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  • Part III of III

    I hesitate to post this piece. It's personal and I am still a little ashamed. I am not one to hurt someone else. I had to, or remain miserable. Hopefully she is happier now too...

    The non-stop flow of painkillers kept me fairly complacent to remain rooted to my home for a few weeks after the rod had been driven through my left femur, post horrific car accident. One morning I caught myself looking for the Vicodin before grabbing my morning caffeine fix. I took two Vicodin and phoned my physician. Doc, no more Vicodin. I am taking it to float through the day. The pain isn't that bad anymore. Thanks.

    I met her when I was 20. I was a bouncer, she was a bartender. I had a full-time job during the day but needed the extra coin. My little brother was a bouncer there too. We got to hang out after our day jobs. It was a big country western bar in El Paso. It was back when there was a $5 entry fee and all the well, wine and draft one can drink. It was rough, very rough and we earned our pay.

    She was 27. She had an ex-boyfriend stalking her. I offered to help. She was a friend and I was a little worried about this guy and her well being. We were married when I was 25. When I think back, we weren't right for each other for a number of reasons. She enjoyed the night life and party scene much more than I did. After 8 more years I was still unhappy. Our relationship had been spiraling out of control. The issues were vast. I don't like conflict, at all. It was easier to stay in the marriage than create the biggest conflict of my life by telling her I was leaving. We didn't have any children. I was complacently waiting for the last straw to drop in our marriage, I couldn't fathom having children together.

    Almost losing your life changes your thought process and certainly the value you place on life, how you are living it or in my case, not living it.

    I recall standing in a small beige fiberglass shower in our home. It was the first real shower I had in quite some time. I hadn't had one since before the car accident and 10 day stint at the hospital. I could barely stand and for unknown reasons was concerned about the water hitting my leg and stitches. I lost my balance, fell out of the shower, hit the toilet and landed on the cold floor. I knew it was time to make some changes. My mind was made up. There was no room for negotiation once I had made my decision.

    I don't recall exactly what I said but I told her it was time for us to part ways, in the most diplomatic and kind way I could at the time. It didn't go well.

    I had been working out at the gym, trying to get my strength back and rehabilitate myself from the accident. I was sitting on the edge of the bed about to tuck in. She walked in and said "What is that on your leg? Is that a hickey?" A what??? "You are seeing another woman aren't you?". She was livid. Can’t say as though I blame her. It must have been a cable or something at the gym, who knows. There was nobody else. I really just wanted to be alone. I wanted peace and control of my environment.

    The next day I loaded my clothes, photos and my sweet 25 lb, 15 yr old Maine Coon cat in an old Delta 88 Oldsmobile.

    I had been thinking about the details and my new beginning. I needed a fresh start on everything. A new environment, new career, new friends. I was not at all looking for a relationship. I had made my mind up I would live alone in peace unless I happened upon the girl I was meant to be with. I figured I would know when and if I met her. I wasn't going to look.

    I found the most luxurious apartment complex I could find in Albuquerque. The Pinnacle at High Desert. I figured this would give me networking opportunities for the new life I was seeking, career, etc. Nipper and I picked up an inflatable mattress and moved in. The first night in our new place he climbed up on the air mattress and punctured it. I smiled, let the air fizzle out and went to sleep happy and content.

    I found the perfect company to work for through people I met at my new place. I still work there today and am thankful to be here after 13 years. Many of the people I met are still dear friends.

    I was meant to be with someone. We did find each other. She is the one I was meant to be with. We were married in 2003 and have three beautiful, caring, funny, adorable children. I am blessed and so very thankful for that day in June of 1998 when my life took a wakeup call from the car accident I was so fortunate to survive.
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