I wish I was homeward bound

As you read this, I’m sitting down on my chair, hanging out with my son, drinking my coffee, and heading to work. I’m going to see clients, do paperwork, and head home. And this is where it’s going to get crazy. And I mean crazy. Because I’m going to go home to my new house. And I don’t even know my new address. This whole situation is freaking me out.

This story starts about 11,470 days ago. April 20, 1985. It actually was a little after midnight on April 21, but my poor choices began a few hours earlier. My best friend, I and a few other friends procured adult beverages, which we shared. I proceeded to get in the car with my best friend. I won’t go too much more into the details, beyond sharing that I woke-up in the UCLA Trauma Center a few days later. Through the haze of a traumatic brain injury, I learned I’d had seizures and been in a coma for three days. Later, I was informed that I would be taking medication to control epilepsy, likely for the rest of my life.

Let’s be honest, things could have been way, way, way worse. Sure, my memory and ability to think clearly were shot for a year or more, and I had another grand mal seizure in 1986. But after finding a regimen of anticonvulsants that did their job well enough, I did well in school, found a career I love, got lucky in love, and have a great son.

Unfortunately, a few years ago, my meds stopped providing the sort of seizure control I needed. I didn’t have any grand mal seizures, but I wasn’t quite stable enough, and my neurologist reported me to the DMV. License revoked.

I was blown away on so many levels, the most immediate being that I had no way to get to work. We lived in the suburbs, and public transportation to and from there is way below par. Believe me, we tried every possible way to figure it out. But short of spending at least $1,000/month on a cab to and from work (Uber didn’t exist back then), we were forced to sell our house as quickly as possible and move closer to work.

Unable to drive and with strict orders not to ride a bike, our options were limited to places within walking distance to work. Fortunately, we found a really quaint place to rent.  Unfortunately, quaint places to rent also have downsides.  Owners miss their houses and move back in. Sadly, the same thing happened again.  And then again.

Facing our 4th move in four years, the thought of renting again was unbearable, and we made the decision to buy again. It’s something we should have done a couple of houses ago, but didn’t for a variety of reasons. Through a bunch of hard work, expert advice and luck, we’ve found our perfect house. Late this afternoon, I’m going home to what my wife and KD call our “forever house.”

This “forever” part really resonates when it comes to KD. My boy is incredibly optimistic and resilient, and he hasn’t complained much about moving from house to house to house to house. Still, I feel just horrible that, as a direct result of a really poor choice I made long ago, I haven’t provided the kind of stable living environment he deserves. This is my job as his father.  Today, I can feel good again about the job I’m doing.  Being in our house on Father’s Day will be just perfect.

Until next time…

4 Responses to I wish I was homeward bound
  1. elizabeth
    June 16, 2016 | 8:33 am

    What a happy ending…….And you have provided a wonderful stable loving environment for your amazing son……….

  2. Marsha Wietecha
    June 16, 2016 | 12:00 pm

    You’ve always been “My Steve.” Ever since I meet you back some 20 years ago, pre-marriage and son, I knew you were a gift from God. Why? Because you are a survivor, you are passionate, you are loyal, you are determined and you have the capacity to love fully. There is no need for apologizes. Life lessons come in many forms and you are an example of how to overcome and proceed! I will always be the President of your Fan Club!!

  3. Kieta
    June 16, 2016 | 2:22 pm

    You’ve made many, many good choices since that day thirty years ago. Just saying.

  4. Barbara Salapek
    June 17, 2016 | 7:43 am

    You are incredible, Steve. Everyone has a past that some of which we would chose to ignore, but you have chosen to give us an example of sharing a bad choice and what it could
    mean later in life. You are an amazing man and great father for Kevin Duffy and wonderful husband to Stephanie and a very special therapist. Love you !

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