Thursday, January 10, 2013

Life Story Part 8: This Is The Place


At the suggestion of Courtney, I have been writing my life stories. I actually am almost done and let me tell you, things get pretty vulnerable. And it has been really hard to write the hard stuff. To revisit hasn't been pleasant. But once I got through the tough stuff, I have felt awesome. You should try this life story writing business. It's pretty telling. 

Life Story Part 1 HERE

Life Story Part 2 HERE

Life Story Part 3 HERE

Life Story Part 4 HERE

Life Story Part 5 HERE

Life Story Part 6 HERE

Life Story Part 7 HERE

Life Story Part 8: This Is The Place
Ethan’s surgery came with many complications. Complications like job security. As an employee of the small family business, Ethan was not guaranteed job security. The business still needed an employee in his position, even if he wasn’t able to work. And he was told to stay off his feet completely for 6 months. There goes our income.

As the problem of this unfolded, my parents stepped in and gave us a proposition. “How about you sell your house and move to Utah. Ethan can recuperate and you can all come and live with us. We will take care of you and get you ‘back on your feet’. Once you are well, we will give you a loan to start your own catering company like you have always wanted”. This idea was very attractive. We had been wanting to get out of our house because the payment was back-breaking. And Ethan had always wanted to separate from the family business and start his own.

When the idea was presented, I instantly knew what I wanted to do. Ethan took more time to make a decision. After a weekend away with his dad at the family ranch at the tops of Zion National Park, Ethan came home and decided to go forward with my parent’s offer. He told his doctor of our plan and she requested that he stay in California for another month and a half, until he was healed more. So I would move to Utah with the kids and he would follow later.

Right after Ethan’s surgery, I began packing boxes. My days were filled with taking care of my children, my ailing husband and filling boxes with our life. Ethan couldn’t help with the kids much because he was instructed to stay off his foot. It was very overwhelming. By day, I packed boxes, by night I cried. The cocktail of a helpless husband, a newborn and a toddler and moving on my own was heavy and hard.

One night, I got a phone call from two of my sisters. They both took days off work and were headed down to help me, like saving angels. They came and entertained Jack, helped me pack and made me laugh. Their energy was endless and just what I needed. This was the beginning of me needing so much help from my parents and sisters. So much more help than I was ever comfortable accepting and asking for.

On the last day of September of 2008, I loaded my car up and me and my two children said goodbye to Daddy and our home we loved and drove the long, lonely drive to Utah. And once again, I cried and cried. I had never felt so raw and exposed. Everything we identified as life was gone. Home, job, relationship.

On our drive, Jack was very confused as to what was going on. Where is Dad? When will I see him again? Why can’t he come? I tried to answer the questions as best I could, but I mostly just cried.

We settled into my parents basement up in the beautiful fall-covered hills of Elk Ridge and talked to Ethan on the phone all the time. As weeks went by, it was becoming more and more difficult to have him away from us. Jack became very angry about everything. His usual good behavior was as good as gone and he cried for his daddy every night. It was so hard to know how to properly deal with all of his anger. After Jack would go to bed, I would talk to Ethan on the phone for hours. I don’t know what we even talked about, it was just nice to hear his voice.

In mid-November, Ethan was given the go ahead to move to Utah with us. Having him back with us was magical. Jack was a new boy and Van had grown so much. Ethan’s pain levels minimized and we were a family again. I kept thinking, “How do these military wives do it?”

Our life in Utah wasn’t easy. Living under the same roof as my parents was fun and hard at the same time. We made great memories, but also had some pretty epic disagreements. Ethan didn’t work until January and even then, it was a telemarketing type job that kept him off his feet, but didn’t pay much. But he plugged away at it for a few months. After waiting for a few months of healing, Ethan was ready to start working and doing what he knew. And Rockwell Catering was born, with my brother in-law Jon as a starting partner.

It started small and Ethan would take any job that came his way. He was so happy to be doing what he knew. And I loved the familiarity that came with him working again. Parts of Ethan were beginning to come back. It had been so hard to watch a strong, independant man be stripped of all his pride and ability. But it was coming back and he was feeling great.

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