As I held one of my twin sons the morning after they were born, I had only hopes and happiness for my young son. I looked at his eye lashes and the beautiful green eyes looked back at me. Such sweet innocence. I uncovered the tiny feet and counted toes, ecstatic that he was in possession of all his fingers, toes, and everything else. His heart had started to slow down because he was being born in the breech position as was his brother. They had to rush us in to the delivery room and get him out before anything else could happen to him. As you hold your first child, you are in love with the beauty and sweetness laying beside you in your arms. You never know what the future holds...but one thing I know, it is never what you expected!
As children, my sons were adventurous and funny. One time, in their walkers, they disappeared into the bedroom chattering away in a language only they knew, and we were sitting down to dinner. It was very quiet and Jack started to go find them. I told him to not look a gift horse in the mouth and eat his dinner while he could! He did. Then he called for the boys...still quiet... They appeared a few seconds later and they were looking like Zebras! They were striped in black and to our amazement upon following up on what they had been doing, we found the old typewriter sitting in the floor in front of our closet with the ribbon pulled out and twisted up where they had wrapped it around themselves and were playing with it! Jack was going to radio school at the time and he had to leave for his class! He was laughing as he left, and I told him I wasn't going to let him back in if he left me to clean them both up!!! Ha Ha I had to strip them down and bathe both of them because they were turning red where their skin was exposed to the ink in the ribbon! Once I got them clean, and lotioned down with baby lotion, they returned to their normal color thank God! They were always into something and they kept us so busy. When they were 7 months old, I found I was pregnant again, and this time we had a beautiful little baby girl.
Our baby girl was so sweet and calm. She didn't cry a lot, unlike her noisy brothers, and she was content to just be held close and loved. She'd lay quietly in her crib when I'd be cleaning up the house, and she was so sweet and delicate. She was a healthy baby, and we have a picture somewhere of her brothers hugging her from each side... she was completely blind with their arms in front of her face!
Life was hectic to say the least. After the 3 months I got to spend with them, I had to go back to work, and then the fun really started! We had to get them dressed in the morning besides getting ourselves decent and get them into their car seats and feed them as we were rushing around trying to get other things done. I had to make sure the oatmeal was out of my hair, and I had my glasses on, and my pant's zipped...Jack always seemed to have it together. Where he got the calm to do that, would be something I discovered much later in our relationship. I learned from him, something so fantastic, that it doesn't even come close to being described. But I digress. Once the kids were dressed and fed, and we had our lunches made and ready to go, we took them to their sitter and were off to the races once more. At night, we'd pick them up, take us all home, and put our TV dinners in the over while we fed them and got them cleaned up and ready for bath time or pajama time. Our lives were hectic as I stated before...but it was fun too!
I loved every minute of it! It was taxing, tiring, but rewarding too when they would lay their little head's down under your chin and cuddle. So very precious. We had no idea of the turmoil we'd run into later. It is never expected. Never planned for. Alex turned out to have asthma and we had to move to a drier and warmer climate so we moved out to Spring Valley. We found a nice little apartment and moved us in. Alex seemed to get better and still had a cough, but not the difficulties he had had at the old place. Brian was fine, no ill effects from their difficult birth, and Sidra was still our sweet and happy little girl. They were rough, the boys were that is, and Sidra would crawl around after them but they were too fast for her. When she started learning to walk, she'd stand up teetering on her little wobbly legs, and they'd rush past her playing and down she'd go. It was so cute Jack made a cartoon of it. She loved her brothers, but they were bigger and not inclined to play with girls. When she was smaller, they liked to brush her hair and they'd always tell me when she was awake if I didn't hear her. They'd come and bring a bottle and tell me "Baby hungry mommy...baby hungry!" But as they grew, she was left behind in a cloud of dust. Our sweet little girl was the apple of her daddy's eye and she always wanted him to hold her if she was sick. She'd lay on his tummy on the floor while he was watching TV and they grew so close. She was in love with Daddy and it was so sweet to observe. I loved them all so very much.
As we moved from place to place, we eventually found a house in what we thought was a good neighborhood. It was a quiet little place with lots of children for them to play with. They grew quickly the first summer we moved into the house. They changed 3 sizes as a matter of fact. But as they grew, the neighborhood got tougher and meaner. There were gangs and all sorts of things that we never expected. Our precious babies, were babies no more and they were drastically influenced by the people around us. We should have moved. I don't know why we didn't. We eventually had to send one of our sons to Arizona to live with my sister because he was being targeted by some roughians who wanted to shoot him! I was still working and could not be at home with them. They were delivered to the sitters until they were 12 and entering middleschool. Then we had decided they were old enough to be alone after school and we got home about an hour or hour and a half after they were home. Sidra was 10 and she was ok too with being alone until we got home. So different from the little innocent babies we took home with us from the hospital. We loved our children very much and we had to be strict with them. But the damage that was done in their formative years was devastating. So different from the things I had dreamed of. You never know what lies ahead...the future is promised to no one.
But before that came about, we tried to teach them about life and the things that would make them strong. I think that when it came down to it, somewhere in the realms of their soul's, they knew that what they were into was not right. We had to employ "tough-love" to get their attention. How did it all go wrong?... I think we could have avoided a lot of it by moving to a different area. I at least take some partial credit for the things they got into. I had my own personal problems and life to sort out as well, but I never stopped loving them or being concerned for their well-being. Our one son did well in my Sisters care. But her husband and he did not get along after a while and he had to come back home.
I had to keep working, and the toll it took on me was a big one. The stress at work and home was enough for me...I couldn't handle much more. Then one day at work, I was asked to carry a computer up 2 flights of stairs, and they weren't little computers at the time. I began having neck pain and a tightness in my chest and an excruciating pain in my back. It took 3 days to finally get the help I needed as the pain would come and go and come back again. The third day, my son Alex called 911 and they took me to emergency where they discovered it was indeed a heart attack. They put me in the ICU and gave me meds to dissolve the blood clot. That led to an angiogram where they discovered 7 blockages in my heart and one of them had covered 70% of the room In my artery for the blood to pass through and that's where the blood clot got stuck. I was put on heart medications, high blood pressure med's, and aspirin and a non-fat, low-Cholesterol diet. I survived all that and the strength I got to face it all and overcome it, was the love my family had for me. I think the heart attack changed my life and theirs as well. It was a sobering experience for them to go through.
But today, things are different still! The boys grew out of their life-style, began being serious about doing something with their lives, met girls, got married and have given us 7 grandchildren. They are both good Dad's and their kids love them. I was able to retire and stay at home at the age of 48, and Jack has kept working until he got so sick earlier this year. He recovered thank God, and has since returned to work. But by all rights he should be home where he could write his books and enjoy life. He is the toughest person I know. He has been my saving grace after all these years. We have been together 39 years this coming Christmas Eve. I have learned to value many things, and I have gotten past so many devastating times in my life...but my family has been there all the way. That's why I am still here. Their love, and all the other experiences have made us stronger than we ever thought possible and I am thankful and happy to say that things have changed a lot and life has become rewarding for us. You never know what the future holds. Be prepared, that in your wildest dreams, the things that can happen are not in your control. Life is difficult for all of us...but the things we learn are what make us who we are...strong or weak...the choice is ours. Our wonderful daughter is with us, and takes care of me and her Dad now. She handles the finances, and does the things we cannot do any more. We love all our kids, and in the end, that's what matters. That's what holds us together. The Tyler Gang........
