July 22, 2003
I have been trying all morning to get this written, but power outages (Thank you, Gray Davis, may I have another? For whatever reason, whenever the temperature outside gets over, say, 180 degrees, all of the AC's in the world kick out and when that happens, the power kicks on and off a few times) and child issues have kept me from progressing. In fact, the first caused me to loose what I had been able to accomplish, so we're starting over from scratch.
If your answer to the question above (Did you ever see a miracle?) is no, I'm about to change all that so that you can at least say that you've heard about one (or a few, as it turns out).
Before I regale you with the story of my miracles this week, I want to bitch a bit. That way, we can have the wind up nice and sweet, but I can also get a few things off my chest.
First, I'm watching General Hospital right now and this chick Courtney, who I normally dismiss, is really pissing me off with her holier than thou goody goody sugar-blonde bullshit. I'm two days into a rip-roaring period (they've been light since I stopped nursing Nathan in 2001, so much that I've felt really blessed, but this time it's as though I'm creating the red sea and waiting for Moses to show up) and I'm looking at her thinking of how perfect she is or thinks she is and that her periods likely float out of her in tidy capsules on gossamer wings and plant themselves in her trashcan, then take themselves out to the dumpster. >:< I've never understood this slant of women (especially Pagan women) to glorifying their periods and anointing themselves with menstrual blood ("It's great for crows feet, tee hee). I am eager for menopause so it will stop. God, I'm grumpy today and I've had a pretty decent week so far (considering it's only Tuesday).
Nathan took care of the Kid Rite of Passage and cut his own hair. Took the scissors and raked a big hunk out of the top. He's fairly proud of it. But look! I can comb over and you barely notice (not).
He's also very proud of the fact that he has almost perfected the art of winking. It was a pretty interesting sight watching him learn how to do it. The doll is that he's holding is what we call "Ambiguously Gay Ken." He was a Christmas present for Delena this past year. I found him in a thrift shop and thought he was just too perfect. I think he's actually Joey from New Kids on the Block.
He didn't appeal to Delena, even with his little hair tail in the back, so she passed Ambiguously Gay Ken on to Nathan, who adores him. I think Delena was bummed that he has these big hoofers that won't fit into regular Ken shoes. My bald son, however, is highly infatuated with his ambiguously gay doll.
I am still coughing like a goat. Granted, it's not constant like before, but it's hard sometimes to carry on a conversation. Not that phone conversations are going to ever happen in my house anyway (and other than phone, there are only children to talk to and they are used to the cough by now). Anyone who knows me knows that if they call, the conversation is going to take place in 2-3 minute bursts at best as I am putting out fires and keeping Nathan under careful eye. I am so grateful for e-mail or I'd never get to talk to anyone. As far as the cough goes, I'm sure it's just lingering from what must have been one whopping case of bronchitis.
Now, on to the good stuff.
Eric and I were optimistic and hopeful when Thursday, the 3rd day of our 3 day Pay or Get the Hell Out notice came and went without us having nearly enough to cover July's rent. Eric called his father (this is not his mother and stepfather, who I have previously mentioned here), who was having his own financial woes after recently buying a house and running into unexpected costs, but he said he would send whatever he could.
As you know if you've been reading, our car died, which took several hundred dollars to repair and yesterday, in addition to the missing rent, we also were unable to get out of a $60 obligation AND had to replace out the tires on the car. Eric was getting a really, really bad shimmy and thought it could be remedied with a simple front end alignment, but when he looked more closely, he could see that all 4 tires were showing steel and in two, he could actually reach into the tire. He is constantly on the freeway for work and after seeing that, he was even afraid to try and drive home. As hard as things were, having those expenses come up was even worse.
The weekend was intense and sometimes rocky. Eric and I did a lot of deep work and some of it was very emotionally uncomfortable. One of the things that we discussed was the difference between the concepts of "I deserve" versus "I have earned." This is an idea first broached to me by my galpal, Georgia (left) and we compounded on those. I would say that a good 90% of people who say, "I deserve ______" (filling in with "a good man," a good job," "financial security," "nice clothes," etc) actually hear that phrase immediately followed in their head by a quiet little voice that says, "Don't I?" "I deserve" can be heard as a petulant statement that may require defending, while the words "I have earned" give a feeling of accomplishment and assurity. "I deserve" sounds like for whatever reason, the thing in question should be laid at your feet while "I have earned" states that the thing is bought and paid for through some actions of your own. We are going to be working to get the word "deserve" out of our vocabulary for a while, internal and verbal, and work more with "I have earned." If you say the words out loud, you'll be surprised at the difference in the way they resonate and the way they make you feel.
