It’s Been a While

8 09 2013

I’m back! It has been a while since I last blogged and it feels good to be back. I am hopeful that I will be more diligent about blogging in the future. Life got really crazy for me a couple of years ago so I took a break from some things, including this blog, so I could focus on finishing grad school at Vanderbilt, assume a management position in my department at work, start guitar lessons (which I love!) and focus on building better and healthier relationships with the people that I choose to be in close relationship with. My family of choice.

I am excited to say I completed my MLAS degree at Vanderbilt on August 10, 2012! In May of 2013, I was hooded and received my diploma at the graduation ceremony on campus. The 3 year and 2 month journey was long indeed but it was worth it. I am so grateful the opportunity to further my education presented itself. It was an exciting day for me although there was some sadness. It was very difficult for me to go to my graduation ceremony knowing no family member would be present. Not one member of my immediate family attended graduation, and I am going to be very honest about this situation. It hurt. There are no other words to describe it. My family should be there and be supportive of me on a big day such as this but they don’t bother to show up. The disappointment was tremendous although it was not surprising. This is a reoccuring problem I have in my life. When I am going through difficulties or joyful occasions, my family doesn’t know how to be present or chooses not to be present. 

I was fortunate to have a group of friends who gave me time and assitance I needed to deal with my grief weeks before graduation. When I started to feel the downward spiral arriving once again, at yet another big event in my life, these friends stepped up and supported me. My friends I met in the MLAS program and some of my staff showed up for me at the ceremony to cheer me on and take pictures. My family just doesn’t show up for me at the times when I need them most and it is a painful part of my life that I work on accepting, without really understanding why, each time I want or need my family.

My family of CHOICE has come to mean so very much to me over the past few years and even if my family or origin lets me down, I do have a family I can turn to. I have confidence that my family of choice will be there for me in whatever way I need them to be present. This is the perfect example of how God fills needs in my life in ways that are unexpected. Growing up I thought my family would be there for me but God has brought new family into my life that is there for me when it really counts.

Trust the process. 

Be blessed,






One response

9 09 2013
Skip Spence

So great to hear… I have had the same thing since my divorce several years ago.. Not so much with family, but long time friends (out of sight, out of mind, oh, he’s got other friends, etc.)… I have enjoyed me year here, but don’t have the budding group of friends that I had in Naples, and Nashville… They look at you as a poor divorced soul at work, church and community. Nice place, but not to suited to mid-aged singles… Not once in a year, besides my pastor, his wife and my fellow employee and his great family, has ANYONE invited me for dinner, a night out with a group, etc… The sinners here have closer bonds and respect… I think it’s one of the most friendliest places, anywhere…. But, odd in depths of Christian friendships…. Work has mounted… It took five months for us to find a new full timer and work became 50-60 weeks, and now seems to be expected…. Not good on one’s health, or fellowship.. I am so tired be Sunday, I sometimes miss that bond at Church… Kiwanis is a great bunch of men and women, here… Thankful for that… There is rodeo, and a ton of small town (I MEAN SMALL … 250 to 800 folks in these little corn and cattle towns … That county seat size in the Dakotas)…. My lady friend in Florida has had health issues (a nurse)…. Trying to fly her up to see if this is a place to be… We have only 2.9 percent unemployment in our small State Capitol… Big med center for the central rural part of the State (between Sioux Falls and Rapid City)…. Mom and Dad are closing on the sale of their house and now have a nice condo… MISS BEING SO CLOSE to them… Cheap flights from Florida and 2.5 hours to their house from Nashville… But, a thousand miles in the wrong direction.. Became a great uncle this past week… New for me and Mom and Dad are now Great Grandparents at 86! They celebrate their 65th anniversary on Tuesday….. I am so glad you, Manley’s, Christa, Rob, Brian and others from my 13 months back in Nashville are on here.. Without Facebook and Email… I’D GO NUTS! True Christian Friends are what keeps me going… Keep posting thoughts.. I don’t know how I could put on a smile, if my family took little interest in what GOD is doing in my life? But, I was raised in the CLEAVER home, 15 years later…. Ha! II Timothy 4:7 and John 10:10 stay as my guide to this walk and life…. I have got my voice back.. MOLD in my first place, here was bad and I had to elevate the bed ’cause the reflux had returned (though nothing like I had 15 years back)… Do praise and worship, when I can… Run Karaoke, one night a week at a famous old restaurant-tavern in town.. They treat me like I’ve been here for years.. Humm? Live in a historic bank building on the cowboy side of the Missouri.. Fort Pierre (PEER is the yankee way to say it) is the old cow town. Pierre is the State Capitol side… 1903 and a gondola style Victorian place.. Two apartments upstairs and luxury on the old cowboy corner of Deadwood and Main… Landlord has his office in the sub-basement, commodity brokers and law office on the ground level and a member of the Board of Regents has the apartment across the hall… He is from Rapid City (Beautiful place by Rushmore)… So, it’s a mixed bag….. Always in prayer for my friends and know they do the same for me…. Miss South Street Dive Bar… Sunset Grill and ANY Demo’s….. But, STEAK is the real deal here! Right off the farm…. I.H.S….. R.E. “Skipper T.” Spence (on four radio stations here! And miss Christian Radio, though Way has talked with me some on my hometown. MINISTRY I do miss!) Go ‘Doors! Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2013 21:36:02 +0000 To:

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