Getting Up and Going On

Before you read any of this post, you might as well be warned that I will lapse into a remembrance about a pivotal point of my life.  So if you don’t want to read any further, then don’t.  Nobody is paying you to be here, unfortunately, and neither is anyone paying me to chatter on, so proceed at will. 

Not to sound cold or indifferent to your presence, but rather to say that I’ll just put an invisible pen to invisible paper and record these words for what it’s worth.

Eleven years ago, I moved to this part of the country with my husband, my daughter in college, and my son in high school.  The weather had turned cold, much like it is this week, and we arrived at night with all our worldly goods in a rental truck towing a car, and a pickup truck towing a Uhaul trailer.  The next day we found out that our mortgage had not been processed, had indeed not even been begun, and we had nowhere to live.  Because we had nowhere to live, we had no address, and could not prove that we lived here, and could not enroll our son in school. 

The move had not progressed well, and there was problem after problem, but I had no idea of the problems that were about to happen in a year.  Almost exactly a year to the day of moving, my husband announced that he was leaving, and he packed up a few things and left in 45 minutes. 

Forty-five minutes.  He drove away, his black pickup truck making the turn out of sight like a black snake sliding away.  None of this made sense.

Over the next few weeks, I worked on preparing the paperwork for April 15.  I started finding alarming evidence.  He had cashed in two life insurance policies and his IRAs, and he had depleted the checking accounts, the savings accounts, the college savings fund that had over $45K in it, and his investment accounts.  He had gotten a second mortgage for $25K on the house we had sold in NC, and had forged my signature.  He had gotten a loan at the local back, and had the monthly repayment drafted from the personal checking account, the account I now had in my possession, and because my name was not on the loan, the bank would not release any information about it, even though the repayment was drafted out of an account with my name on it.  There was a credit card in my name with an unpaid balance, even though I had never applied for a credit card.  There were other credit cards with large unpaid balances.  And he left all the paperwork behind.  Am I forgetting something?  Probably.  It was a lot to deal with.


So now I’m ten years past the separation.  The divorce came 2 years after the separation.  I have an awesome life now. 

I love puzzles, and genealogy is a puzzle to me.  When you are applying to join a society that is based on heritage, you have to provide “proofs” of your lineage, like a census record, a baptismal record, or a court record.  Divorce papers are a great example of a court record, and it will be forever recorded that the judge confirmed that my then-husband was guilty of adultery with an illegal Hispanic woman who worked for us.  Never screw around on a genealogist. 


After he left, I knew that I would need extra income, because there was no way that I could pay the household bills on one income alone.  I got a part-time job at a luxury boarding kennel nearby.  Every Sunday morning I went to work at 6:30 AM for an eight hour shift.  On Tuesday and Thursday morning, I went to work at the kennel from 6:30-8:30, went home, cleaned up, and went to my regular job at 9 AM.  One of my responsibilities on the morning shift was to walk the dogs, then feed them.  Some of the dogs were nervous, or anxious, or whiny, or worried.  I found myself talking to the dogs like someone needed to talk to me. 

“You’ll be alright”.

“Stop worrying.  Here’s your breakfast.  You’ll feel better after you eat something”.

“It’s not going to do any good to cry about it”.

“It’s not the end of the world”.

“If it makes you feel better, cry about it.  But it’s really not helping anyone else, and you might as well get over it”. 

And that little job as a kennel tech led to a promotion to assistant kennel manager then kennel manager.  Then I went back to college, and cut back on my hours, and then I found a job closer to home at the veterinarian’s office.  And now I’ve finished college, and I still get to work with animals, and I’ve helped open the grooming business, and I’ve established a feral cat colony, and I’m finalizing a 501(c)(3) non-profit animal rescue organization. 

I learned if you curl up and die, you lose.  There were times when it felt like it would be easier to stay down.  But in memory of those ancestors who went before and paved the way, really, you have to get up and go on. 

Because you might just end up on somebody’s genealogy tree someday, and Lordy, won’t those proofs look good.


One Response to “Getting Up and Going On”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Ruth, I have to laugh a little because one of your post tags is “insanity rules”. (?)

    In the spirit of the season and the forthcoming Easter, regeneration comes to mind, and I think that applies to you through this experience. What was once dormant, not truly dead, reemerges. When it comes to plants, if you cut them back heavily, they bloom more profusely. Happy Spring!


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