Life’s Curve Balls

Six months ago (October 2, 2013 to be exact) for the first time in my very long work life, I was told, “it’s not personal” and laid off.

The shock and sense of betrayal took its toll, as it always has.

Unemployment barely covered the mortgage payment but because of the incredible support of Ryan and Matt, I survived and we were able to keep our home.

Ankle and eye surgery in October followed while I had health insurance.  Then the healing began.

Finding a job became my full-time job.  I went to my first interview on crutches (I didn’t get the position).

My goal was to apply for at least one position every day – I usually applied for three or four.

I eventually shortened my resume so as not to reveal my age; yes, age discrimination in hiring is rampant.

Many interviews followed; most were for positions that made my stomach hurt.  You see, I know too much about health plans and how our incredibly dysfunctional health system works.

I decided to focus on either the regulatory or clinical area of health care.  And I was very blessed to find a job in the regulatory area.  It’s a perfect fit for me now.  After seven weeks on the job, I’m very satisfied.

Backing up two months.

It was early February 2014 and I had accepted my new position.  Scheduled to start on Feb 17th, I decided to take a solo road trip to unwind both from the draining job search, and visit my son Matt in So California.  I also wanted to take in the Grand Canyon as well since I have never been there.  The day before I was to leave, my only nephew Vincent overdosed and went into a coma.

The synchronicity of all of this can only be in God.

I left our home and drove to my life-long friend Kyle’s house in So California and we headed straight to the hospital.  It was pulverizing to see Vincent being kept alive by life support.

After three days, they declared him brain-dead and started preparing him for organ donation.  You see, he signed up for organ donation when he first got his driver’s license.

It’s been two months since Vincent’s death.

My sister is a mess.  Her own addiction and substance abuse is continuing unabated.  This is making it that much more difficult to grieve in a healthy, growth-inducing way.

Life has a way of throwing us the curve balls we need for our own spiritual growth, at the very moment we need them.

I have to avoid co-dependency.  My heart aches for my sister’s pain but it also aches knowing that her choices have brought her, and her beautiful only son Vincent, to this place.

Owning the consequences of our choices is important to spiritual growth.  I have to hold myself, and my sister, accountable.

My Spirit is looking forward to a challenging year.

 

Video

Vincent John Salvati and his miracles

My beloved nephew did not recover from his coma and was declared brain-dead on Friday, Feb 7, 2013.

Today, he is miraculously giving life to at least seven other individuals in desperate need of a new organ. For these families, I pray that Vincent’s miracles bring the healing they need.

In honor of my nephew Vincent, please watch this short documentary about The Opiate Effect. Share it as widely as you can. Then think about the message you are sending when you reach for something to numb yourself from Life’s pain.

Vincent John Salvati – my nephew

Vincent fell into a coma and was declared brain dead on Friday, Feb 7, 2014. He would have been 25 this year.

Unbeknownst to us, he also signed up to be an organ donor.

They are preparing his organs for donation now, and between 6-10 families will know miracles very soon, because of Vincent.

My sister and Vincent’s father are struggling through this most unthinkable and excruciating loss.

I am struggling too.

Vincent was born in 1989. He is my only nephew.

He was a very loved and protected child.

In 2008 he came up to Seattle to visit with us for a few weeks. We rented a cabin in the San Juan Islands, and went whale watching.

These are pics from that visit and other photos of him.

RyanVincent4-14-07

ShawnnaVincent4-14-07

VincentRyanJillie4-15-07

Vincent_OnBoat2-2008

Vincent-OnBoat-Summer2008

Vincent-InCabin-Summer2008

Vincent-OnBoat3-2008

Vincent-Ryan-Cabin2008

Regina-Vincent-Ryan-Summer2010

Regina-Vincent-Summer2010

Love, Always. Always, Love

It is impossible to watch what goes on in this world without crumbling into despair. I find myself reading the stories about the economy bouncing back and wonder why no one I know feels/lives like that.

I read an article today on Bill Moyer’s website that literally left me speechless, and emotionally drained. How is it that human beings have not moved beyond such inhumane treatment of each other?

http://billmoyers.com/2013/12/18/the-plays-the-thing/

And then I close my laptop and my eyes and sit. It is only then I can remember what matters.

Love

Always Love

sunrise-over-ocean

Growth

I like to imagine a country where the entire economy wasn’t dependent on wanton materialism.

Where your value to society is based on your work to lift up those in need within that society.

Where teachers, nurses, plumbers, care givers and other tradespeople who actually do something for someone else is considered precious and valuable to the growth of our society.

Where doctors are paid more when they keep us all healthy so their focus is in nudging us all toward healthy living.

Where patents on life-saving medication or treatment are non-existent – all benefit immediately without regard to insurance or ability to pay.

Where artists within every medium are considered national treasures.

Where schools have the resources to focus solely on the needs of the individual student and thus create a holistic learning environment that actually encourages students to find their unique gifts.

Only when we can move out of our current paradigm of wanton materialism and greed can we truly evolve as a species.