I have, for as long as I can remember, been fascinated by other people’s history.
One thing that I have noticed is that all too often, we don’t see deep enough with others.
For example, my wife who is the centerpiece of this story is one of the most unique people I know. Not many people know the things that I do about her past and that of her parents whom I have known for over two decades.
I titled this article “Seize The Day.” I am about to give you my background; focusing on the last several years. I hope that what you read brings you hope, understanding, laughter and unfortunately there may be a few tears,(from me as I recount this.) I do hope you enjoy it.
I was raised on the Northern California coast in a small isolated town known only to locals and those who pass through on 101.
I met Amanda when I was seventeen years old. She was four years younger and one of my little sister’s friends. She was exhaustingly hyper with frizzy hair pulled up in a tight bun. We spoke in passing a few times as I was shy and she was so young.
The years went by and we went about our lives. I fell in love and married Rebecca in the winter of 2004.
Rebecca and I went on to have four wonderful children and more than eight years together before our light went out. Broken I returned to my hometown. I began to drink heavier and I married a second time on a drunken rebound.
That marriage was doomed and it was three and a half years of excessive drinking, fighting and my family left in shreds.
Once again divorced and at the end of my rope, I moved in temporarily with my parents. My last marriage had left me without contact with my children and I was alone. I drank from the time I got up until I passed out the next night, sobering up only for work and sometime not even then.
Amanda found me one day at work while she was shopping. She was just as much in the gutter I was for the very same reasons.
We instantly found common ground and she confessed that she had fallen for me at age 13. It was incredible the way that our paths came back together.
We married amidst much concern and criticism by my family. Then I began to throw up blood. It became a daily problem and one day when it happened nine times Amanda couldn’t wait any longer. She shoved me half unconscious into the car and sped to the hospital where I would remain for two weeks more dead than alive.
I recovered but it would take a few more months to put the bottle down. One night we had pushed ourselves as far as we could. Her mom fell in the next room while we were drunk. I couldn’t wake Mandy and I couldn’t get my mother in-law off of the floor. An ambulance was called and she was taken in for observation.
I turned to Amanda, filled with self loathing and guilt and I said, “I’m done, I am done drinking.” She looked at me and asked if I was sure this time. I said yes and we both began a cold turkey road to sobriety.
That would not come without consequences. I became very ill and I went into liver failure. I spent several weeks on and off in the hospital and was entered into a transplant program. I was told to say my goodbyes to Amanda and my extended family. I was looking death in the face at age 39. Amanda prayed, I prayed, I accepted the possibility of death. After all it was my fault I am sick to begin with.
Almost two years later we are still sober, I have regained much of my health and strength back. I am still looking at a transplant. Amanda and I live our lives to the fullest as much as we can. We laugh we love, and we are just weeks from moving to Colorado where I will be reunited with my children after six years.
So yes, by all means take every advantage of every day. Don’t wait until you are forced to. Play with your children. Kiss your spouse for no damn reason at all and remember that your legacy is yours to create.