Greetings from the South

I'm in Greenville, South Carolina this week spending time with my cousin "Butch" and her family. A nice vacation away, something we haven't been able to do a lot of in recent years not having a family vehicle we felt was suitable for long distance travel.

We kept our vacations in Ohio the past few years, having only the Ranger to drive and not wanting to cram both girls into the jump seats, which are just not that comfortable for very long trips.

This year, as I'm sure everyone knows we got a new (to us) van when the cost to repair our old Passport exceeded the price of the vehicle itself.

We immediately started planning this trip. Butch and her family are some of our favorite relatives. She and I have been close through the years always sharing a bond that cousins hold. Together with Butch's sister Christie we traversed the path to adulthood, sometimes losing touch but always having each other to reach out to when needed. That's how Butch got her nickname in fact, but that's another story entirely...

This week we had planned on getting caught up, catching some rays, enjoying the holiday and watching our kids get to know one another. We're doing all of that, but we're doing something more, and maybe even something more important.

I won't get into a lot of details, and I'm glad there weren't many people left to see it, but I'm sure it's no secret that there was some less than pleasantness with my folk's visit to Golf for Joy. We were glad they came to the tournament, having dealt with a bit of turmoil over the last year or so, and we were very glad they joined us. We were unsure of the hows and the whys, but eager to put an end to the confrontation.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen last weekend. Don't worry, I've no plans to share the blow-by-blow. If I hadn't felt so many reaching out with their support I wouldn't be sharing any of this today. (Thank you all for all of your support and affirmations.)

Still to be perfectly honest it put me into quite a tailspin, and Sunday was a test of my resiliency and a testament to my wife's patience, nurturing, and understanding. If I haven't said it before or enough - Netter is far and away THE BEST, and I am so lucky to have her in my life.

Further encounters throughout the week also found me held up, quieter at parties to the point that it was noticed, staring through people who looked at me as if to say... "What in the heck is up? What is wrong with you?"

I don't know. I feel like I have lost something, maybe... Something has changed. A shift in the universe, something very uncomfortable has happened.

What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? What exactly is different?

The answer quite simply is, "I don't know."

and I hate that -

When these things happen we tend to reach out to the people that know us best, who've known us the longest, who aren't afraid to tell us what they think, to opinionate, to commiserate, to help us find perspective. Sometimes even to tell us what to do - or at least make really good suggestions.

So that's what I'm doing, and Butch and her family are doing a fine job of helping me.

Is it just me? I don't want it to be about me. I try everyday to be sure that it is not about me.

While this blog is very often a reflection of what is going on in my life, what is happening to me, I write here because I know these things happen to all of us, and I share in the hopes that we might all find answers, and solutions, and that it will be about all of us...

So we can all grow and find the answers...


Don't you think together is better?


Deb Scott said...

I hope your family enjoys the vacation and the time together. In situations like these, sometimes all you can do is stay close to the one you are close to, and leave the rest in God's hands. It is hard to stick to your principles sometimes, but kudos to the 2 of you for taking the high road and setting a fantastic example for your daughters.

Cat said...

Dagnabbit, but life is hard. I'm pullin' for ya, even though I don't really know what is going on.

largesse said...

Thinking of you and family. Tell me more when you get back to work, if you want.

Jim Brochowski said...

I really appreciate all the kind words. I think we got it all worked out, or at least on the right path. Maybe... I hope.

Your support means a lot.

Thank you!

Seth Simonds said...

Forgive me but I'm stuck on the nickname. Butch?

Grab me on Twitter when you post that story. Seriously. Must be a good one.

Also, best of luck in getting to the bottom of your situation. It's no fun when things seem wrong & there's no easy way to figure out what the real problem is.

Stay strong!

Jim Brochowski said...

Hey Seth,

I've been wondering why no one has asked about the nickname.

It's a pretty simple story actually, one I had forgotten until we visited Butch a couple weeks ago.

When I was 19 I dated a girl who was a little, (okay a lot) psycho and quite a control freak. Very often she would answer my phone and "screen my calls."

Butch's real name is Kathy which was also the name of the girl I dated before said psycho, (Who by coincidence is now my boss' wife.)

Away at college Butch was trying to reach out to me for a positive "It will all be okay" talk, but because of the psycho could not get through to me as each time she identified herself she was hung up on because psycho thought she was my ex.

Finally, when psych job wasn't with me, Butch called and told me what had been happening. Clearly she needed a new name to get through the screening process.

Butch was the most masculine thing I could think of at the time, and thus a lifelong nickname was attached. She would call, identify herself as Butch and then we could talk.

I almost married the psycho, but was saved by Netter before that disaster was allowed to happen.

Hmmm... I should write a book or something. ;-)

Jim Brochowski said...

Okay - The Kathy I dated, and not the psycho is my boss' wife. Boy, that came out wrong.

Also Seth, thanks for the good wishes. Very much appreciated!