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I have found a peace in my heart.  A comfort that I know only comes from God and His powerful hand. I have shared my struggles with God but looking back through all of the ‘bad times’ He was always there. I never worried much about where God was taking me and my family, sometimes I did not care if He wanted to go ahead and take me, lately I have felt ready. Not to escape the struggles but just ready to go home. But I also enjoy life, I look back on stumbling and struggles and I see God’s hand constantly.

I enjoy my kids who are the greatest, my wife who understands me and the things that she does not understand she has studied and delved deep into the subjects so that she might understand. I am thankful for my friends that show me laughter and so many things that are right in the world. I am not suicidal, I am just comfortable with any direction God directs me. We are not rich by any stretch of the imagination, not by what the world considers rich anyway. We barely make it paycheck to paycheck, a lot of times we have to sell things just to make it through. We want to reach out to others but we cannot do it with money, so we try and do it with service to others, which is very fulfilling. This makes us rich.

I do not worry about what tomorrow holds, our situation is tough because I am unable to work at this time because of health issues, and legal issues. As a man I feel like I am not pulling my weight, this bothers me sometimes, but I know that God is always near. I have turned on God before, with words that sadden me. But since I have been with Nee-Nee, my kids, and my church family God has given me treasures beyond description. He is a loving Father who has not hidden His face from me, even though I have felt like He has, He hasn’t.

Sometimes I feel like Superman, a broken Superman, but Superman none the less. I do not worry about myself, and what might happen to me. I watch out for my family and I am a little protective, but I trust in God. I did not worry about the shooting that occurred here, or what my wife and I viewed outside of our window. I was saddened that it effected Nee-Nee and so many of the tenants that live here, but honestly I did not worry about our safety. I have confronted people that would intimidate others without a second thought. I am not testing God, I feel like I have a comfort with God and I feel that it is His will and His strength.

Some of you might ask then why do you suffer from depression, anxiety, compulsive, and attention deficits? The only thing that I can think of is because of my constant drug use, and a craving that I do not fully understand. But I can tell you that it is not from worrying. I am not anxious about tomorrow. God has never failed me, though when I was younger I thought He had, the truth is He hasn’t. That is another reason I like to look back into my past, because as I look at it and the times I thought that I was away from God, I see Him in the dark corners of my life at that time. I look back and see Him when I missed Him the first time. Seeing this I see that God has worked inside me and changed my faith. He has strengthened it and continues to. I know that God has a mission for me to do, I have not seen it yet, but I might even be in the middle of that mission and not realize it until later. He has kept me alive, even during the times that I was ready to leave, and take myself out of this world. My attempts were futile, because God loves me and has a purpose for me and all that He loves.

I believe that tragedies occur sometimes to be a lesson to others, and to help others grow even when we are so deep in our own sorrow, or loss. Death is not an ending but a beginning to a beautiful life, I think that sometimes instead of sadness with all the death that I have experienced, was jealousy that they do not have to deal with this world anymore. My Gramps on my mothers side was a horrible man, who obviously thought of carnal pleasures over his own children and grand-children. But when most people would say a man like that must be headed to hell after he died. And the odds are against him, but God works in different ways. There is still a chance that God brought him home. I don’t know, no one does. I just realize that I have a peace that surpasses understanding.

This upsets people sometimes because they don’t believe me. With all the tragedy, and the ‘hardship’ that we are experiencing at this time, people tell me that it is okay to ‘admit’ that I am worried. It is not impossible for us not to worry, or God would tell us it is normal and go ahead and do it. I do have to work on my patience but not with where my life is going, I have short patience with those that worry about things that they cannot change. We talk about how good God is, we talk about His love for us, and how comforting He is to us. So if we believe, TRULY believe this, why worry? If God took away all of our material things I could go on. I would miss the convenience that they offer, but I know I will live without them. If God took away someone close to me again then I know life will go on, and I will see them again, but in God’s time. I will cry because I miss them, but I will not cry that they went to a better place.

