Friday, January 02, 2009

i would like to say "thank you!", mr. hill...

It is hard to believe that 5 years ago today our lives were turned upside down by an arbitrary decision made by Mr. Hill at Towne Properties.

A decision that caused great strain in all aspects of our lives.

A decision from which I wasn't sure we were going to survive the fallout.

The day is etched into my memory as clear as if it had happened today.

2004 began as uneventful as most years had in the past. We were enjoying the baby we had tried so long for. I had decided to not return to teaching after having her. I was thrilled to be able to stay at home full~time, but finances were tight to say the least. January 2 began as any normal day. The holidays were over. Steve got up and went into work. I got up with Emma, 4 months old at the time, and Michaela. It was around 10:00am. I had just feed Emma and made a Dr's appointment for Michaela {ear infection}. We were all in the family room when I heard the garage door open. My first thought was that my sister was coming in (she lived across the street from us at the time) but was confused as to why she would not have used the front door. My confusion subsided in seconds as I looked up and saw my husband walking into the room. I remember saying, "What are you doing home?" but before he could answer I knew. "You've been fired haven't you?" As he shook his head yes, the tears began to flow. After 7 years of exemplary service~~with the yearly evaluations to prove it~~ Steve was called into his boss' office and told that he was being let go because his family and church responsibilities were more important to him than furthering himself at the job. Emotions engulfed us. We held onto each other as we felt our world slipping out from under us.

I have always wondered what I would say to Mr. Hill if I saw him. I had so many mental conversations with him in that first year. The emotions that directed the conversations with him varied greatly.

I was hurt by his actions and wanted to strike out at him with hurtful words.

I was devastated by his choice and wanted to ask 'Why?' 'Why us?'.

I was saddened by his lack of commitment to his own family and wanted to encourage him to make them a priority before he lost them.

And I was angry!! Oh was I angry. Those conversations, filled with unchristian~like thoughts and hateful words, seemed to consume me at times. If only I could see him out somewhere, I would give him an earful!

But what would I say to Mr. Hill if I saw him now~~~ 5 years later?

"Thank you!!!"

Yes, I would thank him for letting Steve go.

Thank you Mr. Hill for seeing the Christian man and loving father that Steve is. Thank you for realizing that his focus is not on this world, but on his eternal life with God. Thank you for the compliment~~being a father is the most important 'job' he will ever have and being "Daddy' will always come before 'making a name' for himself.

Thank you for allowing Steve to have time to spend with his children. Thank you for allowing our girls to finally have uninterrupted time with their Daddy. No 60-70 hour work weeks. No reports to run during family time. No interruptions. Just QUALITY. DADDY. TIME! Thank you for the time to make these memories. They will carry them in their hearts forever.

Thank you for allowing us to struggle, really struggle, financially~~ because these financial struggles have allowed us to realize what is truly "priceless" in this life. We learned that we can live in 400 square feet and be happy. We learned that we do not need t.v, toys, stuff to make us happy. We learned the importance of EACH OTHER!

Thank you Mr. Hill for allowing us to see people for what they truly are. Separating ourselves from what we "knew" allowed us to see some things more clearly. It has been a sad realization. It has been a heart~wrenching journey. But.. we have arrived on the other side stronger, maybe slightly more cynical about true Christian friends, but stronger nonetheless.

Thank you Mr. Hill for giving us the opportunity to accept a job (with the Air National Guard) that we would have never considered taking before. A job that allowed us to live in a country we grew to LOVE, to visit parts of the world we would have never had the chance to explore, to create friendships that we will cherish for the rest of our days, and to worship with a small faithful group of Christians that we were so edified by. Thank you for expanding our world.

Mr. Hill, thank you for the last five years. We have put them to good use. We have grown from the experiences you afforded us by your selfish action. We are better for it.

Thank you!!!