Turning points

Before I proceed any further, I’ll at least let you know that I didn’t axe any obnoxious teenagers to death.  Actually, I think I made peace with them.  One of them (the 13-year old) had a screaming blue migraine last night to the point of nearly being in tears and running to the bathroom every five minutes to yak up…nothing.  Having dealt frequently with Yes Dear’s migraines, I sorta looked after him and made sure things were calm and quiet so he could at least get some rest.  Even left a trash can next to him on the love seat with instructions to use if he didn’t think he could make the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Can’t say the “turnabout is fair play” card didn’t cross my mind, but I actually felt sorry for the poor kid.  Besides I think, in the depths of his pain,  he gained an appreciation of being considerate when others are tired and not feeling well all on his own.

Plus my grandmother always told me more flies could be caught with honey than vinegar.  And I believe she was right to this very day.

Now on with the show.

How many of you out there can remember the turning points in your life?  One moment, or maybe several, where some event or decision took place that you know took your life in a radically different direction from where it was previously?  Even if it took you years to recognize the fact that in one moment, or day, or evening, or whatever, things ceased being the same and the person you were turned into the person you are now, or at least opened the door for your life to change?

I remember the summer after Yes Dear had left California for Arkansas and I was living in the Bay Area, trying to see if I could move on with my life without her and the kids.

(Perhaps I should blog more on this later for clarity, but in a nutshell we had put our relationship on an indefinite hold to see if we really wanted to be together.  Plus her move was forced by her parents, and I was in no position, either financially or emotionally, to follow her at that point in my life.)

I had my own place at that point (quite an accomplishment for me after living with my parents past the age of twenty-five) and a pretty good job, a nice shiny almost-new car, and all the freedom I cared for.  Some well-meaning friends kept trying to set me up with other women, but I didn’t bite.  I just I couldn’t move on, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be up to staying with her and the kids on a permanent basis.  Yet my best friends kept telling me I needed to move on, to quit rowing against the waters of the past, to find someone else in my life.

But I couldn’t.

We had been writing back and forth, and she told me of some issues that were going on out there with her and the kids.  She had thought she’d found someone else to be with, but that had apparently gone down screaming in explosions and flames.  Apparently this person took everything she had to offer and ran off to greener pastures, leaving her and the kids an emotional mess.

Unable to stand being away any longer, I bought a redeye plane ticket to Arkansas and literally escaped town in the middle of the night, without telling anyone at all where I was going.  Not my closest bestest friends, not my family, not my boss, not my coworkers.  The one friend that dropped me off at the airport I told him I was going to see my sister.

Why?  Because I didn’t want to hear it.  I refused to be told I was a fool going on a fool’s mission, that I would never be able to move on if I kept contact with her, what did I hope to accomplish, yada yada yada.

Had the plane crashed, I likely would still have my face on a milk carton.  Literally nobody knew where I went.  That’s how close to the vest I kept it.

Anyway I made it out there and spent a week with her and the kids.  And had a wonderful time, even though we hadn’t totally resolved all our questions about our future, or if there would be one.  But by the time I got back home and no longer had her and the kids around, I knew that I’d never be able to move on.  That my life, for better or worse, belonged in her world.

Okay, now cue “Midnight Train to Georgia”.  Just change the words to “Midnight Plane to Arkansas”.

The deal sealer?  We were at her parents, watching “Star Trek: Generations” on the VCR, which had just come out on video.

Not the best movie of the genre, but one I’ll always hold close to the heart.  Because of the story of the Nexus.  Where you could be sucked in and experience joy for all eternity.  And Captain Picard’s dilemma, where he could stay in the nexus and be with the family he never had, or return to the Enterprise and make a difference.

Making a difference.  That one line stuck with me that evening, and has ever since.

By the end of the movie, I was almost in tears.  Because I knew where I was wanted.  And where I was needed.

And when I got back home, I made my decision.

That one evening, watching the movie with Yes Dear (before she officially became Yes Dear), counts as the major turning point in my life.  Even though we have navigated many storms together since, there has been almost as much heartbreak and pain as there has been joy, and life has taken some truly unexpected directions since, I can say without hesitation that I have never been the same since, and never want to be.

Care to share your turning point?

UPDATE 5/10/10:   Submitted this post for San Diego Momma’s PROMPTuesday.  Thought it’d be more than appropriate.

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5 thoughts on “Turning points

  1. You know mine – We’re so sorry, it is cancer… 85% cure rate, if my kid had to have cancer, this is the one I’d want it to be, yada yada – cancer, cancer, cancer – WTF, she’s barely four years old!

  2. How utterly sweet, Dave. Love the part where you sneaked off to see her… ;)

    One of my biggest turning points was the moment I set eyes on my now husband. I knew I was going to marry him… but didn’t want to, so I started running away. Took years for us to get together, but it was worth it.

    Still remember that BAM moment like it was seconds ago. ;)

  3. I’m struck by how you wrote this almost six months ago and how perfectly it fits the turning points theme for today’s PROMPTuesday.
    Right down to “Midnight Train to…”

    Thanks for sharing. I like how you write.

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