|Back in our day . . .||
I have mentioned before that I had a disease. I still do. However, the medications they make today are far superior to what they had available when I first was diagnosed. In short, it is a chemical imbalance in the brain and the chemicals I take alleviate that and make my life much easier. There were many times of illness before I met your Grandpa. I had to deal with it alone, as does anyone in my situation. I had a good doctor, and good med's, but the work was up to me. The doctor gave me a place to vent and air my feelings. He gave me good advice, took care of me when I couldn't take care of myself, but the hard work was pretty much up to me. I did a lot of writing, reading books on the subject, and interacting with people in society. I did really well once they got the medications balanced for me. They gave me many different types over the year, but the ones they have today are the best. They have the least side effects of any of them. Now you know a little bit about the disease, but unless you see someone suffer with it, you don't know what your Grandpa had to go through. But he never left me, he dealt with it the best he could, and he gave me new insights and new ideas all the time.
When I first met your Grandpa, it was in the spring of 1975. He came to our office to work, but the first time I saw him I thought he was someone from the Data processing side of the organization. He was dressed very nice, and stood in the back of the office with his arms folded across his chest. Then I went about my business and didn't give it another thought. The people I worked with were not really very understanding of me when I went back to work. I don't know if they were afraid of me, or just plain uncomfortable having me in the office. They gave me project on top of project, and when they came back for the first one and I didn't have it finished, there was always an upheaval and they'd get mad and stomp off. Well, your Grandpa watched them mistreat me for a while, and then one day he approached me and he gave me some good advice. The first thing he told me was to not justify myself to anyone. Then he told me about his religion, The Tao. Later on we gave each other our phone numbers and we would talk on breaks at work, and sometimes have lunch together. The first time we made plans, I got sick and we didn't go out. He didn't ask again. Then I moved to Chula Vista from National City because there were a lot of problems there. Chula Vista was a much safer place.
Most of my time at my apartment I was alone. I'd go to work, and then I'd go shopping if I needed to for food or whatever I needed. But usually I'd just go home and have some dinner and then I'd watch TV or do laundry or clean up the apartment. Sometimes I'd write poetry or work on a picture, but not very often. So one Friday evening after work, I went home as usual, and then I remembered having Jack's number. So I called him and asked him if I could come and visit him. He said yes, gave me instructions on how to find his house, and then I left and went to visit and that was the beginning of our friendship. He lived on Madision Avenue just above Mission Valley, just off of Texas street. He lived in a little studio apartment above a garage, and the first time I went to see him, I could see him through the screen door doing dishes. He answered the door, and I went in and we sat on the floor and listened to music and talked for several hours. Then, when I left, he walked me to his car and then he touched my shoulder and told me, "Sometimes all you need is a friend!" I took it in and then I said goodbye and drove home to my apartment. I saw him again the next day at work. A little bit later, he invited me on a date to see the sights in San Diego. He picked me up in a white truck, similar to the one we have now. His Grandmother had promised him he could use her car, but he had been helping them move and they rented a truck for that. When the day came to actually let him use her car, she changed her mind, so he took the truck and they would have to pay for the mileage! And the mileage was quite a bit because he took me all over the scenic drive and I'd never seen so many places. He drove all over the place and we had great fun! We wrapped it up by going to Balboa Park and we parked and got out and walked around looking at everything. We talked a lot and then we drove back to his place and we had a glass of instant breakfast and talked some more and then he took me home.
The next day was Mother's Day, and he had a little more moving to do. He asked me if I had plans for the next day, and I told him I was going to go see my Mother for Mother's Day. I wish a thousand times I had gone with him because the visit with my Mom was so depressing. My Grandmother was there, and as she was getting senile, she often didn't make much sense. My Mother hadn't forgiven me for having a life of my own, so the whole visit was a real drag. I saw him again on Monday, and a little later on he asked me if I'd like to go to the desert sometime and do some exploring. I said yes, and we went places all the time after that. The morning we went to the desert, he came to my place in his Grandma's car and I had made steak and eggs and toast for breakfast. I put on the Camelot Record I had and waited for him. I decided to look out the window to see if he was there yet, and he was on the walkway just below my apartment. He saw me and waved and I opened the door. We had a great breakfast and then we were on our way. We went to the desert and parked his Grandma's car and got out and went exploring. There was one hill he climbed and he told me to come up there with him and look at the view. I stepped on a huge rock and the ground around it broke loose and I slid down the side of Diablo Mountain on my stomach. I went down it seemed like forever, but he was still able to reach me. I took the knife he had given me and stuck it in the side of the hill, just like he had told me to do, and dug my toes into the dirt and tried to hoist myself back up on top. He laid down on his stomach and reach out for me. I grabbed his hand, and between us I was back on top in no time. My hat never came off and for quite some time, the tale was told to friends and co-workers alike.
Something changed that day. He gave me a necklace to wear that he treasured, called an IDIC and it was from a Star Trek movie. It stood for "Infinite diversity through infinite combination." Somehow I just knew that things would be hard for us to combat, but we were together and that would prove to be our saving grace. I don't want to spend too much time today writing about our various and sundry experiences, but I will cover them in some degree through the rest of the story. We have been together for 38 years and there is much to tell. But for today, I have made my point and am happy with the results, so I will say goodbye because I know that Grandpa is ready to use the computer, and I need to make something for dinner! I hope you have enjoyed this brief excursion into a brand new beginning for me. I hope to cover as much of our lives together as I can, and let you see that everyone has hard times. What matters is what you do with those hard times, and the faith you have in the future. People surprise me still with their endurance and spontaneity and I hope to pass it on through your generation as well. I love all of you so much, and I"ll say goodbye for now. Take care, have fun, and learn new things every day.
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?!??