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Thursday, December 12, 1996

Something's in my eye

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It actually happened twice to me during the Christmas Parade. It
happened to me once quite unexpectedly during the middle of an exciting
Loboes football game. The most embarrassing time that it almost happened
to me was in the middle of a short speech I was unprepared to give at a
luncheon meeting.

On the average, I would say it happens to me approximately three times
per week. On occasions, it has happened to me in my office when I glance
up at the photographs on my bulletin board. Most of the time it happens
when I'm watching television alone in my tiny apartment and I see
something that sparks a memory or unchains an emotion. When I'm in
public, I do my best to quickly stifle it.

When I'm alone, I often go with the flow and indulge myself. This isn't
easy for me to write, but what I'm referring to is crying.

I realize there are those reading this who believe I need treatment for
clinical depression. There are others out there who won't hesitate for a
minute to call me a wimp. Those who know me, know that I'm anything but
a New Age Sensitive Guy of the 90s.

I believe, under the circumstances, that tears and prayer have been the
only things which have allowed me to maintain what sanity I have left.

As you may or may not know - or care for that matter - I have a wife and
three sons half-way across the world on the Caribbean island of Puerto
Rico. My sons are ages 2, 7 and 11. To say that 1 have missed them would
be the biggest understatement of my life.

I left the island and came back to Texas last Jan. 3 for what was
supposed to be - at the most - a separation of a few months. Once again,
Life's old lesson of "Things rarely work out like we plan" was shoved
down my throat. To make a long story short, the path to Monahans was
much longer than both my wife and I anticipated.

Denice has been to visit here and she almost immediately agreed with me
that this town would be a great place to raise our sons. One of the
saddest parts about this situation is I realize I will never be able to
make up for the missed birthdays and holidays, the times of good grades
and bad, and, basically, the times that dad needed to be there and he
wasn't... No, I'll never be able to make up for that, but I sure as hell
am going to try.

I'm not ashamed that I've cried because I miss my family. Any man who
could not allow himself to cry for his family ain't much of a man in my

Next Monday night I may allow myself one or two more teats as the
Patterson family is reunited in its entirety for the first time in
almost a year. These anticipated "something's in my eye" will not be due
to sadness, but to joy.

This will be one Christmas season I shall cherish for the rest of my
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Copyright 1996 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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