I have to say after watching this video last week http://www.youtube.com/user/sher82278?feature=mhee#p/f/2/Jad1RN0VQD0

I was glued to the screen. It made me think back to the 60′s /70′s when a lot of our Christmas gifts came out of the Sears Catalog. With the passing of decades, technology, and generations I can totally relate to why so many kids in the nation seem to not have the family values that were engraved in our brains at an early age. I have met and seen so many families throughout the years, that their very existence as a completely interactive functioning unit has been depleted and replaced with the social stress, work, managing and taking care of families of just maintaining your life.

What happened to the idea of simplicity in a family? Everything is so complex. As the Technology industry pushes forward, so do we, but at what expense? It is becoming more common for kids becoming entrepreneurs at a very young age. There went their childhood during their formative years  blew away with the wind. We are constantly exposed to lifestyles portrayed over media outlets and we as humans are evolving in response to what is in our everyday lives. Reality sinks in when we look within ourselves and see where we are, and how do you fit in to this picture projected of how life should be. Everyone should develop their own interpretation to project how they want their life to be in later years.

Mine, as I blogged on Mother’s Day to my mom painted a perfect picture of the traditions we grew up with and the appreciation for Life itself. I was living what I considered the best life possible. I considered it the American dream. I had a fulfilling Air Force Career, a beautiful home, 2 beautiful children, a husband who was a very hard worker and of course our pets, Koko the cat, and Hoshi our Akita.

We were considered a very close family, my brother married 1st and had his 2 kids at least 10 years before my sister and I settled down. I was happy and spending a lot of time with my sister, brother, Sister in law, brother-in-law. Holidays were the best when we were all together. Family togetherness was the most important bond to have and I was very blessed.

I can remember memories back to the age of 2, living in Long Beach, Ca. Mostly of my great Grandfather on my mom’s side in his wheelchair. I was very aware of my surroundings, my mom, my brother, and sister. Mom told me I didn’t talk till the age of 3. We moved to a small Town Nipomo, California up on the mesa with hundreds if not thousands of acres behind our house. We had a beautiful view of Santa Maria from our back porch. I loved it there. I’m the youngest of 3 siblings, all born in exactly 3 years. My brother the oldest had received me as a gift for his 3rd birthday. I’m not sure how he felt about me on that day I never asked him. He kept to himself allot and read allot.

By the time I reached the age of 3 moms and dad had gotten us horses, Brownie for us kids, he was a mustang gelding that stood 16 hands. He was a foal of moms mare trixie her horse she had at age 16 and older. I loved Moms saddle. Dad had built a huge Barn with Dutch Doors, 3 huge stalls, hay barn, tack room, breezeway. Everyone thought he was building another house. We were baptized by Father Maroon at St. Joseph’s Church.

I loved the small Catholic Community My God Parents lived across the street. I considered my childhood the cream of the crop, Vacations every year for 2 weeks, Disneyland trips once a year, Mt. Able for snow in the winter every year. We camped, water-skied, hiked, and participated in church fundraising events to build a new church. We always had BBQ’s, Birthdays Holiday celebrations, I loved the simplicity of our childhood, and wish my kids could have experienced the same things. Needless to say Life was good growing up in the Martin Household.

Mom and dad were very dedicated when it came to education, religion, and community involvement. We all graduated from St. Joseph’s High in Santa Maria. My brother progressed to his education at USC, He had scholarships to the school, and he was always the 4. 0 student in our house, my sister always got by’s, Me, I always got C’s D’s and F’s. Learning didn’t come easy for me, reading was the toughest. I remember when I got my hands slapped by my 1st grade teacher because I didn’t understand what I was suppose to do. I had a few tough days and refused to go to school, after what had transpired. My mom drove me a few days to make sure I was going to be ok.

Which later came to light that the psychiatrist back then wanted me in public school? Mom said she wanted me medically checked to rule out anything but she said my dad said no. They both thought I would be better off left in Catholic school. Growing up in the 60′s there was no medical insurance. I struggled through 7th grade the worse and after that 8th grade on up it seemed so much easier. I never gave up trying to achieve the grades my sister and brother received. I hated disappointing myself and my parents for that aspect of my life. I did however focus and reach my goal of obtaining a college prep diploma.

I was so relieved when I graduated. I was really conflicted on what I wanted to do with my life. I grew with Horses as my passion, only to have it engraved in my brain that I needed a real job to earn money. Jobs were not that plentiful in Santa Maria, or Nipomo. I was attending a few courses at the junior college but I wasn’t serious about remaining in school. 13 years of it was enough for while. My best friend across the street, convinced me to take the Air Force Entrance Exam, we talked to the recruiter, and had planned to enlist in the buddy program. The only problem with that is: She deliberately failed the test, an A student, and I passed the test. I got a guaranteed job in Communications, computer operations. I guess I tested high in math. Algebra was my favorite math subject, Geometry flew over my head. I was leaving in April for basic Training. I was so excited to be earning my own income and getting my feet planted on the ground.

After a serious head on collision the end of that March in 1979, my enlistment was delayed until I got cleared from the doctor and basic was pushed back to June that same year. I loved the Air Force, taught me so much work ethics, discipline, managing my life in general. It was a life saver. 12 yrs , 10 months later I separated due to the reduction in military. The kid’s dad and I had bought our house just over a year before and our daughter was just a year old.

When I arrived a basic training at Randolph AFB, TX it became an interesting 6 weeks. It was June, 85 degrees at 5AM, we were up dressed and out doing our Morning Physical training and jogging in formation at 5:30. As I approached the 4 to 5 week mark I was going to wonder if I was going to hold up. I had developed a cold in my chest that wouldn’t clear. The change in atmosphere was doing a number on my immune system. I sure never had a sinus infection until I arrived in Texas. I made it through, got my tech school assignment to Sheppard AFB, Texas in Witchita Falls for the next 9 weeks to learn my career field. It was  a very productive school for me it worked.

After graduating tech school I flew home, I went to the ford dealership and bought my very 1st Car a Ford Fairmont. Dad was very instrumental in keeping me with what I could afford. I was finally financially independent and it felt great to see life from an adult perspective. I got assigned to Whiteman AFB, Missouri as my first assignment. I drove Cross Country on my own, with a trip ticket from AAA. It was a really beautiful site to go beyond anywhere I had been before in a car on my own.  I really liked the Road trips, I had made a one more trip back to California when I got my next assignment in the Azores for 27 months. I drove home and dad and mom drove me to LAX  on March 31st, 1981 I was airborne about halfway across the country when the pilot gave us the news that a Assassination attempt on President Reagan, He said that he was ok.

     When I got to the Azores it was paradise, a small  quaint archipelago of 9 islands sitting 800 miles of the coast of Portugal. It took a while to get used to seeing all 4 branches of the military on the base, it was intriguing to me to see and observe their military mission to support the base. I had made lots of friends, Cost of living was very cheap over there. A sweet steak dinner for two, with Mateuse Wine was 10 dollars, Cigarettes over in the commissary was 2 dollars, Gasoline 1.45 a gallon. Too bad we can’t get that price for Gasoline here now. I went home for Christmas the 2 years I was over there.  When I arrived back in the Azores in January of 82 or 83, the landing gear on the C-141 wouldn’t work. We landed on the Grass field in-between the landing strips.  A flawless crash landing, I wasn’t scared so much because I knew that I was in good hands with God. The Island life is phenomenal there, I had found out from my mom that her grandparents emigrated from Sao Miguel over to Honolulu, Hawaii where she was born. I want to go back there someday.

      It was a very spiritual time for me there. I got my next assignment to Tinker AFB, Ok. To the 3rd Combat Communications Group. I wasn’t happy to be back in the Midwest, but after I got there and made friends it was a great assignment. Their mission was accept orders from the Joint Chief of Staff, for combat communications. We were always the 1st ones on the scene in Grenada, I wanted that tdy so bad but they picked others who had more experience. I could have gone to South America for 6 months, or Egypt, Saudi Arabia, they were mostly remote tours 6 months long. I never felt comfortable about being over in the middle east with their religious beliefs. I was way too independent and thought my mouth would get me into trouble.

