All Is Not Lost

I lost the house this week.


It's ok. Really. I've had a lot of time to think about it. My own personal faith tells me, well, this is where God/the Universe wants to move you.


So, here I go.


You don't have enough income, says the bank. You are a bunch of assholes who took that bailout and never considered how hard us little people worked to pay our mortgages all those years, said I...I watched that movie The Big Short three times and am still unable to truly digest what actually happened.


Glassy stares.


I kind of really said that in the mediation. Minus the cuss words. I was polite. But pissed.


Fuck it. I'm gone. My musician and I will find a place that will take the dogs here in Kona. We will. I know we will. We have to. Because I will be fine. But my dogs need to be safe, happy, and cared for. So put your energy into that happening. Because dog friendly rentals here are very, very scarce.


Part of me is relieved to think I will be free of the burden of these inflated loans. They offered me a fairly generous cash for keys. Thinking I will just do that. And we don’t have to leave until the house is sold at auction. That is good because we can stay until that happens, but bad because we have no idea how long that will take.


I have a lot of considerations at the top of my list right now. Another is the wellbeing of my parents. There are a lot of things going on there that are deeply concerning. But for now, it is really kind of private and I think it needs to stay there. Basically though, things are moving much faster than anticipated in that realm. It is a very, very difficult situation. And I am very, very far away from it all.


So still the idea that I may need to move from here, for my family, for my career…these thoughts still resonate.


It’s strange how this all seems to be happening at the same time. For over three years things kind of slid by in survival mode, and suddenly big huge changes are all coming at once. 


I started school. I am totally excited about what I am learning in my nutrition training. And I want more. I want more knowledge, more power to change our food culture. More insight as to how to motivate a shift towards educating people about what is so wrong about so many the foods we are being offered and how easily it can be changed. More support on how to help people with the struggles that Mike fought.


I also started a new job. Thanks to all the people I’ve met through my musician boyfriend I landed a job at the newest restaurant in our tiny town…the first with the theme of farm to table, mostly locally sourced ingredients, as organic and nonGMO as possible. And THAT is a HUGE part of my obsession with nutrition.


I will be hostessing. It’s just a way to be involved, a way to learn about food…a way to feel a part of a family of people working towards something really and truly good.  I know these people. They are good people. And crap…a way to finally be earning more income. Jobs are frigging scarce here too.


I don’t write much about my boyfriend here. But I can say this. We’ve been through a lot together already. It’s not all been easy, no relationship is…but at the end of the day I can tell you he has a genuinely good heart and it’s his relationship to this town and its people that has led me to where I am now. It’s his commitment to this small town life that has opened up my world since losing Mike. Ironic, maybe. And he’s not perfect. But hell, neither am I. 


As soon as I knew the house was lost, he was already talking about the plan. How many months do we have. What are our options. The dogs, the dogs, the dogs. He was there with me at the family and friends training tasting night this week at the new restaurant, even gave up a gig to be there with me. He talks me up, he boosts me up, he is in my corner. 


I found myself crying this week. Not sobbing…just sitting here, staring at my computer screen, tears slipping down my cheeks, thinking about what I have lost, thinking about all the years I've lived here, thinking about my parents, so far away. My brother drove up to help them, thank God for that. But it’s not a final solution.


I also found myself smiling widely this week, supported by a host of friends I already know and love, and by new friends I have met through this new job…I found myself feeling happy, feeling like I have things to look forward to…I found myself feeling so grateful, so blessed with abundance in this world where so many have so little. And yet, the sadness about leaving this house Mike and I had together…about the difficulties my parents are experiencing…and so my sometimes brilliant musician boyfriend said, Steph, all is not lost.


He is right. All is not lost. I may have lost the house. But all is not lost. I have so much to look forward to in this life. I have to believe this. My life with Mike is in the past, but I am not gone yet. That is a really, really hard concept to take control of.


Any of you who have read my posts all these years might remember the special meaning the grasshopper has, in terms of Mike’s presence. When I got home tonight, after these past few days of huge ups and downs, there was one sitting quietly on my screen door, welcoming me. I believe Mike is here, I believe he is reminding me he will always be with me. And there was also a magnificent double rainbow over my house this week. Mike always said, rainbows are God’s promise. I believe he is showing me as many signs as he can that I am not left alone in the wilderness. 


I believe I am not alone. I may have lost my house, but I believe all is not lost.


Showing 6 reactions

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  • Stephanie Vendrell
    commented 2016-10-08 14:20:27 -0700
    Oh Ladies, thank you so much for your beautiful support and comments. It’s such a stressful time right now, and knowing you are all out there makes a huge difference. And please know…I am here holding space for you all too. We are all just walking through the fires.
  • Sharon Wall
    commented 2016-10-07 14:56:35 -0700
    I’m so sorry you lost the house, Stephanie. Even though you expected it was coming, it’s yet another loss