I Can Go On

December 3, 2008

(This is the last sad, serious, and/or thoughtful post that I plan to write for a long, long, time...)

For the last two-and-a-half months, I haven't been able to sleep. Trust me, I'm beat--but somehow it seems like the more worn down and tired I become, the harder it is to settle down, close my eyes, and achieve a solid state of REM.

It's not the actual loss of the baby that's been keeping me awake at night--at least that's not the only thing that has my mind reeling. The loss and circumstances surrounding my late-term miscarriage have been nothing short of haunting, but as embarrassing as this is to admit, it's the dollars and cents of the situation that keep me staring at numbers like 3:46 and 2:14 on my digital clock--praying to God that maybe, just maybe, he'll let me get some rest tonight.

Just so you know, I absolutely despise money and have very little interest in accruing any surplus above what's necessary to pay my bills, eventually replace the Blazer, and ski a little too much every winter. Honestly, when it comes to things like flat screen TVs, iPhones, and foreign vacations--how should I say this?--I don't give a fraction of a sh*t.

I completely hate the fact that finances--paper dollars and metal cents--have the capacity to control my peace, happiness and state-of-mind more than any other entity on this planet.

So you can imagine, that when I came home from Maine Medical Center with an empty set of arms and a fist wrapped around a bill for $6,000, I honestly wanted to die.

Thoughts like Jared should close the practice... and I have no idea how James will get those Geotrax for Christmas... and Lord have Mercy, it's another bill... have been eating me alive at home, at work, and mostly in the middle of the night.

Three weeks ago, in a moment of complete overtired despair, I called Maine Medical Center and I cried to the switchboard operator. "I just need help," I sobbed. "This bill is gonna put my family under."

And just like that, she transferred my call to Maria--a woman who promised to help.

Within three minutes, Maria knew my income, the status of my husband's new business, and the makeup of my family. And then, within three and a half minutes, Maria uttered a few words that rescued my fragile psyche..."There are programs for people just like you."

Sliding scales...foundation aid...state programs...grants for new business owners...

Programs for people just like me.

Yesterday afternoon, I sat across the desk from a woman name Brenda. She asked me roughly four-thousand very personal questions. Things like How much has your husband spent on clothes for his new business... and Wait! What about chiropractic tables? Those seems expensive! What did he spend on those?!... and So you do have student loan debt? Good. That'll help... and my absolute favorite, Does your Blazer have lots of rust? It does? Then it should be worth less than that...

And then, after ninety minutes of crazy, probing questions, she said the words that finally let me sleep again:

Merry Christmas, Amy. You're bill has been taken care of.

Did you catch that? You're bill has been taken care of.

One hundred percent of it.

Let's just say that I now owe Brenda a box of Kleenex. I sobbed out of relief. I sobbed because this world is so full of goodness that it makes my head spin. And as crazy as it sounds, a little part of me sobbed because that bill was one of the only tangible things I had left to remind me that my baby boy was (and still is) a very important piece of my life.

I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed because finally, finally, I can catch my breath again. I can move forward with this crazy little happy life that I've built for myself in Maine.

I can go on.

I want to take a moment to offer my heartfelt thanks to Maria, Brenda, the switchboard operator, my parents, my in-laws, and every other person who's helped to lighten our load. And thank you to those who see the value in stepping up to support promising--but anonymous--new business owners.

If we ever make too much money, which chiropractors sometimes do, I promise here and now to help a hardworking, honest, young family more than I've been helped this week. But deep in my heart, I hope I can do it for a hundred.

Don't be fooled for a second, this world is a beautiful place.

(Man I'm a good writer!)

45 comments:

Vanilla said...

F*%k Yeah! That's awesome Amy. I'm so happy for you.

(and yes you are)

Viv said...

That is great news Amy...The world has a way of givng back to you when one seems to need it the most.

Maraiya said...

You are making me cry. A friend of mine had someone anonymously give her walmart cashier $20 for her groceries. The world is a great place.

Congratulations on getting the bill paid.

Jody said...

Shit Amy, I read this at work and I hate crying at work! Warn me about the tear jerkers please. Though I'm happy you got the bill taken care of.

Smoochiefrog said...

That's an awesome blessing Amy. God is good!

k said...

As someone who lives in a country where you generally don't leave the hospital with a bill, I hadn't even thought of the financial hardship that might have gone along with the loss of your child.

I am so happy you were able to get the bill taken care of and I now feel even so much luckier to live where I do.

I'm so glad you were able to have the world give something back to you and hope you'll be in the position to return that favour some day.

Luke and Katie said...

Wow! I'm not sure if I am super emotional or what, but that post got the tears aflowin'! There really are great people left in the world...and this is the proof! Thanks for the post!

RazZDoodle said...

Awesome news. Awesome post. Good for you!

Mindy said...

Amy, you ARE a good writer. I loved your post, and I feel the exact same way about money that you do. I am so glad that at least the financial burden has been lifted for you. I promise the heavy heart over losing a baby will lighten over time too.

Laura said...

That's great news!! Merry Christmas to you!

Cheryl said...

Hallelujah and Praise God for answered prayers! And for Maria and Brenda and the switchboard operator, and for the programs in place to help.
And yes you are a great writer. God bless you.

Sarah said...

I got teary for you right here at my desk. That is a huge blessing! Congrats

Ray, Brandi and Our Girls said...

Amy you've been on my heart since our email conversation. You showed me just how blessed we were to have the navy through our situation. While we were praying thanking God for that one light in a horrible circumstance, we were praying for your family as well. I'm teary eyed and my heart feels a little better this morning. Thanks again for another brilliant post.

