Posts Tagged ‘family’

The Dreaded “D” Word

Greg called to tell me that Vanessa has asked for a DIVORCE.  Yes, the dreaded “d” word.  Greg celebrated his 38th birthday in March, his daughter’s 6th birthday in May and his 8th wedding anniversary in July.  My heart breaks for him and for Ella.

I, too, asked my husband for a divorce after 30 years of marriage and many of them, unhappy ones.  However, I NEVER wanted my children to be torn between their mother and father, spending every other weekend at one place or the other, alternating holidays and so on.  I purposely waited until both kids had graduated from high school, Greg was out of college and living near Boston, Wendy was a sophomore in college.  There was never any physical abuse in our family, but we suffered plenty of verbal abuse…more so Wendy and me, not so much Greg.  Early in our relationship, I went to counseling in an attempt to “make things work”; I asked my husband to accompany me, which he did once or twice then refused to go, telling me “he had nothing to talk about”.  That lead me to believe that it was my problem and he had no interest in “making things work”.  I attended counseling many times over the course of the next 30 years.  No, I wasn’t happy but neither was I so miserable that I couldn’t wait until my children were more or less adults before breaking up our family.  And I did it with a heavy heart!

Apparently, Vanessa was going to counseling but Greg didn’t say that she had asked him to go or that she wanted to make it work.  She doesn’t love him, their relationship isn’t exciting…blah, blah, blah.   You would think I could understand where she is coming from, considering I kind of did the same thing several years ago.  However, I tried for a very.long.time.  There was no social media when I got married and it wasn’t nearly as prominent 14 years ago when I called it quits.  She has posted a lot of pictures of herself and her girlfriends out at the bar, having drinks, while her husband is home parenting.  I’m sorry but spending time in the bar, with your divorced girlfriends, is not conducive to a healthy, marital relationship.  I mentioned that very thing to my partner, Bill, several times, along with the fact that she never mentioned being anywhere with Greg, even when they were together.  I also said it was like she wasn’t even married.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe that most people in long term relationships wake up every morning with that “pie in the sky”, “butterflies in my stomach” feeling. It’s great for books and movies, which is what makes them so popular, but I don’t think it’s realistic. I suspect Vanessa will figure that out but, then again, maybe not.

At a time like this, I wish I had a bevy of writers giving me the right words because truthfully, I don’t know the right words.
I’m sad; sad for the loss of a family unit at a time when families are so important.
I’m sad; sad for Greg because I know this is not how he pictured his life unfolding.
I’m sad; sad for Ella because divorce sucks, and it sucks for everyone involved, whether 6 or going on 26 and I HATE that her whole world will be turned upside down.

I’m concerned about Greg’s emotional and financial well-being, as well as Ella’s adjustment and emotional well-being.

I am praying that Vanessa will be fair, especially financially and that they will be able to agree on terms that are equitable to both parties.

Admittedly, I’m not completely surprised. I guess I’ve felt an uncomfortable “vibe” in the past few months.  Truthfully, I’ve never been very fond of Vanessa.  I’ve always found her to be somewhat cold and stand-offish.  I never felt she treated Greg respectfully…more like her man-servant, always yelling his name “Greeeeeeeg”.   I felt I didn’t have to be in love with her as long as Greg loved her and she made him happy, that was what was important.  I never really got the feeling that was the case; there was never much warmth or “passion” between them.

Greg is quiet, a man of few words with a twinkle in his eyes and a dry sense of humor.  I believe Greg is a wonderful, caring, honest and hard-working man; a loving father and I believe, a loving husband. When and if the time comes, he deserves to be with a woman who treats him with love and respect. I have not seen that from Vanessa for quite some time.  I’m not familiar with his social group or church family but I hope he has a solid support system and he will call upon friends and family when he needs them. There will be lonely, difficult times during the coming weeks/months but he doesn’t have to face them alone.

I will ALWAYS be here for Greg and Ella, anytime of the day or night!  I know this is not what he wanted, maybe didn’t expect, but I believe he and Ella will settle into the “new normal” and come out on the other side, better than ever, hopefully closer than ever, although it might not seem like that right now.

I love them unconditionally, I support them unconditionally.

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Another week at “Fun at Camp” has come and gone.  This year was a little different because Greg, Vanessa and Ella came and spent the entire week.  That meant a whole week enjoying my granddaughter.  She is getting so big and is walking, although tentatively.  She gets around so much faster crawling that I think she prefers speed over technique.

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Bill, Wendy and I arrived late Friday afternoon about 30 minutes before a horrendous thunderstorm struck the area.  It was very scary.  Lightening was striking everywhere around us.  Wendy was a little panicky because we didn’t have cell service and she was afraid something would happen and we would have no way of telling anyone we needed help.  Thankfully, that wasn’t necessary.  Neither of us liked it very much but Bill didn’t seem too shaken by the whole thing.

