Forgive my paraphrasing but tonight I witnessed what was truly a moment that could have been taken from a Nicholas Sparks book. 

I felt as if I was intruding on what should have been a truly intimate and tender exchange but considering it occurred in the middle of the pub we were at and the young man was obviously intoxicated, I can’t really beat myself up. 

Let me set the stage, so to speak…

It’s a small local pub. There never seems to be any rhyme or reason as to what is the best night to come because a Tuesday can be standing room only and a Friday, like tonight, it can be barren. In fact, there were only about 8 people in the entire place at 9:30 pm. 

It was dark, the music was obviously on a loop and Julie and I went to simply pacify a couple that we sometimes spend time with. 

Again…I obviously didn’t record the outburst but there are parts that stuck with me and made me want to go “ahhhh”

A man of about 35 and a woman of the same approximate age were sitting at a table with three others; two more men and a woman. They were joking, laughing, carrying on as you’d expect any group at a bar on a Friday night. Suddenly, the man I described, loudly addressed the woman:

“I’m tired of hearing this bullshit! You get on the dating websites and you look and look but it’s always 2 hours away, 6 hours away. You never look for anyone here! Well, let me tell you something! I love you! (At this point the two other men tried to quiet their friend but he waved them off) What? That doesn’t make me weak or pathetic! Yes, (insert name here) I said I love you! I don’t give a shit about your hair, job, car, house of any of that other crap! I don’t care that some days you are a pain in the ass! I don’t care that you are moody and irritable! I just love you! But the kicker is that you tell people you’re not attracted to me. That I’m too dominant of too needy or too whatever. The truth is that if you let me in. I mean really let me in and trusted me you might actually love me back. And if you loved me back then you might be happy. And if I stopped loving you or if something happened to me, that happy life would be taken away again and you wonder if you are unlovable or maybe if you are allowed to be happy. So you look for people who you can’t love. People so far away that you automatically have an excuse when things go to shit! You want the fun shit that goes along with a relationship like sex and companionship but the truth is that you don’t want real! So go chase whoever but that not going to make me stop loving you!”

When he finished, he grabbed his coat and left. Everyone in the bar just stared. Except me. Me being me I looked at the woman and said, “takes a lot of balls to admit something like that, even if it was induced by liquid courage.”

Julie nudged me and we paid our tab and left. 

What happened next surprised me almost as much as the mans admission. Julie stopped at the table and told the woman, “if even the smallest part of what he said is true, you may have just let the best thing that could ever happen to you walk away.”

It was definitely an interesting night. 

A quick little laugh 

Last night as Julie and I were not celebrating New Years, a friend stopped by. 

There is a running joke amongst some of my straight friends that several of us will run off to Utah and I will marry them all. They call themselves my “sister wives”. Julie think it’s funny and has even started telling them, “as long as you all remember I get to be the FIRST wife” 

Well, J (the friend who came over) has become the latest in my group of sister wives. Which is up to 8 now. For the record, I can barely keep up with one wife. I make no pretenses that I could EVER manage more than one relationship at a time!

However; we were making the bed and joking about J’s new status as a sister wife. She asked, “what separates me from the others?”

I responded, jokingly, “would you be willing to fix my coffee in the morning without bitching about it?”

She replied, “absolutely!”

“Then it’s already better than my last relationship. Hell, we didn’t have sex the last year we were together anyways so there ya go!”

At which point Julie started giggling uncontrollably. I asked what was so funny and she said, “well, YOU didn’t have sex the last year you were together!”

Yes….my girl is a smart ass… 

New year 

Yesterday we decided to forego any New Years celebrations. Oh, don’t get me wrong…we didn’t make an intentional, “let’s be anti social” or “let’s just be together” decision, we just realized that we are at a point in life where the passing of one year into another, while monumentous, is just another day. 

We had originally planned to go to New Orleans. As I sat down a few weeks ago to book our trip, Julie and I decided that we didn’t really want to go. 

Then we decided to go to Austin. A friend invited us to her annual bash and it seemed like a good idea and an even better reason to go to our second home. We decided Monday that wasn’t what we wanted to do either. 

Yesterday we were invited to spend the evening with friends at their remote home. Just a casual dinner, wine, laughter and fun. The nastiness of the roads made us change our plans yet again. 

What did we do? 

We went to dinner at a local “Mexican” restaurant. I use that term loosely because no where around here has anything remotely close to what we like to call Mexican food. 

Julie had two margaritas and I had tea. Last thing either of us needed was to get pulled over on the biggest night the police have. 

We went home. Julie and I changed the sheets on the bed. She folded socks. I cleaned the kitchen. We watched tv. 

In fact, we were both in bed, sound asleep when New Years chimed itself in. 