Back in my youth I lived in a small coal mining town and had the run of the place. Folks there all knew each other and I knew no strangers. I walked where I wanted, played with cousins and friends, and always made it home in time for lunch and dinner! For the first 3 years I was the only child and I learned to love it! My Mom always had time for me, my Dad loved me dearly, and my Grandmother was always there to fix skinned knees and remove splinters. I didn't lack for attention at all. Then my little brother was born when I was 3 and I ceased to exist. That was a shock for me, because having been the only child, I was spoiled rotten! I would steal my brothers bottles, steal his pacifier and still being little, I'd hide somewhere and use the pacifier myself! I knew I was too old to do that, but it was my only consolation. My little brother was very sickly. He had a crooked spine which meant that when he learned to walk, he had to have special shoes that had steel toes in them. When he got a little older, he would kick me in the shins with them and leave horrible bruises on my legs. I still have scars. Once he threw my Mary Heartline Majorette doll at me and hit me in the forehead. I had a nose bleed for four hours and couldn't lye down because I'd choke on the blood. When he wasn't kicking me, he was throwing silverware at me at the dinner table! He pinched me, pulled my hair, bit me and punched me. It was all ignored and laughed at because he was "sickly". Bah humbug I say!
I was a good child. I did well in school, had friends, knew how to count to 100 before I even went to school, and we didn't have kindergarten back home, so when I was 4 I was in 1st grade. My teacher was Mrs. Rutledge. She was a buxom woman with red hair, and one day we were having a fire drill. She told us to all be quiet and that we would all line up and go outside when we heard the fire alarm. The little girl in front of me was excited and began stomping her feet. The teacher walked up to me and slapped me hard in the face! She thought I'd been the one stomping. Well, lest you think that all I remember are the bad times and the times of abuse and being ignored, I also have stories of great Christmases, Grandma's wonderful cooking, and the difference time makes. You grow up, you learn things about yourself and your family that sort of makes it all make more sense. We began moving when I was 8, and we moved every year or so until I was 18. I had to learn how to adapt, and I did. I made new friends easily, but school grew increasingly difficult because of all the state laws and rules and the school curriculum changed so radically. I got lost. By the time I was a Senior here in California, I had learned all they were teaching me yet again, and I decided to have fun instead of worry about grades! At the end of the year, I had decided I wanted to be a Court Reporter. I passed all the exams to go to college, and then my Dad came home from overseas and told us we were moving yet again. I was 17 1/2 and even though I begged my Dad to let me live with my best friend and her family and go to college, he wouldn't have it. No way was he going to let me stay. And now that I'm older I see the rationale in that. I wouldn't let my 17 year old daughter be that far from me either. We were moving to Minnesota. I hated the place because we had just spent 3 years in Kodiak Alaska and I couldn't go out side in the winter because I"d fall just looking at the snow! I didn't know a place like California existed and once I"d had a taste of the wonderful warm weather, and the palm trees, and the school and friends and so on and so on, I could not imagine living anywhere else! I cried through 3 states and gave myself a splitting headache!
But I learned a lot in Minnesota. I grew up I guess you'd say. At 18 1/2 I told my parents I was leaving and I boarded a plane, American Airlines, and flew home. I stayed with my friend and her family and we did go to college. But I became ill and my Dad went back overseas, and for a long while I was unable to do the things I wanted to do. I fought through the illness, although it would reappear in the future. I found work, and worked hard at everything I tried. I was learning about real independence, and it wasn't by being out from under my Dad's thumb. True independence is when you can think for yourself, do the things you feel are right in your heart, and take care of those around you to the best of your ability. My Dad left us sitting high and dry when he got back from overseas. He moved again to Seattle, but this time my Mom refused to go with him. She didn't want to take my sister out of school yet again and make her readapt to new schools, friends, and housing. I was getting older and moved out with a girlfriend to Imperial Beach. My Mom threw a fit. Called me the first night and told me that someday I'd wish I had a home to come to. She was very angry because I had gone in the house when she was gone and took my clothes and things and left. She knew I wanted to leave, and she had plans to help me pack my things, but she didn't tell me that. Things hadn't changed much for me. Housework was always more important than sitting down with your offspring and talking with them about their future and things of that nature. It was sick. I stayed gone for a while and then my friend decided she didn't want a room mate after all and invited me to leave. I went back home. I had not enough to make car payments and have my own place too. I had little choice.
Things didn't change much. Home was still a sick environment, my illness came back on me again, and I was out of work for 6 months. I fought through it again and returned to work. I'd been on my own mentally for 10 years. I paid my bills, helped my Mom out, and gave them money for rent every payday. But under the Doctor's care, I took his wise advice, and when I got my bills paid off, I was able to leave for good and have my own place. I loved the freedom so much I laid in the middle of the living room floor for hours listening to the music I liked, and feeling the warmth of the sun through the big windows in the living room. I was at peace for the first time in many years.
I met someone at work not long afterwards. He was very nice, very compassionate, and a good friend. One evening, a Friday evening, I went home, had dinner, and watched a little TV. Then I got the idea to call him and see if I could come visit. He said yes, gave me directions to get to his place, and I was on my way. When I got there he was doing dishes. I knocked on the door and he answered. We listened to music for hours and talked sitting cross legged on the floor. On the way out to my car that evening, he touched my shoulder and said, "Sometimes all you need is a friend!" I was touched. We went out after that and he showed me around San Diego till 6:00 in the morning! We had great fun and he kept me laughing the whole evening! He didn't know I knew how to laugh, he said. One date lead to another, and we spent more time together than apart. Eventually I moved in with him and we had more money for things we wanted. One day after having lunch together, he said that we should get married and I could have a baby! I was stunned! We did. We were married on my 29th birthday. He was 27. By the time he was 28, and just before I turned 30, we had twin sons! When they were 17 months old I gave birth to our daughter as well! Life was good. We had our hands full, had hard times, bankruptcy was in our future, and our son developed asthma. We moved. We moved several times as a matter of fact. We both had to work 8 hour days to make ends meet. Raising kids and working too was difficult, but we did it! We worked hard to be good parents, and tried to enjoy a little freedom. There was ballet lessons, drum lessons, soft ball, wrestling, and what happiness we could bring to our children's lives.
In essence what I'm trying to say is I had a very busy and chaotic life and we really had our hands full. Now I am Grandma to 7 wonderful grandchildren. I'm 67 years old now....and I'm tired!!! I decided today to carve out a niche for myself. I am going to relax, recreate, live life fully and to the best of my ability. I am fortunate to have a husband that encourages that. He doesn't mind if the tables are dusty, and the floor is less than spotless. He's bought me so much art and craft kits over the years, and I never made use of them because I was "too busy" with housework and work. Well I've been retired since I was 48 and I have no further excuses to make! I am going to finally take the time to stop and smell the roses before the roses are on my coffin. I'm so tired, so very tired in body. My hips hurt because I have arthritis. I have bad knees and it's hard to climb the stairs. I almost lost Jack the first part of this year. He was so ill he was in the ICU for 35 days and in a rehab facility for 2 and a half more weeks. I found out how quickly you can be removed from the scene. I don't want to miss any more time relaxing and doing the things that are fun from now on. If I want to go out, I'll go out. If I want to paint, I'll paint. If I want to sleep all day, well, I have a very comfortable bed, and if that's what I need, that's what I'm gonna do. I've been busy for so long, and for all the reasons you might expect. I always thought I had to be busy to account for the fact I'm here at all, and I have tried to keep up with things. Now I see that it just isn't in me to be Betty Crocker, and if we have burritos for dinner somedays, well we'll have burritos! My body is tired, my soul is tired, my mind is tired. I need rest, recreation, outings, movies, dinner out once in a while, and I'm also tired of dieting. I feel like I've been on a diet all my life. I know I've always been overweight. If that's what I am, then that's what I am. I am in good company. One half of America is obese! I'm not the odd ball. The skinny ones are!!!! For a change I'm with the in crowd! ha ha ha
Making time for oneself is essential. He never forced me into anything. He's been just the opposite! He always wants me to relax and recreate...I just couldn't work it in. I"d work till I was exhausted and then stare at the TV uncomprehending because I'd be too tired to concentrate on it. Just mindless sitting. Something happened for me today. I don't know if it was the arthritis, or my bad knees, or my aching back. I just don't feel it anymore. I am going to do what he's always wanted me to do. I am finding time for self. It's important. It's an essential. I've had a good life, a rich life, a busy life. I've done much, seen much, and now it's time to rest and recreate the rest of my days. Do I hear a "here here"? With out further ado, I big you good evening and remember to live life like you mean it! I copied that from my husband. Live for the moment! It's the only present we have. No past, no future. Just this one glorious minute to be captured and lived to the hilt! Welcome home self! You are a winner after all and not a loser! Take your life in your hands and really live it!
