The Early Years

Life has been challenging to say the least. I just want to give a bit of background information prior to the real challenges life has brought my way.

My parent's marriage was practically over by the time I was born. Some of my first memories before age five are less than ideal memories. I remember flying ashtrays...my dad was a smoker. I can remember looking at different apartments and houses with my mom prior to my parents separation and moving away in the moving truck. There really wasn't any debate who we were going to live with. I can also remember walking a very long way home from kindergarten all by myself. Crazy the things we'd never allow our children to do today!

My brothers, my mom and I moved into a two bedroom apartment. I shared a room with my mom. I think I even slept in a crib until my grandfather bought us two twin beds. We had beds for the boys.

My dad sure loved his booze. In fact I recall going to see my dad's apartment in Waterloo after my parent's separated and my dad wasn't at home. My dad showed my brother how to break into his apartment through the fireplace if that scenario ever occurred. I can remember waiting for my dad watching King Kong in his apartment and then the next memory of my brother's running away. I was feeling so confused. I can remember why we were running away...my dad hit my oldest brother Paul but I don't remember watching my dad actually hitting him. It's interesting how your brain blocks out the traumatic event but not in it's entirety.

When I was growing up, I saw my dad a couple times a year. It was kind of strange, my dad would come and pick my oldest brother Paul up but never Chris and take him to the stock car races. Paul was eleven when my parents separated. I always felt bad for Chris because he never went along.

I always felt like my relationship with my dad was initiated by me. I probably wouldn't have seen my dad if I wasn't the one to make the effort. I was only five when my parents separated and I really wanted a dad. I was happy to have what I could get.

I always felt like an outcast. It wasn't very common to have separated or divorced parents in the seventies so I always felt different. I met a friend in my apartment who also had divorced parents. That really helped me feel like I wasn't alone and that someone else could relate.

We sure lived in a pretty rundown apartment but it was pretty awesome. There were only fifteen apartments but there sure were lots of kids. There were almost kids in all fifteen apartments. We had great soccer baseball games, hide-and-go-seek games and there were always lots of kids to play with. We had several parks in the area to choose to go to. We played at the park, went tobogganing, skating, you name it we did it.

I have so many more stories to tell but I will have to leave the other stories for another time. This is a blog and not a book so until next time...