Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mr. Dependable (Part Five) - Out of the Ashes Comes New Life

This is the how the Alfred P. Murrah federal building looked on the morning of April 19, 1995, prior to 9:02am.

This photo could also easily represent my life at the time; neat and orderly, shiny and functional, everything happening according to plan.

But sometimes, the unexpected happens.

This is how the Alfred P. Murrah federal building looked after 9:02am of the same day. The unexpected had happened. The most unthinkable, unexpected happening anyone could have possibly imagined. After that day, nothing would be the same.

This is also what happened to my life. It blew up. I spent six months feeling as if I had been gutted. I encountered the unexpected and I faced the winds of change, taking me from the person I thought I was to the root of the person I am now and nothing would be the same.

This is the site of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building today, fourteen years later. It is a peaceful place, as calm as the waters of the reflecting pond. It represents those we lost, those who survived and those who came to help, to rescue and to recover.

Hearts were broken, blood was shed, our home was invaded by terror, lives were forever changed. But out of the devastation came humanity, out of the destruction came strength, out of the chaos came charity and out of the ashes came a kindred fortitude to not let this insidious act prevent us from once again finding peace and new life within our hearts.


Mr. Dependable was devastated when I left him nearly two years later. We had continued to work hard to put the pieces back in place but no matter how hard we tried, the pieces simply didn't fit together anymore. A few years later, he found the perfect woman for him, he found his Ms. Dependable.

#1 son visited them one summer when he was around 15. He returned home telling me how alike they were, two big recliners, a large screen TV and a massive movie collection was all they needed. Then #1 son asked me why/how I had married him. You are so different, he said - I can't imagine how that could have worked.

Mr. Plentiful's wife eventually found out about our affair. They went through a rough patch but managed to pull it out. His daughters, who were preschool age at the time are now both in college. Our paths occasionally cross. He seems to be doing well.

I had an opportunity a few years back to ask him what it all had meant. A part of me retrospectively viewed him as a predator. He seized an opportunity, noticing an impressionable, vulnerable, somewhat naive, easy target. He assured me that was not the case, promising his words and actions were from his heart. He confessed having loved me then and continuing to love me throughout the years. I share the same feelings for him and probably always will.

As for me, I am free and I am not afraid. My hair went from stick straight to curly, seemingly overnight, as if to usher in the person I would eventually become. I am unconventional yet traditional, wildly abandoned yet grounded, sexy in a natural way, self-supporting, self-loving and self-taught. I have risen to the top of my industry and now I am imagining and pursuing a life I have always known would be my destiny.

I am a writer.

(Just to keep you begging for more - up next: Strike Three - Meet Mr. Sunshine With a Chance of Pain (Part One)!


  1. Bravo! You actually had me wondering if your son had died. It felt implied but you never actually said it. Glad to see that was not so. Wonder if I was the only one thinking this?

  2. I love reading about your life during the years we were lost to each other. I feel like there is a missing piece, though. Why was the Murrah bombing such a impetus? You mentioned searching frantically for son #1. Was he in the Murrah building or the Y? Please solve the mystery!

  3. You are a writer. Such a beautiful writer.

    Write on.

  4. You should write a book. I would buy it.

  5. Yollie & Peach - thank you, sincerely. It means a lot!

    Julie & Sweetie - I am sorry, apparently I led you astray by leaving out a few details. Too much editing on my part, I suppose.

    After witnessing those frantic parents, crying for their babies, all I could think of was wanting to have my son close to me, in my arms. There were rumors swirling that this was just the beginning of an attack; more was yet to come.

    I had come to the site to investigate damage to a building I managed within the perimeter of the blast site. I couldn't stay, I was terrified and shaken. I left my building and drove to #1Son's school, took him out of school, drove home and hugged him until I had him completely freaked out. I had my baby with me but I agonized over the screams and wailing of those who didn't yet know the fate of their children.

    Flying off to N.Y., the photo of the fireman and the baby brought it all back. I knew several people in the building and didn't yet know if they survived. I had been to their office and knew it was on the corner of the first floor, but in the back. I found out later, my friends survived. They were literally blown out of their shoes - making their way out of the building, walking over glass and debris in their bare feet. Two of their colleagues in the same office died.

    All I can say is it was very difficult to be away from home. I was an emotional wreck.

    Bert - you get me, you always have. Love Ernie.

    Anna - that's an awesome thing to say. Maybe I will! Thanks.

  6. Finally catching up on my weekend reading. I, too, would buy your book, but I'll take this blog for now!

  7. i don't know you, but every day when i log in, yours is the first blog i check to see if there's something new. thank you for your honesty in sharing what you've gone through. this entry made me a little teary, i've gotta admit; i feel like i'm going through a similar transition/transformation in my life - albeit under very different, less dramatic circumstances. :)
    you ARE a writer; thank you for allowing me to be your reader. ~n.

  8. You just had to throw in the "up next" didn't you? That's just as bad as a "to be continued." ;)

    And for the record, you aren't just a writer. You're a wonderful writer, and dare I say it? An absolute artist. :)

  9. PS -- I agree with Anna. If you write a book, I'll be among the first in line to buy it. :)

  10. Wow, what a powerful entry. You definately are a writer.

  11. Joyful - what a lovely thing to say. Honesty is the reason I write. I am excited for your transformation; though it may be tough, in the end you will be true to yourself. Best of luck!

    Carrie - as always, thanks so much. I threw in that "up next" just for you as I know how much it drives you crazy.

    Whispering - that means so much coming from a fellow writer! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  12. Beautiful! Your such a powerful writer! I am so happy to hear that you got back up on your feet!


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