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A year of changes

In just a few days 2008 will officially come to a close forever – yippee! Finally it’s over! It’s been a crazy year – one that saw some of the worst moments in my life and yet, oddly enough, some of the best.

Still in shock over my own experiences this year, I am humbled by the degree of change that can occur within a year – even within a day.

Some people can live year to year keeping the same routine; even the same worries and joys. My father is like that, but not me — oh no, not me.

A little more than a year ago my wife and I owned and published two magazines in Meridian, one of them we had developed over a two-year period and was fairly successful. The other one, which I took a lot of pride in creating, had just celebrated its debut issue. Everything seemed to be going up for us – at least within the business realm of our lives.

One year ago today, my wife of 14 years came home almost shaking after being gone all day. She said her eyes had been opened — she had finally discovered who she was and what she was meant to be. Then she lowered the hammer and said she would soon leave our family and wanted a divorce.

The next few months were literally a rollercoaster ride.

Every day was different. I could probably write a book with all the craziness and strange twists and turns of events that seemed to plague me on a daily basis. I would have never in my life thought I would have been faced with some of the things I had to deal with – literally nothing surprises me anymore.

The summer saw another change.

Life as a single father without being a business owner (I closed the business down after the divorce) opened up a new door for me. For what seemed like the first time in two years, my daughters and I were free to have fun.

We did the summer camps, Girl Scouting, took road trips, art classes, fishing, volunteered, participated in the State Games – whatever we wanted to do, we did. We ended up starting a Girl Scout troop through our church, and I became the coach of two soccer teams (It still boggles me how that one came about, especially since I had never coached anything in my life).

I know this sounds corny and I always cringe to admit it – mostly because I hate those #$#% commercials. But, I also met someone through E-harmony. I guess it does work. She fits my odd sense of humor (which is odd in itself), is literally my best friend and is great with the girls. She even works for the Girl Scouts – how great is that, especially for someone with three girls?

I also went back to my roots of covering news by coming to The Demopolis Times. I had spent the past few years developing niche publications, but before that I was a weekly newspaper editor.

Now, one year later from the day everything seemed to fall apart for me, I am engaged to marry again. My girls are doing great in school and have weathered the storm remarkably well. We constantly stay active and have a blast finding what new adventures we can get ourselves into. I’m even getting set to adopt a 10-year-old – bringing our household to six. My ex-wife is even starting to get more involved with the girls on a constant basis again. I can’t describe the difference one year has made.

One year ago today may have been one of the worst days of my life – a day that put into motion a lot of other bad days to follow.

But, without that one awful single day it would not have been possible for me to have the good days I am experiencing now.

This past year has certainly been a year of change for me.

I have no idea how 2009 will treat me, but I do know one thing. I’ll probably be looking back this time next year in amazement wondering how different things are. I just wish and pray it’s a change for the best. I’m sure it will be. Hope yours is too.

Note: John Few is a news writer for the Demopolis Times.