ALL OF THIS HAPPENED BETWEEN 16TH OF JANUARY AND 31ST JANUARY, 2012.
1) Truck started acting up. To have it diagnosed $60
To have it fixed ?????????????
To have annual service $180+
2) Cooking Gas went out
To fill gas tank. $100
3) Dental visit
X-ray and examination $80
Refers me to another dentist after telling me FOUR wisdom teeth need to be pulled.
4) Kitchen faucet starts to drip
Kitchen drain starts to leak in the cupboard
5) Dusk to Dawn security light goes bad
Replace switch but still doesn’t work. Call electrician who says I need a new one.
6) Visit next dentist
Confirms teeth need to be pulled. Charges $180 for first visit and X-ray
To have one tooth extracted $250
To have all problematic wisdom teeth extracted. $610
7) Visit doctor
Quick physical $80.
Tells me to get a CAT scan $553
8) Forgot to pay Post Boxes, etc
had the $190 but spent it.
My mother was an extraordinary woman. I know this because many people tell me so. She was a teacher at 15, sometimes teaching students older than herself. She sat on the committee that chose The Coat of Arms for The Bahamas, was one of the first women to wear an afro, and a mini-skirt, was the principal of a high school before starting her own pre-school. Into each life of sweetness and sunlight some darkness must shine. In my mother’s case it was her husband. Charles Irvin Delancy, tall, charming, equally intelligent and carrying the next half of the gene for Sickle Cell Anemia. Perhaps she married him because she saw his potential and thought she could rescue him from the many demons he always seemed to be fighting (or partying) with. They had three children before separating.
As a child I always thought my mother was rather plain. She was hardworking but ordinary. As an adult I know that to appear ordinary in the face of adversity, is a struggle that many people cannot endure. She had a school to run. She had children to feed, clothe and educate. My brother would go into a sickle cell crisis at least once a month, and I would be hospitalized with pneumonia about once every 3 to 5 years. On top of all that she seemed to work part-time as a family mediator. Despite being the youngest of eight children, she would have to listen as my uncles visited our house to complain/seek understanding about their wives, and/or advice on their children. (My uncles deserve a story of their own. Almost all spoilt their wives. A trend continued to absurdity by some of my cousins)
The single greatest influence on my adult life has been my sister. Ten years older, strong and wilful, if she were ever a child, it was not in my lifetime. From my older brother, I got a twisted sense of humour. Any 13 year old that tries to educate his mother to the fact that children are a type of parasite, is funny but strange. Sadly, I didn’t get his verbal skills, when it came to talking to the opposite sex. From Aunt Elva – kindness, patience and the knowledge that “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you” is a daily routine.
Thirty years after she died, I now realize that my mother gave me a most wonderful gift. E.qua.nim.ity – mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under strain. There is not enough practical stoicism, in the world. What I learnt from my mother is that many things are temporary. Your health, your wealth, your sorrow and your joy, are short-lived. Each new day must be celebrated or accepted. Each challenge was to be faced to the best of your ability and with humour, whenever and where ever possible.
The list of my travails for the month of January, is inconsequential to what many people have to endure. I have a job. I have a house. I have money to pay my bills and I have people who love me. I have much to be thankful for. The travails of January, 2012 have taught me two things:
1) A better understanding of why some people snap. What if I had children, lost a job and had these problems?
2) A better understanding of my mother.