Tuesday, July 28, 2009

That's Life

Last night when I got to Mom & Dad's to pick Grace up after work Dad was sitting out in the garage in his rocking chair working a crossword puzzle. This is very typical of him, he loves to sit outside in the quiet and work his puzzles. Anywho...I pulled up and we got to talking. Dad and I don't ever have the opportunity (or make the opportunity either I guess) to sit and visit for any length of time so last night we sort of played catch up.

Now, keep in the mind the fact that I don't even get off of work until 10 pm so by the time I got to the house it was about 10:15 and we stayed outside talking for an hour and a half! When I finally walked in the house Grace was passed out on the couch in front of Mom and she looked like she was about to pass out too. She said "Have a nice visit?!" Oops! I didn't realize we'd been out there so long, but she knows that Dad and I don't do that often so she didn't care!

It was nice. An eye opener and a reminder of how incredibly wonderful my parents are and have always been. Some know and some don't know about the history of my relationship with Gene and some rough waters we travelled after we first got together.

Suffice it to say, I was 20 years old at the time and Gene was 33. He was a divorced father of 2 pre-teen boys and my parents were initially NOT ok with it. At all. I had moved out for the first time into an apartment with my best friend Stephanie and one month later was when Gene and I began our relationship. I won't even begin to go into all of what took place because quite frankly if you don't already know the nitty gritty of it then it's just none of your business!! However, I will say that from September '05 to May '06 my life changed completely.

I was head over heels in love with Gene and knew that I was going to marry him the first time I saw him sitting up in dispatch in full uniform with his feet propped up on the desk eating a Subway sandwich!! I had been working at the police department for maybe 2 weeks and was still very shy and didn't really talk to anybody. Long story short, we kept seeing each other downstairs and then after I was moved to evening shift for my training (the shift he was working at the time) he began frequenting dispatch....a lot!! He was always friends with everyone in dispatch and would visit occasionally but he began coming up everday we worked together and would hang out for about an hour before he had to go to briefing. Oh how I loved him. Finally after some help from the girls I was working with at the time he got my phone number from one of them and called me. I remember it was a Wednesday night (September 21st) and I had just got home from work and I was talking to Steph about him. Then my phone rang. I already recognized the number because I had had to call him out the week before for a K9 track and remembered his number!! I was so excited and I'm pretty sure that we talked until 1 that morning when he got off work. Like I said, I was absolutely crazy about him. And he about me. Which was really nice. He was older and mature and didn't act like a typical "guy" because he was a father and responsible and instantly took care of me. Nothing has changed over the last almost 4 years.

Like I said, my parents were not ok with our relationship. I am not a rebellious person by nature and I sure as heck was not a trouble maker growing up. Tanner and I were really never in trouble, serious trouble anyway, just the picking on one another sibling rivalry way! I never acted out or fought with parents and always did what I was told. Except when it came to my love for Gene. I pretty much told them that I would be with him no matter what and there was nothing they could do about it. There was a period of time where we didn't speak much, especially my dad and I. I can not even begin to put into words how incredibly hard that was for me and for them I know too. We were a very very very tight and close family growing up. My parents protected us from the evil ways of the world and always made sure our home was a "safe harbor" in the words of my Dad. We had no idea the kind of hurt that was the world. I got a taste of reality after I started at the police department because obviously that's about all we deal with, is the evil.

So, anyways, our relationship (mine and my parents) was on a slippery slope downhill. This was all the first part of 2006. I must say, that Gene and I hit it off and were together all the time. We talked and talked and talked and he would still come up and visit and bring Aros (K9) up to visit. I first met the boys in November '05 while I was working one Sunday afternoon and they had just bought Bear (our rat terrier) and brought him up to the pd to see me. The boys were very quiet and very polite the whole time. It was a little odd but not bad. I didn't see them again until February '05, the first time I went to Gene's house. He and his ex wife had agreed when they divorced that they would not bring people they were dating in and out of their lives. I was more than ok with that. I told Gene I was ready when he was ready. So, the boys and I clicked right from the start. They are both such great kids that it's unbelievable. They were respectful and polite and we were instantly friends. My biggest thing was not coming into their lives as a "mother" but more as a "friend." That approach apparently worked because we have never once had a problem. I must also say to that Gene's ex wife is incredibly nice and she and I have never once had issues either. Thank goodness! That made our relationship that much easier knowing I didn't have to worry about that.