There was a time in my life, long before I met Jack, that I knew love and the pain it can leave in your life when it departs. It can leave a hole in your life that you think nothing can fill. I determined that I would go it alone from then on. That was a lesson I did not feel needed repeating. I was only 19, what did I know of life? The first lesson was that you should not ever put all your eggs in one basket, just as my Grandmother had tried to tell me. But I did anyway because I thought there would never be another love like that in my life. I would have done anything for that person, but it was not to be. I decided I'd rather be alone and so for the next 10 years, I was that. Alone. I lived with my Mother and Father at that time, but that changed also. My Dad deserted us and I was left alone to care for the family since I was the oldest child and the only one with a job. I had a brother 3 years my junior, but he was on drugs and stored his dope in my Mom's freezer. I tried to tell her, she wouldn't listen. My sister was only 9, 10 years younger than I was and she could not understand what a responsibility my Father had heaped on my shoulders. I had always been Daddy's Girl, but the only trouble was, Daddy didn't know it, and didn't care. I was crazy about him, but soon found out that he cared for himself and no one else. He got his own place, bought everything he wanted, and sent my Mother nothing. He was in the Navy when he left, but he was rude to an officer, and his Navy days were over. He was put out on a slightly better footing than he deserved. But the Navy wasn't as heartless as he was.
I had an ailing Mother, or so it seemed. She was lost. Didn't know what to do about anything and that too was a weight around my neck. She would greet me in the drive way every night with another set of problems, and I learned that the only thing I could do for myself was to leave as soon as possible. I bought a car after Dad left because I was tired of getting up at four in the morning to go to work on the bus. I was left standing at the ferry landing by my brother one time too many and I decided the first step to independence was in having a means to leave! I moved in with a co-worker in Imperial Beach. She had no car and I had no where to go, so I moved in. We had a lot of fun together, but before long, she changed her mind about sharing her apartment and invited me to leave. With a car payment and my other bills, I had no place to go but back home. That was a big mistake. Things at work got tougher, and my home life, if you call it life, was difficult at best. I got so I couldn't think. I was a lost cause in many books. Especially at work. They belittled everything I tried to do, gave me more and more responsibility, and I got very sick. Between my home life and job life, there was little left to me. Or so I thought.
Then I met Jack Tyler. He came to work in our office in 1975. His Great Grandmother passed away shortly thereafter. He went to services, but then he came to work. I thought, how odd. I didn't know the strength that was behind such actions. I have recently discovered that that same strength is still there. Intact after so many years of hard times. Shortly after Jack came to work in my office, we began conversing. He saw the way I was treated, and he had something I needed. He began telling me about the Tao. His way of life. Tao literally means "The Way". He began telling me different things....different because I'd never heard of them before. I tried what he suggested, and it worked! I was able to stop justifying myself to my superiors, and the way was so simple I could not believe it! We started dating and hanging out together at work and after work. He had a little apartment above a garage in North Park. I had a place in Chula Vista, a nice apartment completely furnished. It was very nice, but once I met Jack, I spent more time at his place than my own, and eventually I moved in with him. We had so much fun together, just doing everyday things. He didn't have a lot of money. I made more than he did, but we put it all together and had plenty to live on and pay our bills. He had many books on the Tao, and I began reading them in the early mornings when he'd be asleep. I was fascinated. I read more. Learned more, grew and became a better person. I found I had many good qualities, I just needed to have my eyes opened. He did that for me. He was everything a woman could want in a man. He was strong, kind hearted, giving, sharing, providing for, and handling the difficult things that came along.
We eventually decided to get married and have a family. We found a little house out in front of the apartment, and decided to move in as we needed more room if we were going to have a family. We moved in and put our things away, and celebrated by having dinner on the floor in the living room. We didn't have living room furniture. We had little enough to start a life with, and the in-laws were not helpful, so we made it alone. There was no wedding shower, and when I became pregnant, no baby shower either. Everything we needed, we provided. I was learning all the time to be self-sufficient and to stand on our own, back to back against the world. It sent many trials our way. Our first pregnancy gave us twins! We weren't even ready for one baby, much less 2! But we made it work. Then when I got pregnant when the boys were only 7 months old, we thought we were done for. What if we had twins again? But we didn't. We had a beautiful baby girl and our family was complete. The Tao worked with us and for us and we found new strength every day in our love for one another. He was all the world to me. I couldn't believe how fortunate I was to have met a real man. Not a deserter when things got tough, not a doped up person who couldn't even function in life, and not a pervert! He was all man. The dreams I'd had in the past had long since faded away. I thought I'd be alone forever, but life had other plans.
We moved from our little house when one of the children came down with asthma. Every time he'd get a cold, it turned into pneumonia and we found a dryer, hotter climate out in Spring Valley, so we moved into a nice little apartment with the help of a friend from work that I knew. We had our little family and we found new strength in one another. The kids were happy, and so were we. But so odd, that'd I'd miss the little house we first had together. The boys were typical little boys, and they'd do things they knew they weren't supposed to do and wrote on the walls with chalk. The folks we rented from invited themselves in when we were at work, and they gave us a month to get out, the day before Thanksgiving. When Thanksgiving arrived, so did the flu. We were all sick. I tried to fix a decent Thanksgiving meal, but we all were too sick to eat. We took what little money we had saved for Christmas, and had to find a new place to live. Again, a friend came to our rescue. We found a different apartment. We always made do. We never missed a meal, never went to bed hungry, never had to sleep under a bridge or anything like that. He took care of his family. Something I was not use to.
Eventually we moved to a house so the kids could play outside and get some growth going. They were all skinny and little and they were forbidden to play outside at the apartment. Again, Jack had me go to work, and he found us a place to live. We went by after work and I loved the place. We moved in and celebrated by taking the kids to Disneyland! There were times of sickness for me, as I had a disease that required medication and less stress. It was tough for the family, and tough for Jack, but he never left me. He took the weight of the world on his shoulders when I couldn't deal with life, and saw me through so many hard times. But that's what a real man does. He doesn't run from responsibility. Even today, he is at work, and he was so sick at the beginning of this year that he nearly died. He was off work for 4 months trying to get his strength back, and he still doesn't have it all back. But being who he is, he is at work, doing a job that no one else can do. The hard times made us stronger, and just today we were talking about what we'd do if someone gave us a couple of million for a movie deal about the book Jack wrote. We'd continue as we are. We'd pay of the house and buy a better car, but the rest would go in the bank and Jack could retire. We aren't greedy, and as the Tao says so plainly, "He who knows enough is enough, will always have enough." This is the essence of who he is. As I stated before, we have never been hungry, we've never gone naked, we've always had a place to sleep, and now we have our own house and 7 grandchildren that call it "home". They don't live with us, but they still feel the love we have for them. Our place is so peaceful. No fighting between Jack and I, and our wonderful daughter is with us, taking care of us as best she can in our older years. Our sons are on their own with their families. One is divorced, but provides for his children, and the other one is still happily married and living in Colorado. They learned a lot of hard lessons, but they changed their lives and took control of who they have become. Good people.
So, in spite of all the problems and diseases and heart attacks and asthma and all the rest, you might question "would you do it again?" The answer is a resounding YES! To be with the man that changed my life and my values, YES! The man who has been beside me through every crisis, and weathered every storm, deserves my undying love, and that he shall have through all eternity. I've never known a man like Jack. He's apparently made of steel! He says he was "forged" for me. And whatever powers there be, I am grateful and you certainly spent more time on this one! He is a prince among men. He always put's others first, and he always does his best in every situation. Every thing you do, he says, is a picture of the person who did it. I could not ask for anything more than to live out my days with him and then we shall meet again in another place, another time, and be together forever. Free in the expanse of space and time...for we are a part of all that is or shall ever be, and that force holds us in the palm of it's hand for the rest of time.