I was awakened by mine and Julie’s phones lighting up from all the texts and messages wishing us a happy new year. I responded to the ones from Huey and Dewey and a couple of close friends but left the others for this morning. 

I did compose a note to send to Julie for her to read when she woke up. 

“Happy New Year, Beautiful. 2015 definitely tried to kick our asses. Both individually and together. There were times when I’m sure both of us wondered if we would ever find our footing on the foundation that kept our love alive all these years. I was a douche bag on plenty of occasions so I take full responsibility for any battles that we may have been waging inside our hearts. No matter how scared I was; no matter how hard things got; no matter how easy running away would have been, I never once entertained the idea of giving up on you, me or us. Most days I could easily point to you and say, ‘she’s the best part of me’ because you always make me want to be a better person. Thank you so much for that. I know that sometimes life gets hard and it feels like there’s no end to the struggle. Please, always remembe this; you are loved, respected, admired, wanted and needed. My life is better with you in it on a bad day than it ever was without you on a good one. May 2016 be gentler than 2015.”

At 8:02 am I was awakened by a kiss on my forehead and my beautiful wife crying. She told me that was one of the most thoughtful and touching things she’s ever read and it reminded her of just why we were always meant to find each other again. 

We battled cancer. The building of a house. A move to Texas. Cancer again. My own slew of injuries and illnesses. And we came out on top. 

2015 wasn’t a great year for us. But it was a hell of a lot better to go through it with her than it would have been to go through it with anyone else! 

Happy New Year! 

Karma? Who knows. 

Funny how people feel it’s necessary to keep a person informed about their ex. 

I got an email the other night from a mutual friend. Truth be told, I’m pretty sure she isn’t really a “friend” but someone who feels the need to produce drama. 

Anyways, her information may or may not be accurate but whatever the case, it’s not really my concern. 

Her email to me was one to basically prove to me that Karma is alive and well and it has found time to deliver its bounty upon my ex. 

Well, let me just say this…. I wish her the best and hope that her luck, financial, career, and love turns around. 

I spent a year full of bitterness and anger at her because of her selfishness. It made me the type of person I would never again want to be. 

Today I am married to the love of my life. We both have careers that we love and are doing exceptionally well at. Julie is fighting her battle with breast cancer and I am standing, faithfully, by her side. We have homes in Illinois and Texas and love the freedom that we have since we reconnected. 

Do I see the irony in the way our situations are now reversed? Yes, but I feel pity for her more than anything. She has never been strong enough to stand up for herself and follow her heart and that will always leave life’s little victories out of reach for her. 

A friend asked me if I had known Julie would develop breast cancer and I might not have much time with her, would I have still chosen a life with her? 

After much thought I answered with a confident, “yes!”

See, I wake up each morning with the knowledge that I am loved, unconditionally. That feeling could never be measured on any scale known to man. It is worth the risk if I’m able to feel this type of love, even if it’s just for one more day. 

My ex will never know that feeling until she learns to give herself completely, to another. So money issues, career issues? They are really just issues. Trusting your own heart? That’s what living is all about! 

***to be completely honest..I still can’t stand her. But, that doesn’t mean I wish her ill. 

I don’t have time for this! 

I have successfully climbed to the upper ranks at my firm. This affords me the opportunity to work from home, I receive a grocery and housing allowance, a company car, a company credit card and all the responsibility that goes along with that. 

Now, anyone who has ever had a company credit card knows that it’s not just a free for all. My charges have to be related to work in some sort and no alcohol can be charged. 

Cool. I can do that. 

Also, I have to submit the actual receipts for each purchase. 

Cool. I can do that too. 

Well, typically I will tape several receipts to just one sheet of paper, scan and send to our accounting department. Up until now this has been fine. Encouraged, in fact. Until today. 

“Please scan and send each receipt individually. It is a bit tedious to go through the various receipts on one page.”

My response?


Since being an accounting intern is so tedious, from now on I will mail you my original receipts in the above documented format. Each individual and separate from the rest. Enjoy.”

Her response was a less demanding, “that’s ok. I’ll just go through them the way you’ve been submitting.”

On a less snarky note..yesterday Julie put up the tree, I put up the lights and we watched football. Life is good! 


Julie had her reconstruction surgery and is now a smaller C cup. 

I’m not sure how I feel about her new breasts. Not because I am a “boob” person but because they have an almost Frankenstein-esque appearance. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love my wife and if she had no breasts at all I’d still find her sexually irresistible. It’s just not what either of us was expecting. One nipple appears a LOT larger than the other and the keyhole incision that the surgeon made is blaringly obvious. 

As the surgeon gently removed the “bra” and then cautiously removed her stitches we both just kinda sat there surprised. 

