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What I heard from Tim Roosenberg at Impact Community Church somewhat reminded me of my father’s widow, his second wife, Joann, who nearly was run over by her own car in the driveway of my father’s home. She conceived that it was Satan who had tried to kill her and that led to her being converted into a far-right born-again Christian. Another way she could have viewed it was she had made a mistake and an angel of the Lord had saved her, a sinner, in the nick of time.
After the close call and her conversion, she came across as very sure of her high standing with God. I saw her do several terrible things in God’s name, and I, not even being a church-goer at the time, was the one who got to call her on it, and my father, too, because he was letting her get away with it. That’s what led to the estrangement between my father and me; he felt he had to choose one of us, and he chose her. I never told him he had to choose her or me; I simply told him to stop aiding and abetting the evil she was doing. I also told them both that she was getting gold stars in heaven for helping him, my father, get off booze and narcotics, and keeping him alive. He had a terrible pain in his back for several years, which the narcotics were used for. He was an alcoholic most of his life, but in his later years he got over that, as far as I knew. He was a professed Christian all his life, but I did not hear that he became a born-again Christian.
I had every right to be in that role, because I was the only person who stood with my father, I was his best man, I carried her wedding ring. I was God’s witness to their marriage, when my brother and my father’s brother and his wife, and all of my father’s friends opposed my father marrying her. I told my father that I didn’t know her, it was his life to live, not theirs, and he would have to live with her. He thanked me for saying that, and for agreeing to be his best man.
On receiving news of my father’s passing in August 2005, I wept, not because he had died, but because we had not patched things up between us. I had felt all along we would patch things up, but I was wrong. However, he for years had come to me in dreams with the kind of advice any son would want to have from his father. After he passed over, I was told in a dream that he had gone to heaven. He continued coming to me in dreams with advice I needed. He still does that.
I then struggled with what to next report, even as dreams about my father’s second wife, Joann, kept coming. A dream early this morning pointed me toward summarizing what I and my second wife, Jane, experienced with my father’s second wife, Joann, regarding her only child Suzanne’s only child, Landon, whose father was Ed Ash, or perhaps it was spelled Ashe. Ed and Suzanne both are deceased.
When it didn’t work out for Ed and Suzanne, they began divorce proceedings. I don’t remember how I heard of it, but what I heard was that Suzanne and Joann, and apparently my father, who would have had to bankroll it, offerend Ed money, the amount I did not hear, to give up all Ed’s parental rights to Landon, as part of Ed and Suzanne’s divorce settlement. I called Ed and told him what I’d heard and that I hoped he would not agree to it. He said he had no intention of agreeing to it. I said our conversation never happened. He said okay.
The divorce was finalized and Ed received, as I recall, twice a month weekend visitation with Landon, a week during the Christmas holidays, and I think a period of time in the summer. Landon was still young, maybe 2 years old, give or take.
The following Thanksgiving, Jane and I attended a family gathering at the in-laws of my brother Major’s first wife, Gail. Major and Gail’s two young children were there, and Suzanne, Landon, Joann and my father were there. At some point during the evening, Jane told me she had heard Joann say Landon loved her, Suzanne and his grandfather (my father), and God wanted Landon to spend Christmas with them.
The next day, I called Ed and told him what Jane had heard, and for him to try to head that off at the pass. He thanked me for calling, said he was supposed to have Landon for a week, including Christmas Day, and said he would do what he could.
Christmas Eve, Ed called to say he had been trying but had been unable to get Suzanne on the telephone at her home, so he could arrange a time to come by and pick up Landon. Nor was he able to reach Suzanne at my father’s home. The line was ways busy when he called there that day. I said I would go to my father’s home and see what was going on there, if anything.
I drove there and went in through the garage door into the kitchen and saw the kitchen telephone off the receiver on a chair under the telephone. I saw Joann, Suzanne and Landon in the play room off the kitchen. I walked through the kitchen though the house to the den, where my father hung out. He was there.
I told him that Ed had called me because he was unable to get in touch with Suzanne about picking Landon up for Christmas, and that Ed had told me he was only getting a busy signal when he called my father’s home. I said Ed had said he had visitation rights this Christmas and he needed to be able to come by and pick up Landon. My father said all he knew was Landon was happy when he was there in his and Joann’s home. I said even so, there was a court order, and what Suzanne and Joann were doing was illegal. My father said he didn’t know about such things. I said he did know about such things and he was part of it, and he should get it straightened out. He said he would not do that. I said that was asshole, a father is entitled to be with his son. I said I’d had my own problems getting to see my daughters at times. My father did not budge. I said, okay, if that’s how it was going to be, then Jane and I would not be up there the next day for Christmas. I said I hoped it would not come to that, but no way I could be there Christmas knowing what was going on.
I left, drove home, told Jane what all had happened. She agreed with me. I called Ed, gave him a full report and asked him to let me know if he was able to pick up Landon. Ed later called to say he still was not able to get through at my father’s home and Suzanne had not called him. Jane and I did not go to my father’s home the next day. Late in the day, my father came to our home with out Christmas presents and said we had ruined his and Joann’s Christmas. I said I was sorry about how it had gone, but our Christmas had been ruined by what he and Joann and Suzanne did.
Ed continued having trouble and I referred him to a local divorce lawyer I knew was from the other side of the tracks and would not feel any kind of social pressure from a prominent Birmingham family. From time to time I saw Ed’s lawyer, and he said he had filed suit but was not getting anywhere, Suzanne and her mother were stonewalling. My father’s law firm, which had zero divorce experience, zero child custody experience, was representing Suzanne. I figured my father was footing the legal bill, or the law firm was doing it for free because of how much money it made off my father and his company.
Then, I learned Suzanne had retained another lawyer, who knew what he was doing. I knew him about as well as I knew Ed’s lawyer. I wrote all of the above up and sent a copy to Suzanne’s lawyer and to Ed’s lawyer, showing both receiving copies. I said Jane and I were available to testify. When I saw Ed’s lawyer again, he said the stonewalling was still going on. He was at a loss how to get the matter resolved short of a trial. I said the way to do that was to subpoena my father and Joann as adverse witnesses. I said as soon as they realized they were going to have to be in court and be cross-examined and all of that getting into the local newspapers, the case would settle. When next I saw Ed’s lawyer, he said he had done what I had suggested and the case then had settled pronto. Ed had gotten the visitation straightened out.
There are other stories I could tell about Joann, the born-again Christian, but that one is on my plate for today, based on my dreams last night.
She is dying from Parkinson’s, a horrible disease I would not wish on anyone.
My father did not participate in any of my dreams leading up to this report. However, I view this report as the natural consequence of my father coming to me in a dream after he had crossed over, in which he told me he had meant to take care of some things before he left but had run out of time. On waking, I told him he’d had plenty of time but he had not wanted to take care of those things. I knew it had fallen onto me to take care of them, because I was his only child who would take care of what he had left undone, which he ought to have done. Looked to me that I was his only child who had truly loved him.
The internal toil leading up to this post today has been heaps of fun physically, emotionally, mentally and in my dreams. It’s still heaps of fun. I hope it pays off, makes me glad I did it, but that’s not why I did it. I did it because it was given to me to do.
Maybe more later.