      We were always told in mob school whenever you are in a different country you fall under their legal system to obey their laws. I had heard stories from plenty of people how they pushed the Americans arrivals to the front of Chop Chop Square. I’m not going into details on that, people can Google it. We had failed our IG inspection and the commander was sending us out into the field almost every weekend to practice, We convoyed to 2 locations, set up camp and get into our combat mode of operating. We had allot of fun during those trips. Yes I did drive those Big Huge Trucks with the pentle hooks I still have my military license in my records of what I was classified to drive. After months of  going out to our practice location, Washington came down on our Commander for the excessive money he was spending because of failure of the inspection.  We  got new a commander that put a stop to our training.  We were all happy then all 2000 computer operators who were still on base if we weren’t assigned somewhere. In September of 83 orders came for  Weisbaden, Germany,  During Oktoberfest for 3 weeks.  My bags were packed and off I went. We worked 12 hours days, and it was nonstop fun. I loved the countryside, people and food over there. My roommate  had been stationed over there before.  I had bought my VCR which was very new technology that year and paid 60 dollars for the Movie “Flash Dance” over in the  base exchange.

     When it came close to us leaving guess what? More orders came in, for Oslo Norway for 3 Weeks. Off we went to Oslo and Kolsas. What a beautiful country Norway is. Everyone we came across spoke English, they teach it in their school. It was October not much snow yet.  We did tour the city and buy fresh shrimp off the boats.   Reindeer Filet was on the menu in restaurants. I  loved their culture too. We went up to where they held the 1980 Olympics, my roommate and I climbed 8 stories of stairs to the ski jump to find out when we got to the top that the elevator was working. We just laughed. Amazing view from the top, we took allot of train rides throughout the country side to see more of the country when we could outside of work.

      I had never heard of Kolsas before I got there it reminded me allot of Cheyenne Mountain Complex, only for NATO in Norway.  One evening the fire alarm went off in the hotel ,  everyone had to evacuate your room, we left and got downstairs and every one of the Norwegian hotel guests  was bringing their luggage down.  My roommate and I were confused, or perhaps an emergency  was different in that country.

Our return from Norway, we stopped and changed planes in NY at la guardian airport, so many different cultures of people with spiked hair, wearing studs on their clothing. I started feeling claustrophobic just being in the airport People were swarming everywhere like ants.  We were all glad to get back to Tinker to the rest of our friends. Had an amazing 6 weeks, and things settled down Everyone got back to daily lives. It was Oklahoma City that gave me my 1st Experience with Wal-Mart.  We had Kmart out in California that was very similar to Wal-Mart. I really loved Kmart. We had one here in Lompoc and they filed bankruptcy again, and closed their store here . I miss them here.

     About 6 months later a 2 month assignment came up for Luke AFB, Arizona in the communications center. It was only for one person, in the Communications Center, they recruited me for this one because of the troubles they were having . I typed the fastest, at 85 words per minute on a KSR -26 teletype machine in the blind.  I did go,  got the comm. center back on track for what their performance should have been well  within Air Force regulations.  

 I wasn’t back in OKC that long to get assigned to March AFB, Ca, finally I get assigned to my home state closer to home well at least 3.5 hours south. I couldn’t wait to drive home .When I arrived at March AFB, I was very interested in learning the history of the base it just intrigued me that much.  The Hollywood connection was the most fascinating to me.  Clint Eastwood had just finished filming “ Firefox “at the 15AF Command Post where I was going to be working. The Scenes with Russian Command Post is where I worked. It was great to be home again, being stationed over in the Midwest was totally different not having a beach. Sure they had lakes, but it was the sea life I messed the air.

      No humidity to really speak of here. One of my best friends from the Azores was stationed over in LA Air Station.  An hour drive west is all it was. I was stationed at March from October 1984 till I separated in April of 1992 Almost a year after Cassie was born.  I lived in the dorms for at least a year, After a few years in the  15AF Command post, I went over to the comm. center, worked there for a few more years and then  worked in the  office with the Major for a while, before I went over to the DATA Processing Center where I was working last when I separated. I had made so  many friends and experienced so much fun.

I spent a lot of those years, traveling to home and Fresno to go camping with my sister and her husband, or visiting mom and dad. It was the 1st time me and my sister had ever gotten this close as siblings. We spent allot of time near Yosemite National Park, hiking, camping, Rock Climbing down at Joshua Tree National Park,  Skiing over at Badger pass. My sister had become a river raft guide several years before, and We  went down the North Fork of the American River when it was record fall for rain and snow, there had been a few deaths already that year from rafting.  I got sucked out of the boat when we were in Meat Grinder, the current was holding me under I’m looking up I can see my sister, pulling another lady out  who above me, I didn’t want to grab her legs and pull her down. I had to stop and think a moment to relax.  Swim just as she taught me to prepare me for such accidents. I ended up in an eddy ¼ mile from the  rapids. She was very happy to see me. She thought I was a gone for good.

     I had 2 roommates that became pregnant at the same time. One had separated and went home for more support to raise her daughter the other had stayed.  I helped her everyday I could, she was like my daughter too. She is in her 30’s now with 2 daughter s  of her own.  I love both their daughters as if they were my own. One is happy in Oklahoma where their home was, and the other I have lost track of  many years ago .  I still think of them they will always be family in my heart.  In 1985 I moved off base into Riverside into a really nice condo in Canyon Crest, every time I m in riverside I go by there to see my apartment. It was  very interesting period in my life for self reflection.  I joined the Bally’s spa and fitness, I started jogging everyday  and I was not a huge jogger before hand, I learned to love it, I worked up to jogging 3 miles a day come home work out to Jane Fonda , and hit the gym for aerobics and weights 2 to 3 days week. I  lost over 20lbs, wasn’t on the weight management program any more, I  went from a size 14 to a size 10 in a matter of 4 months. I ate at  the same time everyday and that seemed to make the difference. Cut my fat out and stayed loyal to that as long as I could. I felt great at 133 lbs. 

     3 years later I had wanted a new car my ford Fairmont had been faithful for over 9 years,  I wanted something new  so I went and leased a 88 Mustang GT, I sure didn’t consider how much the cost of insurance would be, and the payments , along with the registration.  People are amazed when I tell them I paid 348 a month for 4 years and gave the car back rather than pay the residual. I had already paid the purchase price of the car I wasn’t going to pay twice that amount for the car.  I Met kids dad through a video dating site, called Southern California Connections that was located in Covina that December when we started dating.

      He was just out of  a very messy divorce, and recuperated from serious motorcycle accident in 1986, from nearly losing his left foot. He himself had been through a whirlwind of emotional trouble that I really didn’t pay much attention too. I just helped him get well.  He had been a  professional drummer before the accident, and was doing session work.  He also worked for DWP in LA when the accident occurred on his way to work. He had to start his life from scratch again when it came to work, he was one of those men it was no problem finding a great job, he was excellent at with his professional skills of talking to people.   He is a perfectionist when it comes to what he wants for himself.  He moved out to Riverside , I had been renting a room in a woman’s house when I met him.  When he moved to Riverside after he had his job started, I moved in with him.  He had put down the down payment on our home in Moreno Valley April of 1989, he didn’t really have credit to buy the home but I had over 10 years in the air force that helped him  qualify for the loan.

         We lived together for 2 years before we were married in Las Vegas.  We worked on the house almost every weekend if we didn’t have family to go see. We had a good balance between the two. I became pregnant with Cassie in September of 1990, I was on mobility for the air force,  The Persian Gulf War was starting up, and on September 14th, I went over to the hospital to have a blood test drawn  to find out for sure. When I was at work waiting for the call, the Mobility SSgt called and said to make sure my bags were packed because I was going to be leaving within a week for Saudi Arabia.

     I told him I was waiting to hear back from the hospital, and when they said the test was positive.  It was such a funny thing, that it happened on that day.  I would have gone to War, but then I had to remain home for medical reasons. It really paved the path for a co worker though. It ended up being the most rewarding assignment he had.  He  stayed in the Riyadh Hilton hotel and had a buffeted meal to eat everyday he was there and Lobster on Sundays. He worked very closely with General Schwarzkoph, and received a military decoration for his time there. I call it fate that he was meant to go. When you look at the outcome of the results of the war his role in it contributed to that.   

