Well here we are in Bahia on the last day of 2019. I went to the beach today with Lauren and Tata, and we said a prayer for the ocean to wash off any negativity from the decade of the 2010’s so that we can start the new year with a clean slate. I am looking forward over the next few days to writing a prayer for 2020, but not only for 2020, but for the coming decade. As I thought this, I reflected a little on the evolution of my life, and I felt called to write about what was going on in my life at the dawning of each of the previous decades.
Here I am about to enter into the decade of the 2020s. I am sitting in my room on a hand woven wicker chair, actually, let me just snap a shot with my iPad, that will save me 1000 words! I am very lucky to be very happy in my marriage. We have our church in Miami, we have our relationships all around the world from our spiritual doctrine, and we have so many projects that we are deeply invested in. I hope that I will be sitting in this same spot at the dawn of 2030, but with a bunch of grandkids jumping in the pool. If my past is any indication, I have not even begun to imagine what the next decade holds.
Back to December 31, 2009. In December of 2009, the hostility in my previous marriage had reached such an intensity that we were no longer capable of living in the same space. After a huge fight, I spent about ten days of December 2009 staying on a friends sofa while we tried to work things out. Before Christmas of 2009, I tried returning to the home, but it only lasted about ten days. By mid January of 2010, I moved out for the last time. In February, my ex wife filed for divorce, and so began the great fire of 2010, where I literally lost every thing that I owned except a suitcase of clothes, a hunting knife my dad gave me when I was 13, some paper weights that had belonged to my Grandmother, an acoustic guitar and a six year old Jeep with no roof. I gave away the last pair of pants that I owned just the other day as a matter of fact. I still have the knife and the paperweights. I had absolutely no conception of where I would be today at that time, and things looked very dark and scary indeed. I was working for PNC Bank financing corporate aircraft for their equipment finance group. That seems so alien to me today! I was 42 years old
Flash back to 1999. My now ex wife was pregnant with our fourth son, who we had planned to be born in the year 2000, which, thanks to God, he was. Our marriage was all in all pretty good. I still had not started my job at Aviation Finance Group, which was later acquired by PNC Bank, so I was working as the president of a company called Rosebud Horse Bedding, which I think exists to this day. I lived with my family in Boise, Idaho, I had a 12 handicap and played golf almost every evening during the summers because it stayed light until almost 10:00 pm there. I think I actually teed off at 10:04 pm one time on the last hole. I had just earned my pilots license. I was on a low carb diet and had diet related website called Y2Diet which I operated as a hobby. I had no idea that in ten years the whole life would be completely unraveled. I was 32 years old.
So then back to 1989. I graduated from college in 1989 already married to my first wife, and so we drove from where she was born and where I had gone to college, Dallas, Texas, to Gainesville, FL where I had been accepted to law school and she to music school. She was a piano teacher and I had a small sum of money that I inherited from my beloved Grandfather which was enough to help me get through law school while she went to music school. I had not even contemplated when we might have kids, and I had not been married for two years yet. I was 22 years old.
Back to 1979. This was the last year that we celebrated New Years before finding out my parents were getting divorced. I was 12 years old. I was in 7th grade. I sailed my Laser sailboat whenever I could, rode my bike everywhere. I was socially outcast so a bit of a loner, but I loved being outside, and I loved the ocean. Life was pretty good. I was 12. Jimmy Carter was still president.
Back to 1969. I lived in New York City. My sister had just been born, and I had not yet turned 3. I have a few distant memories like riding in the family car up to the Adirondacks from Manhattan. I remember our dog Bow Wow, and our cats Bakee and Sake. I remember when my sister came home from the hospital, I remember riding my motorcycle scooter in Central Park, I remember my father leaving to go for a run and being upset that I could not go with him. I remember asking why I could not eat the snow out of the box on the corner. I was 2.
So bing bang boom, just like that life went by. It really amazes me how from one decade to the next, my life has been so completely different that I could not even begin to imagine what was in store, and so I must have some awareness that the same thing is likely to happen over the next then years.
And so now that I think a little more, some things have stayed the same. My Mom still lives in the house we moved into in Miami when I was 5 years old when my dad got back from Vietnam, and today I live with Stephanie on the same little street in Coral Gables that my parents lived on when I was born. The blue Volkswagen Bug that my sister got when she was 16 is still in the garage. But really, there is so little that has survived the decades. Everything that seems in the moment to be so permanent and unchangeable has simply blown away.
In reflecting, it’s important for us to always remember that whatever appears so fixed and permanent in our lives can blow away like dried leaves with the passage of but a few years.
So one of the last things I’m going to do in this decade is remove my old nail polish from this toe, so that you can paint it again tomorrow. I’m so glad that I can count on that!
Happy new year Angelique (and Stephanie ❤️)
Peace Love Forgiveness