Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Throwback To A Comeback

There are no second acts in American lives.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

With apologies to the great Fitzgerald, beware the man who speaks in absolutes.  

It was on this very day five years ago - having departed this workplace that I have called home since January 1998 for what I reasonably (and as it turns out mistakenly) believed would be greener pastures - that I came around again.  Opportunity knocked and the Firm and I - having spent the first quarter of the year separate and apart from one another - reconnected.  It is a decision that I have not regretted for one day since I made it.  Five years ago.  This very day.

Life being what it is neither the Missus nor I had any idea just what she was going to endure in the thirty days after we had experienced what was for us a very happy day.  On May 8, 2009 I decided to return to the Firm.  On June 2, 2009 Margaret's rock - her mom - succumbed to her long, vicious battle against cancer.  Irony is a cruel bitch indeed.  Suzy B. entered the hospital for what turned out to be the final time the weekend preceding my official 'restart' date at the Firm.  

During the entirety of her mom's battle against cancer, Margaret not only ran our household, which meant taking care of Suzanne, Rob and the big moron to whom she is married, but she also ran her parents' household too.  She became the primary caregiver for not only her Mom and her Dad but, up until she died in early August 2008, for Nanny too.  

While Margaret stood front and center supporting everyone, I did what little I am capable of doing to provide support for my wife.  I wanted to make sure that she was capable of standing upright for as long as she could and did not grind herself down to a nub while trying to take care of everyone else and trying - against impossible odds - to save her mom.  

During the first quarter of 2009 though I dropped the ball.  I presume that because I had become so preoccupied over my own work-related angst that 'what little I am capable of doing' dropped to a level that even an asshole like me recognized as unacceptable.  I was not there for Margaret as I needed to be.  I had elevated wallowing in self-pity to an art form.  I hated myself for doing it.  I remain pissed at myself now as I think back upon it.  

I remain forever grateful that due in signficant part to an opportunity with which I was presented, which opportunity I had the good sense to pursue, on this very day five years ago I finally extricated my head from my own ass.  I resumed being the rock that Margaret needed me to be for her while she was the rock for everyone else.  I regret that I let her down.  I regret far more however that Suzy B. died less than one month later. 

It is a cliche to be sure but it is true.  Sometimes you cannot fully appreciate what you have until you no longer have it.  I cannot say that I regret the decision I made that led me to step away from the Firm for the first quarter of '09.  Had I not done what I did then my point of view of this place that I call home would likely be different than what it is.

That which does not kill me...



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