Sunday, August 4, 2013

Do you believe in fate?

Do you believe in fate? What about predestination? Does everything happen for a reason? A few years ago, I would have said no. I thought everything happened by pure chance...a coincidence. I thought people just said stuff like that to make other people feel better about whatever shit they were going through at the moment. To a certain degree, I still think that is true. I think that people say it out of not knowing what else to say in that moment. It's easy to say to others, but really hard to believe when it is you that is going through something awful.

These days I'm more inclined to believe it. I don't know if I'm just getting soft in my old age or if I'm looking for and excuse or a reason that bad stuff happens. Maybe I just want something good to come out of something bad so I don't feel like my time, energy and life were wasted going through it. I have found that if I wait long enough, I can look back on every bad situation and see that something good and positive came from it.

After posting my blog "When doing the right thing is the wrong thing to do", I received the sweetest text from a co-worker who I now consider my friend. In the blog I was saying that I wished my biological father never did the "right thing" and married my mom because that's not the life he wanted and we all paid the price for it. She said "If your father had left your mom at that time, we wouldn't have you! And you were clearly meant to be here and touch all the lives you have." It's one of the sweetest things anybody has ever said to me. She is right. If my dad would have left my mom instead of marrying her, then I would have never been born. I remember those words coming out of my lips during my angst filled teen years, "I wish I had never been born!" I never meant them. I'm glad I'm here.

Now on to the story....

So after my brother burned the farm house down, we moved around a little bit. Finally we scored a sweet pad in Fox Lake, IL. My mom, brother and I lived in an apartment above a bar called the Gold Nugget...cuz we were classy! I'm gonna talk about my mom a lot in this story and it's not meant to be in a bad way. I have heard her tell this story a million times because its partially the story of how my mom met my stepfather. I'm just putting it on paper.

It's no secret in my family that my mom used to enjoy a cocktail or two...or 10. So the apartment over the bar was PRIME real estate. One night she was at the "Nugget"...that's what the locals called it....and she may or may not have been a little tipsy when she decided to take a trip to the little girls room...aka...the shitter. I'm not sure if it happened on the ascent or descent, but somewhere along the way, the toilet seat broke and she hit the ground. Apparently she fell on her face because she got 2 bitchin' black eyes outta the deal and also managed to break her arm. This unfortunate incident kept her out of work for a few days. So while we were in school one afternoon, she was sitting at the bar. The door opened up and this guy Jim poked his head through the door and asked her and the bartender if they knew of an Ace Hardware near by. He had just bought a house down the street and needed a chainsaw blade. My mom with her 2 black eyes and arm in a sling piped up and started giving him directions. He asked her if she would go with him. She looked at the bartender and he said..."do it." So she hopped off the bar stool and out the door she went.

First of all...I have to question both of their judgement in that moment. Some strange guy walks into a bar looking for a chainsaw blade of all things and my mom thinks its a good idea to go with him. He might as well have added duct tape and a shovel to the list. And why he asked some strange chick who looks like she got beat up by her pimp who is sitting at the bar on like a Tuesday in the middle of the afternoon is just crazy to me...but I guess they both knew something I didn't. Maybe it was love at first sight. Chainsaws and black eyes can be magical.

Anyways, she goes with him to the hardware store and they had a blast. Apparently the dude behind the counter was looking at her all sad eyed thinking she had been abused by Jim. Since their first date went so well, Jim asked her out on another. Eventually he met my brother and I and they became a couple.

Jim had purchased the house to tear it down and build a new one, so he didn't actually live there. He had a house in another town. One night they had heard that there was a big snow storm coming. Jim wanted us all to come and stay with him. At first my mom said no because she wanted to get some unpacking done. Jim persisted and she finally gave in so we spent the night as his house.

The next morning as mom was driving down our street, I started to see a bunch of flashing lights. There were cop cars and fire trucks everywhere. Eventually my eyes turned straight ahead to see that our house had burned to the ground. All that was left was a big pile of smoking ashes. Right at that moment, the owners of the Nugget raced up to our car yelling "Thank God...we thought you were all dead. The furnace blew up in the kids bedroom. The fireman said you would have died instantly."

So if my mom wouldn't have been drunk and fallen off of that toilet seat, which allowed her to be sitting at a bar on a Tuesday afternoon, which then led to her meeting Jim who talked her into staying the night as his place, I'd be dead and this blog would not exist...I know, I know. Life for you all wouldn't be worth living without me and my shitty little blog. You can thank Jim ...aka my dad for saving this blog and my ass once again.

So next time you are going through something terrible...a loss of a relationship, a loved one, a job....whatever it may be, I promise if you sit back and wait someone or something good will come out of it. It may take 10 minutes or 10 years, but eventually something good will present itself. And if it doesn't, maybe that thing taught you something valuable that you would need one day down the road. Maybe somebody came into your life to give you one amazing day that you will never forget. Maybe they are gone now, but that moment will live on in you forever. All of us have gone through some pretty bad stuff. It's what you choose to do with it that matters. It can be a crutch or an excuse for your own bad behavior in the future, or it can help you grow into the amazing person you are capable of being. Be amazing.


  1. Thank you so much for writing this. I've had a pretty tough year so far that caused me to make a few very big changes in my life. I was doubting these decisions today, feeling stuck in this holding pattern and generally letting this year beat me. You reminded me of what I believe: that things happen for a reason, even if I don't know what it is. Sometimes you're too close to see the whole picture. Thanks again.

  2. Hey Erin...sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I'm trying to catch up :) It's hard to see things clearly when you are in the middle of it. I have been down and out and have gotten pissed off at people for telling me "everything happens for a reason" in that moment. As I get older and things happen, I try to tell myself that now. Some days I believe it and sometimes I don't...but everything always seems to work out the way it was supposed to.