There are moments when you catch a glimpse of yourself in someone else's eyes. It is grounding when you do. What I saw in this woman's eye was to be grateful, because you have so much more than you know.
Lana brought a girlfriend home after school for a stay the night. A brunette image of Lana, Smokey night time eyes, blue streaks in her hair & some sort of punk or rock Joan Jett type of thing going on. They drove me crazy doing girl things, nail polish on, nail polish removed, more nail polish, loud giggles and non stop eating.
They were still awake at 5 am when they woke me up. I was pissed. I am not a good waker upper.
I got out of bed in an angry what the fuck blur and I think I stood in Lana's door looking at her trying to figure out why there awake. I faintly remember barking at them to go to sleep, NOW!
As always, morning came too soon.
Anyhow, I have been on a rant lately about how I can't figure out how most people survive month to month. I have been in a poor me, I can't figure life out head space. I don't make enough to cover all of my bills. This is a huge deal in my head. I live very simply and what I make doesn't stretch to cover what I need to pay.
The gap between the top end you can earn and still get free healthcare and maybe a couple hundred in food stamps is no where near enough to take care of a family. Getting a raise of a hundred dollars a month is enough end receiving benefits. $100 a month can cost a family $450 in health care & $400 in food.
I have heard this debate for years, but couldn't grasp how someone would choose to not strive for better. But doing a little better cost our top end, but still tragically poor families the assistance they need. Even a $5000 a year raise isn't enough to offset what they loose. Most would be lucky to break even.
To make it financially, most of us will have to be part of a two income household. This fact of life pisses me off. I was very spoiled for two years when my ex-husband paid his alimony. Alimony plus what I was earning was good. Bills paid & a little sat aside for birthdays and Christmas. I had a plan that was going to get me pretty damn close to independence. I had a plan but, life, well she is a fickle beast. Things have not gone financially as I had planned.
I am hoping that as the courts take a new look at mine and my ex's financials that I will be given a small token of child support. But I am very aware that there is a high chance that I will continue to receive nothing.
So here I am all full of venom about the inequity of starting over and women not being seen as needing to make a fair wage when Lana's friends mom walks in my door.
I know the look on her face as she tells me she loves my home.
I remember the first time I walked in. I knew it was mine. I felt it down to my toes. This is where I would raise my children and create my new life. I smile and tell her I love it too. She starts telling me she is up in mountains where there is very little affordable housing. She works for Goodwill making $8 hour. She is looking for work, but like me has come to believe it is all in who you know. The good jobs never make it to the employment section.
We briefly share our shit. I told her I don't own this house, just renting. She is looking at it like I do every day when I come home. I smile and feel like the most blessed mom on earth. I sit in the silence of living in a single family home. The gentleman who lives in the apartment above me is quiet as a mouse. I didn't have the heart to mention the back yard and my kids running through and around the house all summer long in sheer freedom. She is walking around & looking with big sweet eyes. She tells me she hopes to move down here. I told her I couldn't find any work up there in the mountains. She asks if I used to live up in the huge house in the mountains. I tell her yes, but it is all his now.
In her eyes I can see that she is looking at what I have and hoping she will make it to this place. Me, well I am just trying to hang on to it as long as I can.
As she is leaving she touches the big huge wood front door and says to me, "I sure hope you can keep it."
I whispered back, "me too."