Perhaps this blog post should be entitled: You Just Can't Make this Sh!t Up or maybe Miracles Really Do Happen....or maybe....Be Careful Whom You Trust. Whatever the name though, the essence is that I have successfully lived through and closed one of the most trying, educational, frustrating and rewarding three and a half month chapters of my entire life.
I remember on December 31, 2017, that I made some promises to myself for the new year. The year 2017 was a pretty tough year for both myself and my immediate family and there is just something about New Years eve that makes you take stock, access and reaccess both your past and future and then plan to move forward on a better if not completely different path than the year before.
My main promises to myself were to leave 2017 and all it's drama in my rear view mirror, to work on being kinder, less judgmental and if not able to be helpful, then to be harmless in every situation possible. I also promised that I would focus on David and his upcoming spinal surgery that we had been told in October, would be happening in March. This was to be a scary and life changing event for us (scary for me and life changing for him) and I wanted to focus all of my attention on it and make it as positive as possible for him before, during and after. So as resolutions go, my list was not large, but the goals were lofty.
As 2018 took a hold, I was trudging along doing the life happens thing and just blending into the atmosphere of the new year until February 2nd. Little did I know....but this day was going to be one of the most life altering days of my life. It was this day that the phone rang and it was my dad asking me to come see him the following day. I remember my gut immediately tightening up as I hung up the phone. To this day though, I have no idea what made me so anxious. Was it his voice? Was there some underlying message that he conveyed and I picked up on? I really don't think so. I think that it was what I was always afraid of. I think because I knew he was getting older and that his health was not great, that I was going up there to be told that something was really and horribly wrong with his health.
I tried very hard not to focus on the next day that night, but I didn't sleep worth a darn. It remained in the back of my head that whatever I was going up there for, was 1) not going to be good news and 2) was going to be life changing for all of us. I had no idea how right I was.
When the eviction bomb was dropped that day, I was in total shock. I was a mess of emotions and as I stood there looking at my dad and my brothers faces, I remember feeling worse for them than I did for myself at that moment. There is nothing worse than seeing (perceived) pain on the faces of people you love. In hindsight, perhaps it was less pain and more discomfort that I was seeing.
I remember as I walked out of the building, my legs felt like jelly and I really wondered if I were going to make it to my car. It wasn't until I got to my car that I realized that I had been in almost a dead run through the building and out through the parking lot. As I sat in my car trying to absorb this information, David's face was all I could see. How was I going to let this child down? How could I allow him to lose his home and all he knew......and all of this with this huge surgery coming up? I was in panic mode and I immediately called two individuals who I thought might help. Did I expect anyone to really be able to loan me the kind of money I was needing at that moment? Of course not. The two people I called though, were both people I looked up to and who I guess I was asking for moral support as much as anything but no matter how I worded it, the end result was I need money....can you help? Of course they could not but both offered prayers which in hindsight was the most amazing thing they could have done. Those two phone calls were the start of one of the most humbling and humiliating few weeks of my life. I later apologized with my whole heart to both of these individuals for putting them on such a spot and for being so presumptuous as to even approach them on such a matter..... and although both have said they understand, I don't think I will ever get over doing that.
Once home, I was at a loss of what to do, so I do what I always do. I wrote. Well, actually I vented and not in a blog. I vented on Facebook of all places. I was out of ideas and I was really hoping that someone might suggest a place I could turn to that would help being that I was not in the best financial situation to be looking at purchasing my home on my own. I remember that just after I posted it and reread what I posted, I almost took the post down but I got distracted. A few minutes later I went back to remove it and by then, the post had taken on a life of it's own.
There is a lady in town whom up until all of this, I had never met face to face. I had talked to her numerous times as she has a young son with seizures and other issues and we had talked about our common issues with the dreaded seizures. On this day, this woman single handedly put into motion what ultimately would save David's home and give me new insight into my life and the world. She has no idea what an angel she is or how instrumental she was in the last few months of mine and David's lives. I owe her a debt which I can never repay. To be honest, I now owe a lot of debts I can never repay.
From February 3rd until now, life has been fast and furious. There has been the planning of fundraisers, the fundraisers themselves, surgery, recovery and let's not leave out the every day life that has been going on too. As I said, it has been hard, humiliating (the whole world had to know my life and my issues and I had to ask for help), exhausting and also rewarding, amazing and life changing. Because of this eviction threat, I met some wonderful people, I reconnected with others and I learned just how much David was loved in our community. I also learned that kindness, compassion and caring are not just pretty words, but a call to action. They should be a way of life and not just shown to those you deem worthy but also to those who don't always show the same. Mostly through all of this though, I have learned so much about the power of prayer.
In these last few months, my ask was not just for financial help, because for many, even $5 was more than they could spare. What I asked mostly for was prayer. I have seen in my life more than once how powerful prayer is and when you have a multitude going up for one purpose, well that is life altering. Make no mistake, we could never have made our goal without prayer and I am grateful for every prayer made for us. It got us through this ordeal physically and emotionally, it got David through surgery with an astoundingly amazing procedure, hospital stay and recovery and ultimately....it saved David's home.
May 22nd at 9:00 a.m., I closed on our home. With that signature, I ensured that David would always have a home.....his home. He would get to keep what he knows, his dogs, his room and the place that has been the center of his world almost his entire life. I am so beyond grateful and each day I try to do something to pay forward the generosity of love, spirit, kindness and yes financial help that was given to us. It is something I will do everyday for the rest of my life.
Pulling off saving David's home was truly a miracle. Raising the kind of money we needed in such a short time was an impossible task and yet through the help of our community, many friends, family and complete strangers.....it happened. There are so many people that I want to thank. Many though have asked to remain anonymous, while others I simply don't know. So here is what I will say: If you prayed for us, gave us a good thought, donated an item for the auctions, bought an item at the auctions, helped to plan the fundraisers, donated for the fundraisers, helped out at the fundraisers, donated your time in anyway for the fundraisers, showed up and enjoyed yourself at the fundraisers, shared posts on facebook and/or donated financially......thank you! Please know that I have given those prayers back to you a million times over and that not even the smallest act of generosity that you have shown my family will go unappreciated. You all made this happen and as I said, I will never stop paying it forward in your names.
I think the most important lesson I have taken away from all of this is that as jaded and negative as our world seems to be at times, there is still so much good in it. People will still stand up for the underdog and fight for the kid in the wheelchair. Most people are truly good at heart. I have also learned that sometimes friends and strangers have a better grasp of the word "family" than true family ever does. Most of all though, I have learned that anger and frustration are emotions of negativity that cause more harm than good. I may never know what the true reasons were behind this eviction or why family would choose this method to handle things but at the end of the day, I can give what I didn't get and that is unconditional love, kindness and most importantly.....forgiveness.
And with all of this, a chapter closes and I can say....for many years to come, David and I are.... home sweet home!