Monday, July 23, 2012

*Guest Blogger* Our Story and Forgiveness

  I wrote the following way back in 1995.  Long before I ever knew of Rachelle or what my life would entail.  I used to write a lot of poems and just various writings.  It was a cathartic process and many times what might look like a writing directed towards someone in particular, really wasn't.  Often, they were just dreams of what I wanted my life to look like.

Without My Heaven
My life has had its ups and downs
The Kings and Queens their broken crowns
But if all of this stands tall and true
Then tell me just why I have you
    Someone who cares and feels my pain
To put up with me and still be sane
    Without you in my life
To help me through the toils and strife
Would be close to never and next to no way
That I would make it through one more day
    The love you give to me each night
Gives me hope that I just might
Hold on to you forever and then
End each night with a grateful AMEN

Then, on August 4th, 2004, I found her.  The one girl that I wanted to spend my life with.  I knew Rachelle way before that night.  We originally met at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico at a Squadron Christmas Party in 1998.  She was going to school at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and was dating a co-worker friend of mine.  Rachelle does not remember meeting me, but I do remember her.  It was a brief introduction, but I remember thinking she was pretty damn hot.
  Fast forward a few months and I am now stationed at Yokota Air Base, Japan, and as luck would have it, again with her boyfriend.  She had come to visit him and, once again, we met.  She remembers this one.  We exchanged email addresses and became email buddies.  She would forward funny or poignant emails on occasion and vice versa.  She sent me an invitation to her graduation from college (I never did send her a gift).  We were long distance acquaintances, if nothing else.
 At some point, Rachelle and her boyfriend broke up.  He got out of the Air Force, I lost contact with him and then I moved on to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.  After two years in Germany, I was getting ready to move to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.  I bought a brand new Ford Ranger and it was to be delivered to a dealership in Austin, Texas (for the life of me I have never figured out why they delivered it to Austin instead of San Antonio... but damn am I glad that they did).  I remembered that Rachelle was now living in Austin, so I sent her an email asking her if she could pick me up at the airport.  For her troubles I would take her to dinner.  I arrived in Austin on the 4th of August and somehow we missed each other in the terminal (knowing her she was probably in the bathroom).  I called her once I got down to baggage claim and did not see her.  She was upstairs and said she would be right down.  When I saw her at the top of the stairs, I knew that I had to date her... or maybe I was just horny and wanted to get laid... it was a long time ago and I do not remember that level of detail ;-).
 We went to dinner at Macaroni Grill.  I sweet talked my way into spending the night in her bed.  I was too scared to try anything and I never touched her.  She later told me that if I had she would have beat the shit out of me and never talked to me again.  The next day she picked me up at her apartment and took me to get my truck.  She went back to work, but told me I was welcome to stay at her apartment until she got home from work, but then she had to go to her second job.  I had no where else to be and I still wanted to try to work my magic, so I stayed.  I met her at her second job when she got off and we decided we needed to go eat dinner.  She jokingly asked if she could drive my brand spankin' new truck.   I said yes and she just gave me this 'are you serious? look'.  We traded keys and we took off.  I stayed the night for a second night in a row, but my smooth moves (lol) were not really getting me anywhere.  OK, I did not even attempt anything remotely resembling flirting... she was quite intimidating.
 I woke up the next morning and drove to San Antonio, but I could not get this beautiful girl off of my mind.  I'm pretty sure I called her every day and we agreed that I could visit her over the weekend. She called it stalking, I called it pursuing.  She told me that she would never date a smoker.  I quit.  For the next couple of weeks we took turns at making the hour and a half trek to see each other.
 It was about three weeks later that we finally kissed. 
 We had a whirlwind romance and three months later we started making plans for our wedding.  We said our vows in front of our friends, family, and God on October 15, 2005.  Less than two years later, we welcomed L into this world and three months after that I went to Korea for a year.  July 24th, 2008 we received our Fragile X diagnosis... we were three months pregnant with K.

 Fast forward to some point after K was born and I started losing sight of the vows I made.  I withdrew, I became depressed.  I never was very good about helping with the upkeep of the house, but it got worse.  That is a period of my life that is very foggy.  I just sank into my hole and nothing could bring me out.  I could tell it was taking a toll on Rachelle and there were times that I tried, I really did try... but my hole was too deep.  I was sure that I lost Rachelle and that we were only staying together because it was easier that way. It was easier to stay together than it was to get divorced, THAT was the only thing keeping us together.  I was sure that I did not love her as my wife and that she did not love me as her husband.  I had convinced myself that we had love for each other as the mother and father of our children, nothing more, simple as that.
 This was no way to live, so I began making plans for divorce.  I picked out an apartment, I had figured out a budget and how much I would give Rachelle each month.  The only thing I had not decided on was when I would leave her.  For all intents and purposes, I was living an entirely separate life away from Rachelle.  She knew we were not well, but she had no clue how far away I really was.
 May 23rd and 24th, 2012 - It all came to a head.  We finally talked.  I had gotten so wrapped up in my job, our children, the Fragile X world.  I was so wrapped up in everything EXCEPT for Rachelle, that we failed to communicate the way we needed to.  We laid it all on the line and it was anything but pretty.  I told her everything.  I was absolutely positive that she would not want me in her life anymore.  I had betrayed her love, I had lied to her, there was no reason for her to WANT to stay married to me any longer.  No reason except for her immeasurable love for me.  Rachelle NEVER, not for a single moment, stopped loving me.  Not once did she ever NOT want me to be her husband... but I lost sight of that, big time. 
  I screwed up big time and it cost us both a lot.  It cost us some good friends who may never forgive me.  It cost Rachelle and I time.  Time that we will never get back.
  Since that day, we have made wonderful progress.  We are both happy, happier than we have ever been in fact.  I have renewed my faith and will continue my spiritual walk, with Rachelle's help and with the help of some very dear friends.  The one thing that will always stick with me is when Rachelle looked at me with such intense hurt in her eyes and said, "I forgive you."  
  I will live the rest of my life making it up to her because I never again want to forget that I made a promise to her - To Have and To Hold From This Day Forward, For Better or For Worse, For Richer, For Poorer, In Sickness and In Health, To Love and To Cherish; From This Day Forward Until Death Do Us Part.


  1. I give you guys all the credit in the world. I know more than most, it is too easy to let it all go, to let it all be too. far. gone.
    Rachelle is a strong and forgiving woman, probably more than I am. Or maybe it's just that you two have a love that will and deserves to endure. Wishing you both nothing but the best - and by 'the best' I mean to each other. Life is better with someone by your side, and someone who will love your children the best and the most, as you both will. Appreciate, recognize, give credit to each other.