If you strung all the years of letters together, I suppose you would have something resembling a book. A 750 page 8 1/2″ x 11″ tome that doctors could prescribe as a sleep aid for the drowsy-deprived. Peak reading would be the minutes shortly before the patient mercifully nodded off.
Lucky for you there’s an abridged version.
The Monday morning salvos have evolved (devolved?) from hapless efforts to keep the munchkins occupied with a few moments of college-age entertainment to a running diary of what’s up in the life and times of their parents, their beloved dog, and now their dad. They’ve seen what passes for good, the marginally bad, and the truly ugly.
This mixed bag of lifetime coverage is a microcosm of typical family life – all of it. As our story has unfolded, the sugar coating that once reared its ugly head has slowly been peeled away layer by layer. It has been so in part due to their age and maturity, and the stark realization that this simply is, for better or worse, the way things are.
So after this morning the letter count will be 751. That should be enough to buy insomniacs another week or so of restful reading.
Here is last week’s letter to Ellen and Reid.
July 26, 2010
Ellen/Reid: July will be gone before you know it, and the only good thing(s) about it have been your birthdays. Jeez, what a hell of a month.
Ellen, I am sorry to have nearly missed your birthday. While reading the paper Saturday morning I saw the dateline at the top of the page, let out a loud yelp and nearly jumped from my seat. How the hell do you miss your daughter’s b-day? At least I beat Tim to the punch even if it was an early morning text message. But here is a little something to salve the wounds. Don’t spend it all in one place. I would get you clothes but you know my taste isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
Reid, thanks for the pics from NYC. Trust you guys had fun, and I’ll be all ears when it comes to hearing about Mac’s situation. Maybe the _________ conversation will lead to something.
Well, the job search is on in full swing. There are a number of leads that have come in and am trying to track down the people and their needs. My guess is that is how it is; the job hunt is front loaded with leads because that is when people are at their most caring. It’s days 30-60 (and beyond) that will be tough. In some ways it’s all about throwing mud at the wall and hoping that some of it sticks. It is a numbers game. I hope this lives up to the old adage that ‘the harder you work, the luckier you get’. It is kind of weird to be let go for the first time ever at my advanced age.
Have not set aside any time for self absorption and this is some distance from a pity party. Beyond endlessly tossing and turning the first couple of mostly sleepless nights, finding a job is now my full time job. If anything, there has been a fair amount of introspection about what I could have/should have done differently. It takes two to tango but this just isn’t a bank-at-fault issue. One could easily be consumed if he or she allowed that to happen but already it’s in my rear view mirror. The only place left to go is to go straight ahead no matter what that might hold. When you cut everything away and separate the wheat from the chaff, I think that creation of content might be my real key. I’ve told folks here that my contentment is in being and Indian rather than the Chief. I want to do my job day in and day out. My first goal is to stay with the bank because it is basically a good, but misunderstood, one. I’m not wholly optimistic on that score but you never know. Betsy, my friends Tom and Todd and Tim have stepped up so we’ll see if that leads to anything. But the 60 day clock is ticking; there are about 55 heartbeats left so I’ve got to get a move on. The one thing I don’t want to do is retire. Cannot stand to think of that word. There is still a lot left to offer in this old body.
So the net is being cast far and wide. I’m resisting the temptation to relocate. My stake has been driven pretty far into the ground here for lots of different reasons. I don’t want to be mistaken for a quitter. This is where I’ve made my bed and I damned well better be ready to lie in it.
John has indicated though that all is not lost financially. I can meet the monthly mortgage and car payments with bond dividends. That’s something of a relief but is still a far cry from making all the ends meet. If nothing is found within 30 days, I’ll keep plugging at it but will also look at work outside my desired areas; i.e. a bookstore or golf shop. I’m not too proud these days.
But I do want you to know that I am okay. Like me, you see others in far worse straits; the homeless or the ill. It can always be worse. Reid, you’ve been down this road before, and if you can do it, your old man can do it, too.