Yesterday was interesting. I had a friend come over and help me clean. Yeah, that's right. I did pay her something, but we worked together. These knees of mine can't take being pressed into the tile floors here.
I have spent the last few months getting to know this woman and I like her, but it wasn't until yesterday, spending quality time together that she really told me about herself. She seems older than I had thought,not by her looks, more by her "street smarts". Yesterday, she told me her mom is sixty-two, that was interesting. Her Daddy, died almost twenty years ago from Aids (the needle and the damage done) and when she was growing up momma was a cocaine addict. She was raised in the "projects" of New York. Before Daddy died, he did introduce her to her Vietnamese half-brother and his mother; momma wasn't too happy about that. She did have some snatches of happier times growing up when she was with grandparents on a family farm in the Carolinas. I also know her ex-husband, he's a nice man who is trying to get his life together, but if I have to talk to him for more than five minutes at a time, something really bad could happen. She and the ex were also heavily into drugs at one time. She finally got tired of his womanizing, so they split.
After that encounter, I couldn't help but think of one of my dearest friends in the states. Her dad died when she was a teenager, leaving her mom to raise her and two little boys. Shortly after H.S. she married, had a baby boy in the first year, and almost immediately after that,her husband left to go overseas (that pesky Viet Nam War again). She comes home to raise her son, work and live with mom, grandma and the two younger brothers(this the the point in her life when we meet). Husband makes it home safely, or at least as safely as any of the boys,no matter where they were stationed, came home from that "conflict" and they return home, settle down where husband becomes a cop. Another son and the pressures of life reach an all time pitch. Husband wanders, she forgives him and they raise three fine boys into good men.
Oldest boy goes to college, get good education and marries Cinderella (not exactly, but I was at their wedding, it was a fairy princess dream). Their lives are safely on track, Mom can breathe a little easier over that one. Middle son, who is a little more flamboyant, shall we say, goes on to break the heart of every female in his path. Another good man out for a good time.
Baby boy wants nothing more than to grow up and be a soldier and a policeman, so he goes out and makes it happen. He joins the U.S. Army, learns how to jump out of airplanes, while they are very high up and going fast. Goes onto serve in the DMZ in Korea and in Bosnia. After coming back to the states he meets the girl of his dreams and marries her, he then gets around to telling mom about two weeks later, I think he also mentions her bi-racial baby boy at that time. This good man accepts her baby as his own son and they go on to have one more son. When he is ready to leave the military, come home and make a place for his family, he finds out she isn't. They divorce. Not letting his broken heart or life in general get in his way, he goes on in pursuit of his dream and become a police officer in an affluent suburban community.
In the meantime, as if girlfriend doesn't have enough to worry about; Middle son, also joins the police force of a not so affluent, much more dangerous suburb.
Baby boy works hard and does good. He supports his sons and has them spend summers with him and mom and dad. Something is missing, maybe it was all that jumping out of fast airplanes, maybe is was the "action" he had already seen, maybe it was just how he was made, but he wasn't happy until he became a police officer in one of the largest, most dangerous cities in the states. After the academy, of course, his assignment was the most dangerous neighborhood in said city. Baby boy is living his dream and he meets the woman he hopes he can spend the rest of his life with. They marry (I was at that wedding and it was a joyous day, he was so happy), have a tiny daughter and I do mean tiny. Born premature she was only a little over two pounds. After months in the hospital and medical bills in amounts that could fund the next space project, they bring the baby home and look like they are going to have as normal a life as a cop and his family can.
This kid is my Godson and you can probably tell that I love him. He used get off work, have a few and call me, around 2 or 3 AM my time, just to tell me he loved me, then he would assure me that he had also called his mom to tell her too.
One morning, while cruising the streets with his partner, hoping to make his little part of the world a safer place, he's killed. That's it, the end of a really good life. But, take a minute and think about it, could you ask for more; living and dying, doing exactly what you wanted.
