I’m getting a divorce

That’s right, I’m getting a divorce. 28 years of marriage. I fell in love with another woman.

My divorce has turned messy. Tough go.

I share this with you this morning, taking a break from my series about my dad, actor James Whitmore, twice-nominated for an Academy Award, because personal, deep, troubling life challenges put forth in the public arena minimize the power one’s flaws have over everybody. Especially my sons, who I love more than life.

There are those who scoff at the notion of personal columns such as these where you share intimate details of your life. They say they’re “self-indulgent.” Nothing more. Maybe so. I think they’re wrong.

By the way, my sons are grown – one is 28 the other is 23 – I have hurt them both. I have hurt my soon-to-be-ex-wife. They’re coming after me. Putting forth all my flaws. I do have them. You can’t change love. I love my sons. They are driven by betrayal. I do understand. Life does go on after a broken heart.

This is happening because I fell deeply in love with a girl I met for the first time when I was eighteen. Her daughter posted a birthday salutation on Facebook last October and I wished her well. Hadn’t seen her in 45 years. We started texting back and forth. We didn’t speak on the phone. We just texted. Not sensual at all. Deeply personal. Life’s journey though text. It was unexpected. Being hit by a two-by-four in the face and my world turned upside down. It’s a new dawn.

I was working a dead-end job at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Getting paid a salary. For that, I am so grateful. The benefits of the job were beyond comparison. Los Angeles County was good to me and I thank you, the people of the county of Los Angeles, for it is your tax dollars that pay for our salary. We do work for you. It was an honor.

After an abyss of nothingness, I retired. One day I was having lunch with a friend-in-need who said he would kill for my job; getting a salary for doing nothing. Of course, he was right. For him. Perhaps, I was wrong to retire. I fell in love and wanted to be next to this beautiful woman. I retired. Don’t miss the job at all.

And there was a time when my job was more important, serving former sheriff Lee Baca, who is facing his own legal challenges. I was his senior media advisor. I had a lot to do. I swear to you, lawyers rule the roost and we need to rein them in. The legal system is designed to met out billing, not justice. Justice is common sense, which nobody seems to have when it comes to disputes. Lawyers make money. Justices make money. We, the people, pay the bill. Justice goes wanting.

I just wanted to visit with you this fine morning. I wanted the small cabal of readers that do, in fact, read these words to know. You are friends. Be well.

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About stevewhitmore

Former award-winning newspaperman and broadcast journalist, both radio and TV, spanning three decades. Army-trained paralegal, court bailiff and prosecutor's lead investigator for the 8th Infantry Division's Judge Advocate General's Corp., Mainz, Germany. 1973-1975.
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