Searching for love 

Published 2:06 pm Thursday, September 23, 2021

When I was growing up on a narrow stretch of road surrounded by hills, trees, and all sorts of animals running wild called Cash Hollow in the heart of Johnson City, I think back and can only remember one person in my life that ever truly loved me, in the word Love I mean truly felt something for me a feeling that put my needs above her own. People throw that word around carelessly these days but over the years I have come to truly understand what love is and finally what it feels like. But growing up I never experienced it from my mother or father, aunts or uncles, but I did from my grandmother who was, and still is, known as grandma birdie. 

As I grew I had few friends and even fewer family members. My father’s side of the family has always been a mystery to me, my mother’s side never saw us much so I married at the age of 23 to a woman who I thought loved me and I she. I did love her and I was able to prove that love when she got sick mentally.  I spent the last seven years of a 10-year marriage trying to work and care for her and then like many times before she ran off. Except the last time was for the last time. I was heartbroken. I felt as though my life had ended.  I was depressed, worried, in pain, my heart literally felt as though it would explode. Then I remarried and then remarried again. The last was the worst.  I was looking for the family and home that loved me searching for something I could not find. I either worked too much or not enough. I tried to build on my writing to provide a better life for us and even that got in the way. I either smothered or did not show enough attention. I just could not please anyone. 

One of my biggest faults is I tend to isolate people once I find a woman. I isolated friends that were always there for me. One such friend, Jason, was a young man I met while I was working at a church. He needed a place to stay so my first wife and I invited him to stay with us, and he has always shown me an undeserved loyalty. He never fails to come when I need help with any large chore like moving, I always regret calling him for fear of him thinking that I am taking advantage of his friendship, however he is a young man who builds his body with muscles so I guess I do take advantage of his strength.   

Then there are Donna and Doug Anders. When I was barely a teenager my parents would regularly kick me from the house and I was forced to stay in other people’s homes.  And Donna and Doug were a couple of these people. I know their son from the days of school and they would regularly open their door to me. With all the faults I have as a human one of my strengths is loyalty.  I was always loyal to my wives, but now I see that in doing that I isolated the friends that were there and now I am working on making up for lost time.  As good as friends can be, they cannot love you like family. Family comes first as it should be. 

In 2014 my first and only son was born. I was 39 and he was a surprise to say the least.  My first two wives were not able to bear children, so I had given up on the prospects. But he was born and I can honestly say that I have never felt such emotion in my life.  All of the relationships I had worked so hard to keep and failed so miserably at meant nothing. When I held my son for the first time, and when they asked if I wanted to carry him to the nursery, I paused even though I wanted to hold him the rest of the night my first words were, “I better stay with my wife she is in pain.” The nurse assured me that she would not even know I was in the room. So I carried my son to the nursery and we were the only ones there. I leaned over and I spoke with him.  I prayed over him, it was then and there I understood how God feels about us. And overwhelming unconditional love.  Elijah would pause his crying as if listening to every word I had to say.  The years that followed I chose to devote my life to work and make sure this boy always had the support behind him that I never had, he would have the best education I could afford, and his dreams would be my dreams. I want him to know his father is always here and will always guide and help him. I worked thirteen hours a day seven days a week in the beginning so my wife could stay home and take care of him. Then he began to spend his time with me at work while she was free to run around and do what she pleased. I never complained after all my son loved me completely and was with me and that was enough. 

The love I felt the day he was born has never subsided. It was on that day I understood what love was and is. True love is unconditional.  Love cannot be broken over a silly argument, love cannot be stopped by even death, and love cannot be pushed aside to make room for another. It’s either there or not. Love travels in many guises such as lust, momentarily happiness, desire, or even in material things. But true love, the love I felt that day cannot be destroyed. So after forty-six years of searching and my son is now seven our love for each other is unbreakable even though I get him every other weekend now which nearly kills me because we used to spend every waking moment together when he was not in school. He is my son and the love I have for him will never be replaced.  

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The last time. Manny Van John has found a lead on location of the axe man, so he and his men have confronted him.