I try not to let what happened here poison me of this place. But at times it's hard not to. The toxins seeps in -oozing deep into the cracks and crevices of our new life.
After an hour long family trip to the public library, where we checked out more books and videos than we could carry, we raced over to City Park at StinkBug's request. The sun was shining, a cool breeze blowing and a wedding party was gathering outside the historic church on the corner. Big Yankee and the kids raced around playing hide and seek while I took it all in.
Memories of our first visit invaded my brain. Thirteen months have passed since we discovered this park with it's towering, gigantic trees, new playground and stage where the community band plays on summer nights.
Big Yankee was scheduled for a full day of breakfast meetings, interviews, dinner and more. The kids had their fill of swimming in the hotel pool and were going stir crazy in our room. We piled into the Nissan Quest to explore what might be our new home.
I was a bundle of nerves. I have no sense of direction and knew I couldn't call Big Yankee if we got lost. I was living in fear of unintentionally ending up on the bridge that I was deathly afraid to drive over. There would be no turning back.
I was cautiously optimistic. Between us, Big Yankee and I had four layoffs in the past two and a half years. We had a mortgage we struggled to pay and a house we couldn't sell. We'd done the right things. Made the right choices. College educations. Strong work ethics.
And yet on that July afternoon we were both unemployed and clinging to any possibility. It felt like our last chance. It was something we so desperately needed but would take us thousands of miles away from supportive family and friends and the only life our children remembered.
Big Yankee was offered a job and it seemed as if our luck was finally turning. Our family made immense sacrifices-living thousands of miles apart for nine and a half months. I struggled to keep our house show ready and solo parent while Big Yankee missed birthdays and band concerts.
We kept telling ourselves we could do this. It would be worth it in the end. We didn't have any other choice. We would survive and be stronger for it.
By Memorial Day we were living under one roof, piecing together our fractured family. We HAD survived. We were STRONG. Life was good.
Until it wasn't. And this happened.
Thirteen months ago City Park was full of hope and now it seems a symbol of our despair--taunting us and what our lives have become once more.
I don't want it to contaminate our lives but I don't know how to stop it.