    What happened next really shattered my world. It truly broke my heart when my parents divorced after 37 years of marriage. Dad had disappeared no one knew where he was for a few weeks; I was pregnant with my daughter, with a very upset Mother at home whose world was turned upside down. As if things couldn’t get any worse, I was in the midst of planning my own wedding only to forgo to helping family as much I could, and ended up eloping with no family to share my day.

Life was great once dad contacted us; I focused on the family I was starting. I was safe and secure in the safety of my home that I was really enjoying the painting, stenciling, chair rail, gardening, designing the patio. We were very hands on family and had pride on our accomplishments that our home reflected for us.

Little did I know those 7 years later that my own marriage, was taking a trip to the Deep South. I lost my security, trust, and faith in my marriage that really set the wheels in motion for a very complex, complicated set of events that started with the kid’s dad. She had openly admitted at work that I had the perfect marriage; she was always asking people personal questions about their sex lives. She made it very clear she wanted my husband. I made it very clear after I had quite and left and she started a rumor at the hospital that they were having an affair a year later.

I had warned her before I left the hospital to stay clear of my family. I also reported her to my supervisor. I had 2 co workers call me from the hospital to tell me what she said. Her own marriage was failing and supposedly she used my husband to get rid of hers. She was a heavy drinker and so was he. I knew it was a lie. Or was it? My awareness of my surroundings was superb when it came to abnormal behavior in a relationship. A few weeks went by he was going fishing, and Cassie our daughter was always his fishing buddy, not on this day he refused to take her when she asked. Zach was just a baby still.

I knew he was up to something and loaded up the kids in the car and followed him. He ended up at the Motel 6 in Riverside, where he went into the office came out and drove towards the back of the hotel. She was waiting there in her car. He was talking to her when she was sitting her car. My Adrenalin was going strong. I parked the car, left it running, got out walked out and asked what the hell they were doing? The kid’s dad saw the anger in my face and he stepped back away from me and her car.

I proceeded to reinforce the fact that she was told to stay clear of my family. She was a

small woman about 100lbs, sitting in the driver seat of her car and if I had known that diamonds could really mess up a person’s face I probably would have thought twice not punching her so hard. I punched her face like a punching bag. I told her she had 5 minutes to clear the parking lot, and stay clear of my family. Needless to say her husband was on the phone asking me what they had happened and I told him the truth she was parked at the motel 6 talking to the kids dad that they were going to go fishing and he had lied I caught them both together. He basically agreed that she had gotten what was coming to her.

We had separated on Valentine’s Day 1998, when a spouse starts taking off on weekends with the only explanation that he felt he deserved time off. He was just coming home showering after work and out the door every weekend for the previous 3 months. It was supposed to be a temporary separation for 6 months.

Things only got worse when he decided to move in the next county. I wasn’t happy to learn that he had taken up a romantic relationship with a woman I worked with for almost 5 years at the hospital. She was living in the same county and instead of coming home, he moved in with her.

Here I was raising my kids, Cassie was only 7, and Zach had just turned 2. I did my best to be the stronger parent. I was far from perfect, He was still financially supporting us and we had just bought carpet Cleaning/repair/water damage and Flooring restoration business and bought out 2 more a short time later.

It was during these years I wondered where our marriage was going. I sure didn’t know. Leaving the home that my Children were born into was out of the question. I roamed in this state of mind for 2 years, waiting for him to file for divorce and it never happened. He never would acknowledge to us that he had a relationship going. He left us in Limbo and definitely didn’t want a divorce.

He had been trying to involve our 2 kids into our problems and I stopped letting him take the kids after I had found out that he lied to me where he was taking the kids, and told my 7-year-old daughter not to tell me anything. She did tell me 3 months later. I felt like such a failure. How could a Parent do that to their child and place them in that position.

Our relationship did have some verbal and physical abuse. I was fighting back to defend myself and the kids. The embezzling became worse, to support his relationship with the other woman. When I filed for divorce and served the papers he tried to tell me to take them back he was shocked that I would file. It was a period in my life that I didn’t feel safe, Moreno Valley, Ca where we lived was having a lot of crimes of Men attempting to kill their wives, and one man did succeed to drag his wife indoors from outside to finish her off and killed her. These crimes were all divorce related and really scared me.

Our fights had nearly escalated to that same level to where he threatened to kill me. It became a deep seeded fear for my life and I knew that I had to start thinking outside the box to get a handle on this situation for myself and my children. It became really difficult to shield the kids from what was transpiring between us.

My daughter was so depressed from the absence of her dad in the home she couldn’t function at school. It was taking her hours to complete her homework that normally only took 45 minutes. After some careful thought and consideration I thought it best to remove her from the home temporarily. I sent her to live with my dad and my fairly new Stepmom. I knew she was safe, and in good hands. My stepmom is a retired clinical psychologist. I don’t think I would have been able to find the strength on how to manage this situation without her guidance.

As we roll ahead to the year 2000, we had been fully self-employed for over a year. We had doubled our income the 1st year, only to have nothing to show as gain on our taxes from the embezzling he was doing, He had the only ATM card on the business account. I only had access to the checkbook. He would take what he needed out of the account without consideration of business expenses. It was really starting to financially affect us as a family and we fell behind on the mortgage and payments on the business we bought.

Business was booming, our huge apartment accounts were expanding into water damage and flooring. I had been out soliciting for more and more accounts and landed a huge account with all the Stride Rite shoe Stores in Southern California and Las Vegas Nevada. When the kid’s dad went to Vegas to clean one of their stores, I had made the hotel arrangements and called to have her answer the phone. I fight ensued due to he had been lying to both of us. She wouldn’t believe me when I told her we aren’t divorced. I even sent her a faxed copy of our business contract, to find that copy in our van a few weeks later with my name scratched off and hers written above in her handwriting.

It got to the point that he demanded that I write him a check for 300 dollars a week to work his own business. I hated that he even demanded that out of me but when I got the check returned with my statement the next month is when I learned he had a joint account with the woman. I was able to divert one debt with our previous bank, to her account with the same bank. She wasn’t happy when it happened. It wasn’t until a short time after that I realized that he had me under duress for the business income.

The Kids dad would only work 5 hours a day he would leave the job site at 3 everyday. It just added even more strain and suspicions that he was doing other work on the side in Orange County. I had found bits and pieces of paper written in her hand writing of addresses all over the place. Little did I know a short time later He was making arrangements to marry her?

After I filed divorce in Jan 2000, 4 months after buying the businesses, I had suspended the divorce that December in 2000. He finally did move back home but then the work van got repossessed January 2001 and we had a 60,000 lawsuit against us from the state of Utah. The stay at home was short-lived and he was back in Orange County with her. He had found a job over there and it was very rare that the kids saw him when he wasn’t working. I always traveled to Orange County so many times just so that my kids could see their dad. I didn’t want them to feel that it was their fault for him not being there. I just told them that you can’t force someone to be a father if they don’t want to be there. It was not our fault. He has allotted of the same issues he still doesn’t face today.

Months had passed, unfortunately in April we had to do the inevitable; we filed bankruptcy against the business April 2001. We were down to our Ford F-150 monster truck for transportation for the kids and me. The Transmission needed work and I was able to sell the truck, and my dad was gracious enough to find me a Taurus station wagon and bought it for me. September we signed a purchase agreement on our home, to avoid the foreclosure and save our mortgage credit. I called the moving company to come pack the house the end of September.

The kid’s dad was given all the information to come pick up his belongings from the house. He never even showed up, I packed everything on my own, and the movers took everything. We had been working on getting our marriage back on track, and he was offered a job in Santa Barbara for Service Master. I stayed with my mom in her home for a few weeks before I had money to cover the cost of my transportation and living arrangements at a hotel until he started his job.

a few weeks went by I’m living in, the Lompoc Inn, here in Lompoc, Ca for more than just a few months, He declined the job and the kids and I had been living in suitcases for nearly 5 months. He came up every Saturday playing the family man and would go back to Orange County where he was working.

He would never tell us where he was living, but I did notice after some time that he had a new wedding ring on his finger, and it wasn’t from our wedding. When I asked him about it he said he lost it working and bought a new one.

