As you know, I’ve been on a mission the past month. I’m working to bring to market a new company and it’s totally consumed my time.
Literally, from 7 a.m. to midnight most days, that’s what I’m doing, save a little time for a meal, a shower, and occasionally I force myself to go out for a walk around the apartment complex. The rewards for this labor are promising and literally around the corner. The days are long and the stress to be creative at all hours of the day has been good for my mind, yet as anyone who is creative knows, it’s quite draining.
But the hardest part of all is the contact with my family members. Not being in contact with them. No, I enjoy and savor each minute of that. It’s the parting that hurts.
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to run down to Birmingham, AL from Huntsville, to see my mom, who came up from Montgomery. We got to spend a few hours together, have some great pie at Johnny Ray’s, and do a little shopping. And then close to the day’s end, it was time for me to head north and her to head south. And so, we parted again. Such a hard thing to do, and something as an air force brat, I have known all too many times. Mom always used to get upset about leaving her parents in Northern Indiana when we’d venture off to a new base, one we’d been to before, or back to the one we were stationed at.
Tonight I got to see all three of my teen and tween daughters at one time. It was the first time all three of us had been together in about three weeks. We ate dinner, checked in on each other, and watched Guarding Tess to have a laugh. And before they left, at their insistence, we did a group photo on my MacBook Pro‘s Photo Booth. We took several of them, and the best one of all was when I took my glasses off. And then it was time for them to go again. Like a whisp of air, they have left again and come Saturday, I’m headed back out on the road again.
Yes, another adventure, and adventure is great to have in life, but it’s not as fun when you’re not doing it with with your flesh and blood. And while I know I’ll be back soon, it’s just hard knowing that the stress and deadlines looming are drawing closer and closer.
Kari and Ashleigh
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to spend a lot of extra time here with my daughter Ashleigh, 6. Her mom is sick and struggling to get well and so I’ve been helping keep Ashleigh occupied, while at the same time, trying to let her mom recover and catch a break. Tonight I missed cheerleading practice with Ashleigh so I could be with the other three. I’m not upset about that, as I’ve made it to a couple previous practices and got to take some good pictures of her Saturday in the Mesquite Rodeo Parade–one in which the twins, 11, and Chandler, 14, were able to do a few years back in a much different and seemingly simpler time.
In those days, I was the communications director for Dallas schools. I was busy and on 24/7 call. But I still had more time with my kids than I do now.
On The Road Again
Willie Nelson made the song famous and we used to play it often from a top the bus we used with Gov. Fob James back in 1998 on the campaign trail. And while the song has a great ring to it, it’s just hard as a dad who once was so involved with the lives of my kids, to scarcely being able to see them now.
As I’ve written about before, I remember the day back in 1969 or 1970 when a big blue bus came around KI Sawyer AFB in Northern Michigan, to pick up my dad to take him on his way to the Vietnam War in B-52s. He left that day not knowing if he’d ever come back home, and God only knows what would have happened if he’d been on one of those planes actually shot down. I know what happened when he got shot down on the next tour in a Huey helicopter, but that’s another story.
So I’m trying to toughen myself back up. With God’s will, I’ll be back to see my girls again in a few weeks. It’s just not easy to see them walk off after a long hug. Especially as they’re growing up so darn fast.
(Oh, and Haley, I found a note the other day that you left me and I wrote you one back. If you’re ever reading this and that…..)