What a question. Did I know anyone who would like a free round trip ticket to Los Angeles for five days at New Years? Yes, since I had two daughters living there. One string was attached. I had to travel as B. Smith. The owner of the ticket was taking his office staff to LA for the holiday … and B. Smith could not go. In 1986, identification was not checked against the name on the ticket.
That’s how I ended up sitting on the curb of Main Street in Disneyland. My daughter and I had watched the holiday parade, and now just sat and talked. Little did I know she had a surprise growing inside her.
New Year’s Day, my other daughter took me to the park where the floats from the Tournament of Roses Parade were parked. We got up close and personal … able to see all the tiny details that compose the picture on the float. Impressive.
Then B. Smith returned home.
A friend of ours had asked my husband several times if he would re-locate to Tri-Cities, Wash. to start a business. In March, standing in my kitchen in Boise, I felt very sure that we were to make that move. Within two months, my husband was living 300 miles away. I stayed at my job to help train my replacement … who was pregnant. They would let me move away if I promised to return and fill in after she had her baby. I agreed.
July was moving time. I already had a job awaiting me … secured for me by my now ex-boss. Within days of the move, the promised job fell apart. Our new business was still in the baby stages, and money was very tight.
That’s when my husband’s teenage daughter decided to come live with us. We had been empty nesters for a year … and liked it. Two weeks after her arrival, I received a late night phone call that my youngest daughter had gone into premature labor and been admitted to a hospital … in Canada. Within days my first grandchild was born … weighing 2 lbs. 11 oz. While I was still reeling from the speed of my life, my brother called to say our mother had been admitted to a hospital in Kansas. She had an open ulcer on her leg. At the age of 89, she had just decided to live with it … not letting anyone know.
I had a grandbaby struggling to live in Canada … and a mother struggling for her life in Kansas. I felt torn in two. The baby stabilized … and surgery was performed on mother to amputate her leg.
I was called back to work in Boise for the month of October. My grandchild was still in the neonatal critical care unit, but holding her own. Mother seemed to be was improving and the doctor was talking about her release from the hospital.
Mother didn’t make it. My boss arranged for my flight from Boise to Kansas … round trip … making sure I returned quickly.
By November I was back in Washington and my grandchild was ready for her release from the hospital. However, it seemed the young parents were not capable of providing a home for her. I was working four part time jobs to keep us going financially. So my brother and his wife offered to take her. What a mind shift … she was now going to live in Texas.
I couldn’t dwell on that long, because my other brother’s heart was failing and he needed open heart surgery. He pulled through.
It had been a long, hard year … so we decided to end the year by skiing at Anthony Lakes in Oregon. The day was almost over … and I had decided that I didn’t want to ski any more. But I acquiesced to the begging and said, “OK, one more run.” That’s when I was broadsided. I heard my knee pop, my gloves were ripped from my hands and I lay on the ground in pain … with the teenage girl who had run over me dancing all around me repeatedly asking “Are you OK?” No, I wasn’t.
I finished the year on crutches.
Even with the eventful year, I never lost my firm belief that we were supposed to make that move to Washington. But I was very glad when 1986 came to an end.
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