I had a good weekend. I slept more than anything – not particularly good company for Lisa, but it’s what I needed to do. I haven’t got that much of it for a while.
Although we lived in a townhouse it was in one of the more ritzy parts of the city. I was a stay at home mom and Ron was a blue collar worker for CN. He made decent money, but many of the people around us were doctors and lawyers and the like. We knew that when the boys got older and started school, there was no way we would be able to give them the kind of thing other kids had so we decided to move. We'd both had enough of condo living anyway. The day we moved into the house we’re still in 25 years later, was Ryan’s first birthday. To this day he still claims the house was his first birthday present *grin* therefore it's really his house. This was a neighbourhood much more suited to the kind of lifestyle we lived in and the moment we saw the house, we knew this was the one for us. Now this was in the days of very (very) high mortgage rates. When we moved in, we had a one year mortgage rate of 21%. Things were very tense for a year until we could get it lowered. Sometime during that year, our friends Paul and Anne split up. That was hard for us since we were all such good friends. Also during the time Ron’s black moods began increasing in length; sometimes they would last a week or more, and happened more frequently. I never knew what caused them and slowly I started losing my ‘self’ for a better way of putting it. Where once they were just annoying, the moods became harder and harder for me to live through. He wouldn’t speak to me and would barely acknowledge my presence. Because of the financial crunch we were in, I started feeling bad that I wasn’t helping financially although we both still wanted me to stay at home. I began taking the responsibility for his ‘moods’ as my fault – a pattern that was to have very disastrous consequences. I wanted to talk to my mom about them but couldn’t for a number of reasons. First, when we told my parents way back when that we were getting married so quickly, they tried their best to talk us out of it. Having the hindsight of well not exactly old age – let’s say older age, I can certainly see where they were coming from. If either of my sons who are now much older than the 21 I was, were to come to me at that age and told me they were going to marry someone they had just met 3 months previously, I would have tried to talk them out of it too. But, I didn’t want to admit to my mother that maybe they had been right all those years ago when we first told them. Also, she had been sick for quite a while off and on and I didn’t want to worry her. A third reason I didn’t want to say anything to her was that after her initial misgivings, she really did come to care for Ron a lot and I didn’t want her to think any less of him. But my marriage wasn’t the kind I had envisioned. It wasn’t at all like the ones my parents had. I was still deeply committed to Ron though. The eternal optimist, once he came out of his mood, I hoped that that would be the last one, but it never was. Another thing that started to really alarm me about him was I could see him slowly start withdrawing from people. When we first me, he told me about the lifestyle his parents lived. They had no outside friends, never really went anywhere together. We both agreed that was a horrible life. He also told me through the years how bleak his childhood had been. His father was a very stern disciplinarian. Neither of his parents ever went to any of the school functions; not plays, not trips, not even to meet any of his teachers. I had a hard time fathoming this as my parents were very involved in our childhoods. Ron wasn’t allowed to participate in any kind of after school functions; his parents insisted he start working when he was 12. First of all he helped his older brother with his paper route when he was much younger. Knowing something of his brother, I expect Ron did all the work while his brother pocketed all the money. Then as soon as he was old enough he had his own route. Then once he turned 16 he got regular after school jobs. When he was 18, his parents kicked him out of the house; not because he was a bad kid, it was just that they figured it was time. I can’t ever imagine doing that to my boys.
But I saw Ron slowly take on some of the same lifestyle choices of isolation that his parents had. My parents were the exact opposite. They loved people and entertaining and had many friends. I grew up that way and to gradually lose touch with people was very difficult for me. At the same time, he became the opposite of what his father was. He coached the boys in baseball, especially Ryan. He was a wonderful coach and I was always so proud of the job he did. He never lost patience with any of the boys, even the ones who couldn’t play worth beans. He made sure each and every player had their fair share of playing time, even if it meant sacrificing the game.
So here I was with the most mixed of emotions. On the one hand I hated what his moods were doing to us. Once he was over them, to him it was as if everything was fine again, but for me it wasn’t. On the other hand, I could see what kind of man he could be, one to admire and respect to the utmost. And one I still loved very, very much.
to be continued