This is what keeps us moving forward. Slowly, painstakingly, advancing toward the unknown. I do get it - that essentially all of us are doing the same thing. Some of us have a better plan. Some have more security. Some, like us, seem to be Tom Hanks drifting on a raft in the middle of the ocean watching Wilson float away.
For as much as we are thankful for what we do have the holidays have become an annual reminder of the difficult journey we've been on and what we continue to face. And for as many things that we probably could've handled differently there have been plenty out of our control. You know most of the story of Ben and have an idea of the many obstacles put before us. What you don't know is how we as a family, my mom included, chose to "do the right thing" when we "sold" our business a little over four years ago.
It's a very long complicated story that I just don't have the energy to invest in right now. Ultimately we made a choice to pay off our creditors and walk away with debt up to our eyeballs rather than bankrupt the business and leave our suppliers with write-off losses. They lawyers and financial advisers wanted us to do otherwise but they didn't have to live with the decision.
Four years later that debt has accumulated. Part of that has to do with me jumping into this art business headfirst. Part of it has to do with what happened at Holden Beach at the end of this show season. A lot of it has to do with caring for a special needs loved one.
At the moment I am pursuing any and every opportunity for a work-at-home job. So far that means running into lots of walls. Evidently they are few and far between. We have cut back on everything we can think of. I haven't cooked so many dinners and meals since I was a bachelor.
Our house looks like shit. It needs painting (irony?). The siding has given up trying to stay attached to our home - obviously it knows what we know and is attempting escape. We can feel the cold wind through our front windows - we have some very fat and happy carpenter bees to thank for that. And all of that doesn't include what needs to be done to make life more comfortable in Ben's living area. We were hopeful for some one-time Medicaid dollars to help us with that but the fat cats on Wall Street put a hold on state spending here in South Carolina. Instead of flipping this house I'd rather flip it off.
And despite the possibility of personal bankruptcy, losing our home, and our uncertain financial security in the coming months I look at Ben's smile as he continues to face his challenges. I so admire him for his ability to laugh at what he knows to be difficult. Incredibly and sadly Jessie and I even watched Ben "suffer" through an intense laughing seizure a few hours after this video was shot.
So what do we do? I'll be honest and say I don't really know anymore. I want to think that our lot in life will improve one day, that God or Lady Luck or whoever in in charge will finally cut us a break. I so very much want to think that but it's getting more difficult as each day passes. Joan can honestly say that she gave up a while back. Maybe that is what hurts me the most - not providing what my family needs.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008