How the World Spun from Awful to Restored in 24 Hours

Within 24 hours (literally), my life spun on its axis and was about to flip off into space.  I had one of the worst phone calls followed by devastation and then about 24 hours later, a phone call and email that restored my faith that belief, gratitude and good people can change the world.

24 intertitle screen capture

Image via Wikipediachange the world.

The fact that I can state that this event was one of the worst of my life may be surprising to some of you who know how difficult life has been in recent years for me and my family.  I have had horrible things happen, including rushing my husband to the emergency room and almost having lost him two years ago.  We have also dealt with his tracheostomy and overall health struggles to breathe and walk and work remarkably well (all things considered).  So, why would this latest event be so much worse?  I think it was the assault on my daughter.  My sweet “baby” who just turned 3 years old and who has never really known her healthy daddy – he has been so ill for her entire life.  This sweet “victim” was targeted and I felt like the torpedoes couldn’t get any worse.

Here is the 24 hours…..

On my way home from work, I returned a phone call to the HR representative who was now handling my husband’s case.  Unfortunately, my husband was not able to get well enough during short-term disability leave to return to work and now he was switching to long-term disability.  The person wanted to go over logistics with me and tell me some details that would be contained in a letter that would follow in the next few days.  He spoke a mile a minute and frankly, I couldn’t take it all in – I felt like he has been at his job for so long that he has forgotten that most people on the receiving end would not be accustomed to thinking in legal speak.  Still, I was alright with it because he told me a letter would follow and I would be able to read the details in the letter.  But then the bomb hit – “our daughter no longer had a spot at daycare.”  I could not register what this meant.  He replied “Do you have another option for daycare?”  I tried to keep my cool for I knew if I lost it, the man would have no desire to help me.  “When does she need to leave daycare?”  He told me he didn’t know, but as soon as possible.  I was shocked.  I felt like pulling over to the side of the road and throwing up.  When I think back to this commute, I am surprised I could physically drive.  I don’t remember it.

I continued, “Certainly there must be an exception to the policy.  Isn’t there someone I can talk to about this?”  He responded that if an exception was made for us, it would have to be made for everyone.  I replied that certainly there weren’t that many cases when someone was out on long-term disability who also had a child in daycare.  He replied that this was true, “most people who have young children are healthy and young.”  As we went back and forth, I had remembered that this man had children of his own (I dealt with him when my husband was out in the hospital originally 2 years prior).  I couldn’t believe that someone who had children could be so cold.  He basically wanted my daughter removed from daycare at the end of the day.  The idea of this was heart-breaking.  My daughter just turned 3 and she was to move to another building with the “big kids”.  She was so excited to start her new school.

The insult was almost too much to take.  I have been able to handle all things up to this point, but this – this was too much.  I was literally sick to my stomach and pleaded with the HR person to talk to someone for the exception.  He told me he would put in a call, but not to get my hopes up and that he would call me the next day.

That night I returned home and had a tough time looking at my daughter.  I was truly sad.  I told my mom about the event and ironically, she had just signed a piece of paper for my daughter’s transfer to the new school earlier that day.  The week prior, I had taken a tour of the new school.  How could this all be happening?

I went back and forth on whether I should tell my husband about it.  This was the one huge fear he had on taking the leave (not that he had any choice on the matter – there is no way he could physically work right now).  I ultimately decided to do so because he needed to know and I thought he might know someone I could talk to – someone who could make an exception for us (daycare is run through his work, not mine).

The next morning, I called my daughter’s teachers at pre-school – two wonderful and caring people who love my daughter so much.  After telling them of the situation, one teacher told me to fight it and would have the other teacher call when she returned from an appointment.  Because I was busy at work with meetings, I didn’t talk to the teacher until the late afternoon.  When we did speak, she told me exactly who to get in touch with and to go straight for the top in terms of people who could help because of the urgency of the situation.  The teacher was so kind and so helpful, I knew that I had some things going for me.

I wrote an email to the contact person, hit send and rushed to a meeting (for which I was late).  When I returned to my office 2 hours later, not only was there an email waiting on me, there was also a voicemail.  The wonderful woman at the top (the contact) had gotten in touch with the person who could help and in less than 2 hours, my daughter’s daycare spot was restored and her life was back to being cushioned in love by caring teachers.  She would be in her safe, loving school with her friends.  To say I was relieved is an understatement.  I am unbelievable grateful.

When I looked at the time of the email, it was 5:10 pm.  The time that I hung up the phone the night before with the HR person was just prior to 5 pm.  What an amazing 24 hours it had been.

As I reflected on this 24 hour whirlwind, I think I had all the emotions that any one person could have in a lifetime.  To say I was stressed is obvious, but I quickly went from wanting to vomit while on that phone call to a mode of action.  I was plotting how I could care for my daughter and then I decided that there was no way that this was going to truly happen.  I just couldn’t believe that the world could be that cruel.  I decided that my daughter would be in that daycare.  I didn’t know how it was going to happen, but I knew it would.  This action came to be.  My daughter’s teacher saved me with the contact information and the contact, the wonderful contact, did the rest.  My faith in belief turning into reality was restored.  My faith that there are good people in the world, people who want to help was restored as well.

I am grateful.  Truly, truly grateful.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Mary Busch on November 28, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Hi Honey.
    Strange . . . but over the weekend I couldn’t sleep. I started my prayers, time and time again, but my thoughts always went astray. I finally ended with . . . ” and Please God, let Jim get well again and PLEASE keep Erica strong.” I was finally able to sleep.

    You and your precious family are ALWAYS in my prayers and never far from my thoughts. I am so happy to hear that the Lord worked through Annalise’ teachers and things turned out well.

    Hang in Erica. I know some days are tougher than others . . . but you are tougher and stronger than most. You have had to be.

    Know you are loved. “Mary”

    Reply

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