This is part 7 of my "One Year Ago Today" series. (click on the link to pull up the series - last post first). I had a severely injured ankle, my best friend and husband's grandfather died on the same day, our car broke down, we were notified our foster kids were going home, my husband left to travel to our hometown 1500 miles away as my my flew in to visit, and I had just "buried" my best friend. It seemed as if maybe we'd hit bottom and the only way we could go was up. I still missed my husband.
Friday seemed to be a day I could finally take a breath. The whirlwind that had been the past 7 days seemed to finally be slowing down. It had been a week since my ankle injury and I was very much aware that this was a long-term injury. To give you an idea - I couldn't get out of bed without my ankle brace that looked like this. I could hardly sleep without it too, but I couldn't sleep with it either. (On a side note, it was much better 8 weeks later when I got one similar to this one. I could wear it to bed though I had to loosen it up a bit in the middle of the night because my feet would swell I guess cutting off circulation. But it stabilized my foot while I slept...8 weeks later!). But overall, I was doing well and was ready to pick up the pieces after my friend's funeral.
My husband was still out-of-town. Today was the day of his grandfather's funeral. Truth-be-told I would have loved to be there if the circumstances had been different. I would have liked to be with the family and honor him. His wife had passed away 6 months earlier and she was one of the people (therefore they were) that were so supportive of us becoming foster parents. I wish that she could have lived long enough to share in our delight - she was the one family member I knew that had done foster care. From what I gather the funeral went well and my husband was traveling home that night.
At some point during the week I had received a phone call and subsequent screening interview from a company that really intrigued me. They wanted to consider me for a position that probably would have fit my needs well. So, Friday afternoon I had an interview with them. That turned out to be wonderful - I loved the interview, the person I spoke with, and overall it built me up and gave me confidence for the next 6 months at work that weren't necesarily my most enjoyable moments in my career. They wanted to hire me but then experienced a hiring freeze and it got postponed. They promised to call me back in 6-12 months. (Surprisingly they did...and once again it was just what I needed though it didn't work out for me to work for them).
Before the interview we went to a great local heritage museum. It was great to walk around there with my family. My mom loves stuff like that and so do I, but they also have it set up really well for preschoolers with different activities and animals and such. So we did that for a little bit before I left them there and went to the interview. Later we met up for a good mid-afternoon lunch/dinner at Cheesecake Factory and had a great time. My little kids were at daycare still and so it was a nice, relaxing time with good conversation and no tears. Except one of the kids broke a plate. Funny the things I remember!
I had to leave at some point to drive home to pick up the littles from daycare. I had plenty-o-time, but then got stuck in major traffic where someone was broken down on the freeway. I spent 45 minutes going 2-3 miles, which is really unsual for where I live and where I was. I spent the whole time talking to my boss, which was wonderful. She was so supportive of me and I always appreciated her ability/willingness to be honest with me. It was great. She didn't know I had just had an interview but I know she would have supported me with it. Too bad shortly after she wasn't my boss anymore. That was not what I needed at the time, but all part of the big picture of the life season I suppose. When I finally passed the wreck there were people walking around outside the car. It was a relatively small wreck - actually I think it was just a stalled car in the middle of lanes - I remember thinking what is that guy doing walking around in the middle of the freeway.
A few minutes after I passed the wreck the traffic report came on - where I just was there was a pedestrian fatality - someone was stalled and got out of the car and was subsequently struck by another vehicle. That was him - the man just a few minutes ago I had seen walking around. He lost his life. That was enough death for me.
As I drove a former neighbor called - she had lots o tickets to a local rodeo. I'm not necesarily a rodeo kinda gal, but I knew my mom and the kids would enjoy it and I love opportunities to spend as a family. So that night we headed over to the rodeo with all of the kids. We had a blast. At one point they did this thing where the kids were brought onto the rodeo area to chase calfs with ribbons tied on their tale to win a prize. My 3 year old had to go to the bathroom and seeing as how I had the 1 and 2 year olds and my ankle my sister volunteered to take him. Next thing I know he was running off into the crowd of kids on the arena area chasing calfs! Oh my - I wasn't ready for that! He had a lot of fun.
I picked up the car that day I remember. It was fixed.
I had to leave the rodeo a wee-bit early to pick up my husband from the airport. It was 10:30 or 11 when I got to him. We were together as a family again. Just what we needed.
We had a few days to enjoy relaxing, spending time as a family and with my mom, and just recooperating before we knew our kids would be going home the following Wednesday. We tried to make the best of it. I have absolutely no memory of the rest of the weekend or Monday when I went back to work. Things were hard emotionally and we were just beat down, but it went pretty smoothly from there. It was time for an upswing if we could just get through letting our kids go home. So we thought.
Thanks for listening to me tell the story. It's so beneficial for me to type it all out, even the little details I remember. Just to get it out. It will be a few days before the next "One Year Ago Today" series entry - but there will be at least 2 more next week. Have a great weekend!