During the divorce Kiana’s mother and I agreed to have a biannual parental meeting. This was suggested by a friend that because our communication was so poor we’d have to sit and talk everyonce in a while. That meeting was yesterday. It was not all pleasant nor polite nor pretty. She at some level wanted me to apologize for having pushed her boyfriend; I did not but even as I thought about the fact that there’s a reason Dante saved the lowest level of hell for those who betray their friends, I acknowledged that she seems happier with this new guy. She wanted me to pay for his mirror and I said I’d deal with him and the DA with that. But while I’d much rather have a boxing match with the guy, I said that we should sit through counseling, get better at coparenting and when we did that, that perhaps he should be included. This was derived from the fact that I have a friend who is divorced from his ex and while she has no legal rights to his children they have found some middle ground about still letting the kids see each other. Let’s be clear, if my exwife died tomorrow, it would probably not happen that this person would ever see my daughter again but in the end if I am here in a few years and they’ve become close, there comes a point where you can’t live in the past. I even threw out a proposal about amending some things from the divorce decree to where it’s not fought out in court but I certainly stated that losing custody of my daughter while my friends and doctors thought it was safe for her to be with me… well that wasn’t happening without a fight and that simply put that was the reason I was fighting. My doctors and friends all know that if that day comes, I’m done with medical treatment. These many medical appointments are exhausting and while I have total respect for those who fight to just keep breathing…. You’re not reading this blog if you think I’ve ever been one of them.
There’s some reality to the pain that existed in that situation as I apologized far more in person than I ever have about the stuff I declared in the Livestrong video, acknowledging that having gone through tours of California and Texas that perhaps I should have skipped those or worked harder at taking her. There were some emotional moments for sure. She wanted to know more about my medical issues and daring to dream that this was a good step and hoping that this won’t be something used against me in court in the future, I told her about the face/name recognition issues, about things the memory deficits, even about the ADHD medication where the guy who doesn’t like to take drugs was trying to get everything back and finally accepting that some stuff is not coming back. I described in detail the reason I was on a driving restriction and that if these incidents happen again I may never be allowed to drive.
Kiana had been asking her mother to be there for Halloween and I’d extended formal invitations and in this meeting we achieved a point, a baby step which to me is not much like Neil Armstrong’s declaration, that it’s a small step but a giant leap. Kiana’s mother came over and went trick or treating for us and agreed that in exchange she would let Kiana and I run the turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning together since we are also somehow the poster children (http://www.facebook.com/ThunderCloudSubsTurkeyTrot?fref=ts) for that. Trick or treating went fine. Kiana was thrilled to have both parents at one event, the 3rd time we’ve pulled it off (2 school events) but the first time it was ever just us agreeing to it.
Speaking of poster children… I ran a race on Sunday and came in at a sub six pace for 10 miles. That’s faster than I’ve ever done a 10k. Turns out that letting all out running well… is healthy and gets you put on a couple of posters (unpaid but when your kids cute hey?). It also turns out that I’ve now been asked to be on a local sporting goods team. Another unpaid thing but like some of the stuff I’ve done with Livestrong, they provide me free gear and I get to meet good people. A friend joked usually when you get sponsored you get put on posters, not the other way around but I’ll take it.
I am a few days away from the 2 year anniversary of this starting. This weekend if the first weekend I don’t’ have a race or sporting event since like mid August so I don’t quite know what to do with myself. I’ve joked I should get a date. But today as I sat across from the mother of my child, I apologized for all the things I mishandled between the diagnosis and the divorce because I was so afraid of dying and leaving them inadequately provided for… And I said I hope it meant something that the very last thing I did before surgery was kick my mom and brothers out of the room to be with her… I even told her about the counseling I'd sat with Livestrong about how the two girls I'd gone on a couple of dates with I cut it off with both of them within 48 hours when the MRI went poorly and the other when I was found collapsed on the road. I was too late at that surgery moment to keep her connected I suppose but even if all that apology achieved was to get her to have some fun trick or treating with both her daughter and I on this All Hallow’s Eve, (apologies to all anti-Halloween fans), that has a sacredness to it.