One year ago this week I was at work and my daugther Allison called me. She was home alone and was calling to inform me that the tow truck driver was there to pick up my car. Allison was 13 years old, two weeks away from starting high school and she was letting me know that she had worked side by side with the repo guy to take all my cds and stuff out of my car. She knew why he was there, she knew what was happening and she told me about it as though she was just letting me know what was going on. No panic in her voice, no sorrow, embarassment or weakness. Just a fact. She had just watched my car get anchored onto the tow truck and drive away. I, on the other hand was at work bawling. I was crying because I was panicked, sad and embarassed. Horrified that my car was being picked up for all the neighbors to see, so devastated that we were beginning to lose tangible things. I know now it really wasn't that big of a deal and things were about to get A LOT worse before they got better. I look back and think 'eh, I didn't like that car much anyway. For the next 10 months or so we worked our butts off to make sure that no matter what happened we saved our house. We did everything to make sure that in the end our children had the home they loved, my mom would be comfortable in her casita and that we would have the comfort of knowing that we were strong enough to keep our home. Two weeks ago tomorrow we met with a real estate agent to put our house on the market for short sale. We have invested everything we ever had into this home. We did everything we could to keep it but now we are losing it.
Last December I found out that I had a brother. I learned that my mother had a son with her first husband and didn't tell me. Kept a secret from me my whole life. She had to leave her son with her ex husband and go on with her life as if it had never happened. Kept her secret from me, my brothers Mike and Danny and many, many others. Lived her life with a hole in her heart because she didn't know what we would do or say if we found out she had done such a thing. She never knew that I would love her, respect her and understand her like never before. She didn't know that the very next day I would start searching for my brother, find him and get to know him and have a wonderful relationship with him.
Three years ago my mom was told she was dying. She was told that she had end stage lung disease and that she only had a very short time to live. She came home and prepared to die. We called her friends, her family and we waited. We waited and waited and still she lived. She felt better. She kept on going and plugging along as if those doctors were crazy. Two years and 11 months later she finally started to die. She proved that doctors also never know what tomorrow will bring in spite of all of the research and knowledge. She passed away May 18th 2010 almost exactly 3 years after they gave her the grim prognosis. In those almost 3 years our lives changed significantly and she helped me through so much. Our relationship grew and we became closer than ever. Thank God the doctors were wrong.
When my mom died in May I started really making my plea to move. My husbands job that he had started about 9 months before was not turning out to be all that we had hoped for. I saw the stress in his eyes and the heartbreak in his face. I knew that he had set his hopes high and that every day he was a bit more and more dissapointed. I started bringing up the idea of moving to Orange County. Two hours away from where we live now and home to almost all of my very closest friends and some of my family. A veritable safety net for me. The place where I always wanted to go back to. In the last 3 or 4 weeks we have started to broaden our view and change our ideas of what a good place to live might be. Right now as I type my husband is downstairs on the phone talking to a guy in North Carolina about a job. Yesterday he spoke to a guy in New Jersey and another one in Missouri. I have no idea where we will end up. I know that no matter where it is that things are going to be better for us. I know in my heart that we have had all we can handle for a while. I know that our perspective on life has changed considerably and that we are more ready for change than ever. I also know that we have no idea what tomorrow will bring... We will remain hopeful in spite of this crazy year we have had and we will remain strong. Our family is closer than ever and we are ready for the next chapter. Someday we will look back on this time in our lives as a blip on the radar. It will be the the time in our lives that my girls will refer to when they are speaking to their own kids when they say things like "oh, you think you have it so bad, when I was a kid we _________________" and they will fill in the blank with whatever story that they remember. It has been character building, heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. We have found new family, and we have learned all about staycations and how to make the most out of a crappy situation. We have learned who our true friends are and which family members really care and worry about us. As hard as it has been I am glad that it has happened in a way. We have learned a lesson that we will never forget and hopefully our kids have learned one too. Hopefully when they start making a good income and the money seems like it will always be there they will remember to save it and their childhood memories will keep them in check.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.