Wow 32 years, who would have thunk, that I could ever have a “normal relationship” let alone stay married to the same woman for 32 years, well that is not exactly true not is it Richard? well… you got me there, but I refuse, to use the subsequent date, maybe I am stubborn, or just stupid, maybe a little of both.

I will not go into too much detail, but I will share some of the sordid details of my transformation from a drunken cad of a husband to a loving father and husband, and my own opinions on the subject.

Marriage, is not an easy thing, just like anything worth having it takes work, at least in my case.

We had made a pact to quit the party lifestyle and raise our kids, well, I broke the deal many times, I remember it like it was yesterday. I would be driving past a liquor store after not drinking for a week, 2 weeks, or a couple of months, which was my usual record, 2 months, except when living In Bush Alaska, It was the only time that I was able to abstain from the sauce, well that is not true, as stated earlier, none of the boats that I had worked on permitted drinking, that is almost no no brainer in Kodiak, as a lot of us N8ts liked our sauce. there was also the occasional few days in jail, otherwise I was full tilt looking for ways to drink.

In AA they have a name for someone who quits drinking, that does not learn another way of dealing with life’s up and down, pressure and circumstances, that we all endure.  They call them Dry drunks, or going on a dry drunk. I see these people everywhere, perhaps your one of them, some use religion, which is ok, but I get confused going to the bathroom or reading the comics, let alone scripture  translated by thousands of different people thousands of years ago. Now I think I need to add a disclaimer: these are the thoughts of my experience and thoughts, and would never criticize anybodies religion or lifestyle. that is none of my business, and I am just sharing my stupid thoughts on all subjects. That and I am  slightly hypocritical when it comes to The 12 steps and religion.

My religious beliefs are hopes,but I do try to believe no matter what, that God speaks to me, guides me, but to get into scripture, has never been my way

whatever floats our boat. I do not and will not succumb to pressure to follow anyone or any church teachings. No, Cecil B Demille and the Ten Commandments has had the most effect on my religion, just love that movie. Sometimes, when I am hiking up a mountain, I feel the presence of God, perhaps due to watching the movie so many times and when he speaks to God, “I am that I am”

so deep, the whole movie, and twist and turns. so epic.

So I had been going for quite a while  without any “talking to God” until the radio thing

But I had also, Since seeing how Much Scandinavian blood runs through my veins, been very interested in The “Pagans”

anyway, I also have this love of birds, as food, and the predators as kind of a fascination, especially hawks, Eagles and Ravens, sometimes, I feel like god is saying hi through all of his creatures, I know that might sound weird like, but it is me, not here to impress, just share

I know that is against most religions, but why are all the creatures here?  the ants, I believe they are much more civilized than we are. they move in unison, they have an excellent community, they seem all happy ROFLOL I am just amazed at life, sorry this was supposed to be about my Anni Many years, but life, even the plants, oranges,apples,cactus, and all the creatures of the earth are fascinating to me, when I think of this, It brings me down to earth. here we are all with our fancy phones and gadgets chasing the American dream? or being chased by bill collectors.  Keep us on the fucken hamster wheel.

IDK

o anyway, so I had this Viking or looking at it as a viable replacement to my self made christian doctrine of keep it simple stupid, that is also another AA phrase.

Anyway, I am still facinated by the whole Odin and his one Eye, I wonder why? anyway, I was thinking, I have not seen any Raven in a while, what is going, on?

I feel like they are watching over me, and I had not seen them in a while, I know crazy bat shit, but not any crazier, than most of societal “norms”  but it was not even a day or two, and lo and behold a Raven flies over, and in the next few day, 2 of them perched on light poles, perhaps they were always around, I just had not noticed, but I am always looking at bird, love those stupid looking quails, they are supposed to be delicious 2. 🙂

I know a walking contradiction, but I do believe we are meat eaters, there is nothing as satisfying as me, at. beans are ok, nuts ok, but lets be real, meat feeds our inner beast. I wish I could eat only wild healthy meat. I often see road kill and feel sad, way to go. drive careful, that could be me.

