Archive for Linda Beattie

Goodbye Dr. Ralph, hello Stanley

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2021 by macmystery

On this day, 5 years ago, the world said goodbye to Dr. Ralph Stanley, one of the greats of bluegrass music.

Maybe two weeks later, I joined my girlfriend at the time at the county animal shelter one summer afternoon, as she wanted to adopt a kitten.

As she and her mother made the rounds of all the tiny, furry, playful kittens in the cat room at the shelter, I — exhausted from a hot day at work — found a chair toward the other side of the room and kicked back with a nap in mind.

As I relaxed, and black and white kitten, a few months older than all of the kittens being fawned over across the room, made his way up onto my chest, curled up, and proceeded to join me in my nap.

After picking out a kitten, my girlfriend decided she would take home two, also selecting the kitten curled up asleep and purring on my chest.

There was no way, she said, we could leave him. After all, he had “picked me.” We had no choice but to pick him.

When it came time to give him a name, Stanley was the choice.

I don’t see Stanley anymore. He’s a victim of a relationship that didn’t last. And I don’t have any pictures of him to share. They were all on a hard drive that hard crashed about a year and a half ago.

But I haven’t forgotten him. After all, he picked me.

I can’t help but look back and be disappointed

Posted in Family, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2020 by macmystery

Two years ago last night, I, along with my kids, spent the night in my new-to-me house for the first time.

That, in and of itself, was quite an accomplishment. It was already almost two months after we closed, which was also delayed. Both bathrooms were torn out at the time of closing. Finally, by Aug, 24, there was one functioning, finished bathroom.

The delay in being able to move into the house played a part in the decision not to file for custody of Dylan and Ella. That was a tough decision then and I still go back and forth about what was the best thing to do.’ (I’ve since filed for custody.)

I had closed early in July. I had hoped Linda and I might “rough it” in the house on the first night. But circumstance had other ideas, and I didn’t see her until after midnight in what would be a pretty crappy week before a really crappy week, which I now know was even crappier than I was aware at the time.

Despite the circumstances at the time, I was hopeful. I finally felt like I was going in the right direction and there were good things ahead. I was in love, I was hopeful, I was optimistic. And a couple months later it all came crashing down.

And I tried hard to save it and thought we had, for a while at least. But a couple of bone-headed weeks for me were the last straws for Linda another couple months later and that was it. Though, to be fair, I believe now it simply wouldn’t have mattered. I think she intended to do what she did for a while and I just served it up for her.

And I’ve been in a hole ever since.

I’m well. My kids are well, happy and thriving, actually. I’ve taken a second job editing a weekly newspaper and I love it despite the stress.

But if I told you I was doing more than surviving, … getting by, … I’d be lying.

I penned a Facebook message two years ago tonight (Aug. 25, 2018) thanking my dad and Linda and friends who had helped me get to where I was after the hole I was in a couple years before.

You can’t tell the people you care about that you love them too often. You should do it at every opportunity. You never know when you won’t get another chance.

I must have read that note 15 times today. But I couldn’t share it. Though I still mean every word in that note, I can’t put it out there.

Looking back at that day and that note, it’s hard not to be disappointed at how things turned out. And I haven’t been able to just get over it.

I know all of this sounds cryptic. But I just needed to get it out. It’s for me, not you.

Despite the disappointment and all the other emotions I’m dealing with on a daily basis, I want to repeat the sentiment of what I wrote that day.

I want to thank my father, William McCombs, without whom I would be lost. Without fail, he has always been there for me. Everything I know about being a man, I learned from him.

Despite how things went and where they are now, I am grateful to Linda. More than I can express.

And I’m grateful to Dawn and Bryan and Ken and Fran and Erin and even Mike, though I’d be lying if I said that relationship wasn’t strained, as well.

At some point, I’ll get out of the hole. It’ll happen. I know it will. But until then, I’ll be here at the house, getting by.