Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons - By Cara Potapshyn Meyers

 My lawyer dealt me a harsh blow this past week. She informed me that based on new divorce laws that are now in effect, the anticipated alimony (now termed “maintenance”) and child support I would have originally received, will most likely be halved. The word devastated doesn’t even describe my reaction. We even have a legal rental property that I was going to use to supplement income after my divorce that my husband is refusing to rent. And if the property is vacant for 12 months or more, it cannot be used as a legal rental anymore. Goodbye extra source of income.

I live in an expensive community. But one of the benefits of living in this community is that the school system is one of the nation’s best. I want that for my child. I want to continue to live in my house so that my son has the security and consistency of living in the home and community he has always known. I feel let down by the judicial system. I feel let down by my husband who is not willing to keep our rental property rented. I feel let down by the whole world.

But there is something inside of me that is telling me that even with all that will be taken away from me, I will have what truly matters. I will have my son. That alone is the real comfort to this debacle. I personally don’t need clothes, I have enough make-up samples to last a few years, and I can manicure my own nails and highlight my own hair. I don’t even need to eat that much food. I will spend what little I get making sure my son is well fed, well clothed, and well cared for. I will find a way to make ends meet. I will find a way to make money even though I will have to be home some days so that my son gets the tutoring he needs. Heck, I will sell some heirloom, expensive furniture if it allows my son and me to remain in our home.

If worse comes to worse, my son and I could live in our rental property and rent out our house. Not my first choice, but as a last resort. I will even empty my bank account except for a cushion of emergency money, to pay off our mortgage. I will go to whatever extremes necessary to allow my son and me to stay where we are.

And who knows, perhaps since my husband now knows he won’t become  bankrupt, maybe he’ll consider chipping in a bit of money to ensure that his son stays secure and will remain in our current school system. And he may possibly chip in to pay for camp and karate, and swim lessons and other activities my child loves.

I’ve spent several days now saying over and over, “Why me??!!” Why has my entire life been one horrendous devastating event after another?? I still don’t know the answer. To build character? To allow me to learn lessons that will prove to be beneficial for the next calamity that comes along in my life? Perhaps. I really don’t know. I do know that God has always been with me throughout all of these horrible events. And I do know that I am truly a good, decent, caring, gratuitous person. I just can’t figure out why I keep going through these cycles of misfortune.

But there has to be a greater reason for this misfortune to be occurring. I haven’t figured it out yet. But I know there IS a reason. I will admit that there was a small part of me that felt guilty that I was bankrupting my child’s father. Even though he deserves it. That guilt is gone now. I am more at peace with myself. Maybe my in-laws will help pay for my son to go to college. I was planning on using my own inheritance money for that, but that will be my emergency “cushion” of money now. Maybe there is a lesson I will learn that I just haven’t figured out yet.

My favorite dog has been around for quite a long time. I would be completely lost without him. My son would too. Maybe his longevity is a payoff also? If it is, I’ll take that at any price. Like I keep saying, there has to be meaning to all of this. Time will hopefully tell.

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