Tobas circa 2004.


This tale begins at the end of 2004.  I was still married, and I was about to go through one of the hardest years of my life.  At my job, we had a new guy come in as our assistant manager.  He was quite large, and quite black.  When I say large, I mean it in the stocky sense, as he was not much taller than I was.  And he was not fat either, its safe to say he looked like Micheal Clarke Duncan, but about a foot shorter.

He was somewhat nice, yet he went about his business in a military fashion, despite not being a military man.  Often he would state regular phrases in such a way, that even asking you to do something simple seemed like a rude remark.  Myself and the ladies I worked with often wondered what his poor wife must be subjected to.  He made comments about her weight, appearance, and sometimes he did so to the girls at work too.  I could tell he was trying to be “one of the girls” by commenting on fashion faux pas and split ends, but it generally came across as prying and obnoxious.  Now it might seem that I am painting a grim picture here, but it wasn’t always quite so bad as all that.

As time went on, we began to talk, him and I.  By this time I was having major difficulties of my own, and we began to share war stories.  I thought mine were bad, and the truth is, well, mine were worse.  But not only did he give me a run for my money, he added his critical barbs often aimed at his wife.  In short, I would imagine it was not very fun being married to him. 

He had two boys as well, and in that department, he put me to shame.  He was the athletics coach, he was on the parent council, he picked them up from school, and pretty much ran the show, he was quite possibly one of the most involved parents I have ever seen.

He brought his wife to several events we had.  She was a pretty woman, a little on the heavy side, but nothing close to making her unattractive.  We spoke on several occasions, and she came across as sweet, and shy.  In truth, I felt a little bad for her.

Eventually he was promoted to a different position, and I saw him rather infrequently.

Over the summer, one of the girls I work with told me that he was getting separated.  I was immediately saddened to hear this, knowing the price he would have to pay as a father.  I felt like calling him, and saying, ‘look, just get your shit straight, work it out, go to therapy, it is not worth it, stop acting like a dick.”  But I did not.

Months went by, and the other day, the same girl tells me, ‘hey, did you hear what happened with such and such’?  I say no, thinking the worst, and then she goes on to tell me, ‘he worked it out with his wife’.  I was relieved, and I was very happy for him.  In a way, I was glad to write this now, because last night at the christmas party, I talked to him about it.

He told me how hard it was for him.  I completely understood, but then he went on to tell me that he was a damn fool, and that he made a mistake.  He told his wife he was ready to move on with someone else, which apparently he was, but it did not work out so well.  She then found someone too, which he didn’t seem all too upset about.  But almost half a year in, he couldn’t take it anymore, and he knew he had made a huge mistake.  I felt his pain, I knew it must have been killing him to be away from those kids of his.  He pretty much admitted the same to me, and then told me how he sat them down and explained how he had been selfish, and how sorry he was to them. 

He went back to his wife, and he begged her forgiveness.  She was already seeing someone else at this point, he knew.  She thought about it for several days, and finally came back to him and gave her answer.  He told me she said she forgives him, but a big part of it has to do with how great of a father he is, and the fact that she is still his wife, and a promise is a promise.  She then told him that that better be as bad as ‘for worse’ gets, because next time, it would be death ending it.  I was amazed.

Now there, is a quality human being.  I turned to him and told him, do not ever take that shit for granted, ever.  Everyone makes mistakes, when you find someone with the capacity to forgive like that, and the honor and dignity to live up to their vows no matter how hard it gets, and enough love for their children to recognize anything is worth their happiness, you grab them and never ever ever let them go.  The irony is, you often dont find out how incredible a person can be until you do something really, really stupid.  Therefore hurting them so badly in the process.

He got his boys back, and he looked me straight in the eyes and told me that he was like a whole other person.  And I believed him, because he loved those kids so much, and I know that would have been me too.

It made me so happy, and yet so sad.

What a sweet, loyal, wonderful woman, I wanted to hug her, honestly.