1. my dad kicking me out - my dad kicked me out when I was 18. Sure I was old enough to make it on my own but I went from being a pampered princess to nothing with no notice. I should have been able to handle it but I was still too immature (which I didn't recognize at the time). This led to a distinctive downward spiral in my life which continued until I...
2. meeting Bobby Jeffrey - Bobby was my husband. He was my best friend and soul mate. We had a wonderful marriage until the day I left him after 13 years of marriage.
3. first job in the dog business - I started working at the dog track when I was 25 years old. I knew from the first time I stepped in kennel that I was where I was supposed to be for the rest of my life.
4. divorce - I left Bobby after 13 happy years of marriage. I gave him 2 more years to get his act together because we had such a good marriage. I divorced him after 15 years when it became obvious that he couldn't change (drugs). It was my 36th. birthday.
5. my dad's illness - my aunt Robin left me a note at work telling me my dad was seriously ill. I left as soon as I found out and went to the VA hospital. I found out what room he was in and took the elevator to his floor. As soon as I got off the elevator there was a pitiful little man using the wheelchair rails to slowly wheel himself to his room. It was my dad. I was in shock as I stood there looking at this once vibrant man who was a mere shell of himself. I stayed by his side until he died 3 years later.
6. my heart failure - I was working 3 jobs and trying to start my own farm. I kept gaining weight (at the rate of about 20 lbs a month) but I didn't know why. Finally I was so huge and so tired that I couldn't even breathe without coughing. My lungs were full of fluid because I was in complete heart failure. I am still here 5 years later and fighting to do as much as I can every day. I only work part time now and I wouldn't be able to work that much if I didn't have such an understanding employer.
I am finally accepting that things won't get much better but I am surprised at how good they are some times. I am alive thanks to the United States government. I would be dead now without healthcare and disability and other benefits they give to people in my position. It took a long time to get help. I was sure I would die before I would get it. I live in a building full of low-income disabled people and seniors. People complain about the people drawing benefits but there are many who are deserving of what they get. Also they seem to die off fairly quickly usually so they don't get benefits very long.