Monday, March 5, 2012
Everything Happens for a Reason, Part 2
The next one is pretty significant and it took nearly 3 years to understand why-- DH and I losing our jobs within a month of each other. 2009 was the beginning of a roller coaster that I never saw coming - and quite honestly, could have never been ready for. DH got laid off in January after his company sold and he was no longer needed. It was a company he had worked for since he was a teenager - working his way up from the bottom of the barrel to the corporate office. The work wasn't overly exciting, but he liked his boss and most of his co-workers...and we felt that it was a stable job. Boy were we wrong. We never saw the sale coming. But with me still having a good job, we felt OK...
Until a month later - to the day - when I was laid off due to lack of work. The economy had been on a steady decline for a couple years at that point, and being in the advertising business, if the economy is bad, no one spends money on advertising. My boss had told me they held out as long as they could - hoping that my husband would find something before they had to lay me off, but they couldn't any longer.
We spent the next month in shock from what had happened. DH had a severance package...and we both had unemployment, so we were hopeful that something would come along job-wise. Months went by...we had interviews...but so did hundreds of other people for the same job...competition was tough and very few places were actually hiring.
After nearly 7 months looking for full-time work, we both had to accept part-time jobs with low pay. It was all we could do. Ironically, DH went back to the store he had started at as a teenager...as a cashier. And I lucked out to at least find something in my field - albeit crappy pay and second shift - but at least I was doing something. But that's not where it ends - that's only the beginning.
By the beginning of 2010, we had to sell DH's car. Luckily it was fairly new and ended up selling for more than what we owed on it, so we bought an older used car with the remaining money. By April, we finally got to the point where we couldn't afford to make our house payments anymore. We signed a land contract with DH's mom so that she could have our house...and we moved into DH's dad's house. We took just enough stuff to live in a tiny bedroom (picture our huge flat screen in a 10'x10' bedroom - with a queen mattress on the floor, 2 dressers and basically nowhere to walk).
At this point, it felt like rock bottom. I questioned why we had to lose almost everything. In addition to all of this, over this time period we also lost 3 grandfathers, almost a grandma (from hepatic encephalopathy) and almost an uncle (from aortic aneurysm). We now had only one nice car -- and the only reason we got to keep it is because we got inheritance money from my grandfather passing...now house to call our own...and crappy jobs that were only enough to pay for food, car insurance and gas to go to our crappy jobs. Instead of thinking about all the bad, I should've been thankful for what I still had. DH and I were still together...we still had our furbabies...we had a father that was awesome enough to take us in...we had a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. It most definitely could've been worse.
After 3 months of living with DH's dad, DH found a full-time job. It wasn't ideal...the company had a reputation for laying people off for no good reason (they did it to me in 2005)...but we had no other job leads...it was close to where we were living...and it would at the very least re-set unemployment for him. After 90 days of employment, we felt like it was time to start looking for a house to buy. We weren't overly comfortable with any job's stability anymore, but we had to move on. So...we bought a house. And as it turns out, nicer than our last house with most of the things that we had ultimately wanted the first time we were looking to buy. We moved in September of 2010.
But it all came crashing down again in December when DH got laid off. It wasn't a surprise, but we felt like we were back to where we started. His unemployment was restored...and he started the job search again while I continued to look for something better than my part-time, second shift gig. Finally, by June 2011, things started to look up. DH got a call one day to start a long-term, full-time temp job the very next day. It was almost an hour drive, but the pay was decent, and there weren't many of jobs becoming available...so he took it. A week later, I found out I was pregnant - but more on that later.
At this point, we weren't out of the woods...but things were at least looking up. Due to being pregnant, I stopped my job search. That is until August when I miscarried...and just a few weeks after my D&C, I found a job posting close to home, in my field, and it sounded like a perfect fit. I applied instantly and got a call back the very next day to come in for an interview. The first interview went great and a couple weeks later I was being called in for a second. And a week after that, I was offered the job! DH was still doing great at his full-time temp job...and in January 2012, he was offered a permanent position with the company.
It took us 3 years to get to that point. But finally we were both in jobs that suited us. The money was decent and we were both happy with what we were doing. We were living in a house we loved...we still had our 2 beautiful furbabies...and our bills were actually lower now than when we were making really good money a few years back. For 3 years, everything seemed like it was falling apart. It seemed like we lost everything. But in the end, the path led us to a place of greater financial security and immense pride in having weathered the storm and come out ahead!
The final "everything happens for a reason" moment has to do with my pregnancy in the summer of 2011. I found out I was pregnant on June 27, 2011. I actually had an interview for a job later that day, so the two events coinciding were rather odd, but I went on the interview hopeful that maybe I was meant to have this job so that I could make more money to support our baby. Ultimately, I never got that job, but I was ok with it. I was pregnant and nothing could take that away from me - until August 5th, when my world came crashing down. I found out that the baby had stopped growing weeks before and all that could be seen on the ultrasound monitor was the gestational sac.
I spent the next few weeks questioning everything about the pregnancy. Why had this happened to me? Did I do something wrong? I kept looking for answers. I was reading tons of books about miscarriage...I looked up anything I could on the Internet...I even joined a support group on the babycenter.com website. I learned about how these things happen...usually it's some sort of chromosomal problem or just "bad luck." But those answers weren't enough for me.
I continued on with life no matter how painful...and asked myself WHY a million times a day. I asked why other women got to keep their babies and I had to lose mine. But God never answered. And there were so many times that I felt angry and resentful. At who...I don't know. But I wanted someone to blame...or someone to answer my question.
As mentioned above, I finally found the perfect job for me only a few short weeks after my D&C. After two rounds of interviews, I had landed the job. At that moment I began to think about the path I had taken to get to this point. Everything DH and I had been through. Then it hit me. If I had still been pregnant, I would've never been looking for work and would've never gotten this job that was so perfect for me.
It sometimes hurts to think that my path was ultimately meant to lead me to this moment...to have this wonderful, rewarding job, but to be without my baby. But I understand that my baby wasn't meant to be...at least not right now. This is where I am supposed to be at this time in my life...and I've finally come to accept that reality.