The Story Of Vera And Her Family, Chapter 21

27 06 2008

In early September of l992, Bill arrived at our home.  Your dad and Phillip had gone to the Nashville airport to pick Bill up.  He was  from London, England.  Bill wasn’t exactly a policeman–but he had  a job related to police work.  He was in his mid thirties and divorced.  He had been to America to visit Phillip and Teresa once before.   He was an  easy going sort of guy who brought some much needed laughter to our family.  After experiencing a summer of double tragedy–the brightness of Bill’s personality was a God send.

Bill had only been to America one time.  He didn’t have much experience with American stores.  Thus, he loved to visit our mall and to go grocery shopping with me.  He gave me the money to buy all of our food during his two week stay.  Bill liked helping me pick out the groceries.  He also loved frozen yogurt and ice cream.  We rarely ate a meal without some time of frozen dessert.  Phillip didn’t abandan me with the hosting.  He came over every day to visit with Bill. 

Sandy had her 16th birthday while Bill was staying with us.  She was determined to pass her driver’s permit road test the first time–and she did.  It wasn’t long until Sandy got a job at Arby’s.  She enjoyed working at Arby’s a great deal.  She worked the drive thru most of the time.  This gave Sandy some much needed spending money.  There is a verse in the book of Proverbs that says that laughter and a merry heart are good for the soul.  Our family was laughing once again.  We were healing from so many wounds. 

The after shocks of the summer stayed with me for many years.  I could laugh and enjoy my family.  However, I could no longer express my feelings with journaling.  I had kept a journal since Ben and Sandy started Kindergarten.  I was frozen inside.  I just couldn’t put pen to paper.  My bounderies for living were shrinking, too.  I wasn’t comfortable leaving our town.  I felt safe going to the grocery store, the mall, the schools, the pharmacy and our doctor.  However, I wouldn’t leave the city limits.  It was a type of agoraphobia.  I couldn’t shake it.  Our family had spent years dealing with psychologists.  I had no interest in starting up anymore visits to the mental health center.  I suffered deeply. 

Although your dad and I were no longer hostile with each other–there was still a gap that just couldn’t be filled.  Jim had made some attempts to be in church for several years.  Now, he joined me in staying home each Sunday.  We couldn’t reach each other. We never prayed together.  We met each other where we could and sometimes had a great deal of fun.  Mostly, we were miles apart in our thinking about everything in life.

You, Vera, had a very successful year as an eighth grader.  You were chosen to take high school Algebra in the eighth grade.  You started talking about your dreams of becoming a veterinarian. We all loved animals.  The antics of Lucy and Sugar, our dogs, kept us rolling.  I still enjoyed walking them both for long, long walks.  It was great therapy.  You, in particular, took more interest in science and math because of your dream of becoming a veterinarian.Meanwhile, another dream was birthing that would be for the well being of our family.

In April of l993–there was finally hope that Jim would be able to get a better paying job.  For eleven years–your dad had worked in a little print shop.  He never got any raises.  We had no health insurance.  The only way we made it financially through your accident was the fact that the newspaper that you delivered  newspapers for—had accidentl health insurance for their newspaper carriers.  It was a twenty four hour accidental policy.  And it paid for about 90 percent of your medical treatment.  Therefore, we were so excited when one of our neighbors told your Dad that there was an opening at his factory. At last, we would have family medical insurance.

Jim applied for the job and passed the first interview.  He then had to take some math and English tests.  He passed those, too.  The next step was a medical exam.  Then a few days later, he land the job. Sandy also started a new job as the assistant circulation secretary at our local newspaper.  She got this job through her high school business co-op program.

You, Vera, had another accident the day your Dad and Sandy started their new jobs.  You got bit by a chow at one of the homes you were collecting money for the newspaper.  It was a deep wound and I had to take you to the emergency room.  The chow was ordered to be confined to the inside of the owner’s home for two weeks.  I had to dress your leg three times a day and you had to take powerful antibiotics.   Nevertheless, we were a happy family.  Life was taking a brighter turn for us.  Most of all, Ben never got in trouble with us or the anyone else the rest of his life.  Writing this in the year 2001–I can honestly say that is the truth. 





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