Friday, March 19, 2010

Sold my diamond

Thirteen years ago, a young man with a good paying job and no bills bought a diamond ring to ask a young woman to marry him. I thought it was a 1/3 carat, but apparently it was actually 1/2 carat. I know it was expensive, but he never told me how much. Thirteen years ago, it was beautiful and far more than I ever imagined anyone would ever give me.

Six years ago, I faced a lost and scared 7 year old little boy who finally had the courage to ask Why. Why had his world been lost, brutality prevailed and his family killed? I looked at the diamond on my finger and I took it off in shame. I couldn't tell if it was a Blood Diamond or not, and I no longer cared. I got rid of all my other diamonds over the years but I couldn't bring myself to get rid of that one. Back then, II made good money and nice jewelry was something he bought me often. That first diamond represented the start of our lives, but it also represented the destruction of A's. I never knew what to do with that diamond and so it sat in my jewelry box.

My firstborn will be 16 soon. She is the one my mother locked me up to steal, and stole successfully. She's the one my father has partially give back to me in the wake of their divorce. She's still legally his. He loves her with his whole heart and he's raising her because he is her father. But, she demanded she be shared between them and I and my mother refused. Instead of sharing her and letting all of us love her, my mother threw her away like trash. So, now Lizzie lives with my biological father/her adoptive father (no he is NOT her biological father and most definitely NOT the person who raped me, nor did he know about what happened to get her from me to his custody until he poured over court documents in the last 2 years). But I provide the mother role in her life from a distance.

Lizzie wants one thing for her 16th birthday. She wants us to come visit. Its a long drive and our now full-time student income is extremely tight. We had paid off the credit cards and kept them in case of severe emergency. For Lizzie, we were going to use just enough to get there. It so happens that her birthday is during our spring break so we could take the time.

With the financial mess II created, the credit scores tanked, the credit card companies eliminated our balances to nothing. I'm grateful they didn't close the accounts since that would have tanked the credit score even worse. Thankfully, we do have a small cash savings account but we absolutely cannot dip into it for this trip. We'll lose every dime of those funds the next time M has to go to the hospital, we always do. That tiny account is sacrosanct and off limits. Only impending death warrants touching those funds.

I took a long hard look around my house yesterday. What did I have that was expendable. Well, I do have things. Years of solid income have yeilded lots of toys that we could do without. But, what did I have that I would not feel the loss of and the children would not mourn the loss of? The children and I have sacrificed so much for II's mistakes and I just don't want them to feel anything has been lost again.

Going on this trip is not a true emergency. It is a gift of sacrifice and love for Lizzie whose life has been just as rotten in the last year as my own. I was sick of the mere thought of having to tell my Dad, my other siblings and Lizzie that we couldn't come. Last night, I decided that diamond was the perfect sacrifice for Lizzie. And, it would provide the added benefit that I would lose the urge to shove it somewhere the sun doesn't shine everytime I looked at it sitting my jewelry box. Seriously, the thought of what I could do to extract a pound of flesh for the wound given to my heart by the purchaser of that diamond was a bit heady sometimes, even with making the concious decision to try to restore this marriage.

II understood my desire to sell the ring, and agreed with it. Since he never, ever told me the full value of that ring, he felt he was the only one to know whether the bargain was good. He knew the value of the ring. He knows the amount the trip will cost us. He took the ring in this afternoon and got enough money to cover the trip.

I did tell my father. He needs to understand how tight our finances are before we come. He too is struggling financially right now. When she was done with Dad and the Patriarchial life she has coveted for so long, mom drained all the accounts, spent his entire inheritance, hit the assests, renegotiated her own debts, froze him out of all the assests and tossed him out like trash. She hasn't paid a single dime of alimony nor child support in the 8 months since their divorce began. She hasn't paid for any of the needs of the children, nor even the bills she was court ordered to pay such as his mortgage and car payment. Long-term he will survive and thrive. But, today, he is living on a combination of several part-time jobs, cashing in most of his own retirement and financial support from my sister. He's been careful to not burden me with his own finances. But, his court date when he will fight tooth and nail to correct what my mother has done isn't until end of April. I know having our family there will be an additional burden for food. We need to cordinate that issue, and he needs to know how tight things are for us.

So, after letting Dad know yesterday there was a chance we might have to cancel the trip due to finances, I let him know I sold my diamond and got enough to secure the trip afterall. He was horrified. Did II know? How did II feel about it? Was I sure I wanted to do that?

Yes, II knew and he agreed. Honestly, what that ring once meant to me that was lovely was utterly destroyed. I actually feel like a burden was lifted in removing that ring from my home. And while II was in agreement, the truth is at this point I woulld have sold it without II being in agreement. I just wouldn't have known I was getting played and gotten significantly less money than he did with it.

I made a promsie to II and I actually meant it. When he graduates medical school (which he still first has to get into, ftr), he can buy me an anniversary ring. I did finally put the wedding band he purchased for Christmas on. But, I put it on my right hand. And, I have made the decision that it will forever reside on my right hand, not my left. If when he graduates medical school II has kept all of his promises to me, if he has remained faithful and has truly restored this marriage, and if he does NOT buy a diamond anniversary ring (or invests in Artic diamonds to be 1000% sure they are not blood diamonds), then I will proudly wear that ring on my left hand. It is the only ring I will ever consent to wear on that finger again. And, he has a very long way to go and quite a few mountains to climb and conquer before he could get to that day.

My children have accepted without question that Mom and Dad got new wedding rings, and that for some reason unstated mom went without hers for a long time and finally put it on her right hand. For my own heart, I have decided there is only one ring I would put on my left hand again. And, I don't know that such a ring and the promises and committment behind it will ever come to fruitition. I might someday put my Grandmother's pearl ring on that hand though. When my babies are grown and if I felt I needed to tap into the strength of my ancestral women. Otherwise, I prefer that hand blank. Its a reminder that no one will ever hold my heart, my hand or my trust with blind trust again.

And, after we went through this very emotional process and milestone today, II got a phone call on a job lead. He sent a job proposal to the General Manager of the hotel on Wednesday--the one whose wife is my friend. We're going to their house for dinner tonight and he indicated to II that a contract would a guarantee if II came in at market value. After analysing that level of work nationally and locally, II came in 10% under market value, despite his high level credentials. That job would bring in income, especially a shot in the arm of our finances quickly since there is IT work that is needed there quickly and immediately. However, II found a source of job ads for telecommunting jobs that were legit and applied to 6-8 of those which he was qualified for yesterday. One of those called him back this afternoon. He was taking Ch to the doctor and has to call them back as soon as that is over. I am hopeful that II can secure at least a part-time level of income to supplement what we are living on.

If I can make up my mind that I still believe in a God and Creator, I would believe that this is fortuitous and a promise that everything is ultimately going to be alright. But hey, if I still held that kind of faith I would think that the Jasmine blossoms I find myself surrounded in now that spring is emerging was a sign that I have found my home and won't have to leave this city. I don't have that kind of faith anymore. I dearly hope that God exists, that he still cares about me and that he is trying to tell me both of those things with the sudden job lead following the murky baggage of the ring and the blossoms for which my precious E is named for being sent to touch my soul now. Instead, I simply accept that if he exists and I have doubts, then he is big enough and strong enough to withstand my doubts. And, if I decide he doesn't truly exist, then it would hardly matter that I doubted something that didn't exist, would it.

1 comment:

  1. May your visit with Lizzie be all that it needs to be for both of you! I'm glad you found a way to be able to go. (((hugs)))