2017-09-02 Recap from the last year

Dear Joseph and Lucia,

It’s been over a year since I last wrote you.  A lot has happened during that time.  My work in San Antonio got cut a little short due to getting real sick.  I was forced to come home.  It took months before I was anywhere near myself again.  By last November, I finally felt strong enough to start working.  After not finding anything in the immediate area programming, I opened up my options a bit and went to work for Geek Squad.

Kids, I’ve done a lot of different things for a living. Some were good and some were bad.  I can honestly say I’ve never let my pride get in the way making a living.  I will also tell you this… I loved working there.  I got to talk to people all day, make new friends, learn new tricks, and have fun.  I was old enough to be everyone’s father, but I was a kid right there with them and joked and laughed.  Probably the greatest part was seeing people have their problems solved quickly and their happiness as a result.  The best ones were where I could just “flip a switch” and fix their computers right at the counter.  I made deep friendships with the other agents that worked there.  Yes, we called each other “agents”.  “Hi. I’m Agent Randel. How can I help you today?”  Oh… and the uniform. The white shirt, black tie, black slacks and white socks.  I loved it.

While I was there, I took a test and got my next certification as a LabVIEW programmer.  This opened up new doors professionally.  It wasn’t long before an opportunity opened up out of town.  It was April of this year by then.  I started working for SpaceX at their engine test facility in McGregor, TX.  This is the best job I’ve ever had.  I say that unequivocally and without hesitance. I’m learning so much every day.  I’m working with advanced programming techniques on rockets.  What more can I say?  I was made for this.

The work environment is a mix of jocularity and seriousness.  Our work affects lives and the future.  We are designing technology to take mankind to other planets.  That’s not just some pie in the sky mission statement.  That’s fact.  We are designing rockets powerful enough to get to Mars and back.  Sadly, it’s only a contract which will end in October.  I’m still hopeful that it will extend or convert to a permanent position.  Regardless, if it ends and I come home, I will gladly put on my white shirt and black tie and fix peoples computers until the next contract comes my way.

Back in the beginning of June, something special happened.  We all saw each other.  Joseph, I really had NO intention of ruining your special day at graduation.  My only thought was to just see you and shake your hand.  If you wanted more, I left myself available.  I’m sorry your mother took it so far as to bring in the police.  Just for the record, there are no restraining orders in place.  I’ve left you guys in peace by my own choice, not by any mandate from the courts.  Lucia, I’m sorry if you were upset or disturbed.  I know you will have many hurdles to face in life after your youth.  Just I’ll be here waiting to answer ANY questions you have.

Lastly, Joseph… you’re a grown man now.  An adult.  Your decisions are your own now. If you ever want to reach me, you can leave a comment here.  My direct email address is markus.randel@live.com.  Not hard to remember.

If I don’t write again soon, it doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of you guys.  You are in my thoughts every day.  Its taken me years to find the emotional footing to live sober and serenely without you.  Writing these letters tends to rock that boat a bit. But, I do you and myself a disservice by pretending they aren’t needed. So, I go off to mend and wait.  Always, I’ll wait for you guys.


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