Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I think I just hurled the most hurtful sentence I possibly could at Rick.  "It is what it is?  You sound just like a fucking politician."   Oh, and I meant it.  I had a extremely upsetting morning which brought out anger I rarely express.  I was furious...mainly, about our pathetic circumstances.  It was hard seeing Sarah come home destroyed due to not being prepared for a class.

I wasn't prepared for it.  I thought the school books and materials issue had been closed, after all, it was just yesterday that I had provided the school with documentation required for them to waive all fees due to "financial lack."  When it came to the question of textbooks for Sarah's AP classes, I made certain to take care of those matter before school began. I emailed all her AP course teachers to ask if she should drop AP classes if we were not able to afford required textbooks!  I was reassured she'd have books to borrow when school started.  "Sarah should definitely keep classes."  But when she told me with giant tears in her eyes that the book was issued to another student, I had trouble keeping it together.

I broke down.  Thought out loud, "We aren't even able to provide basics for our kids."  Rick said, "Yes we are!" with a look of disbelief.  I think I actually felt rage.  "What, by waiting to see which one of my childhood friends reads my Facebook posts and  sends us gift cards for groceries?"  I shouted.  This is fact.  Last week several of my friends - some from as far back as 1st grade - have been helping us out through PayPal donations, grocery gift cards, and certificates.  They are my family; providing food, medicine, prayers and loving thoughts; comforting my soul.


Yesterday morning my dread was having to face the bank.  I had agreed to meet with accounts manager at Chase about a couple of accounts which were now rarely used.  One was Rick's direct deposit account for his Paraiso Del Mar paychecks to go into.  The other was a savings account.  I closed them.  They had a balance of $1.20.  While there, the subject of unemployment came up, as well as what we could expect now that we are in 7th month delinquent on our house payment; how desperate things are becoming.  Carl, was nice; sympathetic, he was out of work for a year before being hired at the branch.  Well, I was lucky to get Carl, because he didn't seem to be put off at all when I started to break down crying while giving him the low down on our crappy life.  Man, it was 9:45 am and I was spent by the time I walked out of the bank.  Closing a checking and saving account should never be this emotional, right?

Poor old Carl, the look on his face when I told him that I hoped we can keep our car - after bankruptcy - because it's gonna be where we live out of, left him speechless.  I feel bad about that.


Today, I had broken down in tears by 9:50.  My beautiful darling girl shows up from school in tears.  Sarah rarely cries.  She didn't do her homework.  She couldn't do her homework.  The AP book the teacher was supposed to lend her was given to another student.

This is new territory for me.  Sarah, also rarely misses school, but today, she skipped AP stat class.  I know it's killing her to do it, too.  This is not what an exemplary student does - tarnish or risk 4.0 GPA standing.  It's killing me, trying to conceal my concern.

I had to act... NOW.  Just like when R.J. came to me and said he "Couldn't do it."  He couldn't go back to school.  "Mom, you have to take me somewhere."

"I want to leave."

"Where?  To Mexico with dad?  Do you want to go with grandma?"

"No.  I don't know where.  I just feel like I have to run."  "Mom, please help me."

Wow, that was about a year and a half ago.  I acted as quick as I could.  Called people I hardly new but felt I could trust.  I had to find a doctor for R.J.  He was speaking a language I am all too familiar with.  Sounded like anxiety, depression brought on by unmanageable stress.  I acted, we acted.  We took care of matters together; made adjustments.  He was back on track with school and focused on taking care of himself.


With Sarah, it is so different.   She's my little rock.  Strong, determined.  What's happening with my girl?  Probably, what's happening to all of us, only now she's more fully aware of the extent of our limitations.  So I did what comes natural...tried to make it all better for her.  By 9:48 I had started the ball rolling; what were we going to do to correct this problem.  Emails were exchanged; name of person to contact was provided.

But, that's when I crumbled.  It happened so fast, like lightening fast.  I was fine when speaking with the person who answered the phone.  But by the time I was connected to the person who's name I was given, I cracked.  "This is Mrs. Carilo." "My daughter needs an AP Stat book."  "She was..."

"So sorry."

"I took care of this before registration."  *sobs*  "I'm sorry."

"She was supposed to..."  *cough* "I am so so sorry.  I can't do this." *sobs*

"I'm trying.  You try to protect them.  Provide..."  "Sorry.  I'll have to call you back." * hysterical sobs*

Rick came downstairs.  He took the phone from me.  I had broke it when I slammed it down on the desk.  He fixed it.  He took care of the rest.  Cleared things up.  Finish what I couldn't.  And by 11:49 it was all done:  the matter handled. An extra book was located.  Everything possible would be done for her to be able to do homework.  (Even if it might be illegal - copying textbooks.)  Sarah's not the only student who didn't have a textbook, but I didn't know that.  All I knew is that we were told not to worry, she could borrow one when class started.  An apology was made.  Not necessary; I wasn't blaming anyone.  I was just thrown back by the unexpectedness of the whole situation.  Glad there are many helpful, concerned educators who have our kids' backs and patience to deal with "this" distraught mother.

After all, I just want my kids to be happy, and when that happiness is being the best student they could be, and I'm not able to secure that for them by making sure they have a goddamn book!  I can't help but feel I have failed them.

Good night, my little princess Sarah, rest your magical, mysterious, amazing brain.  You are the smartest person I've ever met.  I love you.

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