If someone was offering to sell you peace of mind, would you allow yourself to let down your guard and your control, which you don’t have in the first place, and buy it and allow it to work? God offers it for free, accept it, let your guard down and I guarantee you there will be a peace that you cannot describe or understand.

D.

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The year is 1985, I cannot remember if I was 19 or 20 yet, my birthday is June 23rd so I don’t remember if it was the beginning of the year or the latter part of the year. Either way this is the year that I decided to do acid for the first time.

My friend and I just scored a hit of acid, this was the first time either one of us had done acid, so we were not sure what to expect. We were told the worse thing that you can tell someone that is about to use for the first time, and that is: ‘be careful what you think while you are on it. Because it will magnify your thoughts.’ So starting off we knew that we would have to control our thoughts, which is not easy to do on or off of acid. We took it and sit at his house and decided to stay there to see how it was going to affect us, It takes thirty minutes for acid to take effect on your mind. Then it takes around 7 to 8 hours for the effects to leave your body. The first hour is alright, and you enjoy the trip as something different, something new. Opening your mind to new things. The second and third hour seems like it will never end, 4th through the 7th or 8th hour feels like you will never come down and you are trapped within yourself.

The first part was okay, we listened to Pink Floyd and realized what they were trying to do with their music. Or it seemed that way to us at the time. We began to watch a live video of Dio, which in the middle of the concert a cross spins around until it turns upside down. We were engulfed in it, I was holding a brass cobra that had a hole in it where it was coiled up, I held it through that hole and had the cobras head resting on my arm. I began to sweat but I had not realized that was what it was at the time. I thought that the snake had come to life and bit me, what I thought was venom was actually sweat. I threw the snake down on the ground while my friend looked at me in surprise, asking what the hell happened? This was the beginning of hell for me for that night. A classic battle of light vs dark.

Another one of our mutual friends came over, someone we never cared for anyway, because he always got on our nerves. He was drunk and we were on acid, in our minds we were so far ahead of him that it wasn’t even funny. He begged us to score him some acid, he had never done acid and wanted to join us. He was so drunk that his ramblings did not make much sense to us. My friend and I had an aversion and little patience for sloppy drunks in the first place this just intensified it. The visitor got sick and when he did it came out like tracers, slow motion. We both tripped out on that, and when the guy went to the bathroom to clean up, my friend said something about him that scared me, because I felt it too. So when he came out, and my other friend left the room, I told him that it would be in his best interest to leave…NOW. The darkness continued to seep in more and more.

After he left we felt hungry, so my friend began to cut some hamburger off of a loaf. He looked at me and said could you imagine that as an arm being sliced up? The thing is I could, and was while he was doing that. Neither one of us were THAT violent in our right mind, but we weren’t in our right mind at that time. I went into the living room were the light was off, and I had this overwhelming feeling of hatred, and then my friend came in and turned on the light, the feeling was gone. However my friend noticed the same thing, he turned the light off and said did you notice all goodness leaves when the light is off. We both noticed this, so we stepped outside for a little bit. That did not help us any, we wanted to go out and just walk the night, thankfully we did not, because we do not know where we would have ended up that night. Our feet felt like they were going into the cement that we were standing on. We were continuously pulling our feet up before we were sucked into the concrete and stuck forever.

My mind was always racing even back then, it would go from dark thoughts to good thoughts, the acid made it worse. No mater how hard you try you cannot sleep on acid, it is just too much speed to allow it. Even when the person becomes so sleepy they think that they could sleep all night, it is not possible. We laid down anyway, because it was getting late, I slept on the floor as he slept in his bed. I could feel the carpet rolling underneath my arms. I kind of got used to it, and played with it a little bit. Then when I tried harder to go to sleep I closed my eyes tight, and I could see a ying yang of dark and light, good verses evil. They turned into dragons, one white and one black. They began to fight for me, once the light became so bright and comforting to me, that I had to smile, ‘Yes’ I thought,’Good conquers evil.’ and just as I got through thinking this the dark dragon re-appeared and they continued to fight, until I heard a scream in my head, and all became black. I tried to summon the light back in, but it was gone nothing was left but darkness. In my head evil had won it’s fight for me. I broke into a sweat tried to pray but no words came out. I knew what shape I was in, how did I have the right to come to God when I was stoned?

