I have had for a while this idea of writing down some of the thoughts that popped into my head. One reason was to just get the ideas out of my head. I keep saying that I should write “this” down. I should right down the stories from my life not for anyone but maybe my kids. It wouldn’t be the most exciting but it would be my story. It would give them a sense of who I am someday.Nothing profound. Chances are they may never read them. Right now “Katharine” is 14, “Ann” is 10 and “Allen” is 5. They are the joy of my life, as they should be.
This idea actually started in employee break room in April of 2002. I had just got the news that I was going to be a father 24 hours before and had returned that day from a road trip to see “Marie”, the mother of just revealed unborn child who be named Katharine.
I get a phone call at work.I thought something was up because there wasn’t anyone I could think of that would call me in the middle of my shift. I pick the phone and it’s Marie. She says , “James, I’m pregnant”. This I follow up with a slow ten second , “Wowwww…..”. Marie hung up me. I hung up the phone thinking to myself, “This really happen?”
This was a total shock. I had just found a new job after being unemployed a few months, moved into a new apartment with my brother and most importantly I had just ended a what at the time was a 2 year on/off relationship with the Marie a month before.
I hadn’t talked to Marie for a while. We had tried to make it work between us but things never seemed to fit. I was 22, only lasted a year in college and still trying to grow up . Marie had just turned 19 and was a month away from high school graduation with sights set on going out of state for school. She had been accepted at Loyola University in Chicago, Arizona State, Xavier University in New Orleans among other schools. She had an idea of doing something , while I was content to float along. Now I feel like an asshole. I might have screwed up her life with a “This will be the last time we probably talk to each other because we live 90 miles away from each others so let’s just do this one last time but unprotected because I just ran out of condoms” hook up. I was scared.
I told my boss I had a family emergency , a family I didn’t realize I was about to having, and I had to take for the day. My boss was cool and told be if I needed another day just to call or leave a message.So race to the time clock , clock out and quick step it to the parking lot. That’s when I remember that my brother dropped me off at work and had my car. I had no way to get a hold of my brother so I figured I would just take a cab home and hope that he was there or would get home soon. I sat on the couch thinking what was I going to do. Finally my brother gets home at 10 pm and I jump in the car and start the 90 mile drive north for see Marie.
The whole way I’m speeding and trying to make it to Marie’s house quickly as I can. The drive is a blur and I see that everyone is gone from her house and I knock on her window and she wakes up an lets me. She seemed surprised to see me. I didn’t say that I was coming up and other than say “wow” like an idiot on the phone she hadn’t heard how I was handling the news. She took me back to her bedroom and we laid on the bed and I held her. I knew I had to be there with her at that moment. I can’t remember where the rest of her family was but she was there by herself in the house when she found out she was about to be a mother. I could let that happen. We talked about the news. We were both scared. The next day I drove straight to work. I tried to figure out what to do. I was trying to process this new information. That’s when I figured out at least one thing. I found a notebook that wasn’t being used and started writing, “Dear Baby…….”.
I wanted my child to be able to see that I was thinking of her from the moment I found out about her. I wrote about how doctor appointments. The way me and Marie were getting along or not getting along. How thing were going in the world while she grew in the womb.
I wrote at least a few times a week. This was cool until during the move to a new apartment I lost the notebook. I keep saying I would start again but could never get the motivation so the idea of restarting was there just nothing happened of it. I was asked to help developing content for another website. I wrote some articles and I thought it would be cool if my kids stumbled across some of the things I wrote in a few years. I had fun. Some of the articles had to do with my kids and being a father. Some talked about music and sports.
I didn’t feel what I was writing meshed with the other things the website was publishing. I wasn’t getting paid but I started to feel like an employee rather than a partner in something. The unfortunate breaking point was when something I had wrote, a very personal post on Facebook to help a friend who was dealing with heartbreak. That post \ ended up on being published on website I was writing for. This was done without my knowledge and without crediting me . I found out only because I went to post something new and saw it. I decided if I was going to write I was going to have to do it myself.
So now we will see what this page evolves into. The purpose might change but I’m going to try.