This I Believe

Darren - Dripping Springs, Texas
Entered on August 4, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe I did nothing to deserve this.

I dropped out of high school. Well, I deserved that. My own idiocy took me on that ride.

Then I worked with my father. About a year later, my father left for Hong Kong for two weeks on business. For the next year, I felt like an indentured servant to the business. They paid our rent and me some money that helped support my father’s expenses, my mother, my little sister and me, while my father’s ‘only two weeks’ turned into another two weeks, and then another two-hundred weeks.

Dad’s calls from Hong Kong were clockwork. Same times, same words: another couple of weeks, just a little longer. Eventually, the business exercised the luxury of losing faith and disassociating themselves from the project. They let us all go. My mom moved out of Texas and in with relatives, and so began her long tour of the south and relative’s homes. I moved to Austin. I fell in love with the hill country of Central Texas, and that town. I mowed lawns, worked in bars, gave plasma and honestly, I don’t know how I survived. I sent most of my money to mom. Spoke to my clockwork father every once in awhile, and enjoyed every ancient cypress beside every spring, creek and swimming-hole. I learned the history of central Texas. I hiked a lot. Always feeling, I don’t deserve this, all this beauty.

My father stopped calling me. His, ‘another three weeks, one week,’ another couple of years, I could no longer stomach. One day, divorce papers arrived, and after more horrid circumstances, my mom never deserved, the calls stopped all together. No one has heard from or found my father since.

About a year after that, at my last bartending job, I met my soon-to-be wife. She is much too beautiful for me. A little later, I became a father; the biggest transformation of my life. Truly, I did nothing to deserve my son. Nothing makes me more proud or engaged in life than my son. The love I’ve experienced; the Life.

Now we are divorced, but friends. We are, after all, parents together. Neither of us deserved how things turned out; our son especially. We both wanted out. We both focused on our son and not ourselves throughout the whole ordeal. You couldn’t ask for a better divorce.

Now I work for a good company, make better money than a high school drop-out deserves. Though I worked hard, and got my GED, studied and entered the tech world, I’ve been lucky. Damn lucky.

I’ve witnessed some unforgettable things in my life. The people I’ve met. The parties and 3 AM conversations, the many surprises and friendships I’ve enjoyed. Being young in Austin, married, a father, and then single again. Like all the tragedies I’ve suffered, that I did not deserve, I believe I did nothing to deserve this much beauty and love. I’m thankful.