This was just the first time I did acid, I will take you to other times as my journey continues and becomes more depraved. It was easy to know when others were on acid, for one thing their eyes have a dusty film over them. They will stare at you, talk to you, they might even break out into a sweat if they stay with you too long. Laugh at things that you don’t see any humor in. There are different other ways, but the biggest for me is the eyes. The eyes are supposed to be the mirrors of the soul, I think that fits here. Their soul is dirty, and filmed over from the real world.

Later on that year I took another hit of acid, I drove this time and was by myself. Not a good thing when you are on acid, people need someone to keep them grounded. I went over to score some coke, I couldn’t wait to do the two together. I had also been drinking my butt off, someone on acid or speed can drink and drink and never feel the effect of the alcohol. So in reality I was probably a little drunk too. When I went in to score the coke, I said something stupid about his wife or girlfriend, something off the cuff I can’t remember now what it was but I know that I shouldn’t have, but I did. Next thing I knew he brought a shotgun into the living room, bolt down putting a shell in. He also had a knife holstered on his side. He told me that he has never seen me like that and for my sake I need to take what I said back. I started to laugh, probably nervous laughter but inappropriate all the same.

He told me that he would give me three minutes to apologize to her, as he closed the chamber and readied the shotgun on me. I looked at him and said forget it, you won’t shoot me and she isn’t worth it, and neither is the stuff I came to get. I got up and walked out, this was in the country, if he wanted to kill me he sure could have and no one would have found me. I was an idiot, but I walked to my car. As I got to my car I heard running behind me, I shut the door and saw a boot come to passenger side of the car. It shook the car, I saw the knife in his hand but I no longer saw the gun. He hit my side window as I reversed it and got out of there. I was such an idiot, and I knew that what I did was wrong. The bad thing is I kicked myself for not apologizing, not because I hurt the girls feelings, but because I missed out on a quarter of coke. I risked my life for a tiny bit, a little quarter of coke. I also lost one of my ‘friends’ more like a connection then a friend, but a person that had feelings and was willing to take up for what was right.

Through this I found myself going through the different levels of Dante’s hell. Starting at the outer circle of the ring. I made sure that I had friends with me after that night, because I never knew if he wanted revenge or not, I needed to have someone with me just in case. Drugs make you do stupid things, you become a person that you do not recognize, or if you do recognize that person he has been hiding underneath and was just brought up to the surface. I hid a gun in my glove compartment for a little bit, because I was unsure who to trust anymore, not even myself.

D.

 



 

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Not one of my best titles, but I like it. Not that I live by it, I just like it. The past few weeks or so have been tough, first my boy gets burned, then we have a double homicide in the building next door to where we live. This didn’t bother me too much, I don’t know if I have grown cold to it, or just know how these things play out. I know the guy involved isn’t living here anymore, probably afraid of retaliation. I know that they are not targeting the complex if there is payback it will be for the people involved and they are gone. But it has effected Nee-Nee something terrible, we have worked hard to get a better reputation for these apartments and out of the four years that we have been here nothing like this has happened. Four people wanted to transfer to another complex, which is a little nicer but they seem to have forgotten the shooting that happened over there less then a month ago.

