I was born on September 23, 1963, the last child of the Landry Brood. In my first book, I spent several chapters recounting the escapades that make up my life. In this second book which was an endeavor to make it not only function as a companion book but one that can stand alone on its own merits. I will abbreviate the story of my life so that it fits in the format that I used with my siblings. To do this… I have two choices, I can just copy and paste from the chapters that I have already written or I can start from scratch. Well, since I want the reader to get their money’s worth, I will do the latter. In the second part of the book, I will cover more of my nursing career, my fight against PTSD, more anecdotal stories and I will bring my life up to date with my future plans as well. This chapter will bring the reader up to the point where I ended my story in my previous book. I hope this makes sense to the reader. I apologize in advance if it doesn’t. In my defense, the primary goal of the book is to serve as a companion to my previous book. This decision to write it this way brings upon itself many difficult organizational issues along with what material to include in this second book. So, please bear with me as I continue with my narrative.
I was born in Rochester hospital like the last two of my siblings. My first few years went uneventfully with me being the center of attraction in the family, sorry Robert you had your chance. You could have put a pillow over my head, just kidding. We were a close knit family with me being the closest to my sister. She doted on me as it was my right. I also was the apple of my Father’s eye. When I was old enough to do so, I followed him wherever he went, especially when it meant that he was going down to the wonderful world he called his workshop. My father could make wood come alive into all kinds of cool things. He built me a Randy size work bench so I could pound and cut away pieces of scrap lumber while he made his masterpieces. My father was not only a master carpenter he was a master finished carpenter which meant he could build furniture and cabinets and pretty much anything he set his mind to. Sometimes I feel sad that I was not able to follow in his footsteps. That was to be my first career plan. If he had remained healthy and lived a longer life, there is no doubt that I would have followed on that pathway. Unfortunately, my father passed away on April 15, 1970 while I slept the night away. I was robbed of being able to say goodbye to him. As it turns out, I was not there for my stepfather nor my mother’s passing either. Unfortunately, sometimes life just does not workout the way it is supposed to. It is some solace that I have been able to be there for countless other individuals and family members in the course of my career. I hope this in some way absolves me from missing all of my parent’s passings.
My father’s passing was not the first time I had experienced loss and heartbreak in my young life. My first experience was when my sister got married and moved to Alabama to start her new life and family. Even though I knew that this was the order of things, I still felt a sense of loss, though I never burdened my parents with my feelings. I felt it would just be too much for my parents to deal with. By the time my sister left for Alabama, my father was very sickly, and even though he made two trips to visit my sister, his daughter, it took its toll on his health. At least, I have one consolation and that is knowing that my father died among friends and family doing what he loved to do, play cards and socialize.
For the next year or so, I was raised by a committee so to speak. Both my brothers and mother working together, did the best they could. In retrospect, I think they were a little hard on me but things were different back then. Children did not get babied as much, we were expected to be tougher than the children of today. There was no child psychologist to counsel us and help us get through tough times, it was up to the family members to help us do so. I covered my experiences during this time in depth in my previous book, so I won’t bore you with the same detail.
My mother was eventually to get help, through the efforts of my matchmaking aunt Barbara. She soon met my stepfather to be and future husband in Upper State New York. They seemed to hit it off right away and after a respectable courtship, they were married in a simple ceremony with my Aunt and Uncle as witnesses. They had a party at a local watering hole where live music was played and they danced the night away. In addition to having a dance floor, it had an attached pool hall where I miraculously kept finding quarters lying around on the pool tables. So, I kept on playing free games of pool. That is until my new father explained to me where the quarters were coming from and why they were put on the pool tables like they were. I had to borrow money from him after that, what a killjoy!
I spent a good part of my third grade in mixed martial arts events in an effort to protect myself from bullies. However, I did survive and life continued. My stepfather’s ex-wife continued to hassle him for the next year or so, until my parents finally cried uncle and moved out of the state. It broke my mother’s heart to have to sell the house my father built, however, it went to a good family.
Our new life in Florida was eventful to say the least after a couple of lonely years spent working and going to school. Our family finally realized that we no longer were living in NY and that they missed us. They also realized that Florida had really nice weather in the winter, so before we knew it we were inundated with snowbird relatives. It seemed like we had also become official tour guides to Disney World because everyone that visited us had to go to two places. One was Disney World and the other was to Clearwater Beach so they could walk on the white sand. It got so redundant that neither place held much allure for us. It was also during this time that I experienced a raging case of acne which lasted over a year and a half right up till the middle of ninth grade. To cap that off with polyester clothes and a growth spurt, my adolescent years were very enjoyable. The highlight of those years was my discovery of nocturnal emissions and self help techniques, need I say more? Until I experienced my growth spurt, my MMA skills were repeatedly put to use in self defense. After I had my growth spurt and bulked up a little, my need for my self defense skills lessened somewhat. Just when my life started normalizing I ended up getting seriously sick twice. Once with double pneumonia and the other time with a kidney infection that almost turned septic. I missed a substantial amount of time in my junior and senior years at school, however, I still managed to graduate with honors. I also met my first serious girlfriend, a Korean nurse who took care of me while I was a patient, This lasted for 6 months, right up to the time she moved back to Korea due to loneliness.