For the most part, the weather was good all week.  We were able to spend some time on the beach every day, even though it clouded up in the afternoon early in the week.  We took advantage of a cloudy day on Sunday and went to play miniature golf.  Well, it was cloudy when we left but was pouring by the time we called it quits somewhere around the 8th hole.  Everyone was drenched but that didn’t stop us from getting ice cream on the way home.

We spent time doing what we always do at camp…reading, floating, eating, relaxing, listening to the Red Sox (that can be a real downer sometimes, though).

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Fun at Camp 8.09 068

Speaking of mosquitoes.  We were warned that they were very numerous this summer.  That was a understatement!  They were awful.  Usually, when we sit around the campfire at night, there are a few mosquitoes.  However, this year they were swarming all day.  Even though it didn’t rain every afternoon when it got cloudy, we couldn’t go outside and just sit because we would be eaten alive.  The little kids are very tasty to the darn things…they were full of little red bites.  Ella got most of them on her face and Trevor got them around his ankles.  Even though we slathered them with all kinds of kid safe bug killer, they still got lots of bites.  Finally, by the end of the week and cooler temperatures, they subsided, which allowed us to sit by the lake and read.  The only good thing about them was the fact that they were small and slow.  If you spotted them landing on you they were easy to smack.

It was an entire week without internet, which felt a little strange.  Funny how quickly the computer, e-mail, Facebook, Google etc. have become a staple of our existence.

Needless to say, I haven’t gotten any sewing done lately.  After completing the hanging sleeve for the “Oriental Flower” I actually got a few inches sewn down.  I planned to work on it a little last night but by the time we spent about 10 hours, packing, cleaning, unpacking and putting away, I couldn’t keep my eyes open much past 9.  I had to return to work today so going to bed early was not a problem.

Bill and I traveled to North Conway one afternoon to pick up some staples at the grocery store.  We stopped at a great little quilt shop there.  Of course, we couldn’t leave without buying something.  Bill purchased a charm pack of Halloween fabrics so that I can make something to decorate Wendy’s apartment.

Spook Tacular charm park

I found some butterfly fabric which I have started to collect for a quilt for Vanessa.  It was on sale for $3.99/yd so I bought the end of the bolt, 2 3/4 yards, which I can use for the backing.  I also bought some bee fabric on sale to use for the backing of Wendy’s bee quilt, which I haven’t started but have all the fabric I need.

butterfly & bee fabrics

Now to make a decision on the pattern.  I want to make a scalloped edge which I have never done before and am thinking about some applique but that may mean that I don’t finish it for another several years.  That’s just too long.

I have 9 more shifts and 16 more days to work before retirement.  I’m getting excited.  I have an interview with Loews on Monday for a part-time position.  They are opening a new store in town so it would be perfect.  I’m crossing my fingers!

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That is quite a title, huh?  We or rather Bill, has been planning a cookout for a month or so.  He has wanted to have one for several years and decided this was the year.  Soooo, we sent out some invitations to people we like…coworkers, family, friends, neighbors, etc.  Altogether there were about 40 people and most responded with “yes, we’ll be there.”

Last night was the night.  It has rained here for the better part of the month but yesterday it was sunny and warm, not humid and not…one…drop…of…rain!  The cookout started at 6.  The kids came, along with beautiful Ella.  She is pulling herself up now and says a few words.  She is just so cute!

There was tons of food…

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and everyone seemed to enjoy the new firepit.

enjoying the new firepit

While I was snapping this photo, Bill announced to everyone that this was a surprise birthday party for me, as I’m turning 60 on Monday.  It was a surprise to everyone except the kids.  It sure was a surprise to me.  Some of my friends had brought along a card or gift, but we exchange on our birthdays anyway.  I didn’t think anything of it.  I was very surprised.  I have said it before, Bill is an incredibly generous man.

My sister-in-law (actually x sil) brought me this beautiful basket.  We have remained close friends even after my divorce.

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misc 026Isn’t it beautiful?

Bill gave me a new iTouch.  I’m looking forward to playing with it.  One more thing to keep me entertained instead of quilting.  Oh no.

Greg and Vanessa gave me a $100 give certificate to the local quilt shop.  Oh my, what to buy, what to buy.  That was way too generous but I will spend it well.  I almost broke down and gave Greg his quilt, even though it doesn’t have a binding.  However, I held off.  I really want it to be done before I surprise him with it.

My former Captain brought me my favorite candy…non-pariels.  The joke was made…if these are non-pariels, what are pariels?  haha

It was a really nice evening.  After everyone left and the “kids” went to bed, Bill and I sat by the fire, alone, just enjoying the quiet.  It was a special night, with family and friends, good food, warm fire and No Rain.  What more could one ask for?

