A Dream Unfulfilled Can Be A Good Thing

1 12 2007

We live in an older neighborhood.  For the past four years ,our former mayor ,has lived in the roughest of the older neighborhoods, trying to making a difference.  He has worked with our Local Development Corporation and the YMCA to start neighborhood networks in our five oldest neighborhoods.   At first , I was enthusiastic, but my enthusiasm had waned, when I continually saw people living in rental houses with brand new cars or SUV’s or the Direct TV dish in their yard.  I just wanted to move and get away from all  of the problems.

I also thought I had another very good reason to move–Jim’s health.  We have a fairly large house and I reasoned that Jim didn’t need to be bothered with it any longer.  So on my birthday in April, I announced my desires to thin out our posessions and move to Maria’s little town.  I think of her town as more of a village–it couldn’t have more than 500 people. 

My vision was contagious.  Jim caught on really fast!  Maria was especially excited because we wanted to get a trailor and place it on her property.  The other option was to see if the Mennonites would sell us the land just past her backyard fence.  It is a woody area and I could just picture having a little cottage or trailor and feeling like Laura Ingalls. Maria and I walked through this wooded area, one spring day and just dreamed together.

So we started cleaning out the basement first.  It hadn’t been cleaned in 10 years.  Maria  used her pick up truck to take loads to the Good Will or to her Mennonite friends, as we had a great deal of useful stuff.  The “icky” stuff got put on the street for garbage pickup.  Then we went through all of our closets.  We got rid of duplicate furniture.  I had a thing for desks and had at least three.  I gave away my spinit organ and my old fashioned piano.  I gave away and gave away–until my house was very stripped down.  Of course, I kept the piano I had grown up with.  I’ve been banging on it since I was a toddler. 

It became to complicated to buy part of Maria’s property because she still has a mortgage.  Furthermore, although we didn’t officially ask–we knew the Mennonites wouldn’t sell their land.  Then another little cottage came up for sell in Maria’s village.  It didn’t have a bathroom and was in disrepair in many ways.  Yet it had a new roof and the inside was very solid.  We dreamed of paying our son to put in a bathroom and do whatever else it would take.  By this time, we had our own house up for sale.  We had a buyer right off.  At that point, we kind of knew what amount of money we would be getting, and how much we could invest in this little cottage.

Ben, our son, was not enthusiastic, because we would have to live in his home.  After he married, Linda, he moved into her home.  His home was vacant.  Ben told us that although we were paying him–it would remove his name from other steady jobs that provided him good work.  He was thinking about winter and didn’t want folks to forget about him.  He did agree to help us but could never work up any enthusiasum. 

That deal faded when the owner wanted us to pay her a certain amount on official papers and then give her the rest of the money under the table.  Our realtor strongly advised us against doing this.  They found us a little house in another quaint town about 20 miles from our town.  We saw real potential in this little house and signed a contract. 

Our home was inspected and the inspector thought one of our basement walls needed more strength.  Ben had installed large wooden beams against this wall, some years ago–but the the inspector wasn’t satistifed.  The realtor got an appraisal on fixing it –about $2,700.  We agreed to do that.  Just as we got the money ready–the realtor came by to say that our buyer’s credit had failed the recent check. The deal was off!

I was tired of all of the business of trying to please everyone.  When Jim called on his lunch hour that day–I told him that I didn’t want to go through anymore hassle.  I was also beginning to realize that I was trying to escape the very thing that I had been so adament about–“loving my neighbor”.  I loved to talk about loving all kinds of people–but when push came to shove, I didn’t want to be bothered.

A confession was due for me.  I talked about my bad attitude and how I didn’t want to be involved in the neighborhood association.  My priest told me that he did want me to be involved.  There were some other bitter roots  that came out of my heart.  My priest helped me to see things from God’s point of view.  From that moment on, I felt my heart changing .  My vision of a renewed neighborhood was slowly but surely growing.

We decided to take the money that we were going to repair the basement with,  to pay off our second mortgage.  We needed another $1,000 to do that.  Then, I suggested to Jim that we paint the main living area.  So I spent seven weeks doing just that.  I went to Lowes and picked out a triple color scheme.  I made my huge living room into my dining room and music room.  I turned my bedroom of 22 years into our computer, tv, and family room.  We moved into the bedroom that we had turned into a family room after the children got older.  Lastly, I had my kitchen, bathroom and large hallway to paint.  We have two bedrooms and a half bath upstairs.  We hardly ever go upstairs anymore.  So that will have to wait until next fall.  Anyway, it does seem like we have a new home.  The yellow, purple and green color scheme I used, looks lovely. 

