I’ve been playing ball since I was eleven years old. I met Moose when I switched to a new team for the 2008 season. Until then I only knew him by face and name from my baseball world.
My first memory of him is of a wet night after a ball game (we were still on separate teams at the time) and there was a contest between him and a guy from my team to see who would get the last beer. There was a huge puddle between first and second base and whoever could go through it and get the dirtiest would be declared the winner. The guy from my team went first and slid right through that puddle feet first. He was soaked basically all down one side of his body and everything below the waist. I didn’t know Moose at the time and I thought it would be tough to beat, haha. Big mistake. When he took his turn, he got a running start and dove head first all the way through that entire puddle. I’m pretty sure not one inch of him was left dry.
I joined his team (the Strokers) two or three years after that maybe. I remember contemplating him briefly at the beginning of the season as a prospective partner, but because he smoked I told myself “no” and didn’t think about it again for quite a while. We didn’t talk to or acknowledge each other much. He was just one of the guys on the team and I never knew what to say to him. I really have no idea when or what made him notice me but about halfway through the season he started to sit beside me on the bench for brief moments and ask me how I was. He would do this a couple of times during or after the game and it amused me because he would ask the exact same question each time, I would answer, and then neither of us knew what to say next so he would leave. As time went on he got braver. I remember him telling me I have nice eyes on a few occasions. Again, I was amused but not taking him seriously.
I’m not sure when it was that I began to live for the days I had a ball game when I would see him. We got closer and closer after that and although his smoking bothered me, I was surprised how the fact that he had a five-year-old daughter didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I think it helped in that it proved he was already a responsible, caring father – something I really wanted in a partner one day. Things became official between us mid July of that year (2008).
The best way I could describe our relationship was intense. There was always a lot of passion and affection. When I would watch a romance movie, for the first time in my life I was not wishing I had what I was seeing, but was instead so unbelievably ecstatic knowing that I actually had it! I have never loved a man as much as I love Moose (except Dad and the bros of course) and no one has ever been able to make me laugh so much, even when I’m mad. There is something about him that just makes me swoon – even now. I used to love driving home from work, knowing that my family would be at home waiting for me. I loved how my family depended on me and needed me. I took care of them and they loved me for it.
Things were so good and happy with us that I wasn’t upset when I became pregnant. It was an exciting, surreal and emotional experience. Issues in our relationship that I hadn’t bothered to worry too much about until then, suddenly became very important with my child’s life in the mix. I had an idea in my head of the way I wanted things to be for my child’s life and while the majority of it was either great or acceptable, there were other aspects that did not fit at all with what was going on.
I remember the day Moose told me about his life; about his mom. Anyone who’s heard it can understand why he chose to cope in the way he did. My instincts were to run but being the optimist that I am, I saw someone who dearly needed to be loved, someone I could help. I thought I could love him enough to take his pain away. I thought I could love him enough that he wouldn't need to drink anymore. And love him I did! I didn’t leave room for any other option in my head. I was in it with him for the long haul; for life. In making him the love of my life, I gave him the love of his – our baby girl.
The period after Nevae’s birth was peaceful for the most part, minus the frustrations of hormones, a crying baby, and my lack of sleep. I’m not sure when things began to really change. Maybe it was me who changed. At least, that’s what he always claims. “It wouldn’t be a problem if you didn’t have a problem with it,” was one of his favourite sayings.
After three years of trying every possible thing I could think of to help him, help myself, help my family, and to simply live with the alcoholism, I finally gave in to my failure. But even then I hadn’t let things go. I was hoping by giving him distance from his family, he would realize what he was missing and choose us over alcohol. I have since learned that an addiction trumps everything. I have learned many other things as well. I have learned to take care of two amazing children on my own, I have learned the colossal importance of good family and friends, of continuing to do the things one loves, of keeping one’s head above water.
This Father’s day will mark the one year anniversary of our separation. Words cannot describe the immense amount of pain I have felt over the last year. I have cried myself to sleep and through many days. I have wished I was dead to the point of writing goodbye letters to my family. I have coasted along this road, keeping afloat, trying to hold onto my “self” (with many mistakes in between) and wishing to be happy again.
In keeping true to myself, I have refused to be thoughtless when it comes to special days like birthdays and Christmas. For Halloween last year I stopped at his apartment above the liquor store so the girls could “Trick-or-Treat” at his door in their costumes. When he didn’t answer, the girls were disappointed so I went into the bar and asked for him. It was then that I found out he had a 23 year old girlfriend.
For his birthday in November I made him a photo album of his girls over the past three years so he would have them and not just me. My scrapbook that I am so proud of is full of him and I can only look at it when showing it to someone else. This year, for father’s day, I helped the girls make him a hand-tree painting. Today when we made it, I found out that his 23 year old girlfriend is now pregnant with his baby. I would like to say that I don’t give a shit. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe it will be the final straw for my feelings for him to go away. But my daughter is now going to have another sibling. My daughter is now going to have the exact family life I most wanted to avoid for her. And there is no longer any doubt whatsoever that he is finished with me; that I wasn't good enough for him. It's a slap in the face to tell me yet again that I failed to make him happy.
My instincts are again telling me to run but so far I’m still here, and I’m still me. There is a great quote out there that says, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” I just keep wondering how long of a journey this is… Ironically enough, the two strongest things that keep me going are the very best parts of him and the best things he ever gave me or ever will again - my girls.
Please don't take this outpouring to mean that I only see the negative in my life. I am very grateful for SO many things. This pain is only one aspect of my being and it just happens to take over a lot of the time. I'm hoping that by writing this and sharing with others, it will get things out of me enough to finally let go. I also feel the need for people to understand that even though this person has broken my heart repeatedly with the choices he has made, I still love him. Inside him is a really good heart and I only wish he could have seen himself through my eyes...