In 1968 I began working for the Federal Government. I thought it was great to have my own desk and a brand new IBM Typewriter. I typed Naval Messages, both Classified and Unclassified and Speed Letters and all sorts of Naval Documents. They were then signed and taken to the teletype operator. I felt important, had a good boss, and plenty of work to keep me busy. The days literally flew by. After a year I put in for a different job, did that for a year and then was transferred to a typing pool where we prepared special items on special paper that were then scanned and input to the Data Processing computers. They did a major reorganization of things and we moved from my original building, to a warehouse down by the ships. Eventually they moved us yet again to a different warehouse, Building 661, and I was promoted to a GS-5 in charge of the other typists in the department. My days were very busy and I enjoyed my work, for a while at least. They kept giving me more and more to do, and one day I just couldn't think anymore. I asked to go home, and my boss said OK. I didn't go back for 3 days in a row and I didn't call in or anything. I told my Mom some fantastic tale, and she believed me. Finally, my boss called and told her they thought I needed to see a Doctor. He told her that the story I had told her wasn't true, and that I had been acting very weird at work. My brother and Mother coerced me into going for a ride and we went to see my Grandmother's Doctor, Doctor Cutcher, who had seen me before. After talking to me for a few minutes, he gave my Mother a name and phone number for a psychiatrist that had a wonderful reputation and the call was made, the appointment scheduled, and we went to see this doctor. Doctor Funk was his name and he appeared to be a friendly person. He put me on medication, and I was officially off work for the next six months. He helped me to see things in a different light and when I told him I had no insurance, he was amazed. I was only a GS-5 and didn't make enough to cover my medical needs on top of everything else I was paying. My journey at this time of my life, was very rough. I ended up being hospitalized for a time and without insurance I had no idea how I'd pay for my care. I was too out of it to be aware of things like that. Much to my astonishment, he paid for my care. He did it because he told my Mother that he could tell I wanted to get well. I was there for about 8 days, and as they had mistakenly l.et me sign myself in, I had the right to sign myself out as well and I did just that. I signed myself out and walked home. Mostly because I didn't want to be a charity case. I walked almost all the way home and then my brother came driving up. He had been to the hospital, and when they told him I had left, he freaked out. He took me home, and my journey of a lifetime began with myself in charge.
Life when I went back to work, was difficult at best. The bosses really didn't want me around it seemed, and they made life tough for me. No matter what I did, I couldn't keep up with the things they were giving me to do. Then a new guy came to the office. At first I thought he was from the Data Processing Department. But he was a new employee and would be working in our office. He was quite perceptive, and he noticed that the bosses were always on my case for one thing or another. Finally, one day he walked up to me and said a few words about not justifying myself to the bosses and he gave me a Taoist Parable to read and think about. He literally taught me how to stop justifying myself to my bosses, to stop one project and do another when they were giving me so much to do. They would get so frustrated because I'd do the latest one and let the first one go. They needed to make up their minds what they wanted when, and let me work like a normal person. But no. They heaped work up on me, knowing I had difficulties, and they frankly were trying to get me to leave. This young man and I became friends. We'd talk at break time, and have lunch together, and they hated that. Then he gave me his phone number and said to call if I wanted to talk. So one Friday after work, I went to my apartment as usual and had my dinner and watched a little TV. But then, I decided to call Jack and see if I could come over for a visit. He said yes and gave me his address, and I was on my way.
We sat and listened to his music collection and chatted a bit, and when I got ready to leave, he walked me to my car. Then he touched me on the shoulder and said, "sometimes all you need is a friend". I was touched. He seemed to have a way about him that made me want to know more. He was at work Monday and we talked some more. He asked me if I'd like to go out, and I said yes. Our first date, he picked me up in a pickup truck and took me on the Scenic Drive and showed me parts of San Diego I didn't know existed. He had me laughing the whole evening. We were out all night driving around and we ended the evening by going to Balboa Park and walking around looking at things. We went back to his apartment and he made us some Instant Breakfast because it was 6:00 in the morning and then he took me home. He had to move furniture the next day for his Mom and Grandmother and he asked me if I would like to go. It was Mother's Day, so I declined and told him I was going to see my Mom the next day. I regretted it however, as the day didn't pan out well. I wished I'd gone with him, but it was too late. I saw him the next day back at work. We began going out and spending a lot of time together. He had been raised by his Great Grandmother and his Grandmother because his Dad disappeared from the picture, and his Mother was too young to know how to raise a child. He had no idea what a normal family was, and my family was not quite normal either. My Dad had left us and left me with all the problems of having a family. They all fell to me as the oldest child and the only one working, and that in itself was a part of the reason I became ill. Stress on every side will do that to you. I had told Jack about my problems, but he didn't seem to be deterred.
We were at lunch one day and he began talking about getting together and having a family. He said we could get married, and I could have a baby! I was in shock! I considered myself engaged at that point and after lunch, I went to the ladies room and had a good cry and told my best friend that I was newly engaged! I was so happy! This person actually cared for me and wanted to spend his life with me! I was not only happy, I couldn't believe it! I had thought I'd never get married or have children and here was this handsome guy telling me we could have a family! The people at work, the bosses, had told him not to associate with me because I had a lot of problems and he shouldn't get serious over me. He listened, told them I had already told him, and we continued doing as we pleased! That was in March of 1975 that he came to work at my office. I moved into his place, and before we got married, we found a place right in front of our place, that was being vacated and ready to rent. We made arrangements, and moved in November to the bigger house. It had 2 bedrooms and an adjoining bathroom between them. We loved it. We celebrated our new house by getting dinner at Ceasers down in Mission Valley and we took it home and ate on the living room floor. We had very little furniture, but we didn't mind.
In December of 1975 we were married on the 24th, my birthday, at my Mom's house in Chula Vista. It was beautiful and solemn and I meant every word of my vows. So did he as I would find out as the years went by. He was amazing! He seemed to have magic when it came to handling problems, and we were so happy. We got to have 2 weeks off after the wedding, and we enjoyed every moment of it. He took me around and introduced me to his friends, and we visited some of the neighbors he had in Point Loma. We drove up the coast and had a bite to eat at Long Beach and just thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. When we went back to work, my boss shook his hand and said congratulations, and gave me a pat on the shoulder. I guess they figured it was his problem now, because they left me alone after I was his wife. They still told us to go somewhere else to have our lunch, so people didn't have to watch us. I guess they thought we'd do it right there in the car, which we never did. We had more class than that! In March of the next year, I got pregnant and when I told them I'd need to schedule maternity leave, my boss said to me "Now Bonnie, do you know what you are talking about?" I told him I'd been a woman for 29 years and yes I knew what I was talking about! I don't think they believed me until I started showing!
Jack and I faced many difficult times together. But that was the key... "together". We always counted on one another and we were as close as 2 people could ever be. In November of 1976, on the 17th, our twin sons were born and we were so happy. Jack came to my mother's house after work, as we had decided with 2 babies I could use a little rest before I tackled 2 newborns on my own. We stayed a few days, but then we decided to go home where we could relax and enjoy our babies and each other. It was the best thing we could have done. Many times I've wished we had gone straight home and done the learning together. But we were home none-the-less and I was so happy. I had worked up to a week before they were born, not knowing there were 2 or that they would be born so quickly! So after they were born, I had the 3 months off to take care of them. It was heaven. I'd take care of the babies and the house, and in the evenings my sexy husband would come home and help me. I'd try to have dinner ready and the house tidied up, but with 2 babies it was really hard to get everything I wanted done. He didn't seem to mind. We'd have dinner, and play with the newborns and enjoy being together. Our families gave us grief more so than anyone else, but he handled things and I could always depend on him to back my play.
