It’s no secret that the past three years have been more than a bit difficult for my family. My wife’s strokes, her unemployment, her recovery, the lack endless medical appointments and the loss of half our household income has put my family under extreme stress.
Now, with a dim light at the end of our travails, with the help of some very close friends, we are hopeful. Well, the girls are. They espouse faith based platitudes to me. I know they hope that I take them to heart, and I try, but most of the time, those cliché’s fall upon an emptiness inside of me.
It’s a void that is not always empty, no, sometimes it’s full, sometimes it’s half full and, like at the beginning of the week, it was empty. Then, without warning, but somewhat expected, the power to my house was cut off. Not because I hadn’t sent in a payment, but because I hadn’t been able to send in a full payment in almost six months. I’d been sending in partial payments. Which apparently the power company doesn’t like. I will say, in my defense, this is the first time in over twenty-five years my power had been turned off. However; it’s not the first time this year I’ve gotten something in my life turned off. It’s not a good feeling. Nope, not at all, it makes me feel like a complete and utter failure.
It’s not a good feeling or position to be in. Actually, it sucks completely.
The power guy, a nice man, when I asked him about my power, handed me a slip of paper with a phone number on it and told me that as soon as I pay my bill that he’d make it his priority to turn my power back on. I nodded and thanked him. Nothing else I could do.
As he left, I called the power company, spent more than several minutes navigating the phone prompts, then over ten minutes on hold, and when I spoke with the lady who answered my call, she informed me there was nothing she could do until I paid my bill. You see, I didn’t have any at the start of the week. I then asked to speak to her supervisor, she was no help either.
When I got off the phone, I was depressed. I was forlorn and I was at my wits end. Then, reluctantly I made a phone call to the one person I hoped could help me and my family. The call worked. Within an hour I had made my back due payment, my current payment, reconnection fee and even a new deposit.
All of this did not make me feel any better. What it did was just the opposite.
I’ve tried to never ask for help, I’ve tried to always take care of things myself. I’ve tried to be the man and follow the dogmatic belief that if you try your hardest, do your best and work hard, you will be rewarded.
This is not the case… Well, it is for the most part.
Ove the past few years, people have helped my family. Some folks help without anyone asking. Some helped because we asked. Asking never feels good. Needing help sucks.
All week long I’ve felt like crap over having to ask for help from anyone over the years. So much so my stomach has done nothing but been a rebel to anything I’ve tried to ingest.
Not today. Today, I actually ended up feeling pretty good about myself. Today, ah, today… I don’t even know what to say or where to start.
Let me just say, today, for the first time all year, I was able to sit down, open my check book and pay off a stack of bills. Put the checks and bills in their envelopes, seal the envelopes, put stamps of the envelopes and then put those envelopes in the mail. Also, I was able to pay a couple bills online and over the phone. This made me feel human. Made me feel normal and made me feel as if I had accomplished something.
Matter of fact, I felt so good I called a very good friend of mine, a friend who not only offered help without asking but has been more than understanding of mine and my families situation, and offered to buy him lunch. Unfortunately, he was out of town. So now, I’m going to go to lunch by myself.
Lastly, I would like to officially thank everyone who has been there for my family over the past three years. I know we are not out of the woods yet, but at least we can now see the highway and the cars of life traveling down it in between the trees.
Thank you all. You know who you are and you should know how grateful we are to all of you.
Thanks, and have a great week.