Monday, May 08, 2006

A humbling weekend...By Kim

This past weekend, I had a GIANT piece of 'HUMBLE PIE' to say the least. I have been thinking for a while that life is tough, I've had to jump some hurdles, trust me, these were minor hurdles in comparison.

A few things that made me see, not only that things could always be worse, but that I am truly blessed for what I have and my struggles are minor, very minor!


First of all, I have great kids, they are the apple of my eye, they impress me every day with who they are, I have such admiration for them. Pickles as you may have read in 'A kids point of view' blog, has been having problems with a bully. He is not necessarily afraid, which after thinking about it, was a little discerning (are we really that desensitized in this society, that a death threat from someone, is not taken seriously, violence is so normal, that it doesn't jolt us?) he is bugged by it, and worried about other kids being affected by this kid. We have taken the steps, that I feel are necessary, I've talked to the parent (2 hours, didn't help), I've called the school (they have a plan of action, that they are crossing their fingers, hoping it will work). That is their last chance, the next thing that happens is I call the police and let them deal with it.

The parents of this kid, must be going through hell, (after the denial phase, I assume) here you have this baby, then cute little toddler, then little sweet boy and bam teenage years, (ha, preteen!) and you have this monster, who is wreaking havoc on everyone, he is so angry and violent, lashing out. Who knows what happened? How do you solve it? What is the cure? How do you put together the pieces? Honestly if it were my kid, I would put him in another school, with a new identity, and some major counseling. Not sure if even that would work.

Pickles is such a great kid, he worries about every other kid, he is kind, he is considerate, he has the most sensational manners, he can communicate fantastically with adults, he is respectful, a good loyal friend, I mean I could go on and on. Cheese is as sweet as can be, taking care of others, thinking of others, funny and a good example for everyone and again I could go on and on!! They are great brothers, sure they can be a little lazy and sometimes a little messy and forgetful, then again, so can I. But they are the two most wonderful boys!

I wish the other parents, the strength to fight this battle with their son, and I hope that in the end, they can salvage this boy and find him help with the demons within him.


Next, over the weekend, I sold my John Deere, this was a relief to me, as for 3 years it has been a huge debt over my head, but was not able to sell it, as my ex, was laying claim on it, and was insisting it would be HIS. When my lawyer assured him that yes it could be his, if he gave us the cash for the balance, as I would not trust him to take over the payments since he defaulted on a loan that was in my name, that he was responsible for, (yes, he is an ASS) he claimed that I would be paying for it and he would get it. Whatever, moron! I held on to it, making the payments, missing the payments (you know when we needed to eat;) and the lawn tractor SAT for 3 years. I paid it off this past January, in one lump sum for basically the same amount that I had financed it for 3 years prior, after figuring in finance charges, late payments and fees (hooray for me:) My brother in law was keeping it at his house and said he would buy it, when I got it in writing from the EX that it was okay for him to buy it. So when I asked the EX, he said NO, it was his and he would own it. My lawyer had told me 2 years okay to sell it, she had faxed his lawyer the proposal for the deal on that, him buying it, etc. And did not hear back from his lawyer in the allotted time, so said, it was safe to sell it. I didn't for so long, because my brother in law was agreeing to buy it and well, that was easier, and I hated the thought of having to deal with selling it.

I put a price up, and had a male friend handle the transaction, as I am NOT good with these things, I'm too soft and not assertive enough. The price I put was a fair price. Within the first week, we had a bite! But $700 under the asking price, I said No way! I said the lowest I would go would be $300 under the asking price. The lady said she would talk to her father and sister, she came back with $400 under, and I said, NO! I am SO sorry but, I really need to get this price and It is already a great deal, the tractor was one of the best ones on the market and had only been used for 1 month, it was practically brand new, she told me she knew that, and had contacted the store that I had gotten it at and they said that a new one of that model would be almost a grand more than what I was asking. I told her I was going through a messy divorce and this was my lawyer fees for my soon to be "cruella deville attorney that costs an arm and a leg and firstborn children" (and since I'm so fond of my first born, I needed to get the whole amount!) She said "okay, but my kids won't be eating this month!" (I thought oh, lady, I know that feeling, join the club;) She was very happy and joking and we had a very good connection. I could tell she was excited and I heard her kids in the background all excited too, I felt good!