Red Flags were flying all over the place, by this time it is spring of 2002. He wouldn’t acknowledge any relationship with the woman he had obviously been living with, before I found out that he had declined the job we were out looking at homes to buy with a real estate agent several weekends.

For the past 4 years of being separated from the kid’s dad, we kept sexually active at least once a month. That was a decision that was decided when he initially moved out in 1998. I remained faithful up until right before we had to turn over the keys to the house. I was so depressed from losing my home and everything I had worked so hard to keep was being stripped out of my hands and there was nothing I could do to save it. I had gone out an evening and met someone and had sex with them once. Never saw him again after that.

It took me that long to figure out that there was nothing left of our marriage, He had let go of it a very long time ago, but denied me the closure, abandoned his family like It didn’t matter anymore. My 2 kids were so close to their dad it hurts me to live with this feeling of deep failure on a daily basis from his lack of being their father.

So in March of 2002 he is still playing the family man with us living in the hotel with Hoshi our Akita with us. He came up to celebrate Zachary’s 6th Birthday. After I took the kids to school, we went back to the hotel and he told me that he had a Vasectomy a few weeks prior. He said he had no plans of having anymore kids and that was the last day that we had consummated our marriage.

What happened a few weeks later, for a parent with her 2 kids and huge family dog living in a hotel room the privacy was really starting to get to me. My period was late, and I was more than sure it was stress related. So when a week more passed I did get the pregnancy test and took it when the kids were at school. That Line showed up and I was in disbelief. How could this happen, I was thinking did he lie about the Vasectomy? I had only had sex with him once a month since we moved from Moreno Valley.

After I picked up the kids, I had forgotten to throw the tests away in the trash outside and Cassie saw it. She had always wanted a baby sister more than anything. The only thing she wanted was her family together again, she would spend hours talking to Zachary and being the best sister she could be for him. Zachary would sit there and listen to her.

So 5 months turned into 13 months of living in hotels, after the rate hike at the Lompoc Inn we switched over to Motel 6, it was the only other place in town to have our dog with us. Almost my entire pregnancy with Loren was a totally separate experience in itself. Money was scarce, I happened to land a good part-time temporary Job as the beach patrol on Vandenberg AFB to protect the Western Snowy Plover nesting season.

There was a daycare for the kids when I needed to have them there during the week after school if I had to work. There were several days scattered throughout this period that we did sleep in the car and had no choice. My dad had even let me stay in the family RV in his airplane Hanger for a few weeks, and from there we would go back and forth from the base campground, or to River Park a city campground that allowed long-term. The closer I got to the pregnancy I started to really worry. I had started the child support case, and had applied for financial aid and food stamps. I couldn’t live on the little money that he was giving me. We did have to eat.

After my summer job was over with I focused on finding us a place to live, or attempted too. I had applied for temporary housing in a huge Yellow Old Victorian home called the Marks House, it was built-in 1895. It had 5 huge bedrooms that accommodated 3 to 4 families comfortably. We did share the huge upstairs bedroom with another woman and her son. Once a family moved out they moved downstairs to their own bedroom. I was very fortunate to be able to stay there for 6 months it gave me financial reprieve to save money for a place to rent and I got approved for my section 8 voucher like the previous month of leaving.

Loren was born December 12, 2002. My dad had driven me to the hospital early that morning to be induced and took the kids to school for me. I had been preparing myself mentally throughout the pregnancy to be delivering this son alone. My family, especially my sister wanted me to terminate the pregnancy; I just told her I wasn’t a teenager that I had a moral obligation to my family over anyone. I called the kids dad he was well aware the date that the Dr was inducing me. He never attended any of my checkups I was totally alone in this pregnancy.

So After I got settled into the OB ward and they gave me that pill to start the labor. It wasn’t long after that, when my mom surprised me and drove up from Moreno Valley. I had arranged an epidural, but it didn’t get used. I had one Stadol shot and that was it. Dr Huss raced over to the hospital from his office which was only 2 blocks away. He did this a lot in Lompoc being the only OB Gin Doctor in town. A very well liked physician in our community.

Loren was born at 11:30. Oddly Enough this blog basically started with my Parent’s Divorce but it was my pregnancy with Loren that brought us all together again. Mom and Dad had never talked since he left our house back in 1991, No one can tell me that time doesn’t heal wounds. It does. Loren’s Birth is a record of my parents finally able to have peace and share the joy with the birth of their last grandchild. With the Grace of God, The Love and support from my dad and stepmom who helped me so much during this phase of my life. We are truly blessed.

Life-Changing situations such as our families traumatized me. I considered us homeless for a year. I had to eat out most nights and it was costing me over 900 dollars a month just to maintain the 3 of us and the dog. Reality really set in when I was searching for a home, I had no rental credit, and I had mortgage credit with a new bankruptcy. I was Grateful that I found a private home to rent. A fairly small 1100st 3 bedroom 2 bath house with a great back yard for the dog.

My Taurus station wagon the transmission went out, and dad had gotten me a really cool 1970′s Chevy caprice station wagon. Loaded to the max, and Hoshi loved riding in the back, the back window rolled down so she could get some air driving. Only to have it blow a head gasket from the temp sensor going out. It sat in my driveway for months before I sent it over to the high school automotive program to see if they could fix it.

I asked the kids dad to buy me a new car and he wouldn’t. He did however shell out over 4k to get our household goods out of hock from the movers… they had been placed in storage for almost 2 years. I was really grateful to see Our Family China and antique china hutch again. I had paid Cash for most of our furniture and all of our personal belongings I actually didn’t think I could get them back.

As usual the kid’s dad was still playing the father role and coming up here every Saturday and leaving that afternoon. My mom however after everything I have been through did a little digging and mailed me what she found. When I got it in the mail it was a Marriage Certificate issued to Him and the Other Woman. He married her back on Mar 24, 2001. Three weeks before filing bankruptcy on our business and the kids and I were still living in our home. So now we have Bigamy worked into this equation.

Bigamy is a felony. Even though it is a crime, it is not punishable in the criminal courts, just the civil courts. I got so nauseated at the site of looking at their certificate. I worried about how heartbroken the kids were going to be when they found out. Cassie was so furious with her dad over this. The hurt in her face was enough for me to finally put my foot down and face my fears. I was here in Lompoc; enough time had gone by to finally reactivate our divorce filed down in Riverside. How could a man sleep at night for 2 years knowing that he was never divorced from his previous wife?

My child support case had been issued; I had an order for 1273 a month for all 3 kids that took effect immediately. He wasn’t really voluntarily paying his full support. He was short 273 a month… That ended up later on that year 400 dollars. Child support services started the procedures to enforce the support payments.

Frankly I don’t understand how our Justice system could have their clients wait several months without a payment. I was forced back onto Cash aide. I had the SSI application in for Zachary. The health insurance kept changing and I never got informed so there were several dry pats for the kids that didn’t get paid due to no one contacting me or having any updated cards received on my end.

That fall I enrolled at the college and my dad gave me his big 1990 f350 crew cab to use. It used a lot of gas. I did however use the Bike Trailer and my bike, and the kid’s bikes that were our mode of transportation for at least 6 months of Loren’s life. It was only 4.5 miles each direction of town, the city bus was also our transportation for a while.

Allan Hancock College in Lompoc really invigorated my senses; it was also right next to Ken Adam Park. The Huge Oak Trees surrounding the campus has a calming effect on me. The Santa Maria Campus is mostly all buildings making this campus very unique. I amazed myself the 1st semester I had qualified for the Pell grant and had received my very 1st 4.0 in algebra, and aced World History classes. I had done Pundits involving the Enron disaster, and during the Recall of Governor Gray Davis.

The Enron Disaster really infuriated me. Back in 1981/82 I helped my mom and dad purchase a parcel of property over in Tehachapi, California close to my brother’s home it was going to be their retirement home. I was stationed over in the Azores for 27 months when just a month after purchasing the property someone was offering mom and dad double of what we paid, they went as high as 4 times higher what we paid. Dad did some searching to find out that Zond Systems out of San Diego was building a huge Wind Park surrounding our parcel which had the highest peaks in the range.

