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WMD = My Dad’s Wife

Everyone knows the reference: WMD…the unfound Weapons of Mass Destruction that propelled us into the Iraq War.

Well, I am the MDW: My Dad’s Wife. I am found by some of his kids/grandkids and ex-wife to be the embodiment of a WMD. The initials just got jostled around a bit.

Just as bad as misinformation led to the war…it has led to many miseries in my personal life.

From day one of dating Lonnie, I knew I was Number Three…behind his kids and his work. I just took that as a normal. If work called or his kids…my wants and needs would be addressed after those priorities.

Don’t get me wrong. If you have read any of my blog posts over the past couple of years you know I love Lonnie and I am devoted to him. Just like I told my friend today…”third time is a charm!” I am blessed and happy to have him in my life. I just know I am usually not his first thought in the morning or his last at night.

I was glad when he retired. I thought I was going to be moved up to #2. But, I am pretty sure that is not the case. His retired friends and golf have filled the work void. So, I can’t even say I am Avis Rental Car Company. I try really hard…but can’t make it to the top two.

A few weeks back we attended his eldest granddaughter’s high school graduation party. These kid inspired parties are especially hard on me. This one in Southern California meant no car. Before I even booked the flight my hopes were fading fast. No way and nowhere to escape a function where I am extremely unwanted, unwelcome and unwarranted.

I am the thrice married second wife of what I feel is an overlooked and underappreciated grandpa/dad. I am very sensitive to this since I had neither a grandpa nor dad as an adult. My dad was taken from me when I was just 18. I never knew either of my grandpas since they both died before I was born.

What I see is a bunch of kids…of all ages not appreciating the gift they have and it bothers me a lot.

Anyway, back to the party. By fly time…I have worked myself into a cortisol* stupor and my am bloated beyond my own recognition. Just when I need to feel my best and sassy to face this crowd, my jeans won’t button and my dress and clothes size has expanded. I desperately search Nordstrom Rack for a pair of shorts that at least zip up and snap.

3PM party time and we arrive with my two bottles of wine in tow. I think that at least I can drink to relax. However, I drained one bottle and as I looked at the dry bottom unfazed by the effects of the alcohol, I thought better of popping the second Pinot Grigio.

So, as the party ebbed and flowed in and out of the room, Lonnie and I sat alone as the others gathered in other parts of his daughter’s apartment pool cabaña room. The official party finally over with presents opened, we followed the crowd into his daughter’s lodgings for the after party for what was explained more visiting.

Sticking strictly to water…I could not do anything but sit on the sofa with Lonnie. You could tell we were not welcome to join his ex-wife, daughter, granddaughters and others in various rooms in the apartment where they congregated to laugh and talk. So, we sat. Played games on our phones and kept quiet.

Finally after six excruciating hours, we were on the way back to our bed for the night. A very comfy room relinquished by another granddaughter by another daughter. It was lovely to get back to her welcoming home and bed.

I did my best to support the husband I love. However, no good deed goes unpunished. Seems I made a faux pas at the party….and it was brought to my attention after we got home. I asked his granddaughter too many times (2) to open her gift from grandpa separately from the rest. She refused. Apparently I was not sensitive to her wants/needs.

Oh my. Oh well. The last of my cortisol came crashing out in a big sob fest. He was surprised by my reaction and told me he hoped I didn’t feel too bad. I did. He thinks I am overreacting, I don’t.

Just as he was answering a friend’s text while I pour out my soul, the doorbell gets the dogs up. I wiped my eyes, blew my nose and pulled open the door. The gape reveled the FedEx lady. She was delivering my new work phone.

After I signed for the package, she took me in her arms and hugged me. I was astonished and more than surprised. She was about my age and seemed normal enough…until her arms enveloped me. I hugged back lightly and patted her and thanked her for the delivery. “Anytime, we aim to please.” She said as she hopped down the steps.

The next day I was explaining my previous day to my friend and she immediately told me the hug was sent from my long deceased dad. Although Lonnie had hugged me while I was crying…I guess my dad knew I needed more.