I mean, when she had the first operation to remove the lump, there were the scars that we told ourselves, “when they do the reconstruction it’ll be perfectly normal”

The surgeon insists a lot of the mismatched size and redness is the swelling. We will see. We did a lot of research and even had to pay out of pocket and submit the insurance paperwork ourselves but she is “the best”. Right now we are waiting for her handy work to make itself evident. 

It has only been a week so maybe I just need to be patient. 

On a not so great but not so bad note…when they did the reconstruction they removed the other mass they had found. They also took samples of different areas and sent them off for pathology; the results weren’t great news. 

There are abnormal cells in her ducts. One concern with that is that it doesn’t show on a mammogram so now she has to go in to have blood work and biopsies every three months for a year. If they are normal, it moves to every 6 months for a year and so one and so forth for…..well, forever. 

It’s easier to focus on the possibility that my wife’s breast are deformed and have been mutilated by a surgeons error than to face the reality that she is not even close to being out of the woods yet. 

Whatever the case, she has that anti scar cream that she religiously rubs her chest down with twice a day and she once again allows me to see her topless. The fact that she is still here is enough to make me extremely thankful this Thanksgiving! 

We will be snowbirds

At least that’s what Julie is telling people. 

After much debate, discussion, back and forth, number crunching we have decided that we do want to split our time between Illinois and Texas. Austin to be more specific. 

The plan right now is to spend the holidays here and after the first of the year, move. 

I’ve worked so hard to get the autonomy to be able to live wherever I want and still do what I love but now that I’m “there”, I almost can’t believe it!


I’m getting ready to board a flight to Dallas. Our projects there have been delayed due to weather and I need to make a few “executive decisions” about how to deal with damages to our office. 

Life is life. They found another mass in Julie’s latest scan. On the left side. 

We are coping with it. 

I feel like I should write something but don’t feel that I’m at a point where I want to share everything that’s in my head right now. 

Forgive me. 

And the there was C 

Yes. She is back. 

I have managed to avoid C for a while now. In fact, after Julie was diagnosed with her cancer in July, I pretty much cut off all communications with C. 

I didn’t want to be a complete ass, so rather than unfriend her on Facebook, I simply unfollowed and moved her to my acquaintance list so none of her posts show up in my news feed. 

I have been working in her sleepy little town in New Mexico, though and with her now being a Deputy, I do see her from time to time. We don’t speak and truthfully, I’ve been grateful for that 

Last time we did speak, she was on this kick where she felt the need to tell me all about her sexual exploits. Apparently, she now has an actual girlfriend and felt compelled to tell me about a recent fight they had. 

My response was less than polite. 

That last part where it says, “and for the record” was where I was explaining that I’m not sleeping with anyone besides Julie. I was so flustered and frustrated I just started to spew. 

I haven’t heard back from her and if I’m lucky I won’t. 

Sad how I’ve gone from thinking of her as a dear friend to being repulsed to even associate with her. 

Back and forth 

Julie has cancer. Had cancer. Has cancer. 

Where exactly does she fall at this stage? 

She had her right breast, for all intents and purposes, removed in order to extract a malignant tumor that was still incapaulated inside the tissue. 

She is enduring chemo. The nasuea, the hours of sitting while toxins flood her system, the after effects of joint pain and the moodiness that all come as a free bonus when you get the news; “you have cancer!”

It’s getting colder and work is ramping up. I’m busy with hiring more inspectors, negotiating contracts and sporadically building bridges. This means leaving my beautiful and moody wife alone more than I’m comfortable with. 

Right now I’m on my way to El Paso, TX. For those who don’t know where that’s at, El Paso is so close to the Mexico boarder that I have to trek through border patrol stations anytime I leave town. Luckily, I learned early on to take off my ball cap and sunglasses and I’m simply waived through with a smile. Apparently, blonde haired, blue eyed butches don’t exist in Mexico so the question of my nationality is never brought up. 

Julie is struggling. She is feeling insecure. Wondering if she is still attractive, wondering if she is still going to be active, wondering if she is still loved. 

I hate that. I feel like all these insecurities are my fault. I should be doing more. Telling her more often that she is beautiful, sending more flowers, leaving more notes, holding her closer. 

The reality is that the cancer and its subsequent treatment is throwing her into an early menopause. This means that the “typical” mood swings that we expected from her diagnosis are amped up. 

She shuts me out. She gets angry at nothing. She pushes me away and then pulls me back in. 

She is too self conscious to allow me to see her topless, which makes sex awkward and clumsy. My job is now to make sure that I don’t make a big deal out of the fact that she is lying there with a tank top on and I’m not touching her breasts. 

I tell her I don’t care. I wrap my arms around her and kiss her neck. I love her. 

It feels like the cancer was the easy part….