This can happen anywhere and I think that I have resided to that fact a long time ago. It is funny Nee-Nee had a joyful noise in her heart not too long before this happened, and she called a few people to share it with them. Then a day or two later the shooting happened. I believe that God wanted her to keep joy in her heart through times of trouble also, not just when it is easiest. Letting her light shine as a Christian a follower of Christ, a light in a dark world. A Sister from Church stopped by today and talked to Noreen, (thank you, Amanda) and it all kind of came together to Nee-Nee. The only thing I hate is she is really more cautious of people. I have always wanted her to be, but I hate that some of the innocence left her that night. I am the cautious one, we need each other to balance us out.

Before that there was my near overdose on my pills, I have fallen in the shower two times and fell down two different stairwells, hurting my back even further. My depression has been coming and going like a roller coaster, the dark days last longer then the days of light. So I have been trying to find disciplines that help in pulling myself out of a funk, here is what I have learned.

Write five things down daily that you are thankful for. Praise God for those things throughout the day, there was a monk that used this, and when he washed his hands he would be reminded to praise God, or anything that had to do with water: a fountain, a sink, etc. Then the next day he would use something else to remind him to praise God for the things that he was thankful for that day, and so on.

On a whole we have more positive input then negative, but for some reason we concentrate on the negative. Say 5 people tell you something positive, and one person tells you one negative. The five positives go out the window, and all you can think about is the negative. Re-train yourself to think about the positives and less on the negative. If the negative is for growth, use it as such remembering the positives. If the negative is hurtful, and from a hateful heart then forget about it, pray for them and concentrate on the positives.

Be positive toward other people in your walk. Wish them well, or offer a friendly greeting. If nothing is said do a quick prayer for their day to go well or that God will use them in the only way He can. I was told that if you do this for at least a week you will begin to feel more positive not just about yourself but others as well. Just imagine how you can change your outlook if you begin to live by these.

Next post I am going back to my drug days and recount them for you, hopefully they will help. As I recount those days I still see God using me, I think that if you look hard enough you can see them too without me pointing them out.

May God bless you all,

D.

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I had built a house for 27 years, it had become decrepit with each stone that was added making it darker and darker. It became a fortress not allowing anyone to enter, and I was in total control of it’s design and up keep. It had so many passages and hiding places that I became lost in my own castle. Though I thought that the work was being done to keep the clutter at bay, it became an overwhelming heap backing me into a corner of my own distress. I became a prisoner to what I had created. A part of me loved it so much that I was willing to put up with the stench and the clutter. Until it became too much for me to bear. No longer did I want to hide from the outside world, I allowed people to live within my castle. The innocent ones were kept blind to the passages in which I took in refuge, greeting them again filled from the inside with dirt and sin, on the outside I wore a mask.

I prayed to my God to remove the mask that had become as much a part of me as the castle that I lived in. To my surprise the mask was ripped from my face, and the passages that I kept a secret all along became opened as my castle began to crumble down brick by brick. I asked God to create new living quarters where my loved ones and I can feel safe and the clutter will be totally destroyed. I asked God that this time, with His help, that this building will be of glass. Transparent for the world to see. He agreed and helped me to rebuild using His strength, knowledge, and comfort into this new transition. The house was becoming a new home for my loved ones and me. One day while I was so tired from the work, and missing the place where I grew up, I went to re-visit it.

As I made my way to the site where my castle once stood, I noticed the debris had not totally been done away with. As I walked I tripped over a block that resembled the corner stone of the old foundation. I do not recall how many days had went by, but I do remember my Saviour picking me up to take me back to the new home. When we arrived I noticed that more people had joined in on the construction, family, friends, loved ones. How could this be? These are the people I had once betrayed and hid from, why spend their time on me? God said He asked them to help and they gladly accepted. I also noticed stones from my old castle visible through the glass walls. I asked God “Why do you torment me with these stones from the past?” He said, “These stones are no longer about you but about others who have built upon their own foundation. To see the darkness that it had brought, to see that with My help there is strength and a renewing of the Spirit within. These stones are yours to carry so you will not live in comfort but to be reminded of what once was.” I said, “How could You and these people love me once again knowing that I turned away from You, longing to hide once again?” He told me that I can no longer hide from Him, with all of my passages and hiding within the filth, I never hid from Him in the first place.