That night I called her up to work out the details, and asked her about her divorce, mainly to get a recommendation about lawyers, you know, if "Cruella" didn't work out in the meeting I have with her. This women was SO funny and just had a great spirit about her! She preceded to tell me this horror story...She was a big city police officer, (one of the best, I hear now) she had pulled over a drunk driver, a college football player (a very famous college) and somehow during it, she had her hand in the window, the guy took off, dragging her miles down the road in a chase, the other cops stopped, hoping he would stop with the chase, they lost him and he did stop..He stopped and he preceded to beat her almost to death!!! She has had more than 6 back surgeries and has some mild neurological problems, is on disability for life, she got through that and after a couple or 3 years was on the mend.

While she was on the mend, her "dear husband" a very prominent lawyer in the big city she had worked in (not NYC, although he is there now practicing law) was selling their house, moving her into a small rental, she now calls lovingly "her shoebox" sold their yacht, took all the Stickly, promising her a brand new house on the lake and all new furniture, as he needed the other stuff for the office. She thought during that time that she had a good marriage and all was well (for some reason, her 2 girls hated the father, was afraid of him or whatever, now she realizes, that should have been a clue). Her girls came to her room one day, and stated that dear dad was doing something weird on the computer, they were going to find out what. They grabbed the laptop (they were 9 & 11 at that time) and found out he was soliciting sex in NYC, among other pornographic stuff, over 20,000 sites had been visited on their computer she later found! She could not believe this double life he was leading. She confronted him, he was outraged, and declared he would be going to verizon to get a new cell phone, he left AND never came back!! (she honestly makes jokes about this and laughs, her spirit is SO amazing!!) He has not seen the kids or contacted them since. The little boy told his mom, that he went downstairs and grabbed two garbage bags and left with them, he was saying, mommy they had bills in them. YES, they were garbage bags of money, of everything that he had been liquidating, that he had stashed right under her nose!

Now I'm thinking, girl, you gotta be set, with a lawyer for an EX and abandonment!!

Then she tells me, the rest of the horror story, and I kid you not, this women was able to look at the situation with laughter, saying out of it all she has 3 kids that she adores, she says, they aren't the smartest bunch of kids, they aren't the prettiest and they are a bit quirky, but they are mine, and I love them!! I wanted to cry from laughter and pity at the same time, she would have none of that, no pity for her, she was just fine!

The rest of the story, basically involves the entire city of lawyers not being able to represent her, because they knew the both of them and wouldn't touch the case with a ten foot pole, knowing what a shark her husband was. To making too much money in disability to get legal aid, but not enough to live on or feed her children. To having her credit destroyed and more debt than she could imagine, because oh yeah, during her horrific accident, her dear hubby had power of attorney over her and made plenty of loans and charges and to this day she is still getting judgments against her left and right!! To finally getting a lawyer to represent her, that she knew somewhat, who was an ex police officer turned lawyer and would help her and do pro bono work, but then when she finally came into due money (her delayed disability money from years ago) he became greedy and basically somehow, took it all. When she went for child support, in family court, after filing nothing at all himself every and not responding to anything, just as it was going to go to family court, he served her with papers for divorce, yanking it out of family court, to go into supreme court, knowing full well that would supersede family court! Sure this SOB knew every in and out and how to screw someone. He now is a big immigration lawyer and (hahaha) divorce lawyer in NYC making big bucks with an office on BROADWAY! (I am to polite to say the word I would like to say, and just in case any kids are reading I will refrain, but PLEASE use your imagination!) There was even more to the story after that, but I won't get into that, but amazingly this women feels blessed. She said my most famous words, (while I was thinking it all along, I just couldn't utter the simple cliche myself) she said..."Everything happens for a reason" and my other favorite, "what doesn't kill us, will only make us stronger". AMAZING!!

