With Anke gone, I started dating again. Heather was one and Brenda was another girl I was dating.
Eventually, I made the wrong choice and let Brenda go and kept dating Heather. When we decided that we should move in together, she said she couldn’t live in my house because that was the house that Anke and I had. Then we couldn’t live in her place because that was where her and her husband had lived. So we sold both places and bought a farm up in Mazeppa.
The only way we could afford it was if we both pitched in to make the payments. Before long, I was making the payments by myself. Then Heather started buying horses before I could even get the fences done. Then she wanted stalls in the barn, a round pen, more fences, and on and on. I was going broke because of those horses. At one point we had seven horses. I was spending over $100 per week in hay alone.
That fall, my business really slowed down due to the economy. I made it through to spring on credit, hoping that business would pick up again. It didn’t, My Dad was diagnosed with cancer just before Christmas, so I started making as many trips to Gillette as possible. So did my brothers. It was a hard summer. I wasn’t making any money, the trips to see my Dad were draining my finances along with those damn horses.
Dad finally died in August. We buried him on Labor Day weekend.
The following Tuesday, my brother Linn was diagnosed with kidney cancer.
Three weeks later, my son Joel died unexpectedly from a cancerous brain tumor. I was devastated. I lost all interest in life. I wasn’t interested in working, taking care of the horses, flying or anything else. I went to the doctor and was treated for depression. I got a job at the airport fueling airplanes and quit my business. A month later, my family friend Jim died, then finally, a month later Guy’s mother-in-law, my adopted Grandma Lucy died.
The farm was repossessed.
Our car and truck were repossessed.
We moved to a rental place and tried to keep going. By summer, I realized that my wife, Heather had an affair with her riding instructor and was no longer interested in me. I moved out, eventually moved to Denver and have started a new life. I have survived. But that was definitely two years living in hell.