We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Yesterday was a day to remember, both good and bad.

December ninth. Every damn month I tell myself "the ninth is no different than any other day of the month", like if I say it enough times it will actually come true. Every damn month the ninth is NOT like any other day of the month.

My mind was not my own yesterday. For starters I was glad that it was Valentina's preschool Christmas program, something good to happen on the ninth. It was a busy morning as I had to get Asa off to school and then get Valentina ready in a beautiful party dress so we could leave a scant 30 minutes later. Great big props to Beya who is such a help to me in every way imaginable. I have no idea what I would do without her. Actually I know by now that if I had to, I would still get through but I don't need to think about it because I DO have her and for that I'm forever grateful.

So Valentina was ready, very excited and off we went to the Christmas program. We pulled into the church parking lot, walked in and heard a bunch of kids but they were not in the classroom and the hall where the program is was dark. Hmm..... oh well. We followed the voices and realized they were all in the bathroom. Makes sense, have all the kids go potty before the program. Valentina was spinning around, very excited and happy to be performing shortly. Pretty soon we heard the kids come out of the bathroom and the row of them came around the corner. One by one I saw the kids were in regular clothes. Now the teacher had told me when I asked what Valentina should wear that some kids wear jeans, some dress up so this didn't seem odd to me. Even when I saw the teacher come trailing behind all the kids, looking harried and not at all dressed up it didn't dawn on me. Mom asked the teacher if today was the program and it wasn't until the words came out of her mouth did it ever come to MY mind that we might be off schedule. The teacher apologized and informed me that yes, I was a week early, the program wasn't until NEXT Thursday. I felt like the worst mom as I saw Valentina's face fall.

We got back into the car to go home with a very deflated little girl.

Shortly after we got home Norm called me. Our finances have been very dire lately. Norm has worked approximately three of the past 13 months, his unemployment through our state ran out the first of December and although he was able to get it through another state (he works in two states sometimes) it was going to be another waiting week and about a 35% decrease in an already small payment. It was going to take about 3 weeks of unemployment to make the mortgage payment. Now normally these type of financial problems would have me stressed out and cost me countless of sleepless nights. Not anymore, not after the 19 months we have had. I have had, and am going through, worse things in my life. Money problems? Yeah, they suck but it's not the worst.

Anyway, Norm called to tell me he got a call from someone in the Union Council Office asking him if he would be interested in a staff position.

Holy shit.

This means Norm would no longer be swinging a hammer. No more getting on a job and working for a few months and wondering if he would have a job when this one was done. No more worrying about what to do when this job would end. He would have an office job. This is what he has been working towards, dreaming of, volunteering on the negotiation committee, working for $200 a month as a financial secretary (which works out to be about $5 an hour given the amount of time he puts in), traveling as a Local Union delegate, this has been his dream for close to 10 years. He has actively been juggling these three things for years, trying to get noticed, working his butt off, taking time away from us to try to get this. He interviewed for this job about 2-3 years ago just before the economy tanked and the Council was put on a hiring freeze.

This call came completely out of the blue.

On the ninth.

At first I was so excited at the POSSIBILITY of this happening. Norm kept telling me that this was not a done deal, it was just a call to see if he would be interested in the job if it was available. Norm was gone all day (doing his $5 an hour financial secretary job at the Local) and I tried to keep this out of my mind, which really wasn't hard since the ninth brings up so many things. I cried over my sister. I missed my sister. I wanted to talk to my sister. The ninth is always difficult.

Later on in the afternoon, before picking up Asa for school, mom and I went to the store where we thought we had walked straight into an episode of "What Would You Do?" In the checkout line next to us there was a woman literally yelling and screaming at her elderly mother. The mom appeared to be having a stroke. She was shaking, pale as a ghost and could hardly stand up. The daughter was yelling at her mom "STAND UP STRAIGHT! I'M TIRED OF YOU BEING SO STUPID! QUIT ACTING LIKE THIS! MOM YOU'RE BEING SO DIFFICULT! QUIT BEING STUPID!" Everyone around us was aghast but not doing anything. Mom muscled her way past the other people in line and made her way to the mom and asked her if she was ok. The woman managed a feeble "no, I'm not" and mom asked her if she needed help to go sit down on a nearby bench at the end of the checkout stand. The daughter started yelling at mom "THIS ISN'T YOUR BUSINESS! SHE'S JUST ACTING! DON'T MAKE ME OUT TO BE AN INSENSITIVE BASTARD!" I lost it at that point and yelled across the lane "WELL YOU ARE!" Beya tried to be compassionate to the daughter and told her she knew it was difficult but that her mother seemed to having a stroke. Again the daughter launched into a shouting tirade against Beya and her mother. Mom realized that there was nothing that she was going to be able to do and came back to Valentina and me. The daughter kept yelling "I HAVE TO BRING YOU HERE BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE MONEY AND THEN YOU ACT LIKE THIS! YOU'RE MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF!" As soon as I got my things I called 911 to tell them what was going on. Mom and I waited until the daughter took the groceries out to her truck and I called 911 back to give them the plate number. The poor woman was still in the store as she couldn't walk and the daughter pulled out a walker to take back to the store, presumably to "help" her mom out to the truck.

The walker she pulled out was just like the one sissy had. It was red and the exact same model. My mind couldn't help but go to what if sissy had been treated like this.

My alarm had been going off for about 10-15 minutes throughout this ordeal reminding me I had to go get Asa. Beya and I felt helpless but I knew I had to pick up Asa and we had done all we could do. The 911 operator had instructed me to stay away from the daughter, to not confront her or have anything to do with her. Beya, Valentina and I drove off to pick up Asa.

While I was waiting for Asa to get out of school I saw a firetruck go by, headed toward the store. I hoped that it was going for this poor old lady. As soon as I got Asa we saw an ambulance go in the same direction. There wasn't anything else we could do.

Now it was time for me to go to my monthly pain management doctors appointment. Off the four of us went. I got there and checked in when I was told that I wasn't on the books. As soon as I was told that I realized I hadn't received my usual day before confirmation phone call.

My mind was not my own.

After finding out that it was NOT my fault and that it was a clerical error (yay). I still hadn't heard from Norm. By this time I was thinking that was it, the guy had just put feelers out to Norm and it wasn't going to work out. Fine, maybe in the future.

A few hours later Norm called me. "We need to find room at the house because I'm going to be having a company car. I start on Monday!"


Norm got his dream job.

On the ninth.

Every single time something good has happened this year it has happened on a significant date that had something to do with sissy.

This morning mom asked me if I thought sissy was up there, working things out for us. I don't know. I have no clue. I want to believe it but I don't know. It seems like there are an awful lot of coincidences on certain dates. Wishful thinking? Us trying to make a connection? Wanting to keep sissy in on our current goings on? I don't know.

But I want to think so.


Grandma Kathy said...

I love reading your blog! That was awesome news about Norm - congratulations!! I truly believe Trina is up there watching over all of you and helping you out - I know my sister is too! Believing that gives me a little peace. Hugs to you and your family!



Only had a moment to pop in to see how y'all are and wanted to leave you some

So happy about your Norm news! Will pop in again after the weekend to comment more!!


Carrie, Rich and the Kids said...

Congrats about Norm's job. That is so awesome. So happy for you.

Amarelis said...

Congrats to your husband!! And yes I believe your sister is watching down....sure she is making things happen for you all!!