The first life reset was when I was 14. My mom died suddenly and I had to become a grown up instantly. I went from being attached at my mother’s hip to becoming independent. It was a shock, but I had my dad and my grandparents. And a big church and community family.
I learned then that one of the keys to survival is a solid and sincere support system.
Now then, about my dad. He was both my champion and my solid ground after mom passed. No matter what I did he was there for me. When I opted to stay with my grandparents the summer I graduated from high school, he gave his blessing. He was proud when I took the initiative to help out two different celebrities with their homes and children. How many people successfully pitch themselves by using a sympathy card when one of their characters dies on a soap? Just me.
Dad was awesome when I got into radio too. So proud! It made me work harder. The thing I regret was not know what a great man he was. He quietly went about giving to others his whole life. It wasn’t until he passed that I found out half of his accomplishments.
He juggled his work and getting us through the many losses we endured. Then my marriage numbers one and two. Shortly after marriage 2 broke apart, I lost my job. So there I was making my way. Alone but not alone. He always guided me. And again 4 years later when I was laid off again we talked everyday and I got to see him frequently.
Then I pitched myself onthe CNN and secured my last full time radio job. He vetted my co-host and then husband number 3. As he was dying he and Tom sat down for a long talk about me. Dad was assured I would be in good hands when he passed.
Not so much. While dad left me a safety net in case something bad ever happened…which was usually the case with me… Tom didn’t live up to his promise and I was forced to spend a good chunk of it in our last year of marriage. And now on the divorce.
Last year, I found myself being told that Tom loved his first wife. It was a huge shock since I had spent that safety net to move us down to North Carolina so we could be closer to his family. If he had been honest, that never would have happened and I would have that all important safe haven. I can’t dwell on that.
What I did do, after a breakdown, was pick myself up and fight for the life I envisioned. And it’s even better without him because I built it myself. It has taken sheer determination and a lot of sacrifice, but I did it.
I still wish Dad was here. He would be amazed.