Today would have been my 34th wedding anniversary. Its days like this that give rise to much introspection on my part – of where my life has taken me and where it’s going now. I've just finished my third week of work and I am glad that I have the opportunity to contribute to my own support. I am also more keenly aware than ever of how much more difficult my life is without a car. I took the bus to work yesterday – and while I am rejoicing in that feeling of independence it comes with a price – it adds a full 90 minutes to my commute one-way. Taking the bus both ways would turn a normal 8-hour workday into an 11-hour sojourn. Besides leaving me completely exhausted and in more pain than I have had in quite some time, it makes it difficult for my dog, Kazé as well – perhaps a side concern – but a very real one for anyone who has ever cared for a beloved pet.
This morning, as Kazé & I took our usual hour-long constitutional I was also very attuned to the fact that while I need cat & dog food, kitty litter, and household supplies, I have no way of getting to anywhere that sells them. Nothing is within walking distance here – even though I live in the heart of Rockford. While I have the money to buy my cats’ food I have no rational means of transportation that would allow me to bring those purchases back home. I don’t want to sound ungrateful for the support I have already received – I am flabbergasted and humbled by the outpouring of generosity I have experienced.
I just fear that I’m not getting any further than this. I have been looking at cars – hoping that I could find one for less money than I had originally asked for in my campaign – but the truth of the matter is that not a single usable car was priced under $4995 (and even then these had well over 150,000 miles on them already). If I don’t increase the amount of my campaign goal I simply won’t be able to get my freedom back. I won’t be able to do the things I need – and that leaves me saddened and frustrated.
My sister Angie will soon have major surgery and getting to her is absolutely impossible without a vehicle. There is nothing running south from Rockford along the Rock River – no bus, train, or pony ride I could take. Oregon is over 30 miles away – way too far for even my “Chicago-legs” & my love of walking and hiking. I am her guardian and I am getting desperate.
Looking around my home I am also acutely aware that the clock is ticking on my being able to remain here – I have less than 2 months in which to raise enough money to attempt a reasonable modification and/or renegotiation of the mortgage on this property. Since my name did not appear on the loan, and my beloved husband left no will or final instructions, I am required to have far more money up-front in order to begin this process. I have almost nothing to start with. Every cent I have been given so far has gone to pay-up my past-due utilities (which are now current – and for which I am immensely grateful & relieved).
But if I can’t rescue my home or act as my sister’s guardian in the fullest sense of that responsibility my campaign will have only succeeded in making my situation better and I will still be prevented from “giving-back” to those I love and beginning the process of empowering others in my position to rebuild their lives.