The Raw Vegan: Part LXXI, Changes

The parking lot was slick as owl grease so there was no way I was going to try to drive back to the building. Getting out and walking wasn’t an option, either. My ride had already left and the owner must’ve been busy inside. I didn’t know what to do but assume a prayerful attitude and then try to break my way through the piled up snow. It didn’t work. I was stuck.

All of a sudden there was a tapping on the window. A man had come out of nowhere. He motioned he was going to the back of the car to push. I rolled the window down and he explained in a few words. He started bouncing up and down on the rear bumper and, with sign language that I could understand, indicated that I should step on the gas and drive forward. I wondered what good that would do since the car had front wheel drive but I was willing to try it. The car moved forward and, miraculously, it worked. I was free! In conditions like that, a driver doesn’t stop unless it’s absolutely necessary so, instead of thanking the man, I thanked God and went on.

Turning into my little back road was another adventure. I slowed enough to turn in but the car kept going only this time it was going sideways. I managed to steer out of it and into the road. A short way in, I had another thrill. As I was going around a little curve that’s banked toward the dropoff, traction was gone and the car and I started sliding toward the edge. I don’t remember whether I prayed out loud or silently but another miracle occurred. The car straightened up and I was back where I was supposed to be. There was nothing else out of the ordinary and I got safely home. It was with great relief that I got out of the unharmed newly repaired car and went inside.

As soon as I could safely make it, I got out of the drieway and back to work.

Things had been happening and changes were afoot. Not long after, the manager and the new biller were both gone. It had been 90 days to the day since the manager was hired. I heard rumors about the reason for the separation but I never really found out the truth. It didn’t matter. It was none of my business. We were back to no manager. And the CFO was back to taking applications and interviewing.

I don’t know where I got the nerve to do it but I went over to talk to her one day. I asked what my chances would be if I applied for the job. She laughed at me and let me know they would be poor to none. I went back to my corner and kept doing what I was supposed to do. I’d been put in my place.

After weeks and weeks, someone local was hired to fill the position. She was sent to California to train on the computer system. Her predecessor had done the same thing but the one before her had been trained when the system was installed. I felt bad for her not getting to travel and I envied the other two.

Coming back to the hospital proved to be on the job training. There was a lot to learn—a real challenge. Early in the day, she was often at her desk reading her Bible. God was her source of strength and it was a good thing. There can be trying times working in healthcare (more accurately described as “sick care”).

There are lots of things I don’t remember (aren’t you lucky?) and one of them is how long she stayed. She had a dream of starting her own business and she left to do just that.

We were back to no manager.

I stayed in my corner and did my job, day after day. I had learned not to ask silly questions like what would happen if I applied for the job. Then my phone rang and it was the CFO asking me to come to her office. What had I done now?

She lost no time launching into the problem. There had been three different managers in the past few months and she figured it was time to give me a chance. I told her I would have to pray about it and I couldn’t let her know right away. She’d been considering my qualifications and she believed I was up to the task. Plus, she was tired of interviewing and wanted someone she knew would stay. There was one catch. I wouldn’t be, technically, a manager. I’d be a supervisor and I wouldn’t have the title of department head. I guess it was one way to cut cost.

I prayed and prayed and lost my appetite. My weight went from around 140 down to 122. In no time, I’d lost 18 lubs. My mother was ecstatic.

We were into the fall of 1996, DD was back at the academy (it was her senior year) and it was time for Homecoming at the university. As always, Mother came from North Carolina with my sister and BIL and we got to spend some quality time together.

The gym was crowded when we went in to find a seat. I went on ahead and searched until I spotted a lone man sitting well into a row of chairs. “Are these seats saved?” I asked. When he looked around, we both gasped. It was my old boyfriend from my academy days. We had “gone together” off and on for four years. In just a few minutes, I learned he was divorced and I told him DH had been gone for over nine years. He asked for my phone number and gave me his.

Mother always liked to sit at the end of a row so, after his assuring me he would call, we moved away and sat down. I told Mother that was BF and she observed he’d gotten OLD. Well, he was a little older than I was but he’d held up well, in my opinion. Then there were some seats vacated in front of us and we moved again. The whole time we sat there, I could feel his eyes on the back of my head.

The rest of the weekend was uneventful. As usual, we toured the countryside and saw DS1, DIL1, and the granddaughter, and DS2 and DIL2. We went to the university supermarket on Sunday and then on up to see the old home place and get a fried apple pie at the apple place she loved so much. I still had no appetite and couldn’t eat all mine. It wasn’t just my decision concerning whether or not to take the job. Now there was someone I might possibly be interested in. But would he be interested in me?

I took Mother back to the university and we hugged, kissed, cried and said goodbye. “I’ll see you at Homecoming.” Those were always her parting words.

On the way home, I wondered, “Will he call? When will he call? Will this go anywhere?” Only time would tell.

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