I was told to minister to those who are in hiding, to minister to those who are just beginning to build on their own. ‘Use the stones of experience and write on them a testimony for the world to see. Don’t worry what others say about this, just know you are about My work. I Am the one that picked you up, I AM the one that tore away your earthly love, I tore down your gods, and have opened the door to your heart to enter and create a path that is not without struggle, nor will it be without stumbling. But My hand is their to pick you up, dust off your knees, open your eyes lest you fall asleep in the journey that lies ahead.’ He let me know that others will question my work, and why I cherish a home that is made of glass with the stones displayed for all to see. But let my focus be on Him and He will guide, to make my will strong and to persevere. Some days I will not know who I have touched according to His strength, I will not always know whose hearts I prick because of my journey. But to continue in this marvelous new home, void of secret passages, void of hiding from others.

This is how I see my journey. I learned at the beginning that I have to accept what I can, lay down and forgive that which is not mine. And move forward. Though my post seem dark at times especially when I go back to my past days re-entering my struggles and what got me here. But there is no pity in these travels. When I speak of them I no longer feel sorry for the old person, I am clothed a new. I do know now that just because I found and struggle with God’s desire, does not mean others are on the same path. I know that relapse happens, I made it over a year while others have fallen within days, weeks, or months. God reached His hand to me, because of Him I reach out to others to pick them up without judging, but praying that God will heal them and put words in my mouth, or in this case guide my thoughts in my writings.

I know through counselling that one of the first steps is acceptance, and forgiveness. This is what God was telling me through the counsellors voice. I know that an illness occurred from staying around the filth that was built up around me. Do I hide it or do I allow God to use it to help in the vaccination of others in a disease that has become an epidemic? I choose to use it, I use it without pity, my words are tough, but so is the illness. I write for those that are in their own prison, I also write for those who have never been there so they might look no longer from the outside that they might throw judgment and blame on these who are far away from comfort and God, but that they see these people as sick and are in need of the great Physician. I write that there might be an understanding within the two to co-exist in the love of our Lord and Saviour.

I have found acceptance, yet my heart still gets pricked, and my words prick the hearts of others. Some things I would rather keep quite, it is not my bravery to let you know the lowliness of my heart, but it is God in His infinite wisdom and love that guides me to take a deep breath suck it up and show a side of my life that had been behind solid walls for too long.

D.

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אני אוהב אותך

My title is ‘I love you’ It is in Hebrew, my friend that I met on Facebook told me this. She is from Israel, and I was thinking that it would be Arabic, but unlike most places in the Islamic country, most of Israel speaks Hebrew, because the biggest part is Jewish. I should have known that but I wasn’t thinking. Don’t get me wrong I am not on Facebook cheating on Noreen by falling in love with everyone I meet on there. I love you is a sentiment that means you are a great friend, I care about you and your well being.

She is a wonderful person that God has given me an opportunity to meet through this, she also made me think about how hard it is to say I love you. Noreen wrote about her love for the Church on her post. Usually we put ‘I love you’ in a romantic sense, especially between the members of the opposite sex. Noreen will tell everyone that she loves them, and it is not just words she gets an overwhelming feeling in her heart and she really feels it. She is so overwhelmed with the feeling that we will talk about it afterwards, sometimes it takes over the whole conversation up until we get back home and beyond. The conversation never gets old to me, and it makes me so happy to see her heart filled with a genuine love.

Used to I had a hard time telling my friends that I love them, just because of how it might make them feel. I always felt like I could tell my best friend Jimbo that I love him, because we have that understanding. I have another friend that I used to work out with, a man’s man. We started telling each other I love you, only after Noreen told him. She opened the door to me being more opened with my ‘guy love’ Brothers from Church will come up to me and tell me they love me, to be honest at first it was awkward for me, I was brought up saying I love you to my family, one good thing that was instilled in me as I was growing up. But I also know that it is hard for guys to say it to each other, because most of them view it in the romantic sense, and even if they feel the same way it is usually just an unspoken feeling between guys.