Dad got the idea to write a program using a commodore Vic 20, and used the Commodore 64 to run the program underground in a cooler hooked up to a car battery that was hooked up to a sensor dad attached to the top of the ham radio tower that he erected on the property to conduct our own wind tests. My brother faithfully went out and collected the data and recharged the batteries for a year. Dad had formed a small family corporation, with our charter in the State of NJ. It was free to incorporate there. We signed a 35 year lease with Zond for lease of the property, receiving royalties of 6 percent. During those initial years it started bringing in a 6 figure income for my parents for their retirement. I was receiving 1/8 interest payments during those years for helping mom and dad buy the property.

It is what paid for my Furniture I still have to date most of it. It also paid for the labor on building our back patio cover, BBQ, flagstone with a brick border back patio. We did as much work as we could on our own.

The kid’s dad actually got hired to build a few of the neighbor’s patio covers, because he did such an excellent job on ours. He was using the radial arm saw that my dad used to build our barn back in 1963. Dad always said that Sears has the best tools anywhere.

Enron had bought out Zond Systems and assumed our lease agreement in 1994. When the Rolling Black-outs started in 1997, I was having to work allot of hours at the hospital still. On call every night. The Deregulation of the utilities had decreased our royally income to fewer than 50k a year. It was revealed in the research I conducted for my pundit that year, that Kenneth Lay, and Dick Cheney had spearheaded the lead on deregulating the utility for their benefit.

It was revealed that they had ripped off California in excess of 1 Billion dollars by jacking up the cost of energy so high it went over 375 a kilowatt. They had actually went as far to force the state to have rolling blackouts, and caused it all. Their Stock Value was overly inflated from all the back room dealings with Jeffery Skilling , and the Fastows.

It was later revealed that the Fastows had been siphoning the money from the Tehachapi wind park to fund the building of their mansion in Texas. Dad had spent a few years writing to the Attorney’s in NY about our lease agreement and never got a response. As of this date I don’t think they ever paid the debt. Florida Power and Electric took over the lease.

It just amazed me how one global company building power plants in India could have demolished so many lives of Americans and not arrested for it. I don’t like White Collar Crime because their rights are protected by the federal judicial system and not the State. The thousands of lives that Enron affected numbered in the thousands, if not millions.

Getting back to 2003, I had all this penned up energy from what had transpired with the kid’s dad. I ended up writing a letter to her employer about the fraud that she was committing with the kids dad. She had known for years that we were never divorced. How she was depositing business money from our business into her personal account.

She personally attempted to defraud others by crossing out my name and placing hers on the copy of our business agreement. I sent copies of everything I had to support what I was claiming. Including the notes she had written for making wedding arrangements that actually had their social security numbers on them.

She had added my kids onto her health plan which is fraud in itself. My kids did not reside with her. She worked as a collector for Tennant Healthcare in Santa Ana. It was then that I informed her that our sexual life was still be consummated in our marriage and Loren our youngest son was evidence of that.

I had always thought to myself that Karma always comes back at you if you do miss deeds to others. That time was now in 2003, 5 years later. I also informed her that our child support order was 1273 a month not 1000. I had sent copies of our marriage certificates, a copy of the police report I filed in Law Vegas for the Bigamy, and it is a Felony in the penal code just handled under civil law these days unless it’s an extreme case of financial loss.

I never could understand that part of it, Because of the life choices these 2 people made; we lost our home the only investment we had together. I was left homeless living in hotels pregnant with my youngest son and family dog, defrauded thousands of at least 75k. None of that mattered to the legal system.

From that point on I moved forward the best I could. I kept the communication channels open for the kid’s dad because it was the right thing to do for them. A few short months later, The Kids dad was contesting Loren our youngest, as being his son. The DA was very good presenting the case. They were my best advocate and I started to grasp on to the idea that this was the way of getting me back on track. We got into court and it was noted that the Kids Dad had an attorneys information on his legal papers, but he never showed up with an attorney just himself. The Courts were not happy with that and reprimanded him verbally for it.

He attempted to submit a copy of infertility from his Vasectomy, only to be told that parentage is always established with DNA sampling. The courts set up the test dates for Loren and Him. Loren had his sample taken; they had set up 2 pats for the kid’s dad for him not to show up at all. He defaulted on his own Child Support Motion.

I started receiving regular payments from his employer once a month. The health insurance they left the responsibility to the dad to get the cards to me. That didn’t work at all for months, I had to call the employer, and Child Support whenever I had problems. The employer had switched healthcare companies at least 3 times in 2 or less years that that they had been garnishing his wages. I had several medical bills from the kids that went unpaid because I couldn’t furnish a healthcare card for them.

In 2004 it became a bad year to keep focus at the college. After living downtown a year I had to move after my lease was up. My landlord wanted to rent to a personal friend to help them out. I was very fortunate to find a bigger house here in Mission Hills where I’m Currently Living today. This home is just around the corner from where I’m at now.

I loved it, had a huge family room, plenty of storage, 3 Brims, 2 Bathrooms. Living/Dining and cinderblock wall back yard. I didn’t have to worry about the dog getting out killing the neighbors cats. There was Mesa Oaks homeowners association has a few hundred acres of walking, biking jogging trails just across the street. I would take Loren for walks there all the time. Let him get some exploring in. we always saw quall and rabbits, and an occasional coyote.

Always hear owls in the mornings here. La Purism Mission which covers over 1000 acres is just 2 blocks from our door. There is so many hiking, biking, riding trails we 3 miles from town, living with the wild life and horses that belong to the residents here that live across the street from the mission.

I had started Cassie in 4H back in 2002. She did a dairy calf her 1st year. She had never been around farm animals before we moved here. I was so proud of her that year. She handled that heifer calf like a Pro. Zachary was always so round up and so much energy he couldn’t stay in one place long.  The Consecutive years with 4H really gave Cassie some personal growth the Club here is the largest in the County. The Community leaders have been the same leaders for the past 30 plus years.

They also became part of our family for supporting Cassie when I couldn’t be there. Zachary could never behave long enough to relax, or Loren would start in. Cassie completed 7 years in 4H, her 2-5 years she did market lambs, 2-7 years she did horsemanship.

She also became the Club Secretary for 3 years. Most of her 4H functions it became very rare for me to attend. If I did it was very short-lived. The boy’s behavior was too much for me to handle. I was just as happy that this Club reminded me so much growing up in Nipomo. Those other Mother’s I recognized and thanked on My Mother’s day blog.

Cassie became the horseman I always wished I had become earlier in my life. She loved it. Her last 3 years she went to the Santa Barbara County Horse show and placed in the top 3 in most of her classes. In 2007, I had made a mistake about not getting her fees paid in time and she missed that one year but in 2008. She was the only club member going that year and she won all but one of the 6 classes she entered and came home with High Point overall. She won her very 1st Buckle. I was so proud of her that day.

Right after I had moved up to Mission Hills my mom had her double bypass surgery down in Cottage Hospital. She stayed with me for 6 weeks. She was still living down in Moreno Valley. My sister and I had noticed that she was getting older and not able to do as much her sciatic nerve problem had scar tissue built up and needed surgery again, but unfortunately to her diabetes nothing can be done unless it drops down.

Finally SSI kicked in for Zachary. My Child support payments of 1000 a month was getting ridiculous. I was on Food Stamps just to feed the family, and Navigating the local/state forms for maintaining your benefits is very time consuming, and Redundant. Why so much of the same forms for the same agency just different departments. It just didn’t make sense to me, having to send all 3 state agencies copies of my bank statements. If you missed anything there went your benefits you couldn’t get them back unless you fixed the problem. I have been mastering those forms for years, now, I learned from my 1st year. If you just give them the paperwork without a receipt, paperwork would end up lost without a doubt. I started asking for receipts of everything I gave them and once I did that all the lost documents stopped.

Zachary’s SSI couldn’t have come at a better time. I was finally able to buy a working reliable car. 2900 got me a 1990 Vovlo 740GL with 198,000 miles on it. 2900 dollars I thought was high but I had never driven a Volvo before and now I know why they retain their value. The engines on the cars in those years were virtually indestructible. They only required a tune-up once every 3 years, I did have to have the transmission serviced, but otherwise the car had power everything, except the moon roof. The Kids never liked this car. After I had tires replaced we lost the hubcaps on the highway somewhere. I had left the car overnight to get worked on, and with the price of gas over $5 a gallon it was costing me 75 dollars to fill my car.