Mid June '05 I was due to start my period and was a week late. Honestly, I didn't think anything of it. I had been cramping and just knew I would start anyday now. Well, at the time I was working with Stephanie (another Steph) and she and I had been on the same cycle for a while and we were both late. She kept asking me if I had started. Nope, not yet. So, one night at work we're sitting there talking and Kara (another co-worker) says we should take pregnancy tests. What? I wasn't pregnant, but whatever. So, Kara sent Christina (her trainee at the time) to Wal-Mart to by some pregnancy tests. She gets back. I go first. I know longer pee on the silly thing and the "pregnant" sign pops up. Holy moly. I didn't believe it. I just walked back into the room laughing. Steph went next. Same thing.

I wanted a second opinion so we sent Christina back to Wal-Mart for another pregnancy test. This time the digital one. I didn't want just a little line, I wanted it to say either "pregnant" or "not pregnant." Well....guess what that one said...."pregnant." I was excited. Not scared. Not freaked out (ok well maybe a little freaked out). I was excited. Gene and I had already talked about having kids together and I know what you're thinking and no, we were not married.

Another big deal. I was a Christian and had grown up in church and youth group and going on mission trips. I loved the Lord. I still do, more than anything. Now, obviously, that is not the way it was supposed to happen. Cart before the horse so to speak, but that's the way it was. Gene was excited also.

Once again, I won't go into the nitty gritty of what happened over the next couple of months because I don't want to re-visit some of that. But, my parents came around once they realized Gene (and the boys) weren't going anywhere and that we had made them grandparents.

So...I got pregnant in May and Gene and I were married that December. Grace made her beautiful appearance into this world the following February!! I sit here and look at her now and do not regret one step or action that I made because if something were different I wouldn't have my sweet girl!!! I am so completely consumed in my children and my role as their mother and honestly I wouldn't have it any other way!

Ok, back to last night and the talk Dad and I had. The relationship between Dad and Gene has been cordial since our marriage and they have never once been cross or nasty towards one another. They both love me enough to not do that. Anyways, Dad told me last night that he had no ill will towards Gene and that he wanted to have a good friendship with him and that he wanted Gene to know that he totally respects him as my husband, as a daddy, as an officer, and as a man. Melt my heart. He also told me he was proud of me. I almost cried. Now, don't think for one minute that it was the first time he'd ever told me he was proud of me because that is SO not true!! He's told me that on hundreds of occasions, but last night was different. I wasn't standing there as a high school graduate or a new hire at the police department or as a little girl who just learned how to ride a bike. I was standing there as his daughter, as a mother, as a wife, and as a grown woman. He told me he was proud of me and the life I had created.

He told me that he and Mom don't have to worry about me because he knows that Gene and I stand on our own two feet and take care of what is ours and that we are responsible and mature. We laughed because he told me how he always tells everyone how I "hit the ground running" as far as growing up goes. I moved out at 20, pregnant and married at 21, and financially responsible and grown up now at 24 (well sometimes grown up...when I'm not goofing with my kids)!! I told him that's because I was taught how to be a responsible adult. My parents took good care of us but they didn't hand us everything we wanted/asked for. We had to work for it.

I am forever grateful for my parents and for my husband and the relationship I have with each. My life has changed dramatically over the last 4 years and though there were some really rough patches I survived and I'm a better person because of it. God has blesssed me in ways I really don't deserve and yet here I am. I am eternally grateful to Him for that!!!

Daddy - I love you more than anything and you are the perfect daddy for me!!!!


Joyce said...

I needed a good cry! Thanks!!
I love you!

Nic said...

Great Story! We have more in common then you know..."The Cart before the horse" It is something I do talk about but not on the blog b/c my kids do read it and it's not the time to share that with them. I could never regret my beautiful daughter Taylor but what I do regret is how much my actions hurt my heavenly father. I have asked for forgiveness and I know he has. I to feel extremly (sp) blessed and don't deserve a single bit of it. Thanks for sharing.

ps.. I know this has been a book but my parents are 10 years apart went on ONE date and got married! It's been 30 years now =)

Nic said...

OH last thing..I promise! Taylor is having a sleep over/birthday party this Friday and we are going to try and make YOUR pizza's! Wish us luck!

Burks Family said...

I chuckle when I read this because I can remember that night in dispatch and the look on your faces.. Good Times!! This made me tear up Tator Lou!