I will have to explain the footsgrl part later for all those to know me-that moniker will feel odd. The first thing I want to write about is my undeniable knowing of my purpose. I left Boston 4 weeks ago not knowing why. I had a great job on the cutting edge of ed reform, great friends (the drop in on kind), lived in a great neighborhood that was every bit of Leave it to Beaver (kids playing in the street, trolley running back and forth, neighbors talking as they gardened). I was settled in my life there. I even had a boyfriend that I cared a lot about. I had a new baby niece that is as yummy as they come and a mother who would take care of my 11 year old on a dime (sometimes, I’d even have to wrestle them away from each other). In short, I had a great life. Sure, I struggled. I was the only single parent in the neighborhood. The only person of color until another family moved in right up the street (that in and of itself made me want to stay there forever and quickly switch up my car pool situation 🙂
I toyed around with the idea of moving home to Virginia (yikes ! that’s the South, right) after leaving in 1986 to go to Columbia University in New York. But, my Northern, graduate education and need to just move and think quickly always made me stop short of making a commitment to move back home–even when my grandmother and friends called me by my ‘southern’ name-Hollee Raye. That wasn’t even enough to make me come back.
I was a member of an amazing church and had a close relationship with the pastor. I told him that I was praying for discernment. I just wanted to make better choices in finding a mate for me (hey, I’m 44). I prayed for discernment so much that I forgot that I was actually praying for it. I just wanted to make better decisions (why was I broke all the time. I didn’t buy shit and I never went out…)
Everyone who knows me know that I make lists. I will agonize with pros and cons forever. That’s why it was such a surprise when I declared that I was moving back to Virginia and no, I didn’t have a job lined up. I talked with my Pastor and said to him that I just had an incredible urge that I needed to leave right away and that if I didn’t my life would be changed forever. I couldn’t even intellectualize it. I just felt it and for once, I paid attention and I acted. I left Boston 2 months later without a job (can’t get over that…I was making 6 figures. Am I crazy??) , without a home of my own and without a support system in the way that I enjoyed in Boston. (the actual move was amazing but I’ll write about that later). It’s a scary feeling to leave what you know based on a feeling, especially when you don’t operate like that.
I got settled in at my dad’s house with him (and I prayed that it would be okay with the kid and the dog). My dad is a curmudgeon if there ever was one and he’s lived alone for decades. All of this makes for a perfect storm. But, I walked on tiptoes, made sure I didn’t leave a mess, developed signals for my daughter to ‘knock it off” or better yet- stop talking all together and we just kinda settled down. I found my way around town before my 2 months grace period was over and started to reconnect with friends.
I watched my Dad chop wood, dig trenches, build model airplanes and all kinds of strenuous activity. He’s a guy that eats right, exercises, goes to the doctor when he’s supposed to and is all around a fit person. It was a complete and utter surprise when the doctor caught something abnormal on his EKG based on the eye doctor picking up something regarding his pressure. One week and 6 + doctors later, he walked into the hospital for a triple bypass. The doctors were stunned, as was he. He kept asking me, “do you think i’m just a guinea pig?” , and I kept saying, ‘no, Daddy, I saw the pictures. It was your artery that looked like a sausage in the sausage maker.” My dad is so bad-ass though, that his heart system developed it’s own corollary bypass system that we now know, could have ruptured at any time. He has a healthy heart getting blood, it’s just getting the blood bootleg. The doctors will fix it.
My dad started crying when my old/new boyfriend (do people in their 40s say this??) and I moved some big ass logs from his yard. He was wrestling with not being able to be physically active, at least for now. That was probably the 2nd time in my life that I have seen his vulnerability and I thanked God for it.
Now, I know.
Now, I know why I left my whole life to come here. God gave his heart a way to sustain his life until I got here to help him get through it. God gave me some a few weeks to get settled here. God prevented me from getting a job so that I would have this time with him (which I didn’t understand until now. A smart person, with a Ph.D. who has worked in some fabulous organizations should be able to get a job, right?) God answered my prayers for discernment and I’m so glad that I didn’t make a pros and cons list this time. I’m so glad that when God said, Go. I got up and went.
Now, I’m off to the hospital and foot is coming with me. That’s the other part of the incredible story.