After I graduated from high school, I spent the next 8 years of my life in a fruitless endeavor at finding my career path via the college route. Eventually those years of schooling paid off but it wasn’t until I almost reached forty before it did. It was also during this time that I took up my life long hobbies of photography and collecting books. I decided to take a break from school when I hit my eight year mark and still had no career. During this time, I had started working by necessity at Kash-n-Karry, a Florida-based grocery chain to pay for my college tuition. I ended up working there for 17 years, right up till the time I started my nursing career. To fill the void and to hopefully meet like-minded women, I took up the sport of Triathlons. During the next five years, I participated in numerous events including one Iron Man distance race in central Florida. After going through several relationships, I finally hooked up with my fist truly serious relationship. She is the woman that I gave the nom de guerre of “psycho bitch” to. I spent the next year of my life in roller coaster ride from hell. Thankfully, I finally grew a brain and got out of that disastrous relationship. I promptly jumped into another one with an alcoholic midget, well she was 4’8” tall, I don’t know if that counts. Thank God, she moved to California because I don’t know if I had the strength to break it off. She had developed super human Kegel skills, wink wink.
I continued down the path of dating my co-workers. I soon met my first wife. I will continue to use aliases for my exes. Her name was Tammy, after dating for a week, we moved in together and one month later we got married by a justice of peace in St. Augustine, Florida on May 27, 1993. My wife had a small house that was in much need of repair, so I spent the next two years remodeling it. We had it quite cozy. My wife had one major issue, she had an addictive personality. She was a smoker, and for the first two years she smoked in the house even in bed. I frankly don’t know how I tolerated it. When we got married I gave her two years to quit smoking. So, the day after our second anniversary I started packing up. I did so without saying a word. I was actually in my car getting ready to drive away, when she ran out and begged me to stop. She agreed to not smoke in the house or car or anywhere near me. I unfortunately agreed. All it in actuality did was delay the divorce 12 years, and it ended up costing me hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, I might never have become a nurse. So who knows which outcome was better. That definitely was a major crossroads in my life.
Eventually after her mother passed away we moved out west to Las Vegas. Thanks to her father we were able to buy a nice house. He helped us with the down payment. We made the move out west to save our marriage and to distance us from our smothering families. Again what it did was just delay the inevitable. The move seemed to bring her temporarily out of her fugue state and the next year of our marriage was full of love and tenderness. However, the relationship soon started deteriorating after her father moved in with us. That is when I discovered that not only did she have an addictive personality but she had a low self esteem issue and she was also self destructive,. She felt like she did not deserve to be successful and happy. She just seemed to go out of her way to self destruct our lives together. It turns out that she had suffered from mental abuse as a child and by her first husband. So the poor thing just never stood a chance, the addictions she went through were her defense mechanism. Unfortunately, this realization did not make it any easier to remain in this relationship. Eventually she lost her nursing job, and after I nearly suffered from a mental breakdown I asked for a divorce at or around our twelve year mark. It took two years for our divorce to finally go through on September 4, 2007. I basically got raped in the divorce, there is no other word for it. It basically destroyed me financially, I ended up losing our dream house and my retirement in addition to having to pay 10 years of crushing alimony payments.
One year later, I continued on my path of ruination by marrying yet another co-worker whose alias is Julie. We got married in Florida on October 7, 2008. First of all, you should never marry a re-bound person which was what she was. Second of all, she was a smoker. She did not quit smoking until she married her next husband, which goes to show you that she never truly loved me. Apparently she liked my life style, I had a good paying job and a big house. We lived together the whole two years that the divorce took place, and in her defense she did provide moral support on several occasions, one being the death of my stepfather. But as the relationship progressed, I felt that we got married for all the wrong reasons and it came as no surprise to either one of us that it ended in divorce after 6 1/2 years. We got divorced on September 11, 2015. One positive thing that came out our relationship was that I was able to finally go after one of my major dreams and that was to learn how to scuba dive. We went on many trips together and got to see some very cool things and places. Even though our marriage only lasted 6.5 years, the marriage was over before then. As a matter of act, it was almost a year earlier when we filed papers for a legal separation. We did this because yes, I know what you are going to say, my second wife was not working, she had just quit her job. So I had to stay married to her, so she could have insurance. Eventually she got a good paying job with insurance.
During the last year of our marriage we both signed up with Match.com and started dating. I dated a girl from Thailand for a while, one from China and two from the Philippines. None of them smoked nor were they nurses and they were not co-workers of mine. I was doing my best to break the streak. The second Filipina proved to be the woman of my dreams. We got married on October 1, 2015 and have been married happily ever since. She still rocks my world and makes my heart beat a little faster when she gives me one of her looks. It took a long time, over 50 years as a matter of fact, but I never gave up.
Figure 1: Randy Landry Family Tree