We've been together now for 38 years, and this coming December we will make it 39. Next year we celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and I am so proud to be his wife. He is a writer now, has published a book, and has plans for maybe a novel. He recently was very ill and in the hospital for 35 days. But I knew he could make it because he is the strongest person I've ever known and with God's help and blessing, he is with us still and has gone back to work after being off for 4 months. He still doesn't have all his strength back, but he is the most determined person I know. He has picked up his life where he left off, and if you hadn't been there you'd never believe it! He has seen me through so many difficult times. He has been my rock and my shield, and I am blessed among women. I feel like I am the richest person on earth and I love him with all my soul. I would go into all the problems, but there is no reason. He and I have grown so close over the years, that we are like one person anymore. He has taught me much, been there when nobody else was, helped me raise our 3 children, and made me the happiest woman on earth. I love him more than he'll ever know and I am so proud of his success in life. He deserves every break that can be given.
Thank you for always being there honey. I can't believe you are real! You handle life like you invented it yourself, and you have brought me such peace and such joy. I have shared your life for almost 40 years now, and I am still just as happy and proud as I was the day we were married. Thank you for all the years, and all the babies, and for indulging me when it comes to Christmas! Ha Ha. You have been my rock for all these years and I have come such a long way because you were the reward at the end of my journey. My life with you has been the best thing that ever happened to me, and we could not be more perfect for one another. Thank you for a brand new life, a new beginning, and thank you for letting me share your life and have your babies. We are one, and I am most thankful for your presence in my life. You've shown me what it means to be strong, loyal, and loving every moment of my life. I didn't have to discard anything. Now that I am well, I can look back at all the things I've written, and my journey of a thousand miles, and I can see the truth in all it's splendor. You opened my eyes to a new way to live life and I will be thankful for all eternity. Love you Sugarbear. You've been the best mate anyone could ever dream of.
Well, when I first saw the new residence I was elated! Plenty of room, open-beamed ceilings, clean carpet, newly painted, a yard for the kids and so on. Then the fun began. After we'd been there for about 3 months, we discovered that the plumbing was a mess. The toilet overflowed constantly, the new bathroom cabinet filled up with water and ruined both drawers, the flooring was uneven in several rooms, they literally dropped down about 3 inches by the windows. But that was just the beginning. As time went by, we noticed cockroaches in the kitchen. A few at first, then we found that the place was infested. We contacted the owners, they came down and sprayed, which we had been doing ourselves, to no avail. The problem continued off and on and was added to by the mice that came up through the stove and ran along the back of the counters finally sliding down the electric cord that ran from the refrigerator! But we were not convinced. We stuck it out and made things work for years. The owners came down off and on, and one fine day the lady that rented to us, asked us to their place for dinner. We accepted and drove up one Saturday afternoon. They had a brand new home, and were busy fixing it up to their liking. They had a family of ducks in the back yard and a small garden. But they were having difficulty adjusting to the new neighborhood. It was an exclusive neighborhood and they had an old van parked in their driveway which the neighbors found offensive and wasted no time in telling them so. They were unwelcome, because they lived as they had in Spring Valley, and this place was quite a cut above that.
She was busy with her kids, but began fixing the evening meal. When we all sat down to eat, she made the mistake of asking us if the roach problem had gone away or were we still having problems. Jack, being who he is, said politely, oh no! The rats eat them! She got to laughing so hard that she had to excuse herself from the table and make a bathroom call. We had dinner, and then she made cupcakes. I remember this all this time later, because she asked me how to make the icing thicker than she had. I asked if she had Cream of Tartar and she did, and that added in small amounts worked for her icing problem. They were just folks after all, even though both had college degrees. They had good jobs, but they weren't happy where they were. You can't fit a square peg into a round hole, and they just didn't fit in. She told me herself she wasn't happy there. They wanted to move in the worst way, but had nothing left to move with.
We thought the neighborhood we had moved into was a safe, homebody existence and we felt at ease for quite some time. Then the area started being infested with gangs and hoodlums of all sorts. Our kids were not the type to fit in there. We had protected our kids from such circumstances and Jack had talked to the boys about such things. But in that neighborhood, it was join in or get beat up. We ran into problems needlessly to say. Before things got better, they got worse. We put up a fence later on to keep the hoodlums out of our yard. We put a lock on the gate every night. We both had to work, and as the kids grew, the problems got worse. We had to deal with them, and we did. Jack began using "tough-love" to deal with things, and it was really difficult. The years rolled by quickly. I was working at Naval Air Station North Island and Jack did as well. He worked in a separate facility on the far side of the base. I had worked at the Internal Revenue Service in the Federal Building after our daughter was born, but after I saw that I would never get anywhere there, I left to return to the Navy. It was still Civil Service and I felt at home as I was hired back in the same area I had worked in when I met Jack. One thing I learned from it was that you never should go backwards. They were difficult to work for because of problems I had had before. They couldn't make the switch in their heads that I wasn't the same person they knew then, and I was miserable. So I started putting in for other jobs.
I finally found a job working with the aircraft carriers stationed at the Island. The work was an enormous responsibility and I was doing the work of 3 people. There were problems, as my sister had worked there before me, and the people that she thought were her friends talked about her to me. The officer in the group and my sister hadn't gotten along. He thought I'd be just like her and he had an attitude problem with me. No matter how hard I worked, he wasn't satisfied. The problems there and the problems at home, took their toll on me and I had a heart attack at 43. I was in the ICU for 12 days, and then moved to the Direct Observation Unit for 4 more days. They transported me to Scripps in La Jolla and did an angiogram. They found 7 blockages and decided that part of my heart was dead. I was released to go home with a new diet and medication to ease the angina pains. The family took care of me, and I think this was the beginning of the boys making a change in their lives and the problems starting to get smaller. I was off work for 30 days to recuperate and then I was released to go back to work. I had transferred to the Naval Station at 32nd street and the job was somewhat easier for me to do than the one at the Naval Air Station.
When we'd get home at night, Jack would be as tired as I was, but he'd stand in the kitchen making spaghetti sauce from scratch that I could have. We bought Healthy Choice Dinners for me and it brought my cholesterol down dramatically. I dropped some weight and got healthier. The doctor asked how I had reduced my cholesterol so quickly, and we told him about the healthy meals we had been buying and making. Things began to settle down at home, and I learned to tolerate the people at the job, so I began getting better in many ways.
One day, Jack called me at work, and said that his new job paid enough money for me to retire! I couldn't believe it! I was actually going to be free! I put in for an early out and submitted the paperwork. For taking an "early-out'", I received $25,000.00 and after Uncle Sam took his cut, we were left with about $17,000.00. We were able to pay off some big bills, and buy some much needed furniture for the house. Alex had found a job making pizza at a place called Pizza Junction. I would get up early and take him to work. Then I'd take our daughter Sidra to college, and Jack would go to work.. It was a busy schedule. But I was free and the first day of my freedom, after I'd signed the final paperwork, Jack took me up to Grossmont Center and bought me a comfortable pair of shoes. It was heaven to walk in something that didn't hurt my feet. It was a brand new beginning for me.
Brian met a girl after I'd retired, and things began taking on some normalcy. Alex was still working, and Sidra was still in college. The good job that Jack had enabled us to live normal lives and buy things we liked and had done without for a long time. Life was beginning to show us some mercy for the first time in a long time. Life was good.
Then, Brian and his girlfriend announced one day that she was pregnant. We let her move in with us and live in the extra room that the landlords had built themselves. It was large and carpeted and just right for them and a baby bed. The baby was born in October of 1998 and it was a beautiful baby boy. They named him Brian Jr., and we all fell in love with him. Her Mother was very possessive of the baby and we saw them at the end of the day after she spent the day with her parents. That became the norm. We were second best. We got pictures now and then and were invited to birthday parties, but were never quite good enough. At least that's how it felt. It wasn't long until she was pregnant again, and before they were through, there were four grandchildren to love.
