Wednesday, July 18, 2007


My Dad officially lost his job last week. He worked for the company for 27 years and was planning his retirement after he hit the 30 year mark. We feel incredibly blessed that he hit 25 years, the magic number where he qualified for the pension. When he was diagnosed with diabetes back in 1997, the goal was to make 25 years. I know that I've briefly mentioned it before, but my Dad worked a job where you can not be on insulin without a waiver from the state. It's a lengthy process, and even though it's not impossible, they do make you jump through so many hoops that you have to question yourself along the way.

We went and surprised my Dad on his last day. The company used to buy the retirees a cake on their final day, but due to my Dad's high seniority, the economic downturn and low employee moral, most of the employees were already gone by my Dad's last day. My Mom got a cake, and we went with Lucian, my sister and her fiance and brought him a little party. My Dad was so thrilled, he had tears in his eyes. He had just had a mental picture of how his leaving the company was going to be, and in the end, he got just that.

I think my Mom and I were more upset than my Dad. We were emotionally drained, as for 27 years, we had been loyal shoppers of the company also. My Dad though, came home from work on his final day, and hasn't looked back since. He is enjoying every moment of his "retirement". He's planning to work again, but is putting thought into what he's going to do next.

I'm so proud of the years he worked. He was a loyal, responsible, trustworthy employee. He loved his job. Not the politics, but the actual job. It was his passion. And although I am sad that an era is over for him, I'm taking the lead from him and getting excited about what's coming next.

It's been nice to have him home - I now have extra help with Lucian!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Now that my insurance has changed, and everything health related costs more, I've been doing all I can to economize. I clipped a few coupons out of the newspaper for free gift cards with a new or transferred prescription. The largest one was for $25.

I'm known for running my prescriptions right down to the last pill. On Tuesday night, I took my last anti-anxiety pill that helps me relax so I can get to sleep. Wednesday, being the 4th of July (holiday here in the US), I decide that I am going to use one of my coupons, the largest one. It was for one of the "mart" stores, and even though I've shopped this particular store in the past (and as recent as 3 weeks ago), I had no idea which location was closest to my house, because I never shop there directly from home, always on my way to or from somewhere else.

The location I chose was in the same shopping center as other stores I frequent (a dollar store, post office, discount clothing stores, and my favorite: the warehouse where you can get the $1.50 hot dog/soda combo) but I had never once set foot into this particular mart store. Honestly, until I looked it up on-line, I didn't even realize they had a location there, since it's on the far end of the shopping center.

So I drag Lucian all the way there (as it's much farther than my usual overpriced drug store) only to find out that the pharmacy is closed. Hello! It's a holiday! What was I thinking? I was so irritated with myself. Mostly because I've dragged Lucian along for a wasted trip. I mean, there's only so many times I can take a 2 year old shopping with good results, you know?

At this point, I've already promised him that we can look at the toys. (and luckily he hasn't realized the concept of begging for an item - mostly he just looks at something and hands it back to me) As I'm walking down the aisle, I notice a woman who looks familiar, but I pass her, unable to identify her. She turns around and calls my name, and instantly I remembered who she was: a friend of Nemo's parents. The woman from the couple that we celebrated our final anniversary with.

It's been almost 3 years, and she had aged considerably. To make a long story short, (because this is already too long!) she told me that her son and his wife were getting a divorce also. Yes, that would be the same couple who seemed so happy at my 5th anniversary dinner. Apparently, the wife took a job at a bar and has stopped coming home at night. Their son is 4 months younger than Lucian.

She asked me how I was doing, and of course I worked "much better now that Nemo's girlfriend**, the exotic dancer, isn't showing up on my doorstep at 3:00 am or pranking me." Of course, I said it in a nicer, more refined way. Miss Manners would have been proud.

**Nemo is no longer with Elvira. However, I have reason to believe that she is still dancing without clothing for strangers for money, and using/promoting illegal hard core drug use. I'm pretty sure she hasn't gotten any ethics in the mail either.

This friend of Nemo's parents said she had wondered why I left such a good life behind. Never having been told anything otherwise by Nemo's parents, she had assumed that I had left the marriage.

You wouldn't think that this simple and short exchange would affect my life in any way. When I told my sister, she was like - you know that you did the right thing, why do you need an acknowledgement from someone else? And the thing is, she's right. But at the same time, I've felt a big cover up from Nemo's family. Even with his relatives, and I still see many of them regularly, if only occasionally.

What I felt as I left the store was that a little bit more of my emotional burden has been released. A lightness, if you will.

It wasn't until later when I was going to take my anti-anxiety pill and realized that I still didn't have my prescription, that I thought about the whole thing. I feel like something was leading me to that store, at that time. Maybe it's just being in the right place at the right time kind of thing and nothing more.

But the fact that I went to a store I had never been to, early on a holiday, with the pharmacy being closed, and just when I was wondering what the heck I was even doing in that store at that time, I don't know... I just feel like I was led to that particular moment. To set the record straight, to tell the truth.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever felt like you were led to a particular time and place?

(By the way, I still don't have my prescription, and miraculously I'm not even feeling very anxious about it.)