And now, I face breast cancer.  God works in mysterious ways.  I can imagine His humor as I was cleaning out and planning to move.   “Nichole doesn’t know she has cancer.  She really needs her home to be cleaned out.  She won’t move–but when she finds out she has cancer, she will be glad to have a nice clean home.”  Now, I don’t claim to have the mind of God–but I wouldn’t be surprised if my interpretation of the mind of God is correct.  I also believe that our chosen saints were praying for us.  My saint is St. Nicholas and Jim’s is St. Herman of Alaska.  Christ tells us in the Gospels that He is the God of the living, not the dead.  This is said in the story about  Sadducees,  who quized Christ about seven brothers who had died–but each brother had been married to the same woman.  They wanted to know how this complicated situation would work out in the resurrrection.  Christ tells them that in the resurrection there will be no marriages.  He then tells  them this: “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”  (Matthew 22:23-33)

Indeed, It can be a good thing to have a dream that is unfulfilled.  We are very grateful that we decided to stay in our home.  We’re grateful for a renewed vision of spreading Christ’s love in our neighborhood.  If you are facing a dream today–put it in the Lord’s hand.  Enjoy your excitement.  Maybe your dream will come true.  If it doesn’t , I hope my story will be an encouragement to you.

God Bless each of you!




2 responses

2 12 2007
Brent WC

Dear Sylvia:

You write very well. I think we all were blessed with language skill. I admire your courage and am praying for you.

Mary has visited the Orthodox church here. It is beautiful with a gold dome. Each year they have a Greek Fest there and there is a small section in our old neighborhood known as Greek Town. I was also employed briefly years ago by a Greek Family here. They were very nice people.

John Galnis was Orthodox and owned the restaurant and bar we used to go to in our neighborhood. That’s why Mary visited the Church, for John’s funeral. He would be very upset with the business at his location now. It has gone to the dogs and we no longer go there as the new owners are only about a buck.

It’s good you have stayed in the old house and won’t have the burden of long commutes on top of your other adversity.

I take all kinds of supplements such as: aloe vera, red yeast rice, cinnamon, ginko biloba, hawthorne berries, saw palmetto, fish oil, vitamin b complex, vitamin e, along with medications for high blood pressure, anxiety, and chronic pain associated with my repetive motion carpal/cubital tunnel syndrome.

The surgeries on both hands and elbows were only marginally successful, and I have read that the nerves regenerate after awhile anyway.

This doesn’t compare with what you are facing and seems insignificant in comparison to what you are looking at.

Frdaiy is a good day to reach me by phone, as well as Sunday. It is true I disdain long telephone calls and I resent the phone in general as a necessary evil in a chaotic world. It is too often associated with bad news from my experience, and earning a living on it for years just adds to the mix.

I love you very much Sylvia and you do have a wonderful family to support you spiritually and emotionally during this crisis in your life.

I have often read the Gospels to keep me grounded, and the words of our Saviour cane be both comforting and terrifying. This is so small part of my existence, this message of hope for the living, not the dead. Indeed, no person really dies, but is merely transpotrted either to heaven or to hell. I’ll stick with my Evangelical faith, not that’s yours isn’t the same thing. You didn’t just bebcome a Christian you know, and the Spirit of God is planted in us by faith, although I am a Calvinist at heart. We have a great and terrible God, whose judgments are always true and righteous. Our flesh can’t be perfected in the present fallen state and awaits the renewal of the resurrection toward that end. As a result, we all must die, and indeed we are dying each and every dat that we live.

Love Always;


2 12 2007

Dear Brent,
I appreciate you making such a nice contribution to my little article. I take most of the same supplements that you do. In fact, my doctor put me on them. I wish that I had know years ago how important supplements and healthy eating are.
The reason I don’t use real names on my site is because it is the world wide web. So far in just five weeks of blogging, An investment company, an insurance company, a second mortgage company, a cooking page, and a cancer web page have used some of my blogs. Please be careful not to use any more of the real names of my family.

I’m glad you read the Gospels and have kept your faith, little brother. I wouldn’t try to change your mind about your faith.

I love you, too

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