One day the landlords dropped in, and the landlady saw the baby bed in the extra room. She decided to raise our rent because they were living with us, and we decided for the amount of money they wanted for a house in ill repair, we could afford our own home. I had looked in the papers for a place to move to, but the places were expensive and offered little in return. Then I found Manufactured Home adds and they offered a brand new home, with washer and dryer installed. The price was only a couple of hundred more than what we were already paying. Jack went with me to see one after I had made a trip to see one with my daughter and daughter in-law. He loved it. He said, "wouldn't it be nice to live in one of these?" There were no roaches, no bad plumbing, no rats, and it was brand new. We signed the paperwork, and after much hassling with the agency we were buying from, we finally got the keys from them, and did the walk-thru and looked at our new abode. We had signed a 10 year lease, and the old landlord gave us only 2 days to move 17 years worth of "things". We managed to do it, and when we offered to help with the clean up, they said "no-thanks" and shut the door in our faces so to speak.
Our son and his wife lived with us for a bit, but eventually she wanted to move back home with her parents, and our son of course went with her. We had planned to give them the house when Jack retired, but it wasn't good enough for our daughter-in-law. Her parents had plenty of money, and I suppose she wanted in on it. So we had an extra room. We had given them the master bedroom with attached bathroom, and that became mine and Jack's room. That left Sidra with 2 bedrooms, and our other son had the other room.
We had left the old days behind us and made a brand new start. It was super quiet where we were, and nobody bothered us. Jack had his good job, we paid our bills and lived comfortably. The days of gangs and problems were behind us. The things we had taught our kids had kicked in when they were needed, and both sons made a change in their lifestyle. Not long afterwards, our other son Alex met a girl, fell in love, and they got engaged. They were married soon after by the justice of the peace and found a place to live where they could have their own lives and begin their own family.
Sometimes things have a way of working out and it did for us. We were starting a brand new life, a brand new beginning, and for a time we were accepted.
When Jack and I decided to get married and have children, we knew we needed a bigger house. As it happened, the house out front on Madison Avenue was being vacated and would soon be up to be rented. We inquired about the landlord and went to see him about renting the house. He let us rent it, and we moved everything in one day from the studio above the garage, to the 2 bedroom house. It wasn't fancy, it didn't have a tub, just a shower. But I was with the man of my dreams and I couldn't have cared less! On the first night in our new place, we went down to Ceasar's and bought dinner and took it home and sat on the floor and ate our first meal together in our new abode! This house had 2 bedrooms with doors that led to the bathroom and you could go from one bedroom to the next. The living room was long and narrow, and the place smelled of fish when we turned the heater on after we moved in! It seems someone had an aquarium and one of the fish jumped out of the tank and into the furnace which was a floor furnace! Even that didn't dissuade us! We wanted to have room for a baby and the house was a big improvement from the studio. We had many great times in the studio, but if we were going to be serious, we definitely needed a bigger place.
We had very little in the way of setting up housekeeping. We had some silverware and the pot's and pan's that we had bought separately. Jack had some odds and ends of his grandmother's things, and that came in handy. We didn't have even a toaster, or a coffee maker, or a can opener! We were going to have to buy things to make it more like home and we were up for the adventure. We had a bed for us of course, but nothing for the new member of the house that hadn't even be conceived yet! Little did we know what was in store for us. But I've already covered that, I just wanted to give a little back story that should have come before. I loved our little house. I had a wonderful man in my life that wanted to be my husband, and I was thrilled to have a little house of our own. I missed it for a long time after we moved. Our son Alex had asthma and the house was rather cold and drafty in the winter. He was sick a lot and needed a dryer climate, so we started looking for a place east of us in Spring Valley where it was warmer and he would fare better. Every time he caught a cold, it turned into pneumonia! They gave him a medication that I don't know how to spell, but it would make him cough and cough and finally cough up the congestion in his lungs. He was a little thing and it was just too hard on him to stay in North Park.
I had mentioned to a friend of mine at the IRS that we were looking for an apartment, and had found one, but didn't have the deposit saved up yet. She was very generous in helping us out and had talked to her husband about loaning us money from their tax return. The only thing he wanted was for us to sign a paper agreeing to pay them back. He was an accountant and liked to keep things up and up. That was no problem for us. We were waiting on our tax return as well. I found an apartment in Spring Valley, and the place was brand new. It had 2 large bedrooms, a really big living room, a nice kitchen and dining room and a bathroom with a tub! They even had a dishwasher and I was thrilled to be living in a new place! It was bright and sunny, but I still missed our old place because it was our beginning of the Tyler Family.
The day we had to move, my friend, Diane and her husband Jim watched all 3 kids for us! We made so many trips back and forth to get things moved, and when we were finished moving, Jack put the bed's together and we went to get the kids. We were dirty and tired and we had 3 little ones to bring home and put to bed for a good night's sleep. When we got to Diane's house, she had bathed the kids, and Jim had gone out to Kentucky Fried Chicken to buy dinner for everyone. They were some of the nicest people I'd ever met, and we all were so grateful to them for helping us out. We ate, and then thanked them profusely for all their help. We gathered the 3 babies together, and went home to our new place. The kids hadn't seen it yet so they wanted to explore. I think they fell asleep on the way there, so the next morning they were full of energy and explored to their heart's content. We moved on a Friday so we had a chance to rest up before we had to go back to work. I had to find a new babysitter, and we found one that lived across the street from the elementary school they would attend when they got older. The boys were toddlers and Sidra was 9 months old. Her name was Delores, but everyone called her Dee Dee. She would be our sitter for quite a while. The boys only had to walk to the corner and cross the street. As Sidra got older, she became "mommy" to the boys and made sure they had their coats and lunches and whatever they needed for school. She was crazy about babies, and helped Dee Dee to potty train the little ones. Don't ask me how...she just did.
We lived in the new place about 1 year, and then one day while we were at work, the apartment managers let themselves into our apartment and finding chalk on the kitchen wall, they got quite upset with us and told us the week of Thanksgiving that they were giving us a month's notice to vacate the premises. So we started looking for a new place and it took all our Christmas money to get us moved to the new apartment. Our daughter kept asking to go home once we were moved. She loved the first place, and had learned to walk there. That was home to her. A friend of our named Mike, knew a pastor that ran an apartment complex and he talked to him and they found a place for us. It had 3 bedrooms, a smaller living room, a kitchen with dishwasher, and 2 bathrooms with 2 tubs. There was a balcony and Jack loved it. It had a storage shed on the balcony and we had a swimming pool and the laundry was at the foot of the steps. The kids were still with their sitter, and even though we had a very small Christmas, we loved the new place too.
We were there for maybe 3 years and the kid's were not allowed to play in the area just outside our apartment. There was a new manager and they were very strict about it. We decided that the kids needed room to grow, so one day, Jack told me to go to work, and he started looking for a house to move us to. Preferably one with a good sized yard so the kids could play outside. They were so little and puny and needed to be out in the fresh air and run and play like normal kids. That evening, he picked me up from work and said he had something to show me. We went to the house, still in Spring Valley, and I was thrilled! It had a big front yard with a good sized tree, and inside the house there were open-beamed ceilings, 3 bedrooms, a bath and 1/2 and a family room with a patio and glass sliding doors. The owner asked me if I liked it, and I certainly did. The kitchen was big and the dinning room as well. There was a back yard and it was so manicured it looked like a park. We settled on a day to move in, and went home and picked up the kids from Dee's house.
