To start, I want to take you back in time for a bit. It's May 25th, 1994 in the auditorium of the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, I'm sitting with my fellow REOC LPN graduates in my black cap and gown. It had been very rainy and chilly that day, even by Rochester, NY standards. It will be a day I will remember long after dementia sets in. I was 28, a mother of 3 young children and had been struggling for the past 4 yrs on public assistance.
Four years earlier, my husband at the time had just had a heart attack at the age of 27 and was cardiac disabled. I gave birth to my youngest son premature, as a result suffered multiple health problems. At the urging of friends, I enrolled in a 12 month LPN program the spring of 1993. I was very apprehensive about this as I have a hypodermic needle phobia. With the help of my wonderful instructors and some fellow students, I struggled through. Good grades had never been a problem for me and weren't for nursing school. Some of things I saw and had to do in clinicals made my skin crawl. Many a day I came home crying I wasn't going back, only to get up and cry all the way back to school to do it all over again.
Being there, that night, was a major accomplishment for me. I was the first in my class to get a job as a GPN(graduate practical nurse) to start that following Monday. I could have taken the summer to study for my boards, but I didn't want to collect one more penny, be on assistance one more day than I had to. My family and friends arrived hours early to make sure they had front row seats in the audience. They knew what a toll the past year had been on me, physically, emotionally and financially. When my name was finally called to get my certificate, I believe they cheered the loudest.
What I remember most about that night, was my thought as I took that envelope and walked off the stage. At last, at last I had the skills to work a good paying high demand job. Never would I have to stand in a public assistance line again. Well, there is a reason for that saying "Never say never." June 4, 1999, I injure my back and what was thought a muscle strain has became so many health problems, some days I'm overwhelmed to be in my skin.
Fast forward to today, we were served with court papers with a date of Dec 23 going for eviction, unless we can come up with the rent plus late fees. The whole amount, they won't take partial payments. Just 2 weeks late. In NY, have to be at least 30 days pass due before court. I don't understand the laws here.
We took the bus down to our local DES office, to be told they would review our application in the next 7 business days and would call us in after the first of the year. It takes 30 to 45 days for cash assistance and food stamps, 60 days for Medicaid. Call the Salvation Army for emergency help. Which we already had and they aren't helping til after January as they are busy with Christmas baskets. We were told to call churches, maybe they would help, which churches they couldn't say.
We came home and checked the mail. In it was a shut off notice for yesterday. The electric company gave me two numbers for assistance, one I got a voice mail when I punched 0 for the operator and haven't heard back. The second number just rang and rang with no answer. Luckily, OH had sold his property he had for awhile on Second Life over the weekend, and a few friends online bought yarn from me. It was just enough to pay the electric.
I have applied for part-time jobs, even though my dr. has me totally disabled. My leg swells double every day now about an hour after I get up in the mornings. However, if I could find someone to hire me, I would work and suffer through the pain.
The stress of everything has had me with migraine headaches the past two nights. I need to be sorting and listing more yarn and fabric, but is so hard with a pounding head and upset stomach. OH found a site, Wish Upon A Hero, he put up a post on. So far, a friend on Plurk and one anonymous person have made donations.
I had said, if I could list $1300.00 worth of stuff and 130 people each spent $10.00, we would have enough for rent, telephone and supplies for the pets. He said, it would be nice if everyone who came across his link would just donate $2, we would probably be able to pay the bills. The site tallies how much the wisher receives from Paypal donations and shows it right on the page. In case, your reading this and haven't clicked the link above. I'm surprised he put up a listing as he is not one to beg for help, but that is how desperate the situation has become.
I called the McDonalds on the corner from us and they said they are hiring and to come in the morning when the manager is there. OH said he would be there with bells on.
The other restaurant job, that was across the street, called him in for a third time just to tell him the guy that was leaving has decided to stay and they didn't need any help. His references spoke highly of him and they would keep him in mind if anything should come available.
If you have been a past reader of this blog, you know how much we love our pets. It's not losing our stuff. It's not being homeless. Though I have nightmares of homeless drug addicts accosting me for my medications. It's the thought of having to call the ASPCA to come pick up our pets, that's just killing us. I've never been a morning person, but the past several years of waking up in horrible nerve pain in my back and legs makes it way worse. If it weren't for the furkids, I doubt I would put my feet on the floor most mornings.
So why did I start with that evening back in 1994? Because it's times like this, when I stop for a moment, that memory of that moment walking off the stage comes to my mind and I catch my breath. Dear God, if only it had stayed that way.
If you've read this to the end, thank you. If you decide to help us with even $2, bless you.
Update: I've been calling churches and agencies all morning, it seems everyone is not helping till after the first of the year, as they are giving out Christmas baskets.
It seems we are on our own. OH has applied to McDonalds this morning, but they were too busy to be able to talk to the manager. He will go back tomorrow after the manager might have had time to review his application. In the meantime, I have two more links. If you could/would pass them on, we would appreciate it.
Save the Bunnies and his blog, Son of Modblog
Hopefully, we can resolve this crisis soon and I can get back to posting about what I like best knitting, spinning, baking and most especially the pets.