Hiya guys. Thanks for the replies and for all the great suggestions. I sincerely do appreciate them.

Originally Posted By: csasurvivor1992

i hope you can find it to be easy on yourself. you're doing the best you can with the hand you've been dealt. it's painful to hear you talk so badly about yourself.

I appreciate that you'd say that, but I don't really look at it as talking badly about myself. I'm just being realistic and accepting my limitations in life. I know my limitations and they are many. I know my uses and they are few. That's just the reality of the situation.

Originally Posted By: lbcali1978
Since you drink you may not know the Serenity Prayer for Aa/NA but it's really profound to accept what we can't change. Really is.

I've had friends who are friends of Bill W and I know the Serenity Prayer. I'm not religious and I don't say it but I do believe it's a good philosophy. Even though I'm not an AA member and don't plan to be, I try to live my life and look at the world though that very principle. Control what I can control, release the rest to the universe and hope for the best. At the end of the day, it really is all you can do in this horrifyingly fucked-up, cold, cruel, horrible shithole of a planet we live on.

Originally Posted By: ThisMan
Ken, man, I want you to know I read the entire post. I am sorry the kids are going to be gone for such a long time at such a long distance. And with a heart like yours, the kids are going to miss you as well.

I'm not sure how much they miss me. I've hardly been in their lives enough for them to develop an attachment of any kind. Besides, you know how kids are. Out of sight, out of mind, for the most part. It's ok though. I don't want them to miss me. I want them to be as happy as possible, always.

Originally Posted By: Lancer
Oh Ken, I just LOVED the "wake up" story. I'm so glad you posted it. As he grows up, you'll at least have the option of email, iPhones, etc., as he absorbs Hawaii (my second home for a few years). Not to sound overly optimistic, but compared to 10-20 years ago, how unbelievably cool is that? Instant visual communication between ATL and HNL! Not the same as face-to-face, but it may be just enough. As he shares stuff about his remarkable new home, I think you may also find he educates and inspires Little Falcon.

Yeah, I just kind of decided to throw the "wake up" story in there at the beginning. What he said was so funny and adorable I couldn't possibly be annoyed that he was pouncing on my hung-over ass after six hours of sleep. I love to tell people that story. It always makes them laugh.

You make some good points about the technology available to us these days. I frequently check my brother's and my sister in law's FB pages for pics and videos and updates of the kids. It always brightens my day to see one.

Originally Posted By: Lancer
(I missed out on my nephew growing up and becoming a private pilot who also is trying for MLB management...also incredibly cool).

Wow, how cool is that? Good luck to him and, if he makes it, good luck to his team. That is, unless and until his team is playing the Braves. Then I hope his team looses. LOL! grin

Originally Posted By: peroperic2009
Hey Ken,
thanks for sharing this intimate story about your family with all of us.
There is something wonderful, healing and empowering in spending time in play with children.

There is. There really is. I could be having a horrible day and be pissed off at the world and at life but then run into one of my neighbors kids when I get home from work and even that totally brightens my day a little. The interaction may only last a minute but just seeing their smile and hearing what they have to say seems to heal something inside me, if only temporarily.

Originally Posted By: WriterKeith
When the kids phone me on holidays or my birthday when I can't visit them, I intentionally let their call go to voice mail so they can leave a recorded message. I have a collection of their messages I keep on my cell phone. When I'm down I call voicemail and listen to these tiny voices wishing me all kinds of great wishes, singing ditties to me, and leaving comical blunders. It gives me hope and energy when I'm running on empty.

I've never exactly done this but I have saved their messages for an extended period of time just so I could liten to them if I wanted to. That's cool.

Originally Posted By: WriterKeith
There are other options as well, including Skype, etc.

Skype is something I'm considering. I'll have to see if I can get my brother on board with it.

Originally Posted By: WriterKeith
Skip Starbucks and save your change. I have a hunch a trip to Hawaii is in your future. If so, you'll be "home for the holidays." grin

Well, I'm trying to save as much as possible but that isn't so easy. I wish I lived a Starbucks kind of lifestyle but I live more of a gas station swill coffee type. I barley get by as it is and my tastes are far from champagne. Still, I'll save what I can and my tax return money next year should be enough to pay for a ticket out there. Thanks for the suggestions. Take care. Peace,