Monday, October 11, 2010

My Life With Comic Books: Part # 156

The current cast of characters:
Paul Howley: age 45
Mal Howley: my wife
Adam Howley: my son, age 20
Cassy Howley: my daughter, age 16


As the 1999-2000 school year was ending, things seemed great. Cassy finished her sophomore year at Laconia Christian School with a straight “A” grade. She was also actively involved in a local abstinence program under the supervision of Julie Goetz from the Lakes Region Pregnancy Care Center. Cassy traveled to several local public schools to encourage the high school students to abstain from sexual activity and the students seemed to be open to Cassy’s “teaching.”

Adam was still working at the local “Friendly’s” restaurant while he was living with us but he really missed being around his friends in Rhode Island. He’d frequently drive to Newport to spend weekends with them and he’d come back late on Sunday night, exhausted and not too excited about going back to work. We talked about how important it is to enjoy your job. I tried to convince Adam to run a local collectibles show and we spent a day scouting the area for possible locations to run such a show. I wanted him to eventually have a reliable, ongoing source of income and since I had experience running collectibles shows, this seemed like a good idea. He also liked the idea that I’d be around to help him get started. But as we evaluated the different places to rent, Adam began to think that he’d prefer to run teen dance parties or “raves.” It took a while but I finally convinced him that the possibility of lawsuits because of injuries or other trouble wouldn’t be worth the risk.

I didn’t want to do all of the work necessary to start a collectibles show by myself. I was willing to do it with Adam but then he decided he didn’t want to put in the effort to run these shows either. I guess his passion just wasn’t the same as mine for collectibles.

Cassy had been dating a guy named John for about a year. Though she was only sixteen years old, she had true, strong feelings for him. (We couldn’t say much; Mal and I fell in love when we were only seventeen!) She was convinced that John was serious about a meaningful, long-term relationship. He was always respectful to Mal and I and he understood Cassy’s commitment to refrain from physical intimacy until marriage. He seemed okay with this until the summer, when the school took all of the male and female volleyball players to a volleyball camp in Pennsylvania. While they were away, John suggested that they break up. Cassy was heartbroken. John claimed “he wanted to get closer to God.” What he actually meant was that he wanted to get closer to one of the other girls on the volleyball team. Cassy felt betrayed when she realized that John wasn’t being honest with her. She cried a lot for many weeks. Nothing I could say to her could ease her pain and this made me feel helpless. As her Dad, I just wanted her to be happy and healthy. I was accustomed to being able to deal with any situation but now I couldn’t take away my own daughter’s heartbreak. What could be worse than this? We’d soon find out.

Next chapter: The left-over inventory from Mal’s rubber stamp store is put to good use!

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