Why Did Everything Happen?
Death, Cancer and Recovery
by Jeff Dawson
This is the first in my special feature on Jeff Dawson, featuring his first book, Why Did Everything Happen? The author has generously donated one signed paperback copy and four ebook copies of his follow-up book, Love's True Second Chance, which is featured in another blog post. The giveaway is now running, so make sure you enter below.
Join Jeff Dawson as he takes you on an unforgettable journey over the last twenty-five years. You will endure business failures, divorce, and the loss of his children as the world around him crashes down. And to top it off he will take you through the loss of a partner, his father and last but not least his high school sweetheart he reunited with after a thirty year absence.
He sets the tone immediately by describing his mind set in the fall of 1995. The company is going bankrupt, the mortgage companies are lining up with the courts to force eviction and to top it off he had to let the three loves of his single parenthood go live with their mother. The thought of suicide is strong he can taste it. But somehow, the thought of how they would remember their father is enough to pull him off the brink and somehow pick himself up and regroup.
It is a roller coaster ride with many more valleys than hills. Just as you believe that your life is on track and you can sit back and relax, tragedy or disaster comes crashing onto the tracks. Another business failure and the passing of his father. You feel his pain as he regroups again and finds a good job in Dallas and starts rebuilding his life. But wait, a new twist enters the picture. Jeff is not looking for love but it finds him out of nowhere. He connects with his high school sweetheart and has the most intensive love affair anyone could ask for. Unfortunately, cancer strikes her down after a brief seven month love affair. Now, all appears to be lost. No matter how hard we try, everything we have worked for and everyone we loved have been taken. All hope has been lost. But on August 19th,2009 in a little cemetery in Seagoville, TX, all his pent up emotions pour out in a shower of tears and anguish. "Why, why has all of this happened?" Those questions are answered in a most unbelievable revelation.
So, buy this book, board the bus, take a seat, and prepare for the ride of your life!
Part I: Larry
Fall, 1995: All the children have gone to Kansas. The company is dying a slow death. There is no one to turn to. No one comes over. The house is empty. Loneliness and despair are too heavy a burden to bear. There is nothing to live for. Failure is the only word that provides comfort. The only way out is suicide. It would be so easy, so easy to do . . . There is nothing to offer anyone. Yet, there is one question. What would the children think?
How many of us have thought it is all for naught? We fail no matter how hard we try. We mapped out our lives. We followed “our” plan. We know where we're going. Then why do we feel forgotten? Why has our plan failed so miserably?
1983: The normal path had been followed to a tee. Went to college, met the wife to be. Kind of jumped the gun in that she was five months pregnant when we wed. Hired on in Dallas. The road to success and happiness was mapped out. Little was known as the bus boarded had a different destination. The driver, a stately older gentlemen, never said a word. He nodded to take a seat in the front row, closed the door, shifted a gear, and pulled onto the road. The path he chose and the one mapped out were on a collision course. Looked out the window, and the white stripes started passing by.
First job in Dallas is with a Midwestern giant. Highly respected. Dad said they were a great company. They shut the doors within a year and a half. A new job search already? Well, we have to eat.
A good friend and business associate, Jeff Barnes, helped out. A small paving company - Angel Concrete was looking for an estimator.
Interview went well and a good working relationship developed. The job would last for three and a half years. The company shut down. The owner had had enough.
1987: The job market is zero. Bad economy, S & L's closing left and right. Contractors shutting down overnight, employees being laid off in droves, auction houses full of equipment, and cities are not putting out any new work. There is only one action to take - start a new concrete paving company.
It was brutal at times. Spent all the hours of the day on the phone trying to drum up some business. The loan money was set aside for essentials only. You want to talk about being scared financially and personally? No income, no prospects, and no return calls. Was this the right decision? Had all of the available resources been used?
When times are desperate, instead of worrying what will or could happen, focus on the good that can happen. This requires tapping all of the resources available and not just the ones we can see, feel, touch, or control. There is one resource that is so easily overlooked and ignored because we have not hit dire straits. So easy to call and yet so easy to overlook. He wasn't even in the business plan and should have been listed as number one!
Didn't need the help. The path was set. The course of action was in place. One problem: the bus driver had a different business plan.
When Cadillac Concrete was formed, there was no thought of taking on a partner. Well, fate had a different idea. The superintendent at Angel Concrete Larry Smith called and was interested in helping start the new venture. We had not always seen eye to eye on projects. He was the last choice for a partner. No real common ground. Different ideas on how to build projects. Polar opposites. The merger was thought over for about a month or so. Larry and I sat down to discuss how the partnership would work. It was the first time in one and a half years we really talked to each other in more than a business relationship.
Larry was divorced, a good family man, and loved baseball.
Family man who loved baseball - this is a good fit.
He would handle the field while I would take care of the office. He could also find the right people that could perform the work and be a good fit for the company.
Cadillac Concrete started slow, yet grew with time. It was a controlled growth. Started with three employees and grew to thirty-five. Sounds like a successful venture, right?
Question: Everyone agree?
Everyone has their own life story, their own journey. There is something about this story that can really give strength to the weak. Jeff takes the details of his life and paints a story that somehow embodies hope and determination. He shared his every thought with the reader. It's an amazing book and definitely a keeper. It's worth it at twice the price. This is a book you will go back to again and again.
From the Author
I spent twenty-five years in the wonderful world of road construction. Back surgery in 2010 put the skids on that career. My body couldn't handle the rigors of twelve to sixteen hour days, six to seven days a week anymore. As I convalesced, licking my wounds, I wondered what to do next. Not being out in the sun getting baked, or dodging traffic, was going to be a hard act to follow. Seriously, what else did I know? An article in the Dallas Morning News caught my eye. It was about being a professional speaker. Hmm. That sounds interesting. Becoming mobile again, I took a seat in front of the blank monitor, pondering what to write.
Let's start with something we know: my life. The first work was titled God's Plan: A Glimpse Into One's Life. I re-titled it six months later to Why Did Everything Happen? This is a look back at the last twenty-five years and how the death of my partner, father and true love affected my life. I was amazed at the revelations. Since then, I've moved on to write in several different genres. Some say I should change my name when diverting from the path. Well, right or wrong, I'm sticking with my name. The current works range from the love story of my one true love: Debbie Beck, RIP 7-20-2009 (Love's True Second Chance), an alternate historical perspective of Vampires and WWII (Occupation), a newly released Sci-Fi time travel adventure (Gateway: Pioche), to Baseball Coaching Manuals. Granted, not every book I write is for everyone. I understand that, but I hope I'm showing readers diversity can be a good avenue.
I currently live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, spending a lot of time with my daughter, her girls and my oldest son. When I was in construction, I never had or took the time to enjoy what surrounded me: love, family and friends. My true love, Debbie and her girls reminded me what was important in life; "we work to live, not live to work".
I hope you take a chance on a book or two.
One last thought. I'm working on sequels to Occupation and Gateway: Pioche. Other works in the pipeline are a collection of military and love poems, and a short horror flick. How's that for diversity?
The author has generously donated one signed paperback copy (US only) and four ebook copies of Love's True Second Chance. Please show Jeff your appreciation by entering.