I reduced my traveling to a standstill during those months I still had auto insurance to pay, and kids to cloth and feed. Having a child in High School really drained me with the high cost for yearbooks costing 75 dollars. Supplies not covered for specific classes. Choir Dress, My daughter was taking Violin in middle school and throughout High School. She lettered her freshman year. Not so Lucky girl. I couldn’t afford her lettermen Jacket; it was way over 300 dollars.

Once I had Zach established in his new school just over a mile from home he was in the 3rd grade. In-between the pediatrician, myself, and the school trying to help Zach with organization, doing his homework, and because of enlarged intestine condition I was working with the pediatrician to get that under control. I just felt that if he got him over this hurdle then the rest would fall into place for him.

Zach was very strong willed He could not focus for homework and didn’t participate in class. He had been receiving speech therapy, but by the next school year he didn’t qualify for the program. When my Stepmom had come to visit us one afternoon after School she had brought her friend who was still a practicing clinical psychologist in the state of Nevada. The Behaviors that Zach was exhibiting the hand flapping, laying on a sofa twisted, and his motor skills very lethargic the way he moved. It was very clear to me that Zach was not able to process what was being presented to him in school, particularly Math, the others courses suffered as from his inability to succeed in the classroom environment.

The pediatrician had diagnosed Zach with Severe ADHD, He was started on the Medication Ritalin, and a few short months later Concerta. The success in the class room didn’t change. At his IEP they suggested that he repeat the 3rd Grade and I agreed. I was a 3rd Grade repeat myself for the same thing, for not keeping up. What I didn’t agree with was that he was placed back in the same classroom with the same teacher. I figured if she couldn’t motivate Zach the previous year, how was she going to be successful the next. For mainstream kids it works better. I had the School test Zach for Autism and Asperser’s spectrum disorders to be told no he doesn’t qualify. His IQ scores were border-line.

This is what really infuriated me, the pediatrician, the School, gave me no guidance on how to get help for Zach. We were in Limbo. Zach was having a huge problem sleeping at nights and staying awake till 3 am and he was falling asleep at school on a daily basis. In-between being late for school and the numerous unexcused tardies, I was summoned in front of the School Board. I had Loren in Tow with me as I stood in front of this board along with the same DA that defended us in our child support case. It was very difficult to explain what was going on in my home for Zachary not being able to be school on time. They had us sign a contract to be in bed at 8 and gave us the consequences if he was late again. I only had one option and that was to remove him from the medication.

Zach and fulfilled our contract agreement and getting him to school on time was not near the issue the following year. When Zach had started the 4th grade it had only been a few weeks. My dad had spent allot of time with Zach at the airports museums; take him golfing, Flying trips up to Nevada in my dad’s apache. I would notice a calm cool collected kid coming home all the time from their time spent together.

The child support which at this time wasn’t garnished had stopped. I had received notice to move that my landlord was moving back into the house and had to be out by the end of July 2005. It couldn’t have happened at worse time. My daughter had her market lamb going to fair in less than a week and there was no way I could afford to camp at the fairgrounds that year with her. I had made arrangements to Camp with another 4H family, so she could be there to do her barn duty and feed her lamb in the mornings and evenings.

When I established the child support case I had them leave the case open, due to the fact that his reliability was not that great. From that year on it was garnished from his employer, and as usual the health plan changed again and cards were not received. I had racked up at least 1000 dollars in healthcare that was irretrievable because I didn’t have the correct cards and found out that the doctor’s office 3 months later that the claims were denied for no coverage.

Cassie at the fair that year, had gotten depressed over peer pressure, she had actually confined herself one day and was texting for hours to her friends and had run up a 1200 cell phone bill. Of course the phone was taken from her and the money she made on her lamb that year just over 750 dollars went to pay her bill. She was not happy about being held accountable but she was 14 she knew better than that. Her depression was over me not being able to be there for her, having to remain home with her brothers she started really resenting having them around. We had our Sunday ritual where I would get up and all three kids would be helping me straighten up the house. The boys always had VHS tapes all over the place and didn’t put them back and Cassie was a good task person to teach Zach for that.

Fall of that year when School Started Cassie was entering her sophomore year. Everything was going fine, Other than having to drive her to 4H meetings and project meetings. It was sometime on October that year in 2005, I had received a phone call from her best friends mom. There had been an incident at School that Cassie didn’t tell me about that really concerned me about what the High School was doing to handle this situation. She told me that the 3 girls had gotten on the bus to come home 4 days ago, and another Student had threatened to Blow all 3 girls away with a shotgun. The school had taken reports from all three girls and the Sherriff’s department had interviewed and questioned my daughter without my presence.

The only question going through my mind was isn’t this against her civil rights since she is a minor. It infuriated me that the school never even called me. Evidently this student that threatened them he felt he was being bullied or picked on. His parents did have weapons in the home and the Sherriff’s office just enforced that there were trigger locks on the guns. The kid was suspended from School that week, but because he had threatened to kill the girls he was suppose to have expelled from school. That didn’t happen.

I had called the school, and complained to the Sherriff’s department internal investigations at the Santa Barbara Office. I had written a formal complaint to the School and gave them the information for Rachel’s Challenge and insisted they have their organization out at the School ASAP. I came to find out later that the Sherriff’s office dropped 2 of the girl’s statements and kept just one. I viewed that as protecting the defendant in this case. How could a law enforcement and parole office do that to the public at a High School with just under 1000 students? I was told that when a crime of that magnitude happens on a school bus that student no longer can ride the bus; He was riding the bus a week later.

I really wanted to go the press with this issue but the other Moms were not fully on board. I wanted more awareness throughout our community of what was happening here. Rachel’s Challenge did come. I was satisfied with the school stepping up to having at the school. I was prepared to write my local or state senator about this issue. I don’t like when public schools take the view that Ignorance is Bliss what you don’t know what your kids are exposed too.

Cassie’s junior year, was just as bad as the previous year. I really worried about her. She came home from spending one weekend with her best friend from school. She said that there was a girl at school openly admits that she is bipolar; she was the assistant coach for the boy’s basketball team. Cassie’s friend said that this girl had created a list of 32 people that she wanted dead. She had seen the list and my daughter’s name on it Friday, told Cassie about it on Saturday. She said there were 4 or 5 teacher’s names on this list as well. I was so infuriated with her best friend over this. She didn’t report it to the school, Monday was a holiday both girls went into the office Tuesday morning and reported her.

This Girl had been blogging about the incident on her MySpace page; she was Air Force dependent from Vandenberg AFB. I had printed off the pages to her profile on what was written on them. Cassie had said that she didn’t know that this girl didn’t like her; she had always been nice to her. She was really scared. I got in touch with the Security Police on the base over this, because she had been using her MySpace page to communicate threatening behavior of suicide on herself. I took the step up to call the OSI office to file the complaint with them to investigate. Cassie had written her statement out and we gave them copies. Once it was reported to the school she was suspended of course for a week, and actually admitted into a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

All that week at school, the girl was on her cell phone texting and threatening kids at school.  Once this girl returned to School she started targeting my daughter and insisting that she stay away from her. Over time the badgering didn’t stop. I had started receiving a couple of phone calls from school that Cassie had missed a few classes. One Day she didn’t show up at school at all at least 2 days. She hid in her closet here at home and didn’t come out. I started panicking that she had run away and trying to get hold of her friends. Cassie was always up in the mornings getting up and off to school she loved school. I was totally shocked that she was so quiet those 2 mornings that I was too preoccupied with my own health issues and the boys to know that she didn’t leave for school for those days.

I called up her doctor, we got her into therapy and I filed another complaint with the School. I told them that if this girl doesn’t stay clear of my daughter that I was going to file a restraining order with the Sheriff’s office and report her to the Base Commander.