Girlfriend carries on with a hole in her heart that will never be filled. During this time Middle Son has a pretty steady girlfriend that some think might be the one; little did they know. After his brother's funereal he's a mess and feel he needs some time when he tries to break up with said girlfriend she tells him she is pregnant. These are people in their thirties, so it looks like somebody knew exactly what they were doing. Being the good man he is, he tries to make a go of it with her. Although they never marry,he accepts full responsibility for the baby girl born to them and really tries hard to make a home for both of these women. The strains of motherhood prove to me too much for this girl and what used to look like someone out for a good time when they were single, starts to seem more like alcoholism in a young mother at home with a new baby.
Baby boys ex-wife decides to move closer to girlfriend and her husband, so her boys can be closer to their grandparents and she can have some help. His widowed wife goes completely off the deep end and refuses to see girlfriend and her husband, taking their granddaughter out of their lives also.
Situation with Middle son and his girl deteriorates to the extent that she is in and out of rehab so many times, they think of installing a revolving door. She now exhibits mental problems that are probably the cause of her drinking and becomes more and more irrational. They split and after reported neglect of the little girl, Middle Son begins a custody battle for sole custody of his daughter.
As if girlfriend doesn't have enough to worry about, Middle Son now wants to join the police force of that big bad city. Everyone, secretly prays he is not accepted into the Academy. Not only is he accepted, but he excels. His mentally ill "baby momma" is bent on revenge and makes so much trouble with false accusations and allegations that the police force take advantage of his probationary status to let him go, rather than deal with her and the ensuing problems. There he is with mounting legal bills, child support to keep up, a big mortgage and no job.
After enough money to fund a space project and a half Middle Son wins custody of his little girl. He's back at work having started out as security in one H.S., where he works himself up to head of security for the entire school district,seeing over four schools and implementing new innovations to keep these kids from killing each other. "Baby Momma" has supervised visits of little girl and does everything she can to make every one's life as miserable as her own. Little girl is caught in the middle,loving her daddy and wondering why momma doesn't seem to like anybody. This guy, remember him "good man out for a good time" has turned into the more incredible dad you can imagine. He does little girls hair, sees that he is dressed to the nines and takes her to the salon to have her fingers and toes polished. He sees that she eats right and isn't too spoiled. It's obvious that his life revolves around her.
But, alas, he too needs more. He finds another dangerous suburban police force that will gladly accept all the experience and training that he has to offer and is back "on the job". Baby momma still looks for a crack that she can get a pry bar into, but he has covered his bases pretty well.
Mean while, girlfriend deals with Baby Boy's Ex on a regular basis,helping out with the two, growing up fast, grandsons. The Ex is a nice woman,who hasn't had a whole lot of good examples in her youth. She drifts from man to man continually having her heart broken. In one of her relationships, with a man she men over the Internet, who is only about two thousand miles away, she starts making plans to marry in a few short months. Girlfriend tries to caution her and gets that old familiar feeling of "spitting in the wind". When that falls apart,she is devastated. Everyone tries to help in some way, but she will have none of it. Next up on the horizon of this families life is her Lesbian relationship.
Oh yeah, you read that right, I said; Lesbian Relationship. Before anyone gets all uppity and thinks I'm going to start moralizing on this subject. I'm not. But I want you to look at girlfriends life up to this point. Consider that she is a true "baby boomer" and look at everything she has had to deal with. Maybe then you won't judge HER too harshly, when I tell you that this is not easy for her and husband.
Well, just when you thought that Middle Son might be able to get on with his life; he gets caught in the politico wars that are forever just beneath the surface in this large metropolitan area. It seems someone on that school board where he worked, someone influential in hiring him, has aspirations for higher office, and someone else wasn't too pleased about that. He's being taken down by the press, it's nothing personal mind you, they really want to get at his former boss and keep him out of the political race, Middle son just happens to be the vehicle they are going to use.
The saga continues...
Now,sit back and take a look at your life and hold it up to the mirror of these two women. The first I've only know for a few months, so the picture is shorter and not so vivid but tragic none the less. The second I've know for over forty years and unfortunately, I've been way to close to some of this tragedy. I want you to know that these are not totally unhappy, helpless and hapless women. They carry on and carry their families through. They will continue doing this as long as they are needed. These women are formidable.
And I write fantasy fiction. Are you kidding me?