky Tower Jump ,Serengeti, Monkey BusinessPee Pee Dance
2006 came and it was time for another trip. I told my Dad I was considering a trip to Costa Rica, on the plane we went, sight seeing and fishing up tons of sailfish. Another fantastic adventure.
Now it was time for me to do a little something different, something to improve my health and give my grandsons something to do with me. I had put on a bit of weight and my vanity got the best of me, I had to do something to break up the hum drum days that were passing me by.
I took up Tae Kwon Do, I shopped around looking at various schools, peeking through windows while the students worked out. I finally found a school that looked good to me. I went in and talked to the people inside, at the same time asking about my grandsons. They told me to come back the next day and just give it a try. That is what I did, and am now and forever in love with my new family. I starting loosing those extra pounds and in no time at all I was competing in tournaments. Met some fantastic people making life long friends. I accomplished State Champion two years in a row, but on my last tournament I got hurt, bad. I shredded my hamstring and destroyed my knees. I continued to take classes, my abilities were diminished, I was in pain, knees wrapped in bandages. I love karate so much I just couldn't leave. My whole family was participating at this point. My son and daughter, my two grandsons, granddaughter and myself. We were all obsessed with this activity.
Then the big  set back, the economy, I could no longer afford to continue to pay for the tuition to continue. My friends at the school just couldn't stand to see me stop before getting my black belt. I disappointed my family, because we all had to quit now. My karate family was relentless, I made arrangements to clean the school to pay for my tuition, which was what happened and I got my Black Belt, with pride. I could no longer endure the pain in my knees and had to drop out. All the things I did to stay in shape I couldn't do, no more karate or spinning classes. I could hardly walk anymore.
My finances were depleted and I had to cut the budget to make ends meet, I had to accept help from friends and family, it was a time that I was at my lowest. I gained 40 or 50 pounds, now still struggling with. Thank goodness I still had work, things were very much at their lowest level and the stress of my daughter and her family living with me was too much to bear. I know it was because I was unhappy, it had nothing to do with her. I love my children so much and now I felt like I let them down again.
Time as always passes and I had to make decisions that would help me get back on my feet. Like always I had to start all over again. I should be an expert by now, wouldn't you think? I snapped out of my depression and began to do things I could physically handle, which wasn't much. I had to get over how I felt about myself. I was determined to get back in touch with friends, join a social group and learn how to be a middle aged woman. I actually had to slow down. Things happen and I just have to enjoy the special love I have for the people in my life, for without them I would simply be alone.
I have so much more to talk about, but for now I would call this the highlights and I will be better about telling my story. For each life is special in it's own way, I can say that I could disappear from this life and have no regrets. My life has been fantastic and I look forward to more.
After seeing my story in print, I realize that life travels in cycles, with ups and downs, just like the earth we live on. Mountains are made only to crash into the sea, it makes a person realize that change is part of everything around us.

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