It wasn’t until the next day that it broke me in half. After everything I’d been through the last several years, nothing brought me to my knees like that morning did. I was never sadder. It was of course a dismal Monday, and I was all alone in a vacant sub-division; a result of the housing collapse, mowing the right-of-way and main entry into an empty community.
There wasn’t a soul around, only two completed houses in a development that should have been several hundred homes; with swing sets, and mini vans parked under basketball hoops mounted on poles to the side of the driveways. Instead I was walled in by acres of cornfields. I drove the riding lawn mower over to the pickup truck and trailer to refuel. After I turned off the engine of the mower, the silence and loneliness of that moment sliced through me in the most intense and eerie way.
I sat along the shoulder of that lonesome country road and it all came crashing back at me; the time in prison, the bankrupted business, the time missed with my family, the hopelessness of my career. It wasn’t just that Shaun had left and I knew he would never live at home again. But I realized that nothing would ever be the same. And oh how badly I wanted it to be the same. Oh how I wished I could go back and do it over again. And now reality was staring me in the face, and the truth lay bare before me.