Melinda - now my Susie, would be in the hospital several days. I would be there every night after work, still praying, still wondering, why? I know, I left Janice at home taking care of Mary Kathryn, but none of that seemed to concern me. What had begun to trouble me more than anything was the fact we did not have the resources to pay the hospital bills. Soon, we did not have enough to pay the owner of our house and we would be evicted.
I had hoped my employer - especially my friend, my boss, would offer something. Not money out of his pocket as he was always whining about the cost of supporting his wife's spending tendencies, but a word to the management of how dedicated I was to my responsibilities. Nothing was ever said, that I knew of, at least. I began to think of a change. But we needed the security.
We moved into an apartment complex where there were four units on one side of a sidewalk and four on the other side. It was nice, but we were pregnant again. Soon, our first son came along.
The more I thought of my responsibilities and the less I thought about the possibilities at my job, the more I was tempted to go back to drinking. I will never forget an incident before William, our first son was born. Our children were all born by caesarean section and we knew exactly when the delivery would be scheduled, so I boasted that "my wife was going to have a baby at 7:30 the following morning" and offered to bet on it. To my surprise, three or four fellows took the bet, so that when it happened, I collected a couple of hundred dollars, that we needed at home. Instead, I bought the "house" a couple of rounds of drinks and tipped the waitress generously. Stupid, I know, but with all that seemed to be going on in my mind, it was true to form for me to disregard my real responsibility.
I don't know if that is what caused it, but I would soon be shocked to discover that my wife had been stealing mail from our neighbors' mail boxes and was caught and jailed. I had wondered where she got all of the gifts the children had at Christmas, but she claimed that her mother had paid for them.
There was a trial, she plead guilty and to our amazement, the judge sentenced her to ten years in prison, but let her go on probation because of our children, warning her that if she continued to violate the law, he would assure her that she would serve every day of that sentence.
It wasn't long before I was sickened by everything that was happening - to me (I thought) and finally I had enough of my job, my bosses, my opportunities there and quit my job.
But an amazing thing happened. I had made friends with a temporary help supplier who had been calling on our company and when he heard that I had left, he called to see if I would be interested in working for him. It involved a better salary, the potential for commissions and a company car. It was like "manna" from heaven as far as I was concerned. We moved back to Los Angeles and it looked like our future had really improved.