Back on topic

O and… I just went to the post office, got some boxes, anyway, at the light LO and behold a Raven drops down on the island intersection, and when I take off on the green, he jumps up and flies right in front of me an away, cool birds, they say if not the Smartest, one of the smartest birds.

ok, anyway, where was eye.

so I was still going on drunks on one occasion, I went out and got arrested, not none of this behavior, am i proud, or perhaps should not share, but anyway, I got paid and went out drinking, I remember this night, I was dancing and drinking at Chilkoot Charlie’s, a bar that has been around for years, I used to love to go there when I was younger, drink pitchers of beer and play ping pong in the back, they had an outdoor court in summer that had a ping pong table. Back in those days, it was kinda biker/sourdough kind of bar, these days its kind of preppy new age, whatever that means. I remember trying to get in at times and being refused service, most likely from a blackout fight or being 86’d and not remembering, anyway that night I was dancing up a storm,  this was always a potential for disaster for me, I can not even count how many times a fight erupted on the dance floor, anyway this night was no different, there was 3 of them trying to fight me, we all got 86’d, I was alone as usual, and drunk. I drove down the street to the flyby night, but they followed me, I got kicked out of the flyby night, and they were looking to square up, the three of them, they had already shown they were not going to fight fair, someone called the cops, I had a target pistol in the car and was snockered, never even touched the gun, but it was handy, anyway they hauled me off to the hoosegow. I plead guilty for having a gun in the car drunk. that was just one of the things that put my marriage in hot water, there was also the time, after being paid, I went out and spent my paycheck drinking. Showed up the next morning crying like a baby, bad idea, she was having no part of that bullshit, instead, I went down and sold my prized Mini-14 and handed over the proceeds. but my biggest things was being caught red handed. shame shame, I know, I still feel the wrath from that mistake, but our marriage was doomed anyway, YOu can never Ever make a Marriage work, with Alcoholics, drug addicts, or anything that is bigger than the marriage.

I  would have to look at the timeline, but I did not last too long before, my life became empty and I was lost, everything that I had held dear was gone, I was alone, except for a pet ferret, still drinking, and still had a job, but alone and it was just a matter of time, before I ruined any chance of being a father. My one true aspiration in life, was to be a father, that was the only thing that was ever in my life plan.

It goes back to the time of when I was 10 11  years old and said to my self I want to get married when I am 25 and have kids, no other dreams, plans, that was it, and I had thrown it all away.

But as told in a previous journal, I did quit, and we were remarried, we were never far away, even when I was still drinking, she let me see the kids, and I paid the money she had requested. we got along, AA changed my perception and gave me the tools to cope with relationships and life.

I had just started to date, well not really but it was becoming a potential thing, AA has a rule, or a “thing” not to date during the first year, and I was out of my first year, this is a good rule, and I was adamant about anything that could possibly be detrimental to my sobriety, and there were plenty of “opportunities” it was like a minefield, I could see the reason behind this rule, so much pain and need. loneliness was combated with getting outside, Anchorage, has the best trails of any city that I have lived in. I used to rollerblade from Midtown on fireweed/ seward highway to kincaid park, I would often be faster than most bikes, except the hardcore types, which I would give them a run for  their money, Once a moose had everybody on the trail stopped, I raised my arms and got him to move aside, yes stupid, but never sed eye was an einstein. lol

Anyway were were remarried in Washington State, with some family from both sides and our babies to witness. To death do us part.  to love and honor, I think you have to really think of those vows at all times in a marriage.

32 years, there was a time, my lifes span, should have been only 32 years, lots of peeps dont see the world that long, I know * there is an asterisk for you hard core pencil pushers

We have had our share of adversity in those 32 years, see above, but there is more, the one thing we were always on the same page about, was we wanted to raise the healthiest happiest babies that we could, the problems that could arise from just that are worth a whole book.

Me and Sweet Mary are almost complete opposites, as far as upbringing goes.  She Catholic, me Christian, I was more of a stickler in those day, I would complain about how I did not believe the pope or these papal priest, were just men, and that Jesus was the one.  I kind of still am of that mindset, yet eye find it still confusing, are the father, son and holy ghost the same? or is there God, the father of Jesus, and they separate, or when he rose, did they become one?

ok that enough that, getting dizzy

that is just one of many, but you can see how that would be an issue, we bought books and tried to do the latest greatest, but one thing we always did, was make sure that they knew they were loved.

That is perhaps the one thing, that we share above all others. We have both felt unloved during our lives, and know how empty that feels. unwanted unloved, our kids, never felt that way, if they did, it was not our doing

If a couple takes the mindset, that none of our personal issues, should override or take precedence over the lives of our children, this way of thinking can be the most important one of all. being right, is it worth it?

we all have regrets, I mostly regret, the way society is setup.

We have also had some great times.

I coached them in football, baseball and taught them most all I know, I wish I had been better, but I was still a broken human. I wished that I had gotten the boys to graduate college, I know I pushed it, but I did not nurture it enough, and in the end, it was there decision, or perhaps societal decision, even Now, I wish I had a 4 year degree. too many door are closed without one, but more important, is that they are happy.

