Worst. Week. Ever. That pretty much sums up the week of April 9th for our family. We are still dealing with the fallout from the major structural damage to our home uncovered by our painters. Two joists that support a chimney, fireplace, and our playroom are totally rotten and in need of repair. The more we learned from structural engineers, contractors and a lawyer or two, the worse the news got (removing the entire chimney, ripping out our entire kitchen ceiling, possibly removing a fireplace…you get the picture). Gone are our dreams of a minivan–we’ll be tearing down major parts of our house and attempting to rebuild.
This news alone was a bummer, but add on to that significant car trouble mid-week and we started to feel a bit cursed. I was on my way to shoot my first episode of a new show for the Fine Living Network called “Time Makeover.” I’ve never aspired to be on TV, and this came to me out of the blue, but I was totally excited about the opportunity and thought “what do I have to lose other than my dignity, and a little cash for some fun TV clothes?” My check engine light came on in my car on Tuesday, so rather than risk car trouble on my way to the shoot on Wednesday, I drove Carter’s car…and got a freakin’ flat tire! In the rain. In my TV clothes. With my TV hair and makeup. Fortunately, the production assistant came to my rescue, dealt with AAA and just made it all go away. But still…what are the odds?
The next day, Carter took his car in only to learn he needed 4 new tires plus an oil change and inspection. I took my car in only to learn I needed over $1000 worth of work to keep my old VW running. $1700 later, we had two working vehicles. Bye-bye tax refund.
But wait…there’s more…
On Thursday evening, I learned that my husband Carter’s beloved father, who raised four amazingly successful children pretty much on his own while in his 50’s and 60’s, passed away. Fortunately, Carter was able to race up to Brevard in time to say goodbye. My father-in-law was 89 years old and in failing health so this wasn’t completely unexpected. But the world is a much sadder place without him in it. I credit him completely for making Carter the man, father and husband that he is. And I feel so fortunate that our daughter will remember his oh-so-clever “Apple Pie & Rosie” stories, and his wonderful sketches on all of her birthday and holiday cards, and the artful way he moved his hands when he spoke or told a story from his or Carter’s childhood. I promise to fill my son’s head with stories, memories and pictures of his grandfather so he will “know” him in some way.
Obviously, a death in the family makes the events from the rest of the week seem totally unimportant. Despite all of the crap we had going on at once, there were a few bright spots. I had loads of friends and family members come to my rescue with food, rides to the car repair shop, offers to help with the kids, hugs and phone calls sharing their sadness and love for our family. I cried my way through Thursday partly because I felt sorry for myself, but mostly because people kept doing nice things for us and I was blown away by their generosity. We are so grateful that Carter made it to Brevard in time to say goodbye to his father. He will treasure that last conversation forever, I know. And, on a Hollywood note of shallowness, the TV gig was totally cool! I don’t think you’ll be seeing a syndicated Neat-Freak show anytime soon. But they asked me back for a second episode so I guess I didn’t totally suck. Look for me, starting in July, on the Fine Living Network, helping busy families find solutions to their time management challenges.
I mentioned in an earlier post that we were back on the consumer free bandwagon. That went out the window when all hell broke loose. I’m giving myself a get-out-of-jail-free card for the next week or so, then I’ll set some new rules and get us back with the program. I just read a NYT article about a family that went paper-free for an entire year (including toilet paper)…I feel a challenge coming on! Onwards and upwards for the Kersh family!