Yes, today was a bit of a roller coaster...it started well, the bambini's and I having gotten a great night of sleep (with sweet dreams) and they were all happy to be going to school. Antonio had show and tell today and brought his T-Rex model that Kimmy got him for Christmas from the Discovery Store. They were happy it was Friday and ready to unwind!
After we got married, Kim and I went to the Social Security office, that was near Broadway and Alvernon, to have her last name changed...today, I had an appointment to see about benefits for the bambini's. I arrived at their 'new' office over on Campbell and Prince, at 8:50 and found about 25 people in line, somber faced and chilly. I joined them. And, three or four people in front of me, I noticed a nice, elderly couple, holding hands...I remember, whenever I'd see such a couple, thinking 'that's going to be Kim and I'...I prayed for them. And I saw a young couple, near the front of the line, also holding hands...I prayed for them to be cancer free... By 9:00, there were at least 50 of us, lined up like cattle, when a rolly polly securtiy guy emerged and sheepishly greeted us with a 'good morning'. He explained the rules to us, as if we were inmates: 'no firearms, no boxcutters, no pocket knives allowed...' Where was I? Shawshank? Then, he said anyone with an appointment could join him at the front of the line. Feeling priviliged, I moved up from #26, to #3!
As we came in the front entrance, the security guy asked me 'hey, you got a pocket knife?'...I had a flash of the movie 'The Untouchables', the scene where, when cornered by an Italian guy brandishing a knife, Sean Connery's character says 'just like a dago to bring a knife to a gun fight'...an instant later, an Italian across the alley way fills him full of lead from a machine gun...but, I simply answered, 'no'. Inside, there was a well dressed man at a computer kiosk asking for s.s. #'s. He entered it and the machine spit out a little confirmation ticket 'yep, you are good to go!', he exclaimed like I had hit the lottery.
I sat and awaited for my name to be called as the rest of the cattle were herded in. About 5 minutes later, my name was called. A young man named Arnold ushered me through a security door...lock down?
In the back, there were hundreds of cubicles, in varying shades of gray. Think sterile. No hint of any human factor in any cubicle as far as my eye could see. Not a photograph. Not a comic strip hung up. Not a personalized mug, desk organizer, nothing. Sterile.
On a long enough time line, everyone's survival rate drops to zero.
Arnold asked me for my marriage certificate, death certificate, photo i.d. He looked them over and informed me that I needed to complete 7 applications...7. Two for each kid and 1 for me... and then he began typing frantically. Occaisonally, he would slow down to ask me a question. "Ever been convicted of a felony?" Me: "nope, never caught". Arnold: "Ever been imprisoned for more than one year?". Me: "no, never that long". Arnold: "Any outstanding warrants for your arrest?" Me: "not that I know of".
All the while, I have our marriage license sitting on the desk, staring at me...and I am remembering our trip to the social security office all of those years ago...and I'm looking at the other empty seat next to me, where Kim should be sitting...and I notice that the license had been witnessed, by Terri, Kim's sister and my Dad, too. And their was Father Dallmeir's signature...who had helped get us through marriage classes and prepare for our wedding day, keeping us from freaking out and helping us to enjoy the moment. And I felt gravity slipping...the sterile room changing shape, the tears coming...poor Arnold, desperately typing, trying to not notice how I was feeling...finally, reaching under his desk and coming out with some tissues...Finally, he had me review all copies of all 7 applications, having me sign them and gave me copies, to have. How I felt was processed.
Leaving their, a phone call from a friend buoyed my spirits and I was off to Unique Identity, Janene's shop across from the Park Mall. It's right next door to the Linens 'N Things that I used to manage - they turned it into a humongous Peter Piper Pizza (that's progress!) complete with mini-roller coaster! Janene did a great job of taming my hair!
Next, I met with Amanda, over at St. Joseph's - after several weeks of research, I had decided going through St. Joes' would be the best way to help families going through what we did and we are getting closer to the Kimberly Memorial Foundation's launch! I will post information, hopefully by next week. The money in the fund will be used to help families, with children living at home, who don't enjoy the wide support that our family is blessed with, to help with groceries, utilities, etc. Additionally, I will be available to meet with the families, as needed, to help them prepare and know what they are facing, so they are not quite as blindsided as we were - and to be there to talk to for those who are not interested in pyschologists/counseling, like our family. Autumn even said she and her brothers could play with the kids if they needed someone to play with - she's so sweet, like her Mama.
So, it turned out to be a pretty good day, overall - I went home, made homemade chicken enchiladas for the first time and then went to pick up the bambini's. Cody had a good week and was ready for the weekend. Autumn and her teacher, Mrs. Rudzena, had nearly completed Aut's science fair display board and Antonio, well, Mrs. Schrantz took him to Baskin Robbins, his dream shop, and he tried a new flavor of ice cream - daquiri! These teachers take such good care of our bambini's!!!
At home, the kids scarfed the enchiladas - even Cody's friend, Alex ate some. A success! I'm getting my cooking groove back!! This weekend, I told Cody, we need to try brownies. I realized I don't bake much, as I'm not a big dessert person. I've only made pizzelles and cannolis over the years...time to branch out. Maybe cake. Seems too mundane...maybe tiramasu! Hadley and Mitch came over and played with Aut and Tonio - they all had fun. Brian thinks we can get back to the nitcho tomorrow now that his appendix removal has healed sufficiently...
Anyway, I feel I made some progress for Kimmy today...and the bambini's are good. Day by day. I know things can't be the way I want them to be, right now, but I can be patient, things will work out.
We are set to have a family movie night now...making more good memories...
Thanks for listening...
"Even on a cloudy day....I keep my eyes fixed on the sun"
- Cage the Elephant