Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I was robbed today

I was robbed today. I thought I protected myself. I thought I had covered all the bases. I'm stunned. I'm pissed. I feel like a victim. I feel like a fool. Humiliated,
humbled, shocked, embarrassed, stunned.... ok, how many adjectives can I possibly come up up? Oh, wait. Debased, disgraced... how do I tell my 75 year old mom that I was taken, robbed, that I owe another $5000 out there to my bank, now. Humiliation is a hard pill to swallow.

I was in my second week of training for my new job. I had posted my
resume/vitae on several business and academic type job search sites.  There was an interview. There was the offer. It was, in deed, a job too good to be true. It wasn't going to make me rich, but it had full benefits. It had insurance. And I would work from home.

I didn't answer right away. There were red flags. Was it legit? I read everything that was sent to me. I did internet searches. I talked to a couple of business friends. None of us could find anything on this company. It was out there, easy to find. It looked legitimate.

They needed to be able to transfer funds to me through my account. "Red flag" was my first thought. How much access would they have to my account?  They only needed to make deposits in my account. It was set up like a direct deposit, something I have done many many times. I know, I know. What were you thinking?

None of us considered the angle this company took.

For a full week, I trained: I read the site employee manual, learned about the steps in the process would complete. I talked to my bank to get information on guidelines for federal wires, limits on daily withdrawals, and so forth. Finally, this morning when I logged on, I found my first task assignment.

At 9 am promptly, I contacted my bank to learn my deposit was in my account and it was available for withdrawal. The bank initiated a 24 hour hold on the check, concerned with the authenticity of the source of the money. I waited patiently, feeling pretty confident that this was a legit company. After a few hours, the bank's main branch released the deposit, as they also could find no history of fraud or negative business.

I withdrew the deposit (not one penny of this withdrawal was mine. Feeling confident.)  I wired the money. I completed and closed the task. I felt good. I completed my first task successfully, earned a small commission, and earned a plus in the eyes of my new employer (I hoped). I got home, checked my Task Manager Office and learned I was awarded a $50 bonus. I was thrilled. I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I had finally found a job that was going to provide my son and I with insurance and the chance to pay off the ongoing growing pile of bills accumulating since we first moved home when Bill was diagnosed with Alzheimer''s.

At four o'clock my bank called. The check used to make the deposit to my account had been found to be fraudulent. The funds would be withdrawn from my account. I was accountable for almost $5000.

All I wanted was a job. I moved here so I could take care of my family. Now that is what I want to do: I want to meet the needs of my family. I do not want to get rich. I do not want a free road. I want to earn an earnest living that pays the bills, provides the protection of health insurance.

I do not understand this evilness I have experienced today. Get behind me.

Tomorrow I work on applications again.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

How old would you be if you couldn't remember how old you are?

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place. Kurt Vonnegut

I frequently visit Bill in the nursing home. . We had eaten lunch together and had participated in the activities at the nursing home. We were sitting in Bill's room eating our winnings from Bingo and watching tv. 

"How old am I?" 
"I don't know, honey. How old are you?"

"Awesome, babe. That makes me 23." 

He looks at me, surprised. "You're 23? I don't think so. Good try, honey." Bill bursts out in laughter, examining long-standing dyed hair and the wrinkles forming on my face. "What are we? 40's?"  "Yep," I smiled. He seemed satisfied. Jack was born when Bill was forty. It was a time when we were elated with miracles. It was a time of happiness that outweighs even the purest of gold. Forty was the perfect age for Bill to be today. 

It was during our forties that Jack came to be and became our world. It is a wonderful time to remember.

DecisionLove isn't perfect. Maybe that's one of the reasons it leaves us with a deep emptiness. The need to be loved is a primal need.
Child And SeaIt is the purpose of existence.

When love has existed and it is taken away from us, we grieve. That dark, terrible emptiness is the hole that remains where love once existed. 

Brown Egg Shell

We must fill that emptiness with something. We have to take the risk and love again. We fill that space with reaching out to others, to try to pick ourselves up and live again.  I am glad I love. I thank God for healing and for allowing me to be strong enough to comfort Bill, to hold Jack up and help him to also remember our roots, our past, the things that make us who we are, to make us strong, and to be the best we can be.
 Sunset #15

"When can I see , oh, what's the name, that town?" He stumbled to think of the words so familiar to us: home, Arlington, family names, and so on. "How's the cat?" "The dog? Maggie is fine. Missing you." He smiles, glad to know Maggie remembers him. We make plans for a visit on his "next day off." "When?" "Next week." "A month from now?" His face is grimacing as he tries to put the pieces of the puzzle within his head together. "No, just a few days, honey." "I won't remember." "It's okay, honey. They'll remind us. At our age we don't worry about dates any more." He laughs in agreement, and carries on with his jumbled thoughts until the visit comes to an end.

Red Beauty

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Lyn, it's the nursing home..."

March 12, 2013

"Lyn, it's the nursing home. We're calling to talk about Bill's rapid decline."

Bill is adored at Prairie Sunset. He has become part of their family. Because of his young age (he just turned 58 this month), the staff have gone beyond and above to keep Bill involved and active. Up until this week, he would report in the Activity Director and Social Service Director’s office every morning after breakfast. He goes on doctor’s office trips for other clients, goes on shopping trips, and runs errands with staff. They invite him to their home. They love him. “I wonder every day I come in if he’ll be able to find the office today. Will I still have my buddy,” his social worker and sweet friend told me one day.

So this was the day the staff was all dreading. He can no longer remember how to help in Bingo. He needs assistance in bathing. He can no longer shave himself with a blade. He has to have his food cut up. When staff took him out to ride bikes (yes, they even do this for him), he rode right into the path of a bus. Staff was able to stop the bus in time, but it was the beginning of an end for this semi-independent activity that he loves. He shuffles. Even his verbal skills, his strong point throughout the disease up to this point, are noticeably failing. And sadly, I see the changes in his face.

I've seen the decline coming for some time. Since I see him once or twice a week, the decline was easily detected both cognitively and physically, but to hear those words, rapid decline, brought me to my knees. How do I feel; sad; numb; guilty? Whirls of emotions go through my body. A knot forms in my throat. My emotions are all tied up in a knot. How did we get into this quandary? A part of me feels relief. Isn't this the moment I've been waiting for: For Bill to no longer go in and out of being present; for him to feel contentment; to be happy? Will we increase his medications? Will this prolong his suffering; his sadness and frustration in knowing what he was, a successful and popular Professor and what he is: lost in the fog of his own mind?
And then the doctor spoke those infamous words, “there’s nothing more that we can do.”

We walk to the van. I look down to the ground not sure what to say. Bill reaches to me. My eyes meet his. “I need a car. I’ll even let you drive it.” I can only laugh, knowing that all that has been discussed has either gone over his head or he has already forgotten. “That’s an interesting idea, honey. We’ll bring it up to the Dr. next time.”

And our life moves on.