As I said, the weekend as a journey through a lot of internal baggage and sorting through issues we thought had be resolved or had chucked aside intending never to acknowledge or fix. We came away from it feeling as though we had accomplished a great deal and had "earned" wonderful things as a result.
As I drifted off to sleep Sunday night, I heard in my head a man's voice saying, "I'll call him first thing Monday and give him the good news." I woke up and told Eric that I thought he was going to get a phone call the next day that would be really encouraging. Monday morning was peaceful. Eric again tried to call the property managers and got the same recording. He called me midmorning and told me that an exec for his company (the one that laid him off and hired him back temporarily, starting last Wednesday and expected to last through this Friday) had called to tell him that he could basically stay on for as long as he wants and that they will even keep him on jobs where if he has to give notice, there won't be a problem. It really couldn't be a better situation. The money he makes at this job is enough to sustain our immediate needs and for the next month or two, we'll be playing catch up, but we will have enough to get by.
On Monday, knowing that the property managers would be back today and that our stay of execution was over, I started putting together all of the resource we have. With $10 here and $20 there, we'd managed to put together just over half of what we needed. I started praying and HARD. When the mail came, there were two particular pieces that were very interesting. One was the card that came from Eric's father.
I've thumbnailed it so that you can click on it and look at it carefully. There are three things that are particularly odd. One is the postmark. His father mailed the letter on Wednesday night after talking to Eric, which means it would have been in the post office when they opened on Thursday morning, which is the 17th. It is post marked on July 16th in St Petersburg, Florida. His father lives in Largo, Florida, which is 13 miles from St Petersburg. The second is the stamp. If you look closely, you'll see that it is a 34 cent stamp that the post office had canceled and accepted. First class postage on an envelope is 37 cents, yet it reached my door just fine... 3 mailing days after it was sent. I can barely get mail across Sacramento in 3 days.
I also received a letter from a wonderful woman who sent me $200 to apply to the rent. (There are several people who have sent contributions, which helped us to piece together the rent that we have and to all of them, I offer my deepest appreciation and warmest thanks) That was wonderful in that with what Eric's father sent, it took us to $160 over what we needed for the rent. That would give us a padding until Eric's unemployment check comes on Friday. I was ecstatic, then Eric called about the tires. After all was said and done, today, when the property managers were back in the office, we were able to pay the rent and the late fee, get the tires for the car and have 30 cents left in the bank. For this, we are so extremely grateful. Through a number of people and some fantastic breaks (like getting a real deal on the tires, plus they deducted $20 because Eric had to wait a long time), we made it through.
To prove that all of this was the perfect miracle, in the letter from the lady who sent the $200, there were two little cards as well:
One was of my good buddy, St Jude, the miracle stud. I was so excited to see him peeping out of the letter because that was telling me, "Girl, this one's on me." Additionally, there was the card to the right, which is the one that put me into tears. If anyone of my long-term readers remember, this very same particular card has a very deep significance for me. If you click here and go about half way down, you'll see that this is a statue that I have searched for since 2000 when mine was broken to bits. I adore it and it had always elicited a tremendously emotional response in me. I have kept my card like this one, which you see on the archived entry, until it's tattered and old. It's all I have left of that beautiful statue my friend bought for me at her CDC conference after I'd fallen in love with hers. Seeing that familiar card, all crisp and new, was about more than my old soppy heart could take and I broke down into big old boo hoos. The statue itself is called "The Protector" and it reminded me that I will never be asked to endure more than I can handle. Somehow, that little card became for me an icon for all of the wonderful notes of encouragement, pick-me-up gifts and contributions that friends from all over have sent my way during this hard time. To everyone, again, I say thanks. To my two dear friends, Kathy and Carolyn, who took up the gauntlet this weekend as well, I say thanks. You girls know what you did and I can't tell you how much that touched my heart. I'm still having a cry over that one, ladies.
So now we move forward. Eric is still extremely invested in his business and the prospects for its success are basically assured. It's just a matter of waiting it out as with any new business. They have 3 bids that are major players and if even one comes through, they'll be set. If they all do, they'll be set and have to hire employees right away. ;-) Not too shabby of a deal. Meanwhile, he's back at work at a job he loves doing work he enjoys and making enough to get us through. I feel like we've come through a major "storm" and now I just want to collapse for a while.
Now if people would just stop telling me how great "Pirates of the Caribbean" is, at least until I can afford to see it, life will be perfect! (smile) Lord, how I'm a Johnny Depp woman!
And now, my friends, you've seen a miracle. When rent appears from all over and down to practically the exact penny needed, when the cards come out of the woodwork to point in neon letters and say, "Um, Miracle Here!" and when a job manifests from nowhere, you've got yourself a few miracles.