During that year Loren had started his intervention, I had enrolled him initially into the Head Start program down at La Honda, near LUSD buildings, he was 3.5 yrs old and they agreed that he needed to start intervention so they assessed his speech. Loren was being observed and he couldn’t focus or understand what was being asked of him. The Speech Therapists told me it was equivalent to listening to the teacher on the Peanuts Cartoons. Wah Wah. They would only let Loren stay in this program 1 hour of the 3 hour program. I thought it was ridiculous to have him there for that hour but he needed to be with his peers. He had been home with me since birth. Loren’s development I knew something was totally different with him from his birth. He focused on my every move, and as he aged his ability to handle his emotions and behavior had gotten worse. Meltdowns on the floor removing his clothes and socks were an everyday occurrence.  It would take him over 45 minutes to able to adapt back to and interact with me again. I did however learn that if you gave him more than 2 choices, he would follow task of which you asked him and pick one. When Sojourn Services Inc was referred to us to work with Loren at home to overcome his sensory integration worked and he was able to keep his meltdowns down to about 15 minutes. He turned 5 finished his program with Sojourn and then I had taken his assessment to Tri Counties.

Tri-Counties started services with Loren with Loren after he had his initial full assessment when he and Zach were enrolled at Manzanita Charter School, had just started operating that year, with the Space Endeavor Center as support for the kids extracurricular actives. Space Cowboy Aka Scott Hollister is excellent with kids, He has every autograph you can think of every NASA test pilot or Astronaut on his cowboy hat.

I had removed Zach from Los Berros School after 5th grade due to the fact that the School was not helping him. They were watching out for their interest and my son’s education deserved professional help. He was well loved by everyone at the school, just a very cool collected kid who thrived on the right guidance from adults. Just before Zachary started the 4th Grade in 2006, He went with my dad for 5 days on a plane trip up to the Property in Nevada, and over to Eureka to see my aunt and uncle and other cousins. School Started and the Morning of the 8th of September. Dad had called me He had just replaced the brakes on my car the previous week. He was getting ready to fly over to Lake Isabella to meet some friends for Camping. He was waiting for the cloud cover to clear before he could take off. I told him to have a Safe Flight and Have fun. Thanked him for doing my brakes.

Later on late that afternoon my sister called me to call her back. I was in the middle of cooking Dinner for the kids. When I called her a short while later I could tell something was wrong. She said that Dad Crashed in his plane on the Bognuda Ranch, 1 mile from her home and 3 miles fm the Airport at approx 2:30 in the afternoon, they said that he was airborne for 7 minutes before the crash and he should have cleared the airport pattern long before that. I was in shock and disbelief for a while.

I couldn’t finish dinner. My mind I didn’t know how to tell the kids. I didn’t want to believe it. Dad was always so healthy for 74 yr old. He was always cautious. The Whole family was totally devastated especially my stepmom. I hated to have to tell Zach, he was the last person to fly with dad. I did tell them and they were numb as I was to process what I told them. I later found out when I got to my sister’s house, that my brother was on his way to Lake Isabella to meet my dad over there for the camping trip.

His crash was all over the News Media. The ranch he crashed on Mr. Bognuda had a hanger next to dads at the airport; dad was pretty well known in the Santa Maria, Paso Robles, and San Luis Obispo Airports. He flew kids for their 1st plane ride for the EAA Young Eagle programs over the weekends. He loved it. He was very involved with the Air Museum in Paso Robles. His memorial service was totally amazing, and beautiful. My brother, sister and I spoke, and it was the 1st time that I actually felt comfortable talking about dad as a father that so many people didn’t get to see that side of him. Mostly everyone at the service was from Lockheed. Along with all of our extended families in Nipomo were there too.

That year I worried about Zach, he wasn’t showing much emotion about the loss of his grandfather and School went on. I told my kids that Grandpa died doing what he loved the most and he was watching over us in heaven now. Every time that I had to guess how much gas was in my car, my gauge was broken, when my car would start to stall I knew I had to get downtown to get gas, I had about 1/2 gallon left.

The high price of gas was wearing on my family. It was taking 75 dollars just to fill my car. I needed money for groceries to feed the kids. Whenever I made it to the gas station without having to call AAA, I would always pray and say thanks dad. Dad gets thanked allot when it comes to my car and maintenance. It was his other passion in life.

Later on in 2007,  mom needed more surgery, She had her gall bladder removed and was released from the hospital the next morning. She did really well having surgery. I drove her home back to Moreno Valley and drove back to Lompoc the next morning. I don’t think 3 Months  passed and Mom started having problems swallowing her food . She had gone to the doctor and they did a biopsy of her throat but no one called her back after she made several phone calls to see the doctor with the results. She waited as long as she could before it became too hard for her to eat. She drove up to Santa Barbara to the Emergency Room, I met her there and they confirmed within a day she had thyroid cancer. They admitted her to the hospital and she had her 1st chemo  treatment before she was discharged a few days later. We had lost all faith in the healthcare system down in Riverside and Moreno Valley. It was too difficult for Terry and me to help her manage her health when she lived that far away. We decided to have mom move back here closer to us so that we could help her maintain somewhat of her independent lifestyle with  her family close by to help her.  My sister and I took turns on going down and sorting out her belongings in the garage and setting up an estate sale to pay for her move back to Santa Maria.

     The Mortgage Industry was turning upside down,  Mom was not able to maintain a home of that size on her own anymore.  She gave the house back to the Mortgage company, They told her to drain the pool and she refused to avoid having  the pool ruined.   We got Mom through all of her chemo treatments with the exception of her radiation treatment she was suppose to have down in Riverside. Mom had developed an infection and they couldn’t find it for 2 weeks. It ended up being pneumonia, and by the time they got her well it was too late to have the radiation treatment.

     Zach on the other hand did better in the 4th grade. He had a excellent teacher that actually got him motivated to participate in class, and do more work in class, he had managed to turn two F’s into A’s in that reporting period. I knew from that day that he was going to be ok. Loren on the other hand had started up his intervention with CaliforniaPyschCare through Tri-Counties. He has progressed so much since they started working with him in Kindergarten.

When Loren’s assessment was completed, the charter school didn’t provide schooling for special needs kids. The school was advised the school to get an assistant in the class room to help manage Loren. The Schools solution was to have me remain there with Loren in the class room. It was getting hard to keep him engaged with the other students. He was starting to get violent, throwing chairs, running out of the class room, it didn’t help the situation when there were a few other kids who were modeling just as bad behavior, and always getting into Loren’s face they had no sense of personal space.

Loren always picked up what behavior was being modeled. There was one day towards the date of his IEP meeting that the Principal decided to come into the class room, Loren wasn’t engaged on the carpet with the rest of the kids, and she told me he had to leave. Loren on the other hand got up and went over to carpet and started engaging with the other kids. She then insisted he leave the class room, got him upset, to where he started throwing chairs down and ran out of the classroom. He didn’t want to leave.

By the time I got out the door he was gone around the corner and came back into the class room and sat back down on the carpet with the other kids. She looked at me told me that she was Notifying Child Welfare Services, and I just replied go ahead do that, they were my best Advocates. They had been to my house several times from complaints of neighbors for his behavior around Zach.

Zach didn’t model good behavior, so Loren is always reacting to it negatively. I was so proud of Loren that day for standing up for where he wanted to be. It just emphasized that he wants to be there, he just didn’t know how to process the information that was be given to him. After his IEP it was recommended that he be assigned back to Los Berros School, where they held the best SDC, for kids with Autism in the entire School district. Then they started assessing Zach all over again. The School District was hurting they had lost allot of students to this charter school opening. They were desperate to get students back enrolled in the district. Zach was in a 6th grade class with 20 other students. Amazing year he maintained a C average, and at his IEP Lord and behold, they discovered he had a processing disorder with math. They told me it would be nearly impossible for him to memorize his timetables. Which is why he was held back in third grade? I kept him at the Charter School for the remainder of the year. It was the 1st time that he had ever had confidence in the classroom. He still had that habit of not doing homework but he was doing way more work inside the classroom. His grades maintained a C average. His class field trip that spring took them to Calvin Crest Outdoor School over near Yosemite National Park for a week. He had a blast over there. Everyone at school was so amazed at his engagement into the class work there.