We decided to take the first day and celebrate and we took the kids to Disneyland! We took blankets and pillows, food, and their pajamas, and we had a ball at Disneyland with the 3 of them. When we got through for that day, we went to the car, opened the back up, put the kids in their pajamas, and tucked them in with the pillows and blankets! Before we left the parking lot they were asleep. We had stayed for the fireworks display as well, and it was hard to stay awake on the way home. We opened the windows and turned the radio on and I think we had to stop at Jack-in-the-Box for coffee. But we made it home fine, and we carried the kids in and put them to bed, and we decided to unpack the car in the morning. The next day we all had fun just being free where no one could come in and tell us how to live and the kids had a ball exploring the new neighborhood. The new landlords were moving quite a way away and wouldn't be popping in unexpected at odd hours. We just relished the idea of freedom and we lived there for the next 17 years.
This concludes this session with the Tyler Gang, and we were settled in for a long winter's nap, away from apartments, and managers, and all the rest. We were free at last, and the kids grew 3 sizes that first summer!
Hope you enjoyed this "moving" episode and will stay tuned to Tea With the Tylers for the next page in our book of memories!
Hello again! My turn and this time I will describe the surprising events leading to the forming of the Tyler Gang! Jack and I were married on December 24, 1975, and by Nov 17 of 1976 we were parents! But much to our surprise, we were not parents of one baby... but 2! Twin sons were born to us that day but the surprise came just the afternoon before they were born. I had a doctor's appointment that day, and as I had gained 10 lbs. in one week, the doctor decided to take some pictures... It was a shock to say the least! The pictures showed 2 babies, sex not quite visible, and they were in the breech position. Both of them! Jack's first thought was "Bankruptcy"! The doctor informed us then that they would do a C-Section because they were my first and he said it would be too hard to have them naturally. That was a disappointment as I had prepared myself for a natural birth, but with two babies, I figured he knew best. We left the clinic and attempted to go to his grandma's house to tell them the news. Jack's Grandma Helen and his Mother Kay lived together and we wanted to break the news. No one was home. So, rather than drive all the way to Chula Vista to my parent's house, we went to the store and bought our dinner and went home. I was so excited I couldn't eat much, and I decided to walk to the corner market and use the pay phone to call my parents. My brother David was there, and I told him the news. All the time I was pregnant he had teased me about having twins. When I told him I really was having twins, he was not too surprised, and said he would tell our Mother and Sister when they got back from the store.
I went back home, took a shower, and got ready for bed. I attempted to go to sleep, but sleep would not come. I was excited and amazed at the same time and wondered what it would be like having two babies to care for. My parent's hadn't believed me when I told them I was pregnant. They said they'd believe it when my doctor confirmed it. So it was no surprise that they didn't believe there would be twins either. I didn't care. I was going to be a Mother and that too was a part of my fondest wishes. Jack was amazing. He had taken care of me all through the pregnancy, including making our dinner when I was napping and waking me at 7:00 to have dinner. I was working with him in the same office, and when we'd get home, I was so tired I had to lie down. This was during the last trimester of my pregnancy. We took a walk almost every night and I think this helped me a lot when the big day finally arrived. I glanced at the clock occasionally that night trying to fall asleep, and finally the last time I checked it was 4:15. I finally dozed off, but at 5:15 I felt a jolt so strong I thought we'd had an earthquake! I woke Jack up and asked him to turn on the light. My water had broken and he was so relieved! He said, "at last!" and jumped out of bed to get ready to take me to the hospital. I put on his bathrobe after I changed clothes, and put on his shower shoes because my feet were too swollen for my own. I had packed my bag about 2 days before then, thinking I had a month to go. We were taken by surprise to be heading to the hospital the day after the clinic, and we weren't prepared at all! Not even a bed! My Mom had brought down a bassinet about a month before, but 2 babies were not going to fit in the bassinet! Too late now...!
Once we were at the hospital, we were admitted and taken to the Maternity Ward. I was dressed in a hospital gown and waited for the second pain. The first one had come as we were driving to the hospital. My Doctor came in and I had mentioned I had wanted to have a natural birth, so he brought in a specialist who was going to examine me and see if it were feasible to try it. He proceeded, and to my amazement, he said that my hips were wide enough to have them naturally, even in the breech position. I didn't know what I was in for. They took me to a labor room, and Jack came with me to wait it out. The pains were not so bad at first. But before the day passed, I spent about 8 hours in hell! The pains were terrible, and Jack tried to joke once saying that the other mother's were taking their blankets and babies and going home because of my screaming! He developed a migraine as we hadn't eaten or anything before we left. The nurses were bringing him pain relievers and water and were rubbing his shoulders... He was in worse shape than I was! He had terrible headaches, and as I've had 3 of them in my life time, all stress related, I now can sympathize with him. They are horrible, and no one should have to bear such pain. It's excruciating to say the least! The nurses ran him out of the labor room and did the things they had to do to prepare me for delivery. One of the nurses came in after about seven and a half hours, and checked the heart beat of the babies. The first baby to be born was having a slowed heart rhythm and she went immediately to tell the doctor and they prepared to deliver the babies sooner than they had planned.
Once I was in the delivery room, they had me roll to my side and they did a spinal-block. It went very quickly. Jack had wanted to be present, but they told him that if something went wrong they didn't want him to panic and they wouldn't let him in. There were 2 doctors and 2 teams of nurses for the babies. They used forceps to deliver the first baby. He was born bottom first. One team of nurses took him quickly and disappeared with him. Then they proceeded to deliver the second baby... also a boy! I was so elated! Two sons at once! The second baby was delivered feet first and they used 2 sets of forceps for him... one for me and one for him. Then they turned their attention to me. After they did the stitches, they left me in the care of the nurses who disappeared for a minute or two. When they came back, I told them I didn't feel well and they ran for the doctor. I think my body was going into shock. I felt so queasy and like I was going to pass out. I was nauseated too and nothing came up but water! The doctor came back in and put something in my IV and when it went in I started feeling better. Warmer and not light headed anymore. The nurses then put another gurney beside me and they put a binding garment on the gurney. Then they helped me to turn over from the gurney I was on, onto the binding garment on the other gurney. They wrapped it very tight and covered me up and headed to a room where I'd spend a couple of days. When they brought me into the visiting area, my family was there. I wanted to cry, but I turned my head quickly as I didn't want to upset my mother. Once in bed, they let the family come in. Jack was on one side and my family on the other. One of the nurses came bouncing in with a huge bowl of ice cream with crushed pineapple and a cherry on top. My sister tried to feed me some of it, but she got light headed herself and they had to help her to a chair so she wouldn't faint.
The nurse told me I had to lay flat for the next 12 hours to avoid a really bad headache from the spinal they had given me. After everyone left, I fell asleep and later in the evening Jack's Mother Kay came to see me. Jack was there too. He had left while I was sleeping and got something to eat. He had been out earlier and had called my family to let them know the babies were delivered, and that I was not doing so great. The next morning, I sat up slowly and swung my feet over the side of the bed. They had disconnected the IV and I was free to get up and use the rest room. I made my way slowly to get my gown and robe and head for the shower. They also did a sitz bath which really helped. My legs were shaking but I made it and it felt so good to wash my hair! When I got back to my bed, it was fresh and tidy and they brought me my first son, Brian, to feed. He was amazing! He was so perfect, and wasn't wrinkled or red or anything! I unwrapped him to look at his little tiny feet and when I heard the nurses coming for him, I wrapped him back up quickly as though he weren't mine!! The feeling cannot be explained, holding your first baby for the first time. I looked at his long eye lashes and beautiful green eyes. They came back about half an hour later and took him back to the nursery. They said I needed to rest and they took care of them until the day I left. All except when Alexis had his circumcision. They brought him to me to comfort, so I got to see the second baby too. He looked just like my family and Brian looked like Jack's family! He came in to tell me we should switch the middle names for that very reason. So we named Brian, Brian Holt Tyler, Holt was Jack's middle name also, and we named Alex, Alexis Jordan Tyler for my maiden name.
