Writers aren't exactly people, they're a lot of people trying to be one person. F.Scott Fitzgerald

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Grasshopper and the Ant

     Well,so far things are going better for me at the start of 2013. I am finally learning to manage my money better than I did in 2012. I admit that I as a young girl I was used to having money and not have to worry about such a mundane thing.My stepfather was a self made millionaire and he doted on me and loved buying me things.His only biological child was a disappointment to him.When he divorced his first wife and married my mother, I was the child he had always wanted and he made all of my dreams come true.
    I loved working the cattle with him and he gave me my first horse.We worked side by side until he knew he could trust me to handle myself on my horse and working the cattle.After that he would tell me what he wanted me to do for that day and trusted me to get it done.He loved taking me shopping and showing off for me by buying whatever I wanted. He made all of my dreams come true and I adored him.All I had to do was ask  for something and he would make it happen.  He spoiled me ,but I also worked very hard to earn his praise.
  Then I fell in love with a very handsome young man who asked me to marry him and with stars in my eyes I said yes.My stepfather warned me that he was not the right man for me,but I was 16 or 17 and madly,foolishly in love.We were married on a beautiful October day and I was sure that we would be deliriously happy for the rest of our lives.I was so wrong!
  My stepfather was right and after six miserable years of putting up with his infidelity, and having two children that he did not want,I was miserably unhappy.  My stepfather,the only stable person in my life and who loved me unconditionally sent me the money to come home.So I packed my bags,took my two children and flew back to the only home I had ever loved and the only people who had ever really loved me.A few months later I was divorced and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.
   Life was better for me and my two children. I was happy for a time, I had my horses and a farm again even if the old farm I loved so much was sold.I liked the new place but it just wasn't the same.
   My stepfather made sure to remind me of all the mistakes I had made and that my leaving was the main reason that he had sold the farm we had both loved so much.
   The breach between us gradually healed and once again we were close,but things were never the same.I think he stayed angry at me for leaving him for a man he had told me wasn't the right man for me.Unfortunately for both of us, he was right!
   I decided that I had to find a profession that would pay me enough to pay my bills and take care of my children.My stepbrother's wife was a registered nurse and talked me into going to nursing school.I decided that it was a profession that paid pretty well and nurses were always needed.
 Looking back,I had no way of knowing just how glad I would be that I chose to go to school and earn my degree as a registered nurse.
  A few years later my stepfather was in poor health and I helped take care of him when he had to have both legs amputated above the knee,because my mother,who had developed kidney disease and was on dialysis three time a week just couldn't handle it. We hired several nurses but he wanted me so mother hired a housekeeper instead to help her and help take care of my stepfather while I was at work.I took over the care of my stepfather when I was off work and in-between taking care of my two children. We were surprised when my mother died before my stepfather. He died a few years after her death.
  Well I continued to work at a local hospital where I met my second husband.We had two children and were happy together.He loved my two children from my first disastrous marriage. A few years after we were married we moved to Texas and were happy for a time until he began to see other women.
    Some of the fault was mine and some was his.I gained a lot of weight after having two more children and was exhausted from working in a neonatal unit  and as a research study nurse for three doctors at a major hospital.Before long the pressure of working long hours in two demanding jobs and trying to take care of the house and our children sent me spiraling into a deep depression.I had no idea that I was actually suffering from post-partum depression which left untreated can cause  postpartum psychosis and suicidal ideation in some women.I was one of the unlucky women who suffered from this condition that doctors knew very little about at that time.Things just got worse between my husband and I know now that was part of the reason he turned to other women.
    Boy can I digress or What? Eventually,he left me for a women had stayed friends with since  high school. After twenty something years, we parted ways and it broke my heart.

    I found a job as a hospice nurse and loved it.I had always gravitated to the sick and dying,whether it was an animal or a human.I worked as a Hospice RN until I realized one morning that I just did not think I could do it anymore. During the past three years,I had to have surgery on an injured shoulder,then a total replacement on my left knee,both injured taking care of my patients.I decided it was might be time to think about retiring from nursing.  I was having trouble doing some things by myself (changing light bulbs if I had to climb a ladder to do so was beyond my capabilities). I was still unsteady on my feet and had to use a cane at times.Finally my daughter and son-in-law had both served their two years in the Marine Corp and decided not to re-up. They had made an offer that was accepted and closed on a two and a half story home. They asked me to move in with them and my granddaughter and after thinking it over for a few weeks I agreed.They were unable to find jobs that paid enough to meet their mortgage and pay all their bills even thought I was helping out as much as I could.
    A few months later,they came home and announced they had  been to a job fair and accepted jobs in Alaska.And that is how I ended up in a remote area of Alaska and officially retiring from nursing.
Now to explain how this relates to the Grasshopper and Ant Fable.I drew out my 401k which was over $32,000.It is very expensive to live anywhere in Alaska,even if one is very frugal.I was not frugal or wise.I bought clothes for myself and the family.I paid for most of the very expensive groceries and I foolishly bought clothes,toys,etc for the family,including myself.
   Then I decided I wanted to buy myself a car that one of the residents had for sale and I did.Five years later we  all decided it was time to move back to Texas and it cost a lot to ship the cars to Anchorage then back to Texas.So there you have it. I was the wise ant fewer times than I was the foolish grasshopper. Fini!

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