Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Flawed Legacy - 24

With our boys gone and technically, subject to a "breaking and entering" charge, and another of my former wife's maneuvers, I sat down and cried.  "What had I ever done to deserve this?'  One thing came to mind, I was not going to blame her, nor the boys.  They had lived in the midst of lies that were beyond even my most vivid imagination.  And I began to recall the day I went up to Santa Barbara to talk with her father.  I had had no interest in knowing him, especially as her mother had claimed that she was conceived after a one night's stand.  Even that proved to be a lie.  Now, how could I blame Janice, not understanding her life before we came to know each other?

Her father did not deny the claim, nor did he offer any advice to me.  Janice was a by-product of what some might claim to be, a sordid affair.  He offered no apologies, nor did he want t be saddled with any relationship.  He was married, had children of his own and had no interest in revealing his past to his current family.  I thought I understood and let it be.  I never mentioned that conversation to Janice and actually, I felt sorry for her.  She had a father who would not even acknowledge their relationship and I had a father who - as far as I was concerned, had never acknowledged ours.  Life offers us strange "coincidences" at times, I was beginning to realize.

My job turned out to be another fiasco.  The owner was completely paralyzed, caused when he dove into an empty pool at a Holiday Inn and sued them.  I thought I could "minister" to him as he acted as if they were at fault and the sizable settlement he had received was not sufficient to cover his costs.  And he assumed that everyone else was as corrupted in their thinking as I came to realize that he was.  We were not meant to be together and I have often wondered why I even considered his offer.

As I left the owner of the space in which the offices were located wondered why I was leaving and I gave him my impression.  How much does it cost to open an agency, he asked and to make another longer story shorter, we went into business together in another spot in the same building.  It was slow going at first, but there was a huge blizzard in the Buffalo, NY, area and I had access to a list of engineers from that area who were stuck at home.  It was an easy interview by telephone.  I had potential clients in the Texas area where there was no snow and the temperature was in the mid-70's and 80's which made the change very plausible.  In the next 45 days, we placed eight engineers at significantly higher wages than they were used to and best of all, their new employers paid our fees.

What had turned out to be "sour grapes" suddenly turned into expensive wine.

There was a former Cowboys player working in the same building and we met one evening at a new restaurant on the ground floor.  I knew about him and he became very interested in me and what I was doing and within the month, he offered me a part-time job that paid a lot of money.  I had used some of my earlier earnings to employ a lawyer in case Janice came up with some financial obligations and now, considering the fact I would no longer be representing a company or my name, I asked him to look at the possibilities of an illegal scheme.  All I was doing was to quote a price on a variety of products that they were purchasing and schedule a delivery.  It paid very well.  But my lawyer questioned some of the transactions and apparently, discussed it with the police.  They came to see me, plain clothed officers who examined the records I was keeping and left saying I was doing a good job.  Then, one of them came back to me with an offer to sub-let his apartment while he and his wife moved into their new home.  It was a good deal.  Three months later, they offered me another job in another city.

I went to see my lawyer who had drawn up a plan by which he would have me pay the State of California a substantial sum to offset any potential claims for past or future child support and when I learned that my "part-time" job was coming to an end, I decided to close my other business as well, and instructed unpaid fees to be sent to the lawyer's office to be added to the amount we would be sending to California.

All the while, I had been attending church regularly, sometimes one church and another, and whenever possible attending Bible studies as well.  I had quit drinking all together and spent a lot of my time in various "missions" offices around the city.  Knowing the trial and tribulations I had suffered through, I was convinced I would be able to help others - not with money, but with my impressions of how God had worked in my life and was changing the man that I was to become the man I hoped to be.

With no job at hand and no interest to go back to what I had been doing, I asked God what He wanted me to do.  It was just a passing thought, but within moments I swear I heard Him say, "Go, be with My people."  I never questioned that.  I got up from where I was, called a friend to come and dispose of everything I was leaving behind and with my keys hanging in the door, I literally walked out of town 

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