Coming full circle

Last week was crazy busy on all fronts in my life. At work, just when it seemed we had hit a rare lull in new projects and I was going to be able to catch up, the flood gates opened with new fires. I spent all week in the car running from Newark to Gahanna, from Worthington to Mt. Vernon, and down into Chillicothe. At the warehouse our capacity went from half full to where are in the world we going to put all this? Not bad considering a large commercial loss that we thought we had in the bag slipped through our fingers. All in all not a bad week for business, even if it was chaotic at times.

On the home front, we were adapting to having the boys at home. The ex wife had asked us to take them while she got some things sorted out, and for two weeks we got them off to school, did homework with them after school, and said best part worst part every night at dinner. Between sleep overs and football dinners, we kept on the go and loved every minute of it. Last Thursday we all watched John-Michael play in his last game of the season, then came home and prepared for Friday morning's journey. A 410 mile, 7 hour journey to see my family in central Illinois, it is a trek that I became very familiar with when my mother was sick, but one that I do not make nearly enough these days. However, with my Dad turning 60, and the boys with Tiffany and I, it was the perfect time to go.

As always, we had a wonderful time while we were there. My sister and Tiffany went shopping for wedding items and clothes for Angie's new job. The boys played and talked and laughed with their cousins. My Dad, brother in law, and myself watched the Buckeyes almost blow it against Indiana. And we had cake, dirt pudding, and gave him our cards and gifts to celebrate the milestone. It seemed like yesterday since he chose to take the role of Father for my siblings and I, though in reality it was 26 years ago since he married my Mom. Ever since, he has been teaching me how to be a man of integrity, how to live life the right way and how to be a great father. Lessons that I sometimes brushed aside or ignored all together. I can look back at them now and know that every time I rolled my eyes as he tried to nudge me in the right direction, I should have been taking notes instead. Because every time he gave me advice he was right.

As I turned the car towards home yesterday, I knew I was going to be driving into a storm. The winds kept me fighting the car the whole way home, and the rain was steady, though at times it poured on us. As I drove I thought about the guidance he is giving me now, and how all the lessons he has taught me have parlayed into the storm I am going to face today. As I dropped them off at their mom's, I hoped it wouldn't be for long.

I would never say my ex wife is a bad mother. Even in our worst times as a married couple, she focused on Tanner and his therapy and became a big part of the reason he is no longer disabled today.  But I would question her priorities and wish that she would now put the boys above everyone else. When we were first separated, there were a lot of people who wished the same of me. I remember the day my oldest son called me out on how low he and his brothers were on the totem pole. It was a staggering blow, one that made me realize I was at rock bottom and had to rebuild my life. It took a long time, and the help of my sweetheart, but I am proud to say I have climbed that mountain. My ex, however, is back there at square one, trying to figure out the best path for her, and the guys are getting lost in the shuffle. It is hard to imagine that the boys can be her number one priority in light of recent events. Not to go into the dramatics of her life, but if she is not able to see that rock bottom is now, then she will never be able to begin to rebuild. I have asked, and even begged, for her to let me help her by keeping the boys until she gets back to a place of stability. She has refused, time and time again, and that has brought us today.

I will ask a judge today for emergency custody of my boys. A hearing next month will determine whether it will be permanent, but today is about what is best for them right now. Stability and consistency are things I can offer right now that she cannot. And while I know the judge can look at the pages and pages of documentation and photos I have provided and come to the right decision, I hope that common sense also plays a role in today's outcome. She needs to rebuild. I can provide a stable home for the boys while she does that. I know she cannot, or will not, see that. But I hope the judge will. And I hope the boys are able to come back home tonight. If not, I fear there will be permanent damage done that will follow them their whole lives. And I fear they will not have any kind of relationship with their mother when they become adults.

Either way, at day # 560, it is still good to be me. I have 3 great kids, a wonderful fiancee, and a job that I love. I have a family that supports me, friends who have my back, and a good life overall. But I hope at the end of day # 560, it will be even better as I tuck my guys in for the night.

Have a great day everyone.................and wish me luck!


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