|Back in our day . . .||
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.
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?!??