Hi There Blog Readers! Grab a drink, a comfortable place to sit, and let me share my (long) story with you.
Anthony Ryan Deibler
June 4, 1982 - May 22, 2013
The year was 2001 and I met my first, very true, love. His name was Tony and he was the bad boy. I liked those types. He had a bit of a reputation, but he loved me.
Fast forward to 2005...We had been through many break-ups, fights, and memories. He was not faithful, but I loved him and thought it would change if I married him.
November 2005 I married Tony. I had become Meredith Deibler. I was happy, he seemed happy, life was good. We started building our first home and "playing house". I wanted a baby, he didn't really, but I had bugged him enough. Tony worked the night shift, so I didn't seem him much except for the weekends... it seemed like an easy enough marriage. We started trying to have a child in July of 2007.
August 2007 - One evening while Tony was at work I had a man approach me on my door step. He informed me that his wife was involved with my husband. Because Tony had been a cheater in the past and because I was never quite sure when he was being faithful, I didn't hesitate to move myself out of the house and then approach him from somewhere safe... he wasn't always the calmest person to approach.
The accusations were true. The phone records showed there was potentially more than one person who he had been talking to for several months. I was crushed. I was angry. I went into denial. I went into thinking somewhere I had gone wrong and my husband couldn't find happiness with me. I made him move out of our newly built home over Labor Day weekend. He professed his love, apologized, said he would change. I stuck to my guns even though it was the hardest thing I had ever done.
September 7, 2007 - My period was late. I took a pregnancy test and saw two lines instantly appear. My wish had come true, I was going to be a Mommy.... but without a husband? I instantly called Tony and he asked me if I was going "to take care of it". From that moment on, I knew I'd be alone and I had made the correct choice to leave my marriage.
I went ahead with the lawyer, the court hearings, the battles no one should ever face. My young 23 years made me feel like I was 38. Tony felt that I would take care of everything since I was the one who wanted the divorce. By this time he was living with another woman and was very bitter and angry - and I wasn't? The divorce dragged on a very long time because I stopped taking him to court. If he wanted a divorce, he was going to need to finish it.
May 2008 - Olivia was born. Tony was at the hospital for the delivery. I very distinctively remember him stepping out as soon as she was delivered and talking to the other woman... "Yes, that is her crying! I'm a Daddy again! She's perfect!". Although he was sharing this moment with another woman, I was elated that maybe he did want to be Dad!
I was wrong. He stopped by once when she was 6 weeks old - he never returned. His Mother, Karen, was very excited to have another grandchild (Did I
mention Tony was already a father to another beautiful daughter whom he
stopped seeing once we separated?) and was there every step of the way..
and still is.
March 2010 - My divorce was finally finalized. Tony had gotten a lawyer and ended the very long and messy divorce. He was to start paying child support and his custody arrangements stated "reasonably and seasonably". My lawyer knew Tony would not be around (as he had already shown) and therefore stated the minimum for visitation.
In June of 2010, I gave Tony notification that I was moving to Texas. He had 30 days to appeal the relocation. Never.heard.a.word. What I did hear, through mutual friends, was that I never let him see his daughter, I never called him, I never told him how his daughter was doing, I was moving her away to Texas to get away and never let him see her. I, I, I. It was never Tony's fault.
Karen is very active in Olivia's life. She keeps her anytime we are in Oklahoma, she spends every holiday she can with Olivia, etc. Karen, at the beginning, would call Tony every time she had his daughters and let him know he could stop by. She eventually stopped calling because it never happened. December 2011, Tony saw his daughter's for the very last time.
My life changed dramatically in June 2011. Timothy Neatherlin entered our lives and never looked back. My daughter has a Daddy. My daughter has a Daddy who reads her books, packs her lunch, takes her to school, fixes her dinner, plays dragon and princess. My daughter has a Daddy who will do anything for her and her mother. I married Tim in October 2012.
Life was calm. We travel to Oklahoma almost monthly to see my parents, Grandma Karen, and old friends.
May 22, 2013 - My phone rings and it is Karen. I'm trying to clean up the house and don't get to the phone in time. I hear the voicemail chime about the same time the phone rings again. It is Karen again. I answer and she is sobbing. Karen's Mom has been very sick and I instantly thought the worse. Her words are etched in memory... "Meredith, honey, are you sitting down? He's gone, we lost him. Tony is dead." Just like that my world stopped. It stopped so that I could grieve. So that I could comfort this beautiful lady on the phone. So that I could hug my daughter that much tighter before I went to bed.
Tony suffered an aortic dissections/aneurism. There was nothing that could've been done. His life on Earth was cut way, way too short. He had a wife, an extended family, parents, and two daughters who were forced to say goodbye too soon.
Olivia did not know Tony. I had kept that from her to protect her (God's plan?) from any pain or questions a 5 year old could not understand. She had even forgot Grandma Karen had a son.
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were spent honoring the life of Tony Deibler. I set aside my pride, my anger, my frustrations for a man who had once loved me, whom I had loved, and whom had given me my very best gift of my life.
I grieved. I sobbed. I yelled profanities. I had reached closure. Yes, he passed with many, many unanswered questions. His oldest daughter will never have answers. His youngest will always know his name was Tony, he was married to her Mommy, he was Grandma Karen's son, and he was mean to Mommy so her Mommy married her Daddy. That is all she will ever need to know, unless she wants to know more. When she is old enough and has questions, she will be encouraged to ask. But, she will never be lied to. She will never get a frilly response; her biological father chose to not be in her life. Period.
The funeral was filled with many of Tony's friends and family. More times than I can count I heard how much he loved his daughters. Someone even mentioned "setting aside differences so his daughters could know him, understand his love for them, and always know their daddy loved them." That one made me cringe. Yes, he may have loved him. But, passing on a paycheck isn't raising a child. This isn't about differences. This is about a man who chose to not give up his own lifestyle to raise the children he brought into the world. It isn't even about his love for his daughters, sure he may have loved them. I love lots of people, but I definitely show it in a different way than he did.
Call me selfish, call me what you wish, but this is my story. This is my life. This is my side. The only man to argue is no longer with us. The only man who has blood running through these two precious girls is no longer here.
I am still very sad. I had many great memories and friends with Tony. I'm so very sad for his Mother and his other family. At the services, there were many old friends who welcomed me with open arms and some who wouldn't even look in my direction. It stung a bit, but I'm strong. I've had to be strong. I've had to grow up entirely too fast.
This is my story. This is my life.