May 16, 2013 § Leave a comment
rambling thoughts and random words upon a page empty into the vast and vacant landscape of my life. adrift in a dark sea of lessons learned, I cast my shadow far and wide reflecting upon the person I’ve become. conscious acts of normal lead me from the daylight and cast me out into the silent and waiting night. mighty but weak, I fumble deftly down the pathway of right only to find that wrong is raining yet once again. falling gently around me and gathering with the force of no reason, I ride until the tide takes me home again.
May 1, 2013 § 1 Comment
December 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
Maybe those Mayans weren’t so wrong after all. What has become of us? Time to take a step back and evaluate what is important in our lives. Time to take political agendas and hatred and finger pointing to the curb. Tonight my thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost family members. Is there a chance that the leaders of our country can come together to make a difference? I say it’s time to take a step back and contemplate what is REALLY important. Agenda or Allegiance?
March 22, 2012 § 2 Comments
February 1, 2012 § 4 Comments
Otherwise known as…How to lose your mind in 30 days or less.
In that one month my entire world crumbled and life as I knew it ceased to exist.
It started with a trip on the sidewalk on my way into work. I fell, coffee cup in hand, and broke my right arm. It was a compound fracture and required an ambulance ride, a two night stay in the hospital, lots of morphine, orthopedic surgery, a six inch steel plate and six matching metal screws to fix. As a right hander, I struggled with my recovery. Thankfully, I was able to stay with my mom and my step dad, Larry, for two weeks. They opened their home to me and helped me to get back on my feet.
I returned to work after just one week off. I had just gotten back into the swing of things when I was called out of a Tuesday morning meeting with the Marketing team I managed for an urgent telephone call. It was my roommate and friend Dean. He had the unfortunate task of telling me that my step dad – the very one I had just lived with for the last two weeks – had died suddenly and quite unexpectedly in the middle of the night. He was 57 years old.
This was a man I fiercely loved. Larry made my mom happier than she had been in her entire life. He was a character and everyone loved and respected him. The most ironic thing about Larry’s death was that his mother had just passed away in August…only one month earlier. He spoke at her funeral. And, in his usual fashion, he managed to get everyone laughing – even with tears in their eyes. The thing I remember most distinctly about that service was that the last thing he said while speaking. “Mom, I love you and I’ll see you again someday soon…just hopefully not too soon!” At the time, it got a chuckle out of all of us gathered to pay our respects. Little did we know at the time how quickly that would come to pass.
The company that I was working for at the time had the most disrespectful bereavement policy I had ever encountered. You were allowed one day off with pay…whether it was your dog, your neighbor, your child, your spouse or your parent…one day of paid time off to mourn your loved one. Needless to say, I took the remainder of Tuesday off and also took unpaid time for the remainder of the week. I needed the time to mourn with my family and help my mom get all of her affairs in order.
I returned to work the following week and spent the morning in my office preparing for a project I was working on. At 10:00am I was called in to the Human Resources office and told that after 364 days as the company’s Marketing Manager, the job – my job – had been eliminated. Please clear off your desk while someone from human resources hovers over you and we whisk your team into the conference room so no one has to look at you as you carry your box of belongings to the elevator thank you very much you pathetic thing you.
I stood in the lobby of the building dumbfounded. Too much too fast to even absorb had just transpired in my life. After a couple of minutes staring into the box of things I had collected from my desk, I walked to my car…stepping gingerly over the spot on the sidewalk that had tripped me up just three weeks earlier.
Thankfully, the month of September finally came to an end. The string of bad luck, however, continued well into the following year and beyond.
I was ahead of the curve, you see. The financial crash wasn’t widely recognized until well into the end of 2008. And even then, it wasn’t recognized by the powers that be until early 2009. By that time, any opportunity to receive help, any hope of saving my house, my car or my dignity had long gone by the wayside.
Why wait four years and four months to share this story you might ask. Well, the truth is, I have shared it with many close to me. But today, I’m sharing it with the world as a way to finally close the door on that horrible month.
Today, I have finally returned from the land of the under/unemployed. I am officially gainfully working with benefits…something I took for granted for so many years. And while it may be in my field of marketing and communications, it’s still a long way from where I was that day four years ago in September. There is still much work to do.