The next day, the second day after they had been born, I was released to go home with my bundles of love. Our office wouldn't let Jack come and pick me up because he had been off with me when I delivered the twins. That was how they were about me, and it was me they objected to, not Jack. So I called my brother and Mother and asked them to come and get us. We had planned to spend a week or so at their house anyway, so I could rest. They came and got us, and unknown to me, David and Jack had been shopping the day the boys were born, and they had bought a bed, sheets, blankets, T-shirts, and some clothes and bottles and things for the babies. It was all set up by the couch when I went in. When I saw the bed, I started crying and my Mom came and hugged me really tight. I went to the bathroom, and David and Jan had the babies. When I came out, they were both in tears because it was a beautiful miracle and it was so beautiful and special. My brother had bought me a beautiful white robe with a hood and the inside of the hood was multi-colored and I loved it. The boys had been in blue knit suits and wrapped up in blankets. All the way home I had held one baby in each arm as the nurses had placed them. My Mom had wanted to hold one of them, but the nurses told her, "NO. This is her special day".
Later in the evening my Dad came home from work, and I guess he didn't know we'd be there. He stood in the doorway and said, "Well, I'll be damned!" He smiled as he looked at the babies. I was sitting in my Mom's red chaise lounge chair as it was the easiest for me to sit down on. Jack came home from work, and a friend of ours from work, "Big Ski," had followed him in his car so he could see me and the babies. Jack held one, and Ski held the other. He had tears in his eyes. He missed his own sons as he was separated from his wife and hadn't seen them in a bit. Before he left he kissed me on the cheek and said "Good Job, Mom!"
A miracle had happened in our lives. Two wonderful bundles of love in two perfect little boys all our own. They were perfect and beautiful, and loved. Jack and I were so tired, and I went to lay down and he followed me not too long after. The babies were sleeping peacefully, and I cried in Jack's arms that night, from happiness and exhaustion both. It had been so traumatic for me and at the time, I did not handle stress as well as I can today. But he just held me and he said, "I thought we were close before..." I fell asleep, and the first night, the family took care of the babies for us and let us get some rest. The next morning, I got up with Jack as he had to go to work. I made him some food and a mug of tea in the microwave. After he left, I resumed my sitting on the chaise, and my Dad offered to fix me breakfast! It was amazing. The love in those two precious little boys filled me with so much joy and peace. They were our own special miracles and our lives were blessed beyond measure.
I have talked quite at length about our sons. But only 7 months later, I was once again pregnant, and I will cover that story in my next session. With love and admiration for all this man has done for me and our children, I return this site to his loving care. There is so much to tell about us... As you can see, I am somewhat wordy. This was the beginning of the family to be known in the future as "The Tyler Gang." All my love Jackson. I love you more than you can imagine honey! God Bless! Mom
It was my plan the last time I posted, to recapture our wedding day. I'll try to recall it all here and I hope you enjoy it. The title of this post is Camelot because I thought so much of our president John F. Kennedy and that was his favorite play. The time he was in office was amazing and he had such charisma. When he was murdered, I was so hurt. I'd seen death once before, but his was so senseless. He was a wonderful person and so, when I met Jack and things developed between us, I was happy again! Like I was before. My own personal Camelot was unfolding before my eyes. But only the good things. Sad times would come, as they do to all people, but in my heart and mind everything was perfect and happiness and wonder was ours. Funny how good that sounds... "ours". I was no longer alone and rejected. I was accepted exactly as I was. Loved for who I was. It was a long time coming, but nothing could make me happier.
Our wedding day was beautiful. The weather was perfect, it was so still and peaceful. The sun was out and not a cloud in the sky. My beautiful Camelot. The music went on and the pastor was there already. We took our places in front of the Pastor, and in front of the beautiful Christmas decorations my family had done. The table was beautiful with different foods and the wedding cake. Everything was perfect. The Pastor began the ceremony, and we each said our vows as the Pastor lead us. We were supposed to kneel for the blessing, but we forgot and it would have been hard in the dress anyway. It was significant because we are still standing together after all we have been through. Even when sickness threatened to take Jack from me, we stood firm. He fought so hard to get well, and God was present with us just as He was on our wedding day. The blessing was given, and then we went to cut the first piece of cake, and begin the festivities. We each took a bite of cake and I received a hug from Jack's Grandmother Helen, and she was crying. She said "God Bless you Bonnie. I was so touched. Jack's mom said I was too emotional. This was her son and I was giving my life to him. Who wouldn't be emotional? My Dad opened the champagne and made a toast to us. It was odd, the things he said. But after all the years we have spent together, the thorns on the roses he had made reference to, have been real. But the roses are still blooming in our lives, and the thorns are no threat to us. God is in control as He always has been.
The family was enjoying the festivities, and we made our exit. We had to go to the base where we worked and pick up our checks. We didn't change clothes, we went directly to the base and the woman who had told me before I met Jack, that nobody would ever want to marry me because I was too fat, hid. She actually hid from us. She told my friend Linda that she'd never seen anyone actually glow before! So I know she was aware that our union was something special.
That evening we had a small reception at our home. Jan and David came, but I don't think my Mother and Dad did. Kay had brought the cake from my Mom's house and put it in the fridge. My brother had taken a fork and eaten almost all the cake. The only part left for us was the top and a few slices to give to our guests. He was unbelievable. But he was being true to who he was. After everyone left, Jack and I changed clothes and went out for a ride on the scenic drive and we wrapped up the evening by going through Balboa park which was decorated for Christmas. It seemed to me the whole world was celebrating our union. We went home and still had to wrap presents we had bought for the family. The next day we would celebrate Christmas with everyone. We had even done our Christmas shopping in our wedding clothes! We had a wonderful time because we were now "one". It is even true today...almost 40 years later. We are still "One" and our union has been so blessed. God has been good to us. You 7 grandchildren are a part of the gifts of life He has given. That's one reason I talk so much about God to you. I want you to know how real He is and how much He loves you and wants to be a part of your life.
The next morning we got up early and had cake for breakfast and coffee, and got ready to go deliver the gifts. I had bought him a hat, which he wore, and he bought me a sweater which I wore. We still have both of them! I found them yesterday. I still have my dress but the leisure suit is no longer with us. I don't remember what happened to it. After all the gifts were given, and we had all celebrated, we went home to rest. We stopped at the little corner grocery store, and I found a small piece of fruit cake and bought it to make the day complete. Jack bought something but I can't remember what it was. Then we went on to the house and I changed clothes and started making us lunch. Grandma Helen and Kay came over and joined us. My life was perfect and exciting and so much fun!
About a month before our wedding anniversary, I gave birth to our twin sons! But that is a story all it's own and I'll cover that the next time I post. I want to convey the miracle that our wedding is, to you. God picked a man and made him strong and enduring and brought him into my life. He has always taken care of me, loved me, and forgiven me when I've done things to hurt him. It was never my intention to do those things. Life happens to us and we all make mistakes. Forgiving them is the key. When you have a union such as ours, you can overcome the odds, no matter how they are stacked against you. Neither of us had a good example to follow. Jack was raised by his Great Grandmother and his Grandmother, and his Mother and Father were missing from his life. But he is an amazing person because he overcame the hurt and abandonment he has felt for years. My example was my parents fighting all the time until I thought I'd go mad. I actually did as a matter of fact. But I have regained my mind and my life and I am busy and happy making our home a cozy nook for the 3 of us and all the grandkids and their parents. Jack, Sid, and I are the 3 Musketeers! We stick together and help each other and in this there is a beautiful unity. God has been so good to us. I hope each of you find this kind of love. When the right one comes along, you will know it. It will strengthen you and you will find the meaning to your life you have always wanted. I pray that each of you will be as blessed as we have been and continue to be. After all, my miracle is sitting on the couch right now setting up a football game we will play tomorrow... and the beat goes on!
Love to All 7 of you,
This is for the grandkids, the family, close friends, and anyone else who can keep a civil tongue in their heads! It amounts to an interactive book of memoirs, but only if you interact... so get to it!
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California has been my home since 1965. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I'm home to stay!
What is there to say about a ten-year old turning 65, besides, what the hell happened?!??