I normally refrain from putting up any sort of familial issue on the web, but after today, I knew what I wanted this week’s article to be about. Let me start about a year ago.
My mom had worked at a local theme park (the same one I got my first job at, and not the one I work at now) since 1999. She was well-liked, and practically made their entire Ops department run. Then, after only one warning (normal policy is at least 2), they let her go after 12 years. I was still living at home, and my dad gets Social Security payments every month, so we tightened up “just for a little while, until she gets something new.” After all, with her experience and work ethic, she was bound to get something quickly; we knew the economy wasn’t good but we had faith that her resumÃ© would speak for itself. We were strong enough to get through this. Thanksgiving? We did it with just a few modifications. Still no job, but we remained hopeful. Christmas? Not epic, but we pulled it off. It’s okay, we reasoned; the new year shall surely shine on us. It has to be better than now anyway.
And then March came, and I got married. Still no job after a six-month search and so many applications submitted that she lost count.
When I was living there, I was able to give a good chunk of my paycheck every week in order to keep the house running. After I moved out, though, there was substantially less that I could give, much less without needing to be repaid. My husband, who is amazing, understood and we gave as much as we could every week, but the battle was uphill in an ice storm. No matter what, we were still all nervously awaiting the next disaster. April came. May. June. July. Augus. Still nothing. Yet, we were surviving. Until yesterday. I won’t go into it, but let’s just say that yesterday and today were not stellar. We shed more tears and felt more stress in them than I can ever remember. And then, at long last, earlier this evening my mother came in from the porch with a grin that would blind the sun.
“I GOT A JOBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB!”
We hugged and cheered, and I drove home a happy woman. It wasn’t until I got here that I was finally able to exhale. I closed my eyes and the tears dripped. I can breathe again. I do not wish to cast myself as a martyr, but damn has it been emotionally exhausting. For a year, I have been at least partially responsible for the welfare of not only myself, but five others who depend on me. I can say that, at 25, I feel ten years older after this year. My grandmother has also done more than I can ever give her credit for, and if I can ever repay her for it I will. My husband has jumped in too with both feet and as a unit we have given our all.
This years has turned me from a girl who lived with her parents into a woman who will do anything she can to help her family. It has also proven to me that, no matter what, no matter how we may fight or say horrible things to each other, at the end of the day we are a family unit that can and will do anything for each other. The darkest times are hopefully behind us.
To close, and as an ode to my family and any others in our situation, I offer these transcribed lyrics and YouTube video of the theme song to a show I have recently begun to love: Roseanne.
If what doesn’t kill us is making us stronger
We’re gonna last longer
Than the greatest wall in China
Or that rabbit with the drum
If there’s one thing that I learned
While waiting for my turn
Is that in each life some rain falls
But you also get some sun.
And we’ll make out better than okay
Hear what I say
Yeah, any day