I SO wish I was wealthy and could have just given her the lawnmower. It took everything in me to not reduce the price down, and in the end I did split the difference with her, on her previous offer, which was not much. I SO wish I could do more. But at least I don't have to worry about a family going hungry for a measly hundred bucks..*sigh* Why is there so much injustice???????

I am so blessed with my beloved frog, he hopped into our lives and completed us all, his moral and principle is so admirable and impressive to me, that I pinch myself all the time, and truly do not feel that I have done enough to deserve such a wonderful gift! He is the most amazing person I ever have met, and he has touched our lives so very deeply that I can never thank him enough. I will adore this man to the day I die!! I wish everyone in their lifetime could feel the deep love that we have, but sadly I think some people have to go their lifetime without ever experiencing it. After meeting him, I realized, that no matter how many times before I "thought" I was in love, I was in fact NOT! I convinced myself, I pretended, I just wanted love to be there. I was blind and unknowing. After my life my prince charmant, I now know, and feel and have experienced LOVE over and over, everyday, growing and growing till I feel like we will all burst with it:) I also cannot say enough about him, (as you can see, I have 3 boys, I am deeply in love with:)


My last bite of humble pie, was tonight. I have a client who I adore, she is SO freaking funny and also an amazing woman! She has 3 beautiful kids and a great, great, Neil Diamond loving family, with colorful family members. She plays the accordion! She is the Director of Development for Francis House, a home for people with terminal illness's (granting every wish they have, if they want chocolate cake at midnight, one of the nuns will bake one fresh for them, no wish is too small, to make their last days brighter) There signature event, is one of the most successful fundraising events in this community welcoming over 1,200 guests and raising net proceeds over $300,000 and growing each year. She volunteers her time training and educating nonprofit organizations and development professionals to help further development and philanthropy in our communities. Really she does it all.

Her last child was born with many and I mean many complications!! He is almost 4 (so she has an 8, 6 and 4 year old!) and the most sweetest, melt your heart 100% little angel. He has almost had his last breath many times, had major brain surgery on more than one occasion , a permanent shunt to remove fluid that was somehow building up in his stomach and SO many other things.

For almost 1 year I think, he has had no surgeries. He has started to combat crawl, is SO cuddly and sweet, and is learning many new things. He can sit up by himself and can understand some things, his face is this adorable little cherub, but very distinct features, when he cries, its a very soft almost angelic noise, and his giant mouth that is normally in a wide happy grin, turns upside down and out the adorable lip goes, I told him "Aiden you are breaking my heart, what can I do" and he immediately turns it the other way and gives me this glorious grin! Never before have I had a little guy make me melt and fall in love with him so quickly. I love kids, but they call these kids "special" for a reason! I could have stayed and held him all night!! I offered my services any time and I will be waiting for my next visit with them!

To walk in her shoes, just in the home version of them, I couldn't believe it. She does this everyday and more!!


I will never again feel like, I have it tough! I have it easy, I always knew I was blessed, my children are healthy, we have our basics and that is all we need, we all have so much love for eachother and so much to share and give!!! Love is the foundation of life. Everything else is just meant to give you strength to your building!!!

I shed some tears for these people, but with their courage and strength and perseverance , it is not necessary. They too are blessed!! Oh yes they are!

Everything happens for a reason, there is always some reason for it, never doubt that! And every person that comes into your life, take something, learn something from them, you will be richer for it and they too will be richer!


At May 08, 2006, Blogger Egan said...

Wow, glad you can take all these happenings in stride. I feel for your friend and her four year old son. That has to be very difficult for her. It sure does put things in perspective for us. Merci!

At May 08, 2006, Blogger La Page Fran├žaise said...

