Sometimes the world just seems to explode. Yesterday, I got home from picking up some cat food during the afternoon and noticed that they towed our van from the complex parking lot. We had not been driving it since my oldest is at college and my youngest is now driving the newer sporty sedan I got them in the spring. I am still driving my ancient sedan because the gas mileage is so good. I should mention that a rear flat tire appeared mid-month but I didn't have the funds to have it fixed.
Anyway, I became somewhat hysterical - tearful, and very, very despondent. Didn't even make it through the end of the month before another conflict had to rear its ugly head. It's $172.50 to pay for the tow, plus $40.00 a day thereafter. I don't get our pension check until the 1st or my paycheck from the restaurant until then either so there will be a couple days tacked on. Then I'll have to figure out how to get someone to change the tire. As if the poor aren't suffering enough. Lets sock it to them some more.
I had really hoped that the coming month wouldn't involve scrambling to meet my bills. I called my sister as a last resort because I was feeling so low. She said she would talk to her husband and get back to me with their advice, which turned out to be to let the car go - forget it - let them take it to a junk yard at the end of the month. Turns out that was Sam's advice too. I always wonder at the ease in which people can give away other's possessions. I don't want to let the van go. We'll need it when my oldest is home from college. I have to look ahead to the future somewhat. I'm not in a position to just go out and buy new vehicles.
No one said, "Tough luck" or "Bad break." Sam told me he didn't know what to say to me so therefore he wouldn't say anything. Really? "I'm sorry for you" is too hard to eek out? I found myself getting angry at my entire family - that has been an emotion that has subsided over the past year but reared its ugly head again. My stay-at-home brother in law to his two high school kids couldn't offer to perhaps change the tire for me?
I've asked for very little of my family during widowhood. No one ever offered to help review my finances (out of CPAs and an attorney), assist with home maintenance, or provide childcare when the boys were little. Hell, no one in my family ever brought over a meal in the early days. If I spoke about the pain of my loss I was looked at as though something was wrong with me. It is hard enough just being a widow and only parent of grade school kids. To be poor on top of it and then have such little family support seems almost a crime. Not that anyone should ever be widowed but it sure makes one wonder about the great unfairness of life and all of that.
It will be necessary for me to take out a payday loan or not pay a bill this month in order to try and save the van. If I can't swing it, I will not have a choice but to let it go. But not without some kind of fight.
I am left with the realization of how alone I really am and how slight my support system really is. Widows need to feel connected with supportive voices and bodies. Even more for widowed parents. We are left to keep fragmented families together and to constantly keep our children uplifted on our own. It makes sense that it is necessary for us to be lifted up and supported at least some of the time. How can we keep it all together and raise children on our own without some sort of support system cheering us on and offering us strength and compassion?
To have this so lacking in my own life points to the cruel reality of life as it sometimes turns out. I am now hit with the hard realization that in order to have more support, love and compassion in my life I'll have to be willing to venture out of my cocoon and seek it. Fact is, being poor and struggling doesn't lend itself to the much needed positive self-esteem necessary for socializing and all of that.
I started blogging in part because I was aware that I'd have to broaden my horizons in order to obtain some understanding and support. But I think people in general are self-centered and don't like focusing on the problems of others. I believe it is very difficult for those who haven't been widowed to have any comprehension of widowhood, nor the reality of raising children as an only parent, left to pick up often shambled, broken pieces of life. My sister's comment yesterday illustrated this point. She said everyone has things that come up every month. But some people are in better situations to meet those challenges than others is my addition.
On this note, I feel as though maybe it is time for me to shift my focus. Towards creating and building a new life for myself rather than focusing on surviving this middle-aged widowhood. Something to ponder at least.