Now I welcome guys and women coming up to me to tell me they love me and that they are always there for me. It makes me feel good. I used to wait for them to tell me, I am still working on getting over me saying it first. I try and bring it out, I was talking to a guy at Church about some problems that he was having, I was wanting to say I love you, man and if there is anything that I can do just let me know. It came out, WE love you and if there is anything we can do just let us know. Which is true Noreen would do anything for anyone also, but I wanted him to know that he could lean on me if he wanted, there are some things that the same sex feels more comfortable talking about to each other. Like I said I am still working on it and with God’s help I will get there.

With everything that has happened to me I am skeptical about giving my love, but I am getting better. Noreen has no reigns on her love, and I pray that I get that way someday. I am usually curious of anyone with a sob story, not at church but others that need it just as much, and needs to be shown God’s love. I want to learn ‘I love you’ in more languages, I am not speaking of dialect, but actions as well. Not just romantic love, I have that with Nee-Nee, not just a deep caring, want the best for you love, I have that with the kids. The love that combines a little of all, not always allowing what everyone wants, but what they need, a love that shows a deep caring even though I don’t know you I pray that you are well, wanting the best for you, giving you the support and what I can but not that I will enable you to rely on me and what I can do, but how you can move forward. A love that reflects God’s love. He gave it to me freely, I wouldn’t even trust myself to give me that love. I need to do that to others also.

The only way I know to end this is by saying: אני אוהב אותך

.D

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Virtual Friends

I have four friends that have stayed with me through everything, one friend that I used to party with, and now lean on, lives out of state, one friend lives about forty minutes out and has never done drugs but is there for me, a friend that I have found since we came to Conway, Dusty who has helped me in more ways then I can count, not only is he our minister but a close friend, my last friend is my best friend Noreen. But on Facebook and through my blog I have many friends.

On Facebook I have acquired over fifty friends, people that I have never met but have talked to through e-mail and applications, things that are like games and ‘poking’ each other. As odd as it sounds I have become close to these people and see real personalities from each. There is a prayer application on Facebook where you can pray for each other, and some have read my blog, some haven’t but it is amazing how many ‘prayers’ I get and give. Of course the prayers don’t count if you really don’t pray with it, but it is like saying I am praying for you. There are others that show you care like friend hugs, gifts, etc.

Getting to know these people they are real candid about the problems they experience in their own life’s, I have friends from Little Rock, Canada, Israel, Lebanon, and all across the United States all experiencing problems as small as everyday problems up to huge family issues, deaths, accidents etc. We are all alike, yet different. Our problems might be similar and these people handle them by leaning on God, a few don’t believe in God but they still try and understand a reason behind everything, some believe in God but not Christ and will lean on Him throughout their problems. I think that it is easier for these people to open up and see inside them because they are not face to face, there is not a facade, no protection of how they truly feel. I know that they have touched me, and I pray that God has used me every opening there is.

I don’t really know what I am trying to say but God has given us technology and we can use it like anything else He has given us, for our selfish pleasure or to reach out to other people and take advantage to show His love.

D.

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We had a call New Years Eve saying that they heard on the scanner that a Kati Williams had been arrested. They said that they weren’t sure if it was my Kati or not, but thought that I needed to know. She was supposed to have been taken to the next county over, Conway county, were I was raised. So I called the jail and they said that she was in transport. I felt odd, she is 18 and of course considered an adult, so what do I do? What could I do? I don’t have the money to bail her out. I thought that it would do her good to stay. I stayed up thinking for most of the night wondering if my choice was a good one. What should I say when I saw her the next day during visitation? Should I be comforting, she knew she did wrong so anything I said would just be mean. Encouragement is all I could think of, that is what Nee-Nee said to do too. First find out why she was in there. She supposedly had 3 warrants in 3 different counties.