I’m not complaining. It was a journey that, while devastating in so many ways, was also blessed with many clouds proudly boasting silver linings.
I’ve learned……to be humble…that you cannot place a value on friendship… that despite the fact that even if you play by the rules, life is not always fair…that what you do for a living doesn’t define who you are or what your value is to society…and finally, that my family is the single most important thing in my life.
RIP Larry Lee Chambers. I love you.
January 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
VALENTINES DAY TO REMEMBER
The information shown below is being passed on with an open heart. I do know the family involved, and I do know the need is real…I am, however, not the person organizing this effort. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t trust her with my life… XOXO
I am planning a donation drive and fundraiser for a local Des Moines area family. The mother is a personal friend of mine and a recently singled mom with little to no support from the father of her 5 children. She is really struggling to make ends meet and I want to help.
I wish I could simply reach into my wallet to help her all on my own. But as a single Mom myself, that is just not possible. So, I am trying to come up with a creative way to solve this problem. It broke my heart when I learned that the family had not even celebrated Christmas last month. So my goal is to provide them with a VALENTINES DAY TO REMEMBER. That will give the children some of the things they need while also helping their mother get ahead of her financial troubles.
If you have the ability and are willing to embrace this family with me, please consider making a donation. The following items are on their wish list:
For the family (and Mom):
Used dryer in working condition (currently without dryer)
Used single twin bed for two youngest girls to share
New set of silver wear
Gain with Bleach Laundry Soap
HyVee or Quick Trip Gift Card
Girl – 12 years old:
New Clothing – Size 14, XL tops
New Shoes – Womens size 8
Girl – 7 years old:
New Clothing – Size 7/8, Med Tops
New Shoes – Girls size 1
Girl – 5 years old:
New Clothing – Size 5/6, Small Tops
New Shoes – Girls size 12
Boy – 2 years old:
New Clothing – Size 2T bottoms/3T tops
New Shoes – Toddler size 8
Diaper – Size 4
There is also a 17 year old boy in the family. I would like to be able to provide him with a gift card to shop for clothing on his own. If I am able, I will do this for the mother as well. I would welcome cash or gift card donations to help make this happen.
I am also organizing a bake sale at work. All proceeds will go to the family as either a gift card or purchased gift.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you and your family are having a very happy and healthy new year!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help and I’ll hook you up with the pretty amazing person who is organizing this effort!
December 31, 2011 § 3 Comments
Some days I really do hate that I am an adult and have to make adult decisions.
Case in point…I have wanted this Burnt Orange Saturn Vue since it was released in late 2007. Unfortunately, in late 2007 my life was busy falling apart at the seams and a major purchase like a vehicle was out of the question. Just keeping the vehicle I had was out of the question.
I figured at the time that I would simply have to wait a year or two to pull my life back together and eventually one would come on the market used. Fast forward 4 years and I’m still waiting for my life to be stitched back together. I’m closer, but I’ve been “closer” for over a year now and I seem to be stuck in neutral.
So the other day, I’m driving by a Des Moines auto dealer near my work and what happens to be sitting in the used lot? A 2008 Burnt Orange Saturn Vue with my name written all over it…it is, in fact, the one shown above. Being the idiot that I am, I made the mistake of driving into the lot over my lunch break. I thought I would sneak in, check it out and sneak back out without anyone being the wiser. WRONG! Lamont, a very nice sales man hustled his butt over to catch me before I could get back in my perfectly functioning car and run away. I knew I couldn’t afford the Vue but before I could escape the lot, Lamont had done his best to convince me I could. He’s good at his job.
For about 4 hours I had myself convinced I was buying that car. I can make the monthly payment with no problem…as long as I’m working. What I can’t do is be assured that I can make the monthly payment 3 months from now…6 months from now…a year from now. That confidence that I can and will be financially secure is still elusive to me. It is just out of my grasp…and its something that, before 2007, I hadn’t questioned in nearly 15 years.
For now, the voice of reason has ruled the day…and I’m pretty sure I won’t be on Lamont’s Christmas card list next year.