My friend was right, I needed a good hug and it came on my front porch with the delivery of a package. Although I did hug Ms. FedEx back, now knowing where it came from, I wish I had held on a bit longer and hugged tighter.

*Cortisol, a stress hormone causes bloat, weight gain, constipation and other familiar maladies.

I Saw A Ghost

I saw a ghost today. I knew I would. I had a premonition of the apparition this morning on my way to the airport.

The sweet sad Dan Fogelberg song Same Old Lang Syne was playing on the radio and as always my eyes well with tears. The song beautiful and sad, always makes me introspective and usually sad…about things that might have been… and that makes me weary.  I was already tired at 6AM facing a two leg SWA trip from Sacramento to Albuquerque.

Seems my A-List airport good karma was spent and needed payment of some type…so we boarded as normal and I cracked open my new only-time-to-read-in-flight book.  After three pages, I looked up and the plane was just ¼ full and no more passengers were loading.  Before I could ask…the announcement came to de-plane. Some mechanical failure on this bus with wings and we were herded back out to the gate B18.

The ticket agent announced they would try and get us out today!  OMG!  I relaxed and reassured a couple of people we were in the good ol’ USofA and not spending the night in Heathrow Airport.  They didn’t seem to get it or care.  All we all wanted was to be taxiing to PHX at 8AM.

Anyway –too late to make this a short story–more than an hour later, they called me up to the counter and put me on the Seattle flight at 930AM with a 210PM connection to ABQ.  OK.  Love SeaTac…lots of fun shopping and great food.  Perfect for a long layover.  Anthony’s for a fish lunch and a glass of wine.  I deserve it!

The Seattle bound flight had nearly already boarded, but I was able to get in the front of the line with my A-List boarding pass and found a niche for my bag over aisle 14.

Off at SeaTac and I dragged my belongings over the flat brass salmon swimming in the tile floors up to the concourse.  Found some $22. Halibut tacos and enjoyed a generous serving of Sauvignon Blanc. I started back to my gate B8 with my right Achilles tendon screaming and found a quiet seat. I propped up my sore ankle on my suitcase to rest, cracked open my $3.95 bottle of Smart Water, popped a couple of Excedrin, retrieved my novel and settled in for the hour wait for my New Mexico wings.

What made me look up from my book, I do not know. But I did.

There about 25 feet from me stood The Ghost.  Right in the center of the thoroughfare, he stood talking to a couple of guys. I deduced they had just gotten off a flight and were waiting for a colleague.   At first I questioned his identity…then that smile broadened across his face and I knew it was him.

My mind spun in a hundred circles along with my racing heart… I could not decide what to do…so I did nothing.  I just observed them standing there from my plastic perch.  Nearly a minute (or so it seemed) passed, I gathered my things and I started walking up to the trio.  I thought to just say hi. At that exact moment, their tardy coworker appeared and they headed off never looking back away from my bags, my bum ankle and me.

I could have called out his name…but didn’t want to appear weird.  Just like a normal apparition, when it is recognized it disappears…as The Ghost did into the crowd.

So, it was best not to interrupt or say anything. There was not much to say other than hello, suffer a few stilted words and quick goodbye.  No time to converse, no time to linger…planes to board and meetings to make.  We have nothing in common really…just a few months of knowing each other a long-long time ago.  Unrequited and unreturned young love…that sort of thing.

“Everything Happens for a Reason” is on magnet on my fridge.  Have to just go with that.  Sometime you realize right away why something goes this way or that…sometimes you never are granted that  knowledge.

I rarely talk to my seatmate on a plane…but this was already an unusual trip. I sat on the aisle staring straight at the back of a balding head and must of looked a bit lost or something.  The guy filling the window seat kindly asked me how my day was going.  I told this stranger, yet fellow traveler, about my near encounter with The Ghost.  He quietly considered my story for a couple of minutes and turned to me and simply said “you lost your nerve.”

He was right.