Well I’ve had an interesting two days this week. I had made the excruciating decision to redeem a CD that my father had given me years ago. His intention was for me to keep it as a nest egg, hopefully for my retirement.
Let’s give a little background. When our son came into our lives, I had tried to stay at my then employer, who shall remain nameless. You know who you are. The Drake had taken FMLA and I had spoken to my employer to see if I could work part time. The lab location was open until late and they had seemed receptive to the idea and my supervisor was going to see what she could do. It was a very busy place, always bustling with work. I was a typist and there were always tons of reports to type up. Well, they kept me working for the three months that hubby was home, and the very last day before he went back to his own job, they told me it couldn’t be done. To be honest, I felt they took advantage of me… Water under the bridge now. I stayed home with Little Drake full time and I loved it. I never made any bones about the fact that I love to be home and not beholden to any employer, most of which do not value their employees beyond their own profitable interests. When I worked, I was an honest and steadfastly loyal employee who was industrious and cared a LOT about the quality of my work. Seriously, I could be left alone in the place and be relied upon to do my work and not drift off into personal stuff. I was trusted and I felt very comfortable being a company person, looking out for their interests when considering my own. I liked it that way….. Times have changed.
So, it was for three years. I had gotten a part time cashier job at a major food store, but hubby’s work schedule was totally erratic. His boss would make him work overtime without any notice and meantime, I was on a work schedule, too. His salary was way greater than mine, so his job was our priority. I really didn’t mind that, but the old loyalty card was rearing it’s head. I became uncomfortable calling out of my shift, AND I thought it was wrong, so eventually, I gave notice. When Little Drake started preschool, I looked for a job, mainly at the poking and prodding of hubby. It’s his belief that I need a job to be happy with myself. I love him dearly, but he has no clue. I did have more free time and I started looking, but it was half-heartedly. Ironically enough though, after two years of looking, with no prospects and a failing financial system, I recognize that I really need to get back to work. (queue parting of the clouds and angels singing ‘Hallelujah’) Circumstances dictate it. My beloved drake has been out of work for over a year and became a full time student in order to complete his degree and start teaching math to high schoolers. Ambitious, yes? We had been doing fine, but now resources are dwindling. The unemployment is not reliable either, with weeks when he’s told by the automatic machine clerk that he will not get a check, BUT will receive a credit. Oh yeah… um the rent is due every month, in cash, not credits… sigh. So, in order to keep his pension in tact, I decided to redeem this one and only nest egg that I have to do my part and help out the family. My intention is to pay off my credit card, not a real big problem but hubby cannot make these payments for me any longer. I will also rectify an ongoing situation of my cell phone being on hold… but still receiving bills. Yeah, I’m reALLY looking forward to that call. I digress. My intention was also that we will have a very nice cushion that will secure our rent should all else fail. I should mention that hubby has exhausted avenues available to him.
Did I mention that this was a really difficult decision for me to make? Yeah. Well, I made it with the condition that I would not tell my father what I did. Yeah. I’m a terrible liar, but I’m great at just not mentioning things like bank visits before visiting him at his house. The bank is close by his house in PA, so I thought it would be a good time for a visit, too, mostly because he was alone this week, too. Everything was working perfectly. We left early, got to the bank, redeemed CD. My bank was conveniently right up the street, went there and deposited money. Now on to my dad’s house. eeeek! Am I going the right way on 209? Should it be 209 North or 209 South??? Oh, cripes, had to call my dad for directions:
Me: “Hi Dad, if I take 209 to your house, which way do I have to go, north or south?”
Dad: “Where are you?”
Me: “Um… in Strausburg.”
(a little silence)
Dad: “If you’re in Strausburg, you need to go north.”
Me: “Thanks, Dad… see you in a little while.”……. click.
I thought I handled that pretty well. We get to my dad’s house and he didn’t ask anything. r-e-l-a-x. Okay, so we settle down and I go to take out my knitting project, the Clapotis in Madil Yarn’s Eden Print 100% bamboo, and it was nowhere to be found. p-a-n-i-c. Instantly, I knew I left it at the bank. I had only one bag with me….have to get back there…. sigh. So, I asked my dad if he wanted to come for a ride. I figure this would be a good time to tell him. We drove all the way there and I still had not opened the subject. I meant to. So, we get there, I get my project, and we head back to home, but make a stop at Food Town. Dad did some shopping, now heading back to the house, another 40 minute drive or so. He’s talking, I’m balking. Finally HE brings it up and asks if the reason I was at the bank was to redeem the CD. I said, “yeeeeeaaaaah”, with lingering resignation. He was understanding. Immediately launched into reciting my very planned out plans on how I was handling the money, ending with the promise that when I find a job, whatever was still in my bank account was going to be put into “something” and I was going to be responsible about it. I detailed everything that hubby had already done on his end to secure funds….and seriously, I feel as if I contributed nothing on my end… Well, that’s not true. I did cash in my gold and silver jewelry for money. I did not regret that, but I do miss one gold chain that I used for almost every pendant I had. Now I use my silver box chain for everything, gold, silver, whatever.
So, we get back home today to a message from the college that the Drake’s classes will be forfeited if he doesn’t pay in full by (today). Remember that unemployment check? Well, after not coming, then being promised, we waited and received it only a day or so ago and it still has not cleared. Guess what my first spenditure was. Yep, for school the Drake’s butt got saved. I am not even going to say how much it was, but my sense of security was immediately broken not even five minutes after our arrival back home. I definitely am one of those people who literally repel money. We went to the school and I gave them a large chunk of my nest egg. The Drake is definitely worth it, but it scared me. I’m very glad to say, however, that I’d do it again…. and it would still scare me.
There’s more to the story as evidenced by the “God’s Eye” and the title of this post. God is constantly working in and through our lives. There, behind my own eye, is the constant, pesky at times, thought that God will provide and make everything alright. Maybe not as “alright” as I would personally have it, but I just know that we will get through this and that we are not alone in this. We will emerge with scars etched into our skins and forever into our souls. We will use this experience. We will make it a positive. We will gain more compassion when dealing with our fellow human beings, and yes, even when dealing with credit card company employees trying to do their job by calling past due accounts at all hours of the day… (they DO have jobs, though, you know). I’ve got to say that when I finally spoke with them (yes, I was screening my calls for about a month), I had a good experience. The Indian gentleman I spoke to was compassionate and I do very much appreciate that. Of course he wanted a commitment and a check no. and when I’d be able to make a payment, but understood (well, he really had to) when I laughed and reminded him that I had no money.
More importantly, I will remember. I will remember this experience when confronted with the anger, resentment and frustration of people who can’t seem to get a break. I have a neighbor who, it seems, walks around with a lot of anger and prejudice. I don’t like interacting with that woman and avoid it at all costs. Well honestly, I viewed myself (albeit briefly) as someone who had worked for her whole life, was a good girl, paid her taxes, and now in need of assistance. Friends, believe me when I say, I am looking for all sorts of assistance. It’s survival for us. At times, I too, wake up feeling angry, resentment and frustration. What makes the difference for me is that my feelings of insecurity, my anger, my frustration all subside when I am reminded that God is looking out for us; and believe me, he takes the opportunity to let me know. He is here and available for me, no matter what time of day. We are blessed.
Lord, I pray that those who are jobless take heart, and find the courage to persevere during these hard economic times, by strengthening their relationshiop with God through prayer and service to others. Amen.