Lindsey said...

I hope to see that kind of world soon.

Lindsey said...

I hope to see that kind of world soon.

ClumberKim said...

Awww, Amy, you've gone and shown me the Maine I once knew so well (not far from where you are) but try to forget since I'll probably never live there again. I love the little snapshots of Maine that you share, and I'm thrilled that this worked out for you. Every once in a while I start to think the universe might actually have it together.

I need to go find a box of kleenex now.

Emily Murdock said...

See, good things happen to fairly good people. (haha, just kidding!)
Seriously though, I'm just so happy for you. What a load of stress off your back!!! I hope you sleep well tonight!
PS I hate money too, and I hate what it does to my happiness, too.

carrie said...

Amen! Beautifully written. :)

Katy said...

Gos is SO good. I've been so happy about this!

chattypatra said...

Oh, do I know exactly what you are talking about! The bill for my 12 hrs. trip to the emergency room last March came to a little over $2000, which I still owe. I am VERY GLAD to hear about your happy ending. You and Jared certainly deserve a break, especially now at Christmas. Thanks for giving me a reason to smile today. Love you!

Jessica said...

amy, this is wonderful news! thanks for sharing. sending lots of love and good thoughts from poland.

katieo said...

Good things DO happen to good people! Yay!

(p.s. I love your funny posts but love these serious/thoughtful posts just as much.)

TUWABVB said...

I'm so happy for you and so proud of you to ask for help. Little did you know that this could be taken care of!!! You totally deserve a little breating room - I hope you can sleep tonight.

VICKI IN AZ said...

Yes Amy, you are a very good writer, you write what you know and we all feel like we know you because of your willingness to share yourself. I want to be your press agent here in AZ for the book you write someday so put me on your list. Merry Merry Christmas, I am so happy for your families blessing.

David and Sammy said...

I'm so glad that bill was taken care of. I hope you guys have a great Christmas!

Sarah said...

Oh, that's awesome Amy! Why is it that that makes ME feel lighter and less burdened!?

Sarah said...

Oh, that's awesome Amy! Why is it that that makes ME feel lighter and less burdened!?

J~Mom said...

That is great news!!!

nicole said...

What a great story. Thanks and congrats. Merry Christmas!

Patty said...

i can't possibly imagine what you've been through, and to make matters worse... a huge hospital bill that brought nothing but grief and sad memories. so glad the bill has been taken care of. now go get some damn sleep woman!!

(yes, you are a good writer, but you already know that!)

Morgan and Derek said...

That is such a blessing. I'm so happy for you!

Annette said...

Wow Amy, that is an amazing story! Just when I lose all respect for most of humanity, a story like yours comes along and I realize there ARE still some really awesome people out there! I'm so glad you got that kind of support from the hospital! WOW! :) For what it's worth, I hate money with a passion too and our need for it to survive!

Michemily said...

Wow, you can write. What a wonderful Christmas present.

Hilary said...

I'm so happy for that lightening of your burden. You deserve the peace.

Mel said...

Darnit! There you go making me cry again.

I'm so glad that you had that taken care of.

On the flip side it makes me angry that not everyone does have those things taken care of even when they need them to be.

I am so thankful for the help of strangers sometimes that it amazes me how generous and thoughtful people can be.

I hope that you can help a hundred families some day.

Merry Christmas.

Joy Through Cooking said...

What a wonderful Christmas gift! Beautiful (and tearjerking) post.

Thanks for the reminder to give back this holiday season.

Meghan said...

What an amazing blessing, Amy... and a huge weight lifted off your shoulders! Merry Christmas to you!! :) And, hey, email me your new address so we can send you a card this year! meghan37 at hotmail dot com

JAMIE RBZ said...

So here I sit crying tears of joy and sadness for you. I can somewhat relate to your feelings. We were struggling so much when we lost our daughter and I was amazed by the generosity of those around me, even virtual strangers. I am so glad that you were able to have these angels in your life. Your sweet little boy is still with you.

aimee said...

merry christmas indeed. i'm so happy for you.

Heather of the EO said...

Oh, the chills. These are the best kind of chills!!! I'm so happy for you. I'm so glad that you have rust on your Blazer!

I too want nothing to do with money unless it's there for me to give away. Then I'm cool with it.

So I'm pretty sure we're both going to be filthy rich...maybe.

Yes, you are a good writer. Duh.

Katie said...

Wow, amazing! There is good in the world, it's good to hear about good news!

Last year I went through your pain as well. While putting up my Christmas tree I put the ornament on that I got in honor of our twins we last in our 2nd Trimester, to show they're a part of our life forever. My thoughts are still with you!

Reluctant Runner said...

You ARE a great writer. Take care and hope you a good night's sleep.

jkrunning said...

That's awesome Amy. Congrats.

Natalie said...

Thank you for this beautiful reminder of the goodness in our world. When my first child was stillborn, my husband and I were the recipients of others' kindness. I was teaching school, and because my daughter was stillborn, the school district would not let me have maternity leave. My coworkers donated their sick days so that I could have time off. 12 years later, it still brings tears to my eyes. So when I say that although I don't know you, I am sincerely relieved and happy for you, I mean it.
I hope you are getting some much needed REM sleep.

Erin Maupin said...

Amy, I love reading your blog- it is the perfect mix of humor and heart... this post brought me to tears! I hope you are sleeping better these days. And man, you are a good writer. ;)