Sunday, February 9, 2014

80s Bolder to Birmingham

Yes I know how to spell Boulder as in Colorado. Even though that was the place to be in the 80s, I never made it there. I was back in Birmingham, back in the Magic City, but there was little magic to be found. I was in shock when I realized I had three children under the age of five. I was in shock because I also knew that this was going to my responsibility and my responsibility alone. I tried unsuccessfully to get my in-laws to see what was happening with their son, the father of my children. He and I were really both in a downward spiral as result of previous choices and the seeming inability to reverse course in spite of best efforts. I saw the abyss and decided that I was not ready to plunge in there just yet. I still had the audacity to think I could overcome this situation, so I set out to find out how.

No coincidence that there was not much music to speak of. We had the Police, some Dire Straits, who else? It is hard to remember. The music that got through was like the flame of a small candle at midnight. There was not much money either, so it was back to creating ways to survive.

 I found some of the people who were remnants of BreadTree, the storefront food coop that had closed. We got together and started a food co-op buying club like the one in Macon.  I taught Pre-natal fitness for one of the big hospitals during my last pregnancy, and then got asked to design a Mommy and Me class based on the classes I taught in Macon. That was fun, but then that was the last baby, and then the last class. Other than that I kept various kids at my home and tried to make ends meet. I still had my dog JC from time to time, and that was a joy! I was outside a lot walking with JC, strolling kids around, going to Homewood Park and the swimming pool. We had a ping-pong table set out back and always had friends around, playing ping-pong and shooting the breeze.

Southside was still the hub of any action, but there was not much action in my world then. I remember going to a very cool Halloween party in 5 Points that just served to remind me how far removed I was from any happening scene. I was getting old, and I had 3 kids! I did love to visit the old hippie freaks on Southside that also had children. There were people carrying on- they weren't me though.

So, I got pretty desperate and started trying to find counseling, self-help, books, groups. It took awhile, but I did finally find some things that I could grab on to. I began to find strength, and to understand my self and my situation much better. Then a series of events transpired that are still hard to believe.

I decided that I was going to get a divorce and called a lawyer to discuss and set up an appointment. I had no idea how I would pay for this or how I would get by if I did file for divorce. As I hung up the phone, before my hand left the receiver (no cell phones in those days!!) the phone rang. It was a friend from Macon who called to say she had gotten a large grant and would I be interested in coming to work on the grant, and head up the project? That was the strangest experience I have ever had. It was like a call from the Universe saying yep- go ahead. I said ok.

My decision was not an easy one. I probably would not have said yes without the synchronicity to bolster me. I was giving up being home with my children, with at least the financial basics covered. I was giving up any hope of a mom and dad family dream. But I was reaching for freedom, for something better for me and the kids. This was actually saving my life.

I made my plans to move back to Macon, Georgia.