I’m going to preface this post by stating that I consider myself to have lived a particularly blessed life. I may not have resided in the lap of luxury, and often did not possess the various toys and amenities of those surrounding me. But I never missed them, as I have been blessed with love – my love for others and the love returned by people in my life.
Like most children, when I was growing up, I had dreams, and along the way those dreams would shift and adjust to reflect my growth and changing interests. Like most young girls, I dreamed of that fabulous wedding and perfect marriage filled with love and blessed by children. At some point in there, I dreamed of various occupations, one of which was writing. I loved to write and tell stories. Fiction has intrigued me from an early age.
Sometimes people find their dreams changing – through their own idea or through circumstances. And sometimes, what started out as a dream might end up a nightmare. My life has been good, but it has not been without difficulty. I’m not afraid of hard work, have, in fact, worked hard throughout my life and found it rewarding. But if I said that as a child I dreamed of growing up to be a production typist of medical reports, or that my first child would be born with a birth defect that would claim her life when she was 2, or that I would end up divorced and raising four kids, ages 10, 11, 11, and 12 at the time, I would be lying.
When a person’s dreams change to nightmares, sometimes it’s a quick and sudden process – a horrible and hopeless diagnosis, a catastrophic accident, a home that burns to the ground… And sometimes they become nightmares with a slower and more subtle process – it’s the little things that get you, and have you wondering “again?” over and over as the little things strike, as disaster looms and then is abated (or not). I was never well off during those years of raising my children on my own. My children often went without the perks and extras that their friends had. But we made it, and we did okay. My children have all grown and scattered, but we remain family. After my mother’s death, I was able to purchase a very modest, 100-year-old house with 40-year-old upgrades, where I have lived quite happily for a few years now.
The economic climate, as everyone is most painfully aware, is not a good one, and for people like medical transcriptionists, the work environment can change suddenly and dramatically with one corporate merger or takeover, and the outsourcing of reports to another country. Though we remain on the books as a transcriptionist, the work becomes scarcer and scarcer and the paychecks dwindle. I’ve been through three corporate takeovers of MT work, and each time opportunities for work decrease. I found myself working only part time because the work may be plentiful but the transcriptionists are in even greater supply than the work. Writing and editing were a marvelous way to supplement my income and make it easier to survive the slow weeks as an MT.
In the past year, I was blessed with a second grandchild. Things were looking great. I had cowritten an Amazon best seller with my friend, Kim Bowman, and even the MT work seemed to be flourishing. The peace that accompanied these events slipped away in April, when my son was in a freak accident that left him needing neck surgery and a good chance that he could be paralyzed from the neck down. Unable to work, he had no way to support his family. He has since undergone one surgery but requires another. I have helped them when I can, and that has depleted my savings. I still feel blessed. But I am living, once again, from paycheck to paycheck.
Some of you may have seen my link trying to raise funds. The reason I need these funds is because in helping my son, I fell behind on my property taxes. Without $1500 by February 6, my house will be seized and sold to satisfy the tax bill. The city does not want to hear my reasons and excuses. And I do, after all, owe the taxes.
The prospect of being homeless is a terrifying one at any age. And, like with the other things that have happened in my life, this is definitely not something I would have dreamed of as a girl making plans for her happy future. My children live in small homes of their own, and while I could conceivably crash on a sofa somewhere, I also have three large dogs that simply would not be able to come with me. These are rescued dogs, and great babies. One of them has been through a lot and she is 100% devoted to me but 100% afraid of strangers. She had been separated from me for five months last year, and would not survive another separation from me.
A friend gave me the idea to raise funds on line, and I have to admit this is one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. It’s pretty much akin to standing on a street corner with a sign for me. But as another friend pointed out, “this is your HOME, you’re trying to save; it’s your home, not a trip to Mexico, or a dream wedding.” Still, I could not ask for something without offering in return, and that’s why I offered discounted editing services and in some cases an e-book from one of my back list. And thus was born my plea for help.
I will end this by saying that I still feel blessed – by the love of friends, by prayers and well wishes of others, by an outpouring of support. God has always provided for me and for my family, and I am trusting Him now to lead me where He wants me to go. Thank you all for your understanding.