Zach wasn’t home for 4 days and he started complaining about a headache. The day before he said he felt he had a fever but he was cool as a cucumber. I have given him Nyquil to get to sleep, and the headache came back. He said that he felt like he had the flu. I took him to the Doctor that morning to get him checked; she seemed to think he was coming down with the flu too. Later on that night after the headache was still there that Zach gave me more clarification of this headache he was feeling. Mom he said, “You don’t inkstand this headache is not just a headache it moves around to other areas of my head.” It was very late at night; I waited till the next morning and took him to the Emergency Room.

When they triaged Zach and got him into a bed in the ER, they thought that his headache may be a Migraine headache. They took a CBC test of his blood to find out that it showed infection. They weren’t sure where it came from, so they ordered a spinal tap to find out if him Had Meningitis. Zach was poked 11 times that day. They had a hard time finding his veins for the IV. He did have Viral Meningitis and kept overnight in the hospital till the next day. I notified the school the next day. I made arrangements for Loren to stay at my mom’s for the next 5 days. Zach had to have complete quiet, No TV, No Computer to recover. It was a well needed break for all of us. After completing the 6th Grade with success he was re enrolled at Vandenberg Middle School for 7th Grade. They had him in one resource class a day to catch up on all his classes. He reverted back to the same behavior as before. Wouldn’t Do his homework, little class participation A friend of Zach’s from 5th grade convinced him to join the youth football league that fall after 5th grade.

His coaches really thought he wasn’t going to make it through practice and give up but he didn’t. He stuck with it. He had never been involved with a physical sport before. He loved it that 1st year in J2. He played Nose guard and left tackle. They did make it pretty high in the playoffs that year, The Coaches really knew how to keep Zach engaged and they had strict rules for the sport. The Next year he moved up to seniors along with his teammates from the previous year. They had 5 shutout games, and undefeated and did go to super bowl. They were division Champions but lost the game. Coach told them they did achieve their goal. It was an amazing year for Zach. I was so proud of him and I knew grandpa was watching too, huge football fans in this family.

The School was not that happy to see Zach in football with his grades suffering. Dr. Carter said the running and the physical fitness of the sport was very good to keep kids focused at school and she was right. Zach was motivated to get some homework done during the football season. After both boys had their assessments I had them referred to Dr. Sabrina U. Carter who was specialist in childhood neurological disorders and Learning disabilities of the brain, she is licensed in Child Psychology along with her medical degree.

Her Doctorate Degrees are astounding. I’m very blessed to have her she really goes to bat for her patients when it comes to their education. She is the only Neurologist in the County that prescribes name brand drugs, because she has had patients have seizures from generic drugs. My sons included. They both have Absent Epilepsy and take Depakote. When Zach was discovered he I worried about that because he was diagnosed at age 12. I wasn’t sure if he could overcome the condition at his age. It was Dr. Carter who informed me that ADHD drugs Intensified Seizures. I was so furious with the pediatrician for not ruling out any neurological disorders before placing Zach on the Ritalin and Concerta back in 2nd and 3rd Grade.

Zach pretty much struggled through 7th grade. it was a year ago this month that the Bus Driver had dropped Zach off at the front door and I thought that was very peculiar, I asked him about it when he came inside and he said that one of his football team mates wanted to fight him. Zach said he told him he wasn’t fighting him. Zach outweighed this kid by at least 50 to 60 lbs.

I sent Zach back out to mow the lawn when he got home and I was inside the house with a sales rep who was explaining the process of Reverse Osmosis in water. Zach came stumbling into the house clenching his jaw. Once he calmed down, he told me that this team mate followed the bus to our house; he hid behind the neighbor’s cinderblock wall, and had at least 5 other kids recording the incident on their phones.

This Team mate was a novice Champion at wrestling. He was attempting to take Zach down with wrestling techniques and it didn’t work. He failed at 2 attempts. He got up into Zach’s face and sucker punched him in the Jaw and ran off. I called the Sherriff; this kid had been in trouble with his 2 brothers for a long time. They had been shooting at my friend’s horses and other animals on her property.

I called the School the next morning, told them I was taking Zach to the doctor his jaw didn’t feel right. They suspended the other kid for a week. The Case is going to the DA for this kid is going to be charged with Battery. We saw the dry that practices acupressure/Acupuncture. We met this doctor in the ER he treated Zach for his pain for the Meningitis. Zach was a trooper no pain pills at all. He listened very carefully to the dry about the acupressure. He really likes this form of treatment over anything.

Zach is getting tired of the depakote, he feels he isn’t having seizures anymore. We discussed it with Dr. Carter and he is going to have an EEG this august, if it comes out good, we are weaning him off the medication to see how he does.

I had been having  problems with Zach taking his meds. When he went to spend a week with his dad over his spring break, they went to the Graveside of the other woman’s son. He had suffered from a gran mal seizure at age 13, and was on medication for his epilepsy disorder. It was unfortunate that at age 22 he stopped taking his medications and she came home from work and found him dead.

Zach was still have difficulties here at home, he is stepping up to the plate to exhibit adult authority and help me with Loren. Problem is Loren is still modeling bad behavior with Zach. Loren doesn’t like the fact that he is 8 and Zach is 15, there are certain things that 8 year olds are not allowed to do. It is hard when you don’t have reinforcement in a home with kids who suffer from Autism or other special needs.

It makes a huge difference in kids if they have two adult parents to manage them. My kids have always been taught that Single parenting is not normal, two parent household is. They are very aware that their dad’s absence in their life is a clear sign of how tough it is for me parenting them alone. I’ll be the 1st one to tell you that I’m not perfect, I’m not supermom either, like I used to be. We live in the face of adversity every day. We keep faith, hope, and love in our hearts and move on. There is allot of things that aren’t kept up in my household.

To me retaining your sanity and taking care of yourself emotionally is key to getting through all the adversity in your life. I’m just looking forward to what God and life is bringing me next. I still remember that my stepmom told me that God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. I firmly believe that too. I became involved in Primerica Financial Solutions back in 2005. The Company is phenomenal for the support it gives its single parents and very enriching. Unfortunately when the boys started their intervention I had to place my focus on them. I had Child Welfare Services involved with my household a few times, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I live by example for my children the best I can. I place myself in timeout when I need a break from the boys, it is getting tough again with the price of Gas over 4 dollars a gallon here. It makes it tough when you have business to conduct in another local city but the cost of gas consumption to go do those are costing people money they would rather feed their kids with.

I don’t have dental, or eye insurance. The state can’t afford the coverage anymore. Last August my car broke down 4 months in a row costing me 1200 dollars, I just got my new car last month. It feels great to have reliability in a car again. With my health issues I should be at the gym every day, I had been paying a trainer at the gym along with my gym fees and the car problems set me back. I’m working on getting myself back on track and ahead of the game. My family doesn’t like to see me living this way, Neither do I. I love my children. They deserve anything I can give them. My wisdom means that much to pass on to them.

I didn’t join face book till a few years ago, and when I did I found all my old military, extended family, high school and some elementary school friends. It took me a while to get used to it the ideas and concepts of social media. I was against it based on the commercialization of the technology age. The World is evolving from everything we put into it. That why when I Met Kennan Hudaverdi online and he introduced me to Saving lives to me it made total sense. He made me the U. S. Representative which I was totally honored to promote his ideas of using Affirmations in the class rooms. We need God in our schools , it was what this country was founded on.  The use of Affirmations  in the classrooms works it works for me outside and is widely used in Primerica.  

     I know that the last few years of my dad’s life had impacted him to see me living this way. I didn’t give up. I have his strength in my genes to keep fighting and progressing to getting my life back on track.  I didn’t find out till last year when I went to a memorial for a very close family friend, his Son pulled me to the Side to tell me that Dad was very proud of me . He had told him that I had my life back together.  I remember the last birthday lunch I had with dad  and my stepmom  a few weeks before the crash.  We went to a local Italian restaurant and I was full of excitement from learning and staying involved in Primerica.  My family was very skeptical about what I was getting involved with because of the multi level marketing  aspect of the company. I would rather be associated with a company that has thousands of representatives that make 6 figures than one that employs thousands for minimum wage.  I was really excited and learning everything I could and improving my knowledge in the Financial Services Industry. Primerica is my 2nd family and always will be because they are helping people in the middle class and below through Education.

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