So Tuesday I went to see her in Morrilton were the county detention center is. As I went in I had to wait because someone else wsa visiting her at the same time. When I signed the book I noticed that another woman signed in saying that she was the mother. I thought she is not the mother, maybe an aunt saying that she was, then I thought Williams is a pretty common name, maybe this was a mistake. The lady came out I recognized her as a woman I used to date, she was married to another Williams’ before, so I asked the guard what this Kati’s full name was. I told her that I have the wrong Kati. I was flushed with a little bit of guilt, but she has been gone for three days and I do not know where she is so there was relief accompanied with despair of not knowing.

The road that the detention center is on is an old road leading to the old rodeo grounds, I used to have a friend that lived on that road, I started to thank back and then I saw him outside his trailer that was parked beside his old house. He waved me in. Oh man what do I do? We used to do speed together, am I strong enough? So I pulled in, with me repeating over in my head, no thanks I quit. I am an addict. I quit, I am an addict. I quit…I quit. Funny word after awhile, quit is. I got out of my truck and a mostly toothless man that looked like he was well in his fifties instead of early fourties met me. We went into his trailer and old furniture decorated it, a bed sheet divided the kitchen area and his bedroom. Clean mostly but dirty at the same time.

He started telling me about his last wife and how they split up because she refused to quit. He had told her that they were destroying their lives with meth, she didn’t want to quit but he did, and they split. Thank God, once again He saved me from my stupid self. I told him about my addiction and what has happened since the last time we spoke. He had suffered depression, and had three DUI’s, so his license was revoked. I looked at him, and couldn’t help but remember when we met in grade school 1974, fourth grade. It was a new school for above average kids from different districts, an experiment in a way for that time. He knew that I was nervous when we went to meet the teacher and mom was signing me in. He had me do a Bugs Bunny skit. He told me there was a cliff that we were standing on, and he walked pass the line where the cliff stood. He fed me my line, ‘Don’t you know the law of gravity?’ Then he spoke his line, ‘Law? I never studied law.’ and then he acted like he fell. We were buddies ever since.

What happened to those little boys that had so much ahead of them? Here I am, living a better outside appearance and here he is at his lowest trying to dig himself out, which I am sure he will. Two different paths same destination. I started having flashbacks of when we used to party in his house, which stood on the same lot. And was pretty nice actually. I never asked him why he isn’t living in his house, I don’t think I wanted to know right then. We used to make peach wine there, drank a glass or two, smoke many a joint, and do many a line. That house is were I overdosed one time on the eight ball I told you about. We talked about that time as if it was part of good times. A little resentment rose in my throat, I don’t know why. I wasn’t mad at him, more at myself.

As I left I waved at the toothless man that I knew at one time as a man with a great spirit, a great hunger for life and big dreams. Tears came to my eyes as I was driving off and I knew that I had to call Nee-Nee and let her know what was taking so long and where I have been. When I said his name the first thing out of her mouth was, ‘Oh Doug.’ I explained everything to her, told her it was okay. I hung up and thoughts went to my youngest kids. They have so much ahead of them. Big dreams and a hunger for life. So much energy, and great personalities even though they are withdrawn around other people, once they loosen up they are the greatest. Then I thought of my 18 year old daughter, part of me was relieved that she wasn’t there, part of me aches to know that she is out there somewhere, but what can I do? She is 18 after all. I am no longer her dad, now I can only advise her to do what I know is right. I just pray that she doesn’t look back and ask what happened to that girl that had so much promise?

She will be leaving for Job Corps today, if she makes it back in time to catch the bus. I think that is a smart step for her. I also pray that she makes that bus. She has told me of her dream of what she wants, she has three majors she is looking into and they all sound good, and if she can focus long enough then she will do great. I am afraid for her to be out there, I pray for my kids that each decision they make is God driven.

D.

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