Monday, November 17, 2008

The Next 48 Hours (Preparation and Completion)

---Thursday, November 13th: I managed to get about 4 ½ hours of sleep before I had to get up again. I had a lot of things to finish before Linda could make her trip. Sleep would just have to wait. I was going to need all the time I could get and all of the strength God could provide me.

I had to find and collect a lot of stuff for Linda in a very short period of time, prepare the car for a long trip, fit all of her stuff into the car, preposition the car at the hospital, arrange for Linda’s finances, coordinate with the Watertown Sheriff’s Office to serve Linda with the Protection Order, the final visit for Stella and Linda and accomplish the other issues that were bound to crop up throughout the day. I had to do everything without a single misstep or failure.

I decided first off to allow Keri and Stella to stay home from school. Their emotional state last night wasn’t too good and their help may be therapeutic. While they slept in, I paid all of the bills and made several phone calls to the Sheriff’s Office and MP Station for information. With that done, I woke up Keri and Stella and had both of them eat breakfast. Karla needed my help, so I left Keri in charge of things here and went over to her house. While I was helping her, she was helping me by being a sounding board for the things I needed to do. She gave some good ideas on how to make some of this stuff easier. I then had to go to the store and get a few things and restock the refrigerator. I had a choice to make regarding Linda’s finances. I could put the funds into her account with out knowing the accounts status. Since I took my name off the accounts, I couldn’t be sure where the balance was and I didn’t want to pay a negative balance and leave her without funds. I could give her cash and hope that she managed it wisely, but for some reason that didn’t feel right; maybe because I would not have been able to show proof of support.

While I was at the store, I found a third option. They had those prepaid Master Card gift cards. They would work at all locations and could also be refilled by me. I liked it, simple and easily managed. Linda wanted a minimum of $400.00, but really wanted almost $600.00. I felt that was a bit much. I planned on giving her $200.00 in gift cards and $60.00 cash. That was more then enough for the trip to Kentucky, to include a stay at a motel if she needed it. I returned home when I was done with the car. In my absence Keri had done the dishes and totally cleaned out the car. I was surprised by the amount of detail she went to. There was noting left except the Owner’s Manual, registration and Insurance. She even vacuumed and cleaned the dash. I was looking for Pods, because this is not normal for my teenager.

I then took the car to the gas station and filled it up with gas, checked the fluids and air pressure, and returned home. By this time it was fast approaching dinner time and I had little done and nothing out for dinner. That’s when I received another phone call from Karla. This time she wanted to know if Keri would like to join her family for a trip to the mall. I took care of a lot of my concerns about bringing Keri back to the hospital. So, I gave Keri $20.00 from her savings and dropped her off. She was happy for the escape. What teenage didn’t like to go shopping? Stella joined me for a snack, and then it was her turn to be a little surprised. I had her clothes set up for her visit with Mom. I had a black felt dress with light pink flowers on it and tights and new shoes. The dress was passed down to her from a friend and I had purchased the shoes and tights earlier. I then brought her in front of the mirror to see if she like the way she looked. She just bounced up and down with excitement. “Yes! I love it” While we were there, I grabbed the hair brush and started working her hair. I brushed it back and used a small hair tie to place it into a high pony tail. They way she’s going to need me to do it for her cheerleading. Then I found a matching pink scrunchy and put it in place. She looked great; she looks at herself in the mirror and yells “Dad! How did you learn to do that! You’re the best Dad!” I love moments like this.

We finished that with about an hour to spare, before we had to be at the hospital. I grabbed the service copy of the Protection Order and drove with Stella to the County Protection Building. It was after hours there and everything was locked up. I found the night call box and request to see a deputy. They let us in and we sat in the lobby to wait. Stella was content to just sit with me with her head on my shoulder. She started wondering what we were doing there. I told her about the Protection Order and the Sheriff’s job in serving Mom. We wound up waiting and talking for about 45 minutes and I was really amazed at Stella’s patience. When the Deputy came out, he asked to see the papers and told me he would attempt to serve her tonight. I told him about the policies of the Mental Health unit and about Linda’s imminent departure tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. He told me that if he couldn’t serve Linda then he would give it to the shift change at 7 a.m.
Talk about hoping for the best and trusting in God. There was only one chance at serving her before Linda left the state. If she wasn’t served, there would be nothing to stop her from legally being able to pick Stella up from the school and taking her to Kentucky. I hope my fears are unfounded, but I am not going to take chances.

We left there and went directly to the hospital. I didn’t loose sight of what this visit meant to both of them and made sure there visit was more peaceful. I owed it to both of them. I asked for the nurse to meet me back here at 8:15 p.m. and told Stella to have fun. I waited in the waiting room, doing absolutely nothing. I should have brought a book or something. I am not accustomed to having free time anymore. The visit appeared to have been a good one; Stella came out smiling and happy. Not quite what I had expected, but pleased none the less. For the second time, I chided myself for always expecting the worse. I pray to God, that in the future, I am more careful. I don’t want my fears to leave me to blind to see; or to look for improvements in Linda.

We left the hospital and drove home, talking about her visit with Mom. I couldn’t help it, I felt both sad and bad about what I was about to do. I wasn’t about to stop, but I had to admit it hurt. On the way to the house, Keri called the cell phone and told me there were just about home. We arranged to meet up at Karla’s house. Once we were all together, Karla agreed with the girls request to let Alysa and Paige stay over at my house again. While we were waiting for the girls to get their clothes together, Keri and Karla both wanted to show me all the things they had purchased. I just sat and listened with Ranger and Bell; who were begging for attention and the two cats would make their presence known too. Sometimes, I sit in Karla’s house and it feels weird. I have been getting confused; Is it two families with to homes or two homes with one family.