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Anyone reading this blog knows that I have sold my condo and moved into Bill’s house.  Finally, the closing took place on Thursday and was bittersweet.  I have mentioned in earlier posts that I hated to sell my little piece of the world but now that it’s over and done; I can look forward to retirement in the fall.

The garage looks only slightly better than it did in an earlier post and the sewing room looks worse.  It will probably be at least a couple of weeks before I get it cleaned up enough to get some sewing done.  That makes me grouchy.  Unfortunately, another post with no quilting news.  Oh wait!  I got Greg’s monkey quilt back for the LA quilter and it looks great.  Now to find the time and space to get the binding on.  He will be here for the weekend but he won’t be getting it this time; maybe before the summer ends.

It rained for most of the month of June, effectively cutting our short Maine summer even shorter.  GGRRR!  Many of the potted plants, along with those in the garden, are moldy and being eaten by slugs.  GGRRR!   The sun finally came out yesterday and I was able to shake some slug bait into the gardens.  Hopefully that will slow them down.

Bill has been wanting to have a cookout for the past several years and tonight is the night.  I am working all day but he recruited Wendy to help get things ready.  He is grilling steak tips and turkey tips, along with smoking some ribs.  There will be several salads plus whatever our guests decide to bring along.  I told everyone that all they really needed to bring was chairs and a beverage if they didn’t want beer or soda (pop for those of you west of the Mississippi).

We spent some time yesterday getting the yard in order and putting some lights up around the canopy.  The weather has cleared since our weeks of rain.  We had a thunderstorm yesterday afternoon but the evening was perfect.  I’m hoping for the same tonight.  It is not as hot today and the radar doesn’t show any storms approaching.

We have a nice firepit for a campfire and the yard is surrounded by torches, which we hope will keep the bugs down if they become a problem.

I’m not much for parties and look forward to it being over and everyone going home.  However, once I get home and everything falls into place, I will have a good time along with everyone else.

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My dad passed away more than 10 years ago. Admittedly, we weren’t very close.  We never shared those little talks that fathers and daughters share on television or in the movies.  To be perfectly honest, I was afraid of him.  I never wanted to make him mad at me so I just did what I was told and didn’t ask questions.  That has carried forward with me, making me somewhat of a rug in certain situations and relationships.

I don’t think I ever told him “thank you” for the time he spent in the Navy serving this country .  He crossed the equator and the international date line several times.  I have beautiful documents commemorating these occasions.  I don’t know much more about what he did then.  Once when going through some of his memorabilia, I came across the telegram he received advising him that his father had passed away.  I can only imagine how difficult it was for him to be out in the ocean somewhere, away from friends and family, receiving such news via telegram.

He is buried in the veteran’s cemetary in Denver, CO along with his brother, who died several years prior to him.

My photos are packed away as I prepare to make my move in the coming weeks.  Maybe when I’m settled I can find my favorite, him standing next to the lake with a big string of fish, and get it posted.

I know it’s late, but “Thank you, Dad, for the sacrifices you made in an effort to keep this country, our country, my country free.”  I miss you, I love you, I wish I had said it more often.

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It’s always amazing how quickly time passes when I look back, seems like I was just having babies.  Beautiful Ella was born one year ago today, early in the morning.  She was about one month early but her mom was on bed rest for the previous month, so she could have been much earlier.  They live about 2 1/2 hours south of me so I don’t get to see her as often as I would like but mom and dad are very good about visiting regularly.

I love being a grandmother much more than I ever thought possible.  She is truly the apple of my eye and I enjoy watching her grow so much.  I know any grandmothers out there reading this understand exactly what I’m saying.  I’m looking forward to her next visit.

Ella contemplating her cake

Ella contemplating her cake

She was very subdued with the cake and didn’t make much of a mess.  I think she preferred the feel of it rather than the taste.  Plus I think she was getting tired, she had that “deer in the headlights” look.

Greg and Ella opening her quilt

Greg and Ella opening her quilt

She didn’t enjoy opening gifts very much but she did enjoy playing with the tissue paper.  Her dad was excited about the quilt and the fact that it was designed for her to carry around.  I hope that she drags it around with her to the point of destruction.

I will be making her mom a quilt sometime in the not too distant future, one with butterflies.  I’m still collecting fabrics, much easier to find than bee fabrics.  Ella will get another little quilt to go with her mom’s when the time comes.

Ella Bella, Belle of the Ball, happy First Birthday beautiful girl.  It’s only the beginning of a beautiful life!!  I love you.

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I got to spend yesterday afternoon with both of my children and beautiful Ella.  We were attending an open house to celebrate my nephew’s recent wedding.  It was good to see everyone together and reconnect with old friends that I haven’t seen in many years.  There was lots of wonderful and tasty snacks, along with a light meal of salad, lasagna, meatballs and a kind of seafood sauce over pasta.  The weather was perfect with enough of a breeze to keep the black flies away.

yummy yogurt

yummy yogurt

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