You are all lucky you found eachother! There is a lot of love in your family and it shows. What's more, is that you recognize and are thankful for what you have. Not everyone can see what they have in their lives, and they don't appreciate it as much as they should. I'm thankful every evening before I go to sleep that I found my frog too, and for the life that we have together

At May 08, 2006, Blogger carra said...

I read the article written by your son. I really wanted to leave a comment; as at school I was bullied by the WHOLE class, I was telling the whole story to my friend few days ago over the phone and she was OMG it can't be true! no one can be so harsh, but I was affraid to leave a comment on his site as I'm still after 5 years very angry and in fact petrofied of socializing! I did not get over it and it wouldn't be a good example! I want to go to university but I can't because of that!
About the other things... You hear these nasty divorce stories and you can't believe it; two people that shared their lifes (and bed) together ending up fighting like cat and dog unfortunately is a sad reality of life. I found my husband and I fell in love and so did he! I love him everyday more and more and I can't believe I do! I feel so lucky, I know I don't have kids and the chance of having them is very thin but the future will show. My life is complete with it's struggles and happiness I accept it, I envy all these women who fight not for themselves but for their children's future! I'm glad you found your frog, I'm glad you have your kids, and I hope that the future for all of you is bright really bright!

At May 08, 2006, Blogger Kim/Thomas said...

monkey boy, yes it does put things in perspective:) life is a precious thing.

serena, I'm so thankful for what I have, I'm glad you are too:) I wish every single person was feeling the same, its sad that some go to bed, without it.

Carra, I hope that someday the pain lessens for what you had to go through, look at you now, your writing shows your strength you have, and I applaud you! You're a beautiful young girl, with a warm and loving heart, *big hug for you* and the people who bullied you missed out on knowing a wonderful bright person:)

I'm so sorry the post is so long, I hope others can get through it, boy was I long winded! It's just this whole weekend really touched me somehow, I just had to try to pass it on, I really did not do my experiences justice, I wish I could write with the magic pen, like some of you!

At May 08, 2006, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

wow kim - powerful and long post. Yeah I guess others have been through tons and don't let anything bother them or they at least keep on ticking. Glad to hear the tractor is sold and well things are moving ahead (hopefully for all of us)...

I guess it is a time to reflect at times. :)

At May 08, 2006, Anonymous Pumpkin said...

The magic in the pen is when when it comes from the heart. You have the magic.

Great post and I didn't even feel that it was long because I was captured by each word.

At May 08, 2006, Blogger Kim/Thomas said...

jenny, yeah it was good for me to reflect, life is precious. And Thanks God the tractor is sold..wooohooo!

Pumpkin, I do not have the magic pen at all, I have such a hard time with tangens and getting sidetrack and I tend to be all over the place, you know, like a train wreck! But thank you for reading it all, and you are tres tres sweet *another pathetic attempt and adding french to my words, hahah*

At May 08, 2006, Blogger carra said...

I didn't think your post was long, and as Pumpkin said you do have the magic! I really enjoyed reading you, I just couldn't comment on the ex husband factor a lot, I'm still with my first one (touching wood)! But you are lucky you've got your frog and i've got my... my... steak???

At May 08, 2006, Anonymous Jillybean said...

Hi, Wow! I have missed alot, but I'm back! I commented on pickles, what a sweetie! The thought of children sick really kills me, it is so unfair. I do believe that it a miracle to have a healthy child! I've tempted fate twice before I came up with this theory though. Now I am very happy with what I have! This was a great post, we do always have to be grateful for what we have. And soon your love of a frog will post how to not want for more. And I wanted to know if that applied to vacations? I always want a vacation! Is that wrong, Frog? It sounds like you vacationed alot in France so I hope the desire for travel doesn't get in the way of my joy of life! Today we climbed a mountain, had a picnic, caught a snake, and didn't bring a watch. As I sat on the ground I couldn't wait to tell the Frog!!ttfn!


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