Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How I decided to be a Dad to Marcus at 20.

Our son Marcus was six years old when my wife and I got married. I am not ashamed to say that we probably would have gotten married earlier if Patricia did not have Marcus. I fell in love with Patricia way too early in our relationship. She was eight years older than me, so there was that older woman thing going for her. She was gorgeous, confident, and not exactly what I was looking for. Not what I expected in my life then.

Before I met Patricia, I had an epiphany after a ho-hum date with what I thought, was my type of woman. I was dating every chick that I though was my ideal. The bubbly co-ed at school, the hot waitress at a chain restaurant, the co-worker with a splendid rack or even the drive-thru cashier that blushed every time I visited her establishment. The typical Roland's conquest would go as follows. Nervously ask the girl for her number. Call her up after the first Monday after the first weekend I got her number. Take her out for a casual lunch or dinner that first Tuesday. Tuesday because I want to keep it casual and it will just be time hanging out. This way there is no pressure for either of us. The second date will be on that very next Friday. Second date is a little heavier - a little more serious, more dressed up and usually includes a movie, dinner and then, depending on the girl a dance club or a walk along Lake Arlington or Joe Pool Lake. Then and only if necessary do we go out on Saturday night. You can decide on your own what "necessary" means.

So it was after one of these Friday night drives home that I had my epiphany. I was feeling extra proud of myself because the date that I was just in worked flawlessly. Dinner? Check! Movie? Check! Walk around the Lake? Check! Plus more - making the Saturday night date optional. Optional only because my date came up with a reason for me to see her while walking me out to my car. So in this drive home a thought popped in my head, "Well that was easy, Roland!" Then from being proud I felt a tinge of guilt, because another thought popped up in my head, ..."was the whole process easy or was the girl easy?" That thought somehow led to, "Do I really want to get stuck with an easy girl?" That thought led to, "Do I really want to marry an easy girl?" The answer to that was NO! So I decided then to be choosier whom I dated, because potentially they can be the Mother of my kids! I mulled this over for a couple of days and eventually decided to share this idea with my two closest friends. By the way they both panned the thought. They knew me they said, I cannot resist the low hanging fruit.

No matter what Luis  and Johnny thought - I have decided then. So my new ideal became someone who was chaste, loved her parents, was in school, went to church, dressed conservatively and NOT WHITE. Being an immature 19 year-old I thought a relationship with a Filipino, like me, would be easier. Being in Dallas/Ft Worth there were not a whole of Filipino women back in 1989. So I expanded my target base to include other Asians and Latinas. How stupid right? Other Asians because after all the Philippines is in Asia and Latin women because they tend to be brown like me and we do share that Spanish occupation/oppression thing. Yeah I know FOOLISH!

After maybe a solid month of living with my new rules, I meet Patricia.

She was none of what I thought were my new ideals. She is white. She was finished with school. She was not the virginal innocent I hoped for. No - she was a 28 year-old single mother to a blonde haired, blue-eyed, energetic ball of joy named Marcus. But I fell for her anyway! I fell hard - yet I fought it, because I knew before I married Patricia, I had to fall in love with Marcus.

The first six months we were dating I met Marcus probably once or twice, just saying hi or bye. Patricia was cautious not to expose Marcus to me. She did not want Marcus to become attached to me and then I turn out to be a loser. I did not want to get close either. Frankly I did not want to be a step-dad. I have a step-dad and I love my step-dad as if he is my father. But there definite times in my life that I felt like a step-son. I did not want to have a step-son. So we took everything slowly. We even "hid" Marcus from my family for the obvious reasons. I knew my parents will not be too crazy about me dating a single mom, not to mention a divorced older woman. I also did not want my family meddling in my own decisions. But as Trish and I got closer, as her trust in me got deeper, we knew it was time for me to meet Marcus.

This was all somehow accelerated because of a family tragedy. Patricia's father died of a massive heart attack. By this time Patricia and Marcus had moved in with her parents in North Dallas. Patricia's father passed just before Thanksgiving 1990. While Patricia was grieving for her father and her family's loss we got extremely closer,. We spent more time together as a unit. I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew I had to be there for her. During this time it also meant being around Marcus a lot more. He was so innocent, still not comprehending the loss of his Grand Dad. He knew he Grand Dad was gone, but I think he did not know how permanent. I felt a natural closeness to the kid. He was so loving, so affectionate. But most glaring is that he wanted affection and love back from people around him. This was about the time, I knew I can marry Patricia.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Welcome to Our Page...

I have debated long and hard how to proceed about this process. I think this will be the best for now. I have created this blog to allow for myself, my wife Patricia and hopefully my youngest son Alex, a place where we can be totally free from guilt, judgement and most importantly the controls of manners or propriety. MY FAMILY is in mourning and we have learned how to mute our screams, stifle our sobs and blink back our tears because we are sometimes ashamed and or tired of making everyone around us sad. We are in mourning and know that when you come here this is what you will read, see and hear. Some postings may be happy, some posting will be sad and most will be downright pathetic - THIS PLACE IS CREATED for exactly that. In here there will be no apologies for the real emotions expressed.

The picture above is the impetus for the name of this blog. I titled this image Minus One when I shared it with family and friends on Facebook. This picture was taken in Lake Tahoe on Thanksgiving 2009. This picture was taken six months after the accident of our eldest son Marcus on his Mother's birthday February of 2009. Our son passed tragically on his dear Mother’s birthday. This picture was an attempt to capture a moment of joy. Every time I look at it I see my beautiful wife Patricia, our brilliant son Alex and myself, but there is always something missing.

What is missing is Marcus.   We lost Marcus on February 22, 2009.  He was driving back from Dallas to his school in Hillsboro, Kansas.  We lost Marcus because of Distracted Driving.  This young man you see below had his life in front of him.  He was scheduled to graduate in May of the same year.  He had a job lined-up as a personal trainer.  He also had plans to set-up his own Personal Training business.  He was healthy, had less than 8% body fat, a college athlete and the absolute charmer.  He was excited and at the same time scared to move on to the next page of his young life.  Our family is forever dievastated because of this tragedy.  We all miss him.  There is not a time that he leaves my thoughts.  I look at my son and my wife and I see him.  This is one pain I cannot relieve for my family.  All of this pain and grief because of a series of irreversible actions.  Thoughtless, trivial, unimportant actions!!!
He should be in the picture with us. I know some will say, "he is with you guys." Yes he is always in our hearts and minds, but I am selfish and I want him in this picture with us!