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Calamityville

Getting A Grip

It was a boiling August day when Dave and I moved into our new house with four, cranky, hot children and wondered if we had made a mistake. There was no air conditioning, no pool and no relief from the heat.  As the kids ran around claiming bedrooms, I tried to appreciate the lovely treed lot, the spacious covered patio and then heard a chorus of little voices playing somewhere in the neighborhood.  September arrived and thankfully they all went to school.  But it was as though someone said, “Let the disasters begin.”

Dave went to work one day only to find someone had torn apart his office at the phone company.  At first, he thought there was a break-in, until a detective came and said, “Please come with me.”  He was grilled for hours about false travel expenses but they had no evidence.  They just wanted him gone and as it turned out, there were others who were forced out as well.

Thus, he had no job and we had one child in college, two in orthodontia and a new mortgage we had to pay or be out in the streets.  The months rolled by. I took a temp job while Dave filled out resumes and applied for countless jobs.  However, without a reference, it was almost impossible to find something.  People asked how we were getting along and when I said, “Crappy,” they sent a ham.  It must be the food of the unemployed.  We had a freezer full of at least eight hams.

One gusty and lightning-filled evening, our lights flickered and went dead.  Standing by a candle, opening mail with tears of self-pity in my eyes, I looked at a letter from Florida and knew it was from a dear friend of my mothers.  Inside was a check for one thousand dollars from a matured CD.  “Holy, Moly, look at this.” I shouted at my dismal looking husband.  “Now we can live in the house another month and eat ham.”

But it still remained a dark time for us all. One Saturday I got a call from the police, “Your son has been in an accident,” He said.

“What? Where is he?”

“I don’t know ma’am; I was just told to call you. It’s in the vicinity of Belane Road.  That’s all I know.” Then he hung up.

Immediately, I got in the car and started searching the area, bracing for the worst.  Finding nothing, I went home and shortly a police car came to the house and out walked my son.  Realizing he wasn’t hurt, I asked, “where’s the car?”

“It’s wrecked.” He said looking at his shoes.

There was no time for freaking out, however, because not too long afterward, one very early morning, I awoke to crashing coming from the kitchen.  I raced downstairs and found our oldest son swinging his arm across the counter knocking glasses onto the floor.  “What are you doing?” I asked.

“Huh?” was all the answer I got as he kept knocking things over.  We got him in the car as fast as possible and to the Emergency Room.  By then he was normal so they sent him home.  The next week he was on the basketball court and blanked out for a moment and when he came to wondered why there was a group of guys running toward him.  I was frantic, thinking he had a brain tumor.

Then it happened again, right in the middle of history class.  He fell out of his chair and had a grand mal seizure. They finally diagnosed him with epilepsy for which he was given medication.

We were averaging a calamity a week when I heard screaming out on the street one afternoon.  Our nine-year-old daughter came to a skidding halt on her bike, fell over the handlebars and broke her collarbone.  No one wore helmets back then.  She had a two-inch hematoma on her forehead that kept growing.  Immediately we took her to the hospital and they put a sling on her shoulder and we watched her all day and night as she had blacked out when she hit the ground.

There was no rest for the weary, however, as our youngest daughter as cute and full of personality as she was, was a bit of a bully.  It was mid-afternoon when I got a call from the principal. “Your daughter has been picking on one of the girls on the bus.”

“Oh,” I replied dully and wondered, now what?

“She has kicked the other girl’s schoolbag into the bushes every morning for a week and called her names.”

“Why would you do that?” I asked my daughter.

“I don’t like her,” was all she could say. I went to get the mail and noticed broken eggs oozing all over the envelopes.  Then I looked up and saw that eggs had been thrown at the house. The light dawned and I knew someone had gotten revenge.

Thoroughly depleted, exhausted and wild with anger, I sincerely believed that God hated me. I shook my fist toward heaven and cried out, “What is the purpose?  What horrible thing have I done to deserve all this?”

The answers came, not in a blinding light, but ever so quietly like flickers of a candle. I began to realize that I had to take control over my situation and change my attitude, my intentions, and my determination to work things out. I had to be proactive rather than reactive.  Once I made up my mind, things fell into place.  I made sure my energy was upbeat and positive and I began putting forth ideas of what we wanted to accomplish – a job for Dave, enough money for our expenses, the kids had to get part time work if they wanted any spending money and all of us had to work on our own positive goals.

Over time, with this new way of thinking, I learned that we have the power to create whatever kind of life we want.  It first takes making a decision, then producing positive energy, and then walking the steps to get to the intention.  This has always worked because it has to-its universal law.

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