10 years

I was reflecting on this past decade and the first of this new century. There have been many changes, both personally and globally.

In March of 2000, I was married with a step-son and had just landed a job as maintenance supervisor at a nursing home. We got our first computer. Life seemed to be good.

For the first major event, I was walking, at work, when an aide called me into a room to see the TV. They were showing the first  jet to hit the WTC. while I was standing there the second hit and I knew it was not an accident. The world had changed forever.

The best friend I had, in this world passed away. Little “Maxi” Goodwin Jr. Even though Maxi was older than me he always seemed like a younger brother. I can’t imagine the hours I spent at his parents house. It was like a second home. I looked forward to our Saturday trip to Monroe. Next to losing my mother this hurt the worst. I still miss him today.

Then in 2002 I had a chance to go to Brazil and help build a church. I got my first digital camera, that revived my love of photography. This was a chance to give back for the good fortune I had. I was only there 3 days when I had another life changing event. I blood clot caused me to have a massive heart attack. I spent almost two weeks in the university hospital, before suddenly being sent home. I was still wondering why the sudden turn around when they said it would be at least another week before I could return home.

Upon arrival, I knew something was wrong, when my two sisters were not there. Then my brother came in to tell me my youngest sister’s husband had been killed in a car wreck. Once again things changed forever.

That was in July, I was unable to work and when my compensation ran out we were living on my wife’s small salary. By September I was working part-time, even though I wasn’t supposed too. I didn’t think life could get any worse. Then in November my wife lost her job. It had gotten worse. We were living on $97 a week unemployment.

During this time one of my nephews, and friends died. Bill ” Buford” Brown. I will miss his unexpected drop in visits. We grew up together as I am closer to his age than my brothers and sisters.

However, she soon got another job and my  health allowed me to work full-time even though I lost the nursing home job. I upgraded my digital camera and was taken many more photos. By 2004 we were doing quite well. I even had a new truck. I upgraded again to my first digital SLR camera. Things were about to change. In May, my wife and I split and I moved to Delhi with my sister. I lost all my camera gear and was back to some old film cameras. It was tough but by August 2005 I was getting back on my feet. I got another digital SLR and was shooting a few weddings.

Then Hurricane Katrina hit followed by Hurricane Rita. Gas was in short supply so I moved to Crowville, with my nephew, to be closer to work. If we could work. We missed so much work, that fall, I got so far behind on my truck notes, that by February 2006 I lost it to the bank. I had no vehicle, no work and no place of my own.

Things picked up by spring and I got a mini van and started to come back around. My photography picked up. Things went along pretty smooth, I should have known change was in the wind. Then the call came. One of my favorite nieces son, David was killed in a car wreck. Once again life would never be the same.

September 2008 was bad. It rained for days. Work was slow. Then my other sister’s husband had to go into the hospital. He never came out. Lung cancer got him. I had lost the man who was like a father. That had introduced me to the outdoors, hunting, fishing and my love of making things. Life changed again.

Then February 2009 I lost my job with my long time partner and friend. I did not know what to do. 53 years old and a bad heart is not the time to start over, but I went to work at my nephews motorcycle shop and life was good again. Then that fall it rained more than usual, worked slowed to a crawl and by December, I was out of a job again.

That was kind of up and down decade, for me. Now it is spring and things look better. Maybe this decade will be different. It is said that “Things that do not kill you, only make you stronger. Without my sister’s I would never have made it.

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