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As previously mentioned, I was married. The blessed event occurred July 30, 1988 at St. John Catholic Church here in Stillwater Oklahoma. We then departed for our honeymoon in Alaska.
Things progressed, she worked on a Masters in Natural Sciences, I worked on my Masters in Computer Science, and things were grand. She finished all but her final paper and had applied to OSU's Veterinarian School. As luck would have it, she got accepted and pregnant in an uncomfortable overlap of time. This caused her to defer her entrance by a year.
The upside of this is that we had our first daughter, Tori. She has continued to be a source of joy to all who know her.
Then, four years of Vet School befell my wife. To say the least, it was a trying time for all involved. I was called upon to take care of our daughter when she was sick, after work (so my wife could study, do labs, etc.) and pretty much any other time. Somehow we succeeded in getting through this period.
As the Vet School stint was coming to an end, my wife and I decided to try to have another child. As it worked out, our first son, Kevin, came into the world a few weeks after Lyt's graduation. Talk about timing.
After Vet School, my wife took a job with the U.S.D.A. Food Safety Inspection Service as a Veterinarian Inspection Officer at a chicken processing plant. This may sound like a weird place for a Vet to work, but it was quite a good thing for us at the time. Her college loans had come due, child care expenses were now doubled (with Tori and Kevin), etc., and FSIS paid well, provided retirement, etc.
Unfortunately, as this job was over 200 miles away from Stillwater in a fairly low-tech end of the state, I was unable to get a job to be with my wife. Because we needed to maintain a certain income level to keep the kids, house, etc., I kept my job at OSU and she commuted to her job. The 10:00pm - 8:00am shift that she was on didn't allow her to take either of the kids with her. After almost a year of this, we decided to call it quits. The long commute and the time away from the kids just was too much. My own inability to get a job nearby somewhere also caused a large amount of marital strife.
Luckily for my wife, the next job was just around the corner. One of her vet school friends was poised to buy out a retiring veterinarian's practice in Oklahoma City. My wife bought her way in as a partner and they went into business for themselves. About this same time frame, God blessed us with our second son, David. For about another year or so, my wife and David drove to Oklahoma City each day so that my wife could go to her job and David could be near his mom.
As time wore on, my wife became despondent about the amount of time she was spending on the road between OKC and Stillwater. Further, her self confidence in her abilities as a vet never seemed to jell up. In the end, she sold her share of the clinic back to her partner and returned home.
This brings us up to the next major event. On August 31, 1998, my wife's mother, Emma, visited our home here in Stillwater. She was on her way from North Little Rock Arkansas to Pecos New Mexico for a religious retreat and had decided to visit her daughter and our kids. I was in France doing some intra- company training on the product that I was chief technical support for. After Emma left our house, she was never seen again. Several weeks later, they found her car and all of personal belongings. To this date, we've never found Emma.
The various stresses on our lives has come to a head. Late in September of 1999, I filed for divorce from my wife. Various unhealthy aspects of our lives have proven to be just too much. I continue to try to work through all of the issues for myself and our children, but as of this writing, the divorce is not yet finalized.
If you would like to read more about my divorce and the various emotions it has evoked, feel free.