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!)