After the kids were “raised” we became empty nesters, which is a lot more of a shock, or kind of empty feeling, like, OK, what now? what is the  Plan, We become grandparents and devote the rest of our lives to them? Well the kids had different idea, which is fine and dandy, as their lives are their lives, and nobody should ever have their life decisions dictated by anyone, but themselves.

After we came to grips with the empty nester deal, I was hit with Throat Cancer, which was a very traumatic deal, a nightmare, we were also hit with a few other things, during the same time, my brother Gilbert fell off a ladder painting for Conklin painting, and before that my dad was hospitalized then diagnosed with Dementia, during this time, my Aunt and uncle both passed away prematurely, which is before they hit their 80’s, which everyone, I believe should live to these days

These were very tying times, the cancer was a nightmare, from start to end, the effects are still with me to this day, and they will most likely be part of my psyche till my last day on this earth.

I credit surviving Cancer to sweet Mary and the folks at the Mayo Clinic, but it was no walk in the  park.  My whole perception of our lives on this planet were changed during this time. Cancer, I thought was a death sentence, and for many it is. my cancer has a higher suvivorbility than most throat cancers that are smoking and drinking related, althogh, my history  had both the drinking and smoking HPV 75% get it, a small few get cancer from it, women it is ovarian cancer. men throat cancer squamous cell carcinoma, I remember it like it was yesterday, my chemo drug was cisplatin, that is a whole different story.

Through all of this, nobody was there, except Sweet Mary. she was my mother hen. I finally got her to stop looking at me like, i was dying right before her eyes, that is hard for some people, my mom came to visit, and here look was so bad, I had to send her away. Nobody was there like my sweet mary, for most I was just a foregone conclusion, Stage 4 throat Cancer, the stage 4 to most people denotes death.

I researched all I could on the Internet and this was eye opening, but that will go on my cancer page, or journal. I drove myself to my appointments, except the chemo, sweet Mary drove me to all of those, and she made me a special strawberry shake every night, she was there throughout the hole ordeal, and was my rock.

The Chemo was brutal, as the radiation, dying while undergoing either is tantamount to torture, Sweet Mary, she was there when we pulled into the Mayo parking lot and I puked out the window, to the last radiation treatment, she never wavered. I had real concerns that all that nurturing would bring resentment and have the potential to doom our union, we persevered, or I should say she did, her love did not waver. she is one tough cookie.

life is always greener on the other side. That can always be a challenge, or what is next? how do we top that? I dont care much what people think on most things, but I always want to be thought of as a good husband to sweet Mary, I know, I say and do stupid stuff all the time, yet she knows I love her.

We both carry our own insecurities, we all do, and we often act out of emotions that come and go, but we must know that we are meant to be as One.

The latest issue, has been a big one, My daughter, I had no Idea of her existence, yet feel bonded to her life like nobody else, It has turned my world upside down, even now, over a year later, I am still somewhat of a mess. why? I have no Idea, I am the one who can just “forget” anything, I have an ability to just file things away. I know they are there, but they are filed away. Not so fast sucka, It is just not something I am willing to do, for do I even want to. Yet, I know, I am somewhat of a novelty for the new family, or worse an impingement, but I know to stay back, and perhaps someday, we can all be part of the same family, or maybe just a footnote of some ancestry site, which we already are on a few 🙂 love them.

You know they say, how can you love someone, a stranger with no connection, except birth?

I say, how can you not love them?  so I dont want to get all bibly on you, or anyone, but to love thy Neighbor, can hardly mean to love humanity, yet turn a blind eye to your Own family, just because they are all “grown up” to me it is not different, than when  baby is born, do you wait to love the baby? I sure as hell did not, that is preposterous for most thinking humans, I know that there is a thing, with bonding with the baby, that some have an issue with, I think that may be just a mental aberration, or a society made up thing, like most of the mental illness created by bad food, stress and all the other bullshit that comes with becoming a working slave, or sorry, A productive cog in this wheel we are all on.

I have not pushed the issue, ok that is a lie, it is that grey area between turn it over to God and things that I do have control over, but I would never jeopardize my marriage, she is my world, she has been there, and unless she decides otherwise, she will always be there. I will climb the highest mountain, sail across the stormiest sEa if that what it takes me baby, to show how much you mean to me,  Sweet Mary:)

I still must say…. I do not know why she can not accept and welcome something so important to me. why why why. love sweet mary

and we have been blessed our youngest Jt has moved back in, he actually likes us, we are so blessed. to be liked and loved by your children 🙂 nothing can be more important.

until next time

Rich Ard

I almost forgot, to mention my SON Richard, during this most difficult time, with his help and low pay, I was able to keep some money coming in when I was physically unable to work. love that kid, uh, he is a man now 🙂