My feelings for Karla is that of a sister, maybe; a good friend at least. Karla is single and goes out with her friend to meet guys and it doesn’t faze me in the least. I have even helped her. So, I know that I haven’t built any strong feelings for her. It’s been funny watching Alysa however, size up the men that has been by to take Karla out. Deep in my heart, I know it will be a long time before I allow myself to have feelings for someone. I don’t trust myself, and don’t wish to make mistakes or see others hurt. Good friends are all that I wish to have right now. Linda asked me a question tonight when she called; it left me thinking. “While I’m in Kentucky, do you plan on seeing other people?” My answer was, “No! I have too much going on in my life and don’t need any more complications.” I meant it too. Of course, Linda managed to be hurt by this. I’m not exactly sure why. Her response I understood, but the reasons why she was asking… “Is that the only reason? Never mind, I don’t want to know.” She was crying as she hung up.

By the time the all the kids were tucked into bed it was 10:30 p.m. Much later then I would have liked, because Keri was going to be responsible for getting Alysa and Paige to the bus stop. Keri and Stella were going to be able to stay home. I gave them a chance to face their emotions without being in school. It also provided me with a comfort from my fears; Stella couldn’t be picked up at school if she wasn’t there. I finished packing the car with Keri’s help. We did our best to ensure Linda’s list of wants was met. This would prevent Linda needing to come to the house with a MP escort. I would also help her and give her a chance to get to Kentucky without a lot of stops. It was about 2:30 a.m. when everything was in place and I could get the car to the hospital. While I was in route, I called for a taxi and scheduled it to meet me there. Everything started falling together like clockwork. I was back home by 3:30 and sent Keri to bed, she was having a hard time sleeping. Not wanting to mess up the timeline, I stayed up and worked on catching up a few things, like my blog. My routines were blown totally apart this week.

---Friday, November 14th: 6:30 a.m., I started waking up the kids; Keri first of course. She had my responsibilities for getting the girls up, fed and over to Karla’s. I left her to it; she knew how important this was. Karla was awake at home if Keri needed her. I arrived at the hospital by 7:15 a.m., the Sheriff’s department wasn’t there. I made a few phone calls while I was waiting in the van. I finally was able to get the Dispatcher to patch me through to the Deputy that was going to server her. He asked a few question and told me that he had already called the Mental Health Facility and held up Linda’s release until he was able to arrive.

It was about 8:45 when he arrived, with the folder I had dropped off in hand. It was the same officer that Linda had a very negative altercation with while we had lived in Clayton. I was expecting this to go really bad. If Linda acted like she did last time; he was more then likely just throw hand cuffs on her and put her in jail. It was almost 10:00 when the hospital released Linda. She came out with Deb. The officer read her the Protection Order and asked her if she understood. She said that she did, but proceeded to ask the officer, “If I can’t talk to him, would you ask him for they keys to the car!” The officer and I looked at each other with questions on our faces. I repeated what he had read to her and stated that she could talk to me so long as she didn’t make contact the kids or my job, and she did not come by the house. She asked where the money was. I told her in the car. She asked how much. I told her $260.00. She started crying and saying that wasn’t enough. Deb intervened and directed her to the waiting area and the Officer and I left. It took all of 15 minutes. I knew it was more then enough money to get to Kentucky. I didn’t understand. Was she upset because she didn’t get what she wanted, was fearful of getting stuck, or did she have something planned that was going to cost her more money.

I returned home to find both Stella and Keri asleep in the living room. I sat there for a few minutes watching them sleep. I couldn’t go to sleep yet, and I didn’t want to wake them. I managed to get some sleep after Keri woke up. She handled getting the house cleaned up while I was asleep and I gave her some money for Jamie and her to go to the movies on post. With that accomplished, I was planning a little quiet time with Stella. It didn’t happen. But something better did. Karla called and asked if Stella would like to join Alysa and Paige for Awana. I didn’t know what that was but she explained it as a Bible Study for kids. That sounded real good and after asking Stella, we agreed. Stella and I rode with Karla’s family to the Fellowship Baptist Church in Watertown. Once we arrived Karla told me it was actually called the Master Club, but it was the same concept.

Stella was a little nervous, but excited at the same time. After leaving the children there, Karla and I went to the mall to hang out until it was over. Once we went back to pick them up. Stella came out telling me that she wanted to come back. All of the kids enjoyed their time there and it was just the right opening I was looking for. I have wanted to get my kids back into church. This is just one of the many reasons for me to know God is still with me. When the time is right, He will light the way.

After we left, Karla and I took the kids to Friendly’s for dinner. Good Food, slow service, but served its purpose and made the night enjoyable. It was almost 10:00 p.m. when we got home and the children were all dropped off at my house for another night.

To know how I keep my faith in God; all I have to do is look into the face of a child while they are sleeping.



Aleera said...

Wow i am sorry things are going this way for you.

Melissa said...

wow, Im amazed at all you go thru and still manage to keep ur faith in God, thats great. You seem very strong, I wish i was. I've been stressing out alot lately.

Tabby said...

Stay strong Ken, you are doing what is right for your children. One day at a time. Those kids love you so much and you seem like a wonderful, reliable and caring father. Time will tell how things play out in the future for you and Linda. I am glad you have your neighbor friend for support I am sure it makes it easier. The pictures of the girls are precious.
God Bless