Saturday, October 03, 2009

If We Think We've Got Problems...

"Of all the pulpits from which human voice is ever sent forth, there is none from which it reaches so far as from the grave." ~ John Ruskin

It's been a rough week at my house this past week. Wednesday night, about two and a half hours before October first, our cable went out. The cable company had cut our service off.

This would not have been a problem, ordinarily. We understand if we don't pay the bill we should be deprived of service (that's called acknowledging personal responsibility), but arrangements had already been made to pay the entire bill on Thursday, as soon as my wife got her Social Security check. Due to the failing economy coupled with big Government intrusion into my business, I have pretty much lost my income, and have had to take another job that pays poorly. But, it pays more than nothing. I got my first two week paycheck on Thursday.

But I digress.

The cable company had promised to wait for the payment, and they broke their promise.

Calls to the office were fruitless because, once we waded through the obligatory automated phone system prompts to state the purpose of our call, the department we wanted, our phone number, address, account number, verification of our account number, etc, we were eventually routed to the collection department, which was the wrong department, because we were only a month late and the collections department only has information on accounts over 2 months late.


Early Thursday morning we awoke and found we had no hot water. The company who supplies our fuel oil to heat our house and our water had come out the day before to clean and do routine maintenance to our boiler. Apparently, the serviceman made some error, because the boiler stopped working after he left.

Again, calls to the company's service number were fruitless. When we called the number for service which was located on a sticker on the side of our boiler, we were informed, by recording, that the company's office was closed all day for inventory, and no one would be able to help us until tomorrow, October 2nd.

So, after we drove over to the Cable company's office and personally took care of the first problem, we had to drive over to the Boiler service company to personally talk to someone there who could come over and service the boiler, which, as I explained, had been in perfect working order before it was serviced.

I spent the remainder of the day waiting for a serviceman to come over to fix the problem. I was promised the boiler would be working in time for me to take a shower before I left for work. It wasn't, and I had wasted all that time waiting. So, I had to go to work unwashed.

By Thursday afternoon all electronic and fuel powered essential appliances had been restored to working order and all was right with our world.

Thursday evening, I bought my wife a new computer and myself a flat panel 20 inch monitor for mine.

So, as I said, it was a rough week. But that wasn't the worst.

Then came Friday.

As I was seated at my computer enjoying the finer clarity of my new monitor, and while my wife slept, I received a call from my second son in Wichita, Kansas, who was calling to inform me of shocking news.
Erik and Stephanie (taken last summer)

He told me my oldest son's wife had passed away unexpectedly earlier Friday morning. She had surgery on the previous Friday to remove a growth on her spine. The doctors said the surgery was a success, and there was nothing more to be concerned about.

But, at approximately 4:00 Friday morning, after hospital personnel struggled for an hour to save her, she slipped away into eternity. She was 32.

She leaves behind her husband(my son Erik), and three children, ages 8, 6, and 14 months.

Because I had spent more money than I would have normally buying the computer and monitor, we cannot afford to go to the funeral, so we will have to send flowers. Had I known, I wouldn't have bought them, but hindsight is 20/20, and foresight is blind.

Erik has multiple medical problems of his own, including severe Epilepsy, Chronic Depression, and Paranoid Schizophrenia. I believe he also suffers from a bi-polar disorder, but I may be mistaken on that.

It would appear there is no positives to his condition, but my other son has assured me Erik has made substantial improvement since I saw him last Summer. Erik himself, the last time I talked with him over the phone, told me he still hears voices in his head, but at least he knows they aren't real, so he ignores them. That is a significant improvement over where he was medically and psychologically in previous years. Anthony, my other son, told me a few months ago that he predicts Erik will achieve normalcy within the next year.

But now, with the sudden passing of his wife, no one knows how he will deal. She was his rock.

Erik has already endured many more hardships and trials than probably about 98% of the world's population. It was his child that died a day after birth a few years ago. he and his wife, Stephanie were devastated. Their marriage almost ended as a result. Erik had a previous girlfriend before Stephanie that passed away suddenly, also.

He plans on raising his children himself, but will, of course, require help from his mother-in-law. No doubt my brother and sister who live in the Wichita area will lend a hand as well.

Most importantly, though, he will require prayer. A lot of earnest, sincere prayer. For him. For his children. For his support system.

I've seen prayer work. I know it does. He will get through this. Through the Grace and power of God.

Please pray for my son and his family.


Trader Rick said...

You and your family are in our prayers. God Bless You.

Timothy said...

Hi Mark,
We will pray for Erik and the entire family. May the LORD bless you through all of this.

Jim said...

Thoughts and prayers for your son and his family.

Cameron said...

I'm so sorry Mark. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Mark, after reading all that your son has endured, I cannot help but believe that he is a lot stronger then maybe even he believes. I shall pray that God continues to give the strength to continue enduring, and that he will see happier days.

Dan Trabue said...

You and your family are in my prayers.

Mark said...

Thanks to all who offered their condolences and prayers.

I don't need prayers, but Erik most certainly does. He has a daunting task ahead of him and he will need all the help he can get.

Z said...

Mark, I will certainly pray for your son and his family......what a terrible tragedy; I'm SO sorry.
And a prayer to you, too...
You're a good guy and I wish you the very best.

Tonto said...

I am so very sorry for your son's loss. I read this post yesterday and can't stop thinking about your son and his kids. I can't believe this all has to happen to one family. As things go on and when you can, let us know how the children are doing.