Meeting Tony Esposito

So at the Blackhawks game the other day I got the meet Tony Esposito. It was for a charity event the Blackhawks were doing. I asked him to sign my arm and look of surprise on his face was awesome. I have Bobby Hull, Chris Chelios, and Jeremy Roenick all autographed and tattooed on my arm. Here’s the video.

Mijo you’re kind of scaring me.

That’s what my grandma said to me while we were at lunch.  What do you mean grandma, as I laughed at her statement.  “Mijo you’re kind of scaring me because you are being too calm about this divorce.” I sat there for a minute and smiled.  That was a month ago.  I just told a friend last night that it would have been easier if she would have told me that she cheated on me. At least i would have something to put my anger/sadness/depressed feelings towards. Looking back now with a clear mind, I believe that she gave up way before she said she wanted the divorce.  No kissing, no physical contact, no love making. There was arguments, name calling, and threats.  It felt more like we were roommates than husband and wife.  She told me a few times that she just needed space.  How, as a married couple, do you get space?  We’re married, we are supposed to be a part of each others space.

I’ve been fine since she left.  Have I missed her?  Of course.  You can’t go 11 years with someone and just cut those feelings.  The one thing I was worried about was Christmas, the first one where I would be by myself in 11 years.  I sat at the dinner table with my family and looked at the empty seat to the right of me…the same seat that she sat at every family event.  I left the table and went to the bedroom and began to cry. My brother in law for the first time ever put his arm around me and told me it will be ok. Mind you, I was not only dealing with her, but also the first Christmas without my grandpa.

I have her family on snapchat and facebook and i’m realizing that’s not a good idea.  For the entire night I was getting notifications showing pictures and videos of her smiling, have a good time.  All while I’m sitting there, hurting. Do you really not give two shits about me anymore that you can just have a jolly o’ time with your family?  Ok, I know what you’re going to say, dude she wanted the divorce, of course she’s moved on and wasn’t thinking about you during Christmas.  I know that…and i’ve told myself that every day.  The realization that this is over was when i texted her saying I needed to talk.  Now I wasn’t going to talk about the divorce or even us, it was just to talk.  I mean for 11 years she was my go to person when I needed to vent, someone to lean on.  I woke up the next morning and there was no text from here.  Not a “hello”…not a “are you ok”…nothing. I thought about it some more and I was the one that called her to say Merry Christmas.

Another friend asked me yesterday “if she came knocking on the door and wanted to come back, would you accept her back?”  No. She gave up on me, she gave up on us, she gave up on 11 years.  I told her that I would do whatever it takes to keep us together and save our marriage.  Her response?  “I feel bad because you will do whatever it takes to change, but I won’t.  I don’t want to change.”  Well, I’m no longer sad about it.  I’m hurt.  I’m hurt because I thought I was worth fighting for.

So what was my answer to my grandma?  Well grandma sometimes it’s easier to fake the smile on the outside then to talk about the pain on the inside.


The following blog deals with the recent decision Barbara and I made concerning our marriage. We have decided that it’s probably best to get divorced. To my family and friends, at no time do I wish to hear any of you talking shit about Barbara, nor will any of you hear me speak negative of her. We do not hate each other, so there is no reason for either of us to talk shit. Also, Barbara is more of a private person so please DO NOT bombard her with questions. Thank you.

10 years ago I was in a pretty bad place in my life.  No job, no house and living in my sister’s basement.  I was on Myspace (for you youngins, that was the original facebook) just looking at people in the area and came across one profile that got my attention.  It belonged to a pretty twenty something woman named Barbara.

One day Barbara responded to a post I left her and after that we talked everyday for three months.  I finally gathered up the courage to ask her to meet.  I said lets meet at a restaurant for lunch, this way if either of us is uncomfortable, we can leave. So there I was, sitting at the corner table of La Primavera, wondering if this girl was going to show up.  Of course, she was running on Mexican time, but when she walked through the door, I knew she was the one I was going to marry.  It was kind of funny that for three months, we could talk via posts, but face to face i was shy and nervous.  She was so pretty, I thought.  Those eyes, and damn those lips lol.  So after lunch I asked her what she was doing that night and she said she was going to go to dinner with her sisters. I said cool, what time should i meet you?  Looking back now, i guess you could say that was a bit stalkerish lol.  She laughed and probably thought i was joking but guess who showed up for dinner? This guy. After we parted for the night, I went to the gas station around my dads house, put three bucks into the slot machine (at the time in IA, slot machines were in gas stations too) pulled the lever and won $1000.  I called her right after and said you are my good luck charm. We have been together ever since.

On Oct 9th, 2010 we got married.  I remember crying as she walked down the isle. She looked gorgeous.  I remember thinking I have to be a man now, no more childish shit.  She is trusting me to be in her life. Like most marriages it wasn’t always easy. There was yelling, there was crying, there was one slight physical altercation that happened because of her love of Hardees.  Wont get into it but shit still cracks me up to this day.  Seriously though, we faced the same problems that all married couples do.  And each time we got through it.  When we got married I said that I would never get divorced because if you are in love with someone then you can move past the bs and come out stronger together. Fast forward to this year.  A friend of hers had passed away unexpectedly and things began to change.

