Tuesday, August 10, 2004

One Day At Dragon's Tooth

Score one for the dragons.

I slept well last night thinking I had begun the attack and made some progress...too well actually, I woke up at 3 a.m. My alarms should have gone off at 12:45 but I was so exhausted, I called Amy to say goodnight, and evidently immediately fell asleep...never setting the alarms.

When I cracked my eyes open, there was panic, followed by a very brief moment of hope that I was disoriented and it was really 3 p.m. or the weekend...then there was mad panic.

The one thing nice about radio though is once the day is done, especially if it's a bad day, it's gone out into the ether with little evidence left behind.

I came home from an all too brief visit with Amy at the hospital in which the last thing I did was to remind her we would get through this...one day at a time.

At home I found a letter from the Social Security Administration. I was actually on the phone with Gordon at the time and had moments earlier said the one thing I feared was that Amy's disability appeal was going to be turned down....not because of the money, but because it would add to Amy's general disillusionment.

Yes, they did turn her down. In essence the letter said that a woman who can't eat, drive, who is in constant pain despite massive amounts of multiple narcotic medications taken daily and who has undergone multiple surgeries as well as other procedures; who has been hospitalized more times than I can count and who faces more surgery in her future...should be working.

Gosh, the work ethic of those government folks, I never noticed it before...who knew?

I thought about not even telling Amy, but it's pretty evident now that God is impressing a theme upon me this week: in discomfort I grow stronger...every day.

I called her immediately and reassured her we were ready for this eventuality and we would get through it.

Since the day had been so swell thus far, I decided I should double check our bank balance to make sure I hadn't made any mistakes yesterday.

I got slammed.

Big Dragon. A big mean ugly debt inducing Dragon blew fire into my eyes. Our mortgage payment, which I had for some reason assumed had cleared before yesterday, hadn't....until today.

Mad panic - the sequel.

I scrambled, there was no other choice. I ran to the credit union and sat in the parking lot for a few moments trying to compose myself. I prayed, "God, I need an angel to carry me over this one."

A credit union employee saw me come in, sat me down and calmed me down as well. He did his best to alleviate some of my suffering. Although we didn't have the money to pay our mortgage, the credit union had paid it anyway. They charged us 20 dollar fees for each overdraft, but this guy wiped those charges out immediately.

I had to use a cash advance on a credit card - a card I only today learned I had - to clean up this mess, but I did it with the understanding that this was my fault for not being thorough enough in examining our finances before I started "dragon slaying."

Now I know better.

Today I created another dragon in order to avoid being eaten by a bigger one.

Tomorrow I will be smarter.

Before I left the bank, the gentlemen who had assisted me said, "Remember, Mr. Main...this is only one day and there will be better ones."

I came home to a call from my wise attorney friend - I had contacted him when I got Amy's denial letter. I told him I couldn't fight this battle alone, even with God's help. I needed someone who knew how to really fight, someone I could trust too. He agreed and pointed me to a Christian attorney specializing in Social Security appeals. I spoke with the attorney's assistant and tried to give him a general overview of Amy's history. He said for me to get some stuff together and come in next week if Amy was still hospitalized and couldn't come herself. Then he said - completely out of the blue - "Mr. Main...I don't know why I'm telling you this, but my wife and I separated six months ago. I am distraught and destroyed by it, but I have hope that we will get back together. I know you are really feeling it today too, but I truly believe God has a plan for us. Truthfully, on days like today I don't understand it so I simply remember to live one day at a time."

Father God? Message received. I don't see how You could have made it any clearer.

The dragons may have scored one today...but the angels...and salvation, are still ahead.

Thank you, Father.

Because to me this reads like a corny over sent Christian email, I have to say this; I have taken no creative license with this story. The quotes are exact. I couldn't forget them if I tried, and I certainly wouldn't want to anyway.