Friday, May 27, 2016

Investing in tomorrow, today!

Man, we have had a really strange couple of months. Stressful doesn't even begin to cover it! Here's the long version.  

When Jerry was a baby, he was born with a hole in his heart, which closed up on it's own.  Later when he was a few years old (I think 3?) he developed Kawasakii syndrome. One of it's characteristics is a high, high, high fever that lasts for several days. Well when your heart is working that hard it can become damaged. So between scar tissue on his heart from the hole closing up, and Kawasakii syndrome, he developed an irregular heartbeat. It's something he has always had, but for some reason, it very suddenly got much worse. 

We lived in Orting. Jerry had worked for comcast for 5 years. They were a pretty terrible company to work for, as far as caring about their customers or their employees, but they made up for it by amazing pay, amazing bonuses and commission, and amazing incentives. 3 years in a row Jerry was the number 1 salesman in all of comcast. ALL OF IT. Every comcast employee in the entire world, Jerry made more sales, more commission and more money than all of them, in fact he made more than his bosses. We got to go to Hotel Del Coronado in California for the weekend, enjoying the Zoo and the night out in the Gaslamp district for the awards ceremony three years ago, and then last year we were also treated to an all expense paid vacation to Disneyland for our whole family. I mean really, it was amazing.  
One afternoon, I was going about my business when I got a text from him. "Kait, I think I'm having a heart attack. I told the Jeffs (His bosses, both named Jeff.) not to call an ambulance if I pass out." 

Um. Excuse me!? 

We got him in to see the doctor right away, they decied that Jerry was probably too stressed out at work and it was putting a lot of stress on his heart. So Jerry dedicated himself to running. He lost about 10 pounds and became a superstar running man. He was still having quiet a bit of "episodes" where his heart would start beating like crazy (tachycardia) and he would feel light headed from not getting enough blood to his brain. His doctor advised him to take some time off. We spent a ton of time together last summer, truly amazing. Something I will never forget! He got to be present in the kids' lives all the time, that was so amazing! He slept a ton and went through months of finding the right medications. Some meds made him crazy tired, some made him crazy hyper, some made him plain old crazy. Then you have to balance that all out with a sleeping pill so that he wouldn't be up all night, so then you have to take something to wake up. Ugh. It was a long few months.  

He went back to work after his medical leave expired and his first day there, he had a really bad episode. He spent the rest of the day in the E.R.  

We prayed about it, and thought about it and one of us (not naming names) started freaking about supporting 7 kids with no job!! And then miraculously, a job listing popped up for a new call center in Spokane. He applied for the job and they told him to start 2 weeks later. Oh my goodness. Somehow we made it. We rented a house that we found online (which was deceptively smaller than it looks online. We're all sardines in here!) and my parents rejoiced. :)  
So he was supposed to start on the 24th and on the 23rd he got a very short e-mail, "Hey Jerry we didn't have enough recruits signed up for training so we'll have you come back and work in Fife."...  

Um... EXCUSE ME!? 

We just moved across the state, for you to tell us that we needed to move back? What the heck. We prayed about it, and talked about it, and thought about it, and one of us (okay, it was me!) started freaking out. But Jerry felt very at peace. He decided to look for another job. (I just have to say, it was REALLY hard for me because they paid so well!!! Lol) 

Just a few short weeks later, he had started at Cintas. They are a Uniform delivery company. They supplies towels to starbucks, and napkins to Twiggs, and rugs to dentist offices, and uniforms to mechanics, etc. Etc. He went through extensive training, both written tests and physical tests to see if he could do the job. Well thanks to his running he was as fit as a horse. (that's the saying, right?) He was there for 2 months, still struggling with his heart medication and a new doctor, new cardiologist, and now dentist. He needed to get his wisdom teeth pulled, which somehow got him motivated to get a couple of cavities filled too. Well of course, he got dry socket. But that guy pressed on, man. He woke up diligently at 4:30am, drove to work in the snow, collected wet laundry, and would come home freezing cold, smelling horrible, and so dirty. It was such a hard time for him! In February, right before Zoe was born, he passed out at work and lost his license. Sad.face.... freak. Out. FaceLIke, I had a baby 2 days later and my husband is not only unemployed, but also having severe medcal problems!! 

He went on short term disability since there really isn't anything to do when you can't drive a truck but you work for a truck driving company.  

We prayed. We fasted. We freaked out. We prayed some more... but we did not know what we would do. At the very last week of his short term disability, he decided to apply for grad school.  I mean, at this point he can't really work, and when we really thought about it, it totally made sense. We had a good amount in our savings account. Our only debt is our van, and our only bills are rent and our phone bill.  
He was accepted into grad school, into the accelerated program for his MBA on April 1 through WGU. It's all competency based so you take a test and if you pass it, you don't have to take the class... but on average you finish in 2 years.  

He has averaged 1 test per week.  

He has taken one test and passed each and everyone on the first try 7 times in a row... he only has 4 classes left which he is hoping to finish in the next 4 weeks. All his tests are proctored. He pays for a tutor at Sylvan Learning Center to watch him take his test, so obviously you can't cheat. I look at him now and am completely blown away, and also embaressed he had to marry such a dork like myself. He will be sitting for his CPA exam in 2 months. I just can't even understand it, he is just amazing!!  
A year ago today, I was working on my little girl scout troop's bridging ceremony, and planning for their first year of brownies. My kids were all in public school, we had a different life, completely. We had six kids, not 7... Zoe was just a shadow we didn't even know about.  

I can truly say, I have no idea what the future holds, because every other day is a surprise.  
I mean, I'd love to be the kind of person who just trudges along in life and does the same stuff every day... but I'm not, and I don't think I will ever be.  

"Oh no, to live... to live would be an awfully great adventure" - Peter Pan 

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