I’ve always said, you don’t have to touch a person to push them away, words and attitudes can do the same. And i think that’s what happened.  She wanted to live that type of way and I couldn’t handle it. My reasoning is, you are not single, your married.  She went to Texas with her sister and friend for the weekend and for the first time in awhile my anxiety wasn’t in full force. I called her in the morning, maybe texted her twice in the day and waited for her to call me when she got back to the hotel at night.  But if you ask her, I called every hour on the hour lol.  I picked her up from the train station and asked if she was still in it…she said she didn’t know.  For the first time in 7 years, I just heard my wife question our marriage. So for two weeks we discussed it back and forth.  One day she said she wanted a divorce, the next day I said i wanted it.

Finally, we came to the agreement that on Sunday Nov, 5 2017 we would finally make up our minds. After and hour or so on the couch, airing out our shit, she finally asked what i wanted to do.  I said I can’t say because i don’t want to sway what you’re going to say.  I said lets write it on a piece of paper give it to each other. Childish shit i know, but hey, you do what you gotta do. She wrote her answer, I wrote mine.  I opened it up expecting for it to say we would work on it.  Nope, it said divorce. She opened her’s and the look on her face was that of surprise.  It said stay.

It’s amazing how one simple word can make your stomach end up in your throat so quickly.   To know that a person no longer wants you in that capacity really hurts. We’ve been through so many other things without giving up that i figured this was just another bump in the road that we we would get over.   I told her that I love her enough to fight for our marriage, but I also love her enough to give her the divorce she wants.

My feelings are all over the place.  One minute i love her, the next I’m mad, the next I’m crying, the next Im ok. As you read this, please don’t think I’m an angel throughout this marriage. There are times that I can think of where she could have asked me for a divorce and I wouldn’t even question it. She met a guy who was living on his sister’s couch in the basement and gave him a chance. She stayed with a guy who bounced from job to job because he got bored with each one. She stayed with a guy who couldn’t give her children.

For all of that I love her. In fact, I’m still in love with her. But you can’t force someone to have the same feelings as you.  We said that we would be better as friends than husband and wife.  I truly hope that is the outcome we have because she is and will forever have a place in my heart. We are not divorcing because we cheated on each other or because we hate each other.  I believe we are divorcing because we don’t want it to get to that point.

This new chapter in my life is going to be weird for me. I’ve never really lived by myself.  In the military i had a roommate, as a CO I shared a house with a coworker, lived with my aunt, lived with my sister, lived with Barbara’s mom and then with Barbara for the past 7 years. Never too late to put on your big boy pants.  Will I ever get remarried? If i had a dollar for every time I have heard that, I’d have probably 6 bucks lol.  I can’t tell you to be honest, just too soon.  I’m scared that I wont find someone who will love me. I’m scared to start over.  I’m scared to face the first dates, or the rejections.  I’m scared that Barbara will find a guy who will make her smile shine brighter than I could.

In closing, there is a song that I always liked but never really understood till now.  I got to see Coldplay in Chicago for Barbara’s birthday.

My dad, grandpa and our Chicago Blackhawks.

On June 1st, 1992 I remember going into my dads bedroom where he was layin down watching tv. I sat on the edge of the bed, wondering what he was watching.  Turns out it was game 4 of the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals, which was the Chicago Blackhawks vs Pittsburgh Penguins. I remember asking question after question and he was happy to answer, even though the Hawks were about to get swept in the Finals.  What I didn’t know at the time was just how much my dad enjoyed the Hawks.

It wasn’t until a few years later in 1994 when I was in 8th grade that I actually learned how much the Hawks meant. My dad surprised me with tickets to my first Hawks game.  He said he wanted me to experience the sights and smells of the old Chicago Stadium. Now if you have ever been to Chicago Stadium, you know that it was old, small, smelly, and loud.

Looking back now, the best part wasn’t going to the game, but hearing the stories that my dad had of being a kid and running up the stairs to get a good seat for my grandpa and cousin Kenny.  My dad would talk about my grandpa taking him to Mama Schiavone bar and how some of the players would go in after the games and would chat with my dad and grandpa while that drank.  The 60’s obviously were a different time, since a young kid in a bar wouldn’t fly today.  Now after hearing these stories about Mama Schiavone’s, I figured it was just a simple high five and that was it. Then, in 2013 at the Blackhawks convention, I had the opportunity to talk to Bobby Hull as he signed my tattoo.  Of course my dad took advantage of the situation and asked Bobby if he remembered that bar.  And wouldn’t you know it, Bobby remembered. Not only did he remember, but he remembered chatting with my dad and grandpa. Of course you could chalk it up to him just agreeing for the sake of agreement.  But he started talking about the same stuff my dad told me about.  So just as my dad had the memory of meeting Hull with my grandpa, I have the memory of meeting Hull with my dad.

As I’ve stated before in a prior post, there are certain things you do with your parents, grandparents, or any family member for that matter that will lead to traditions, and those that will be etched in your mind. So tonight, almost 4 months to the day that my grandpa passed, we sit here getting ready for game 1 of the 2017/2018 NHL season. My grandma, aunts, dad and mom are all here…and even though I look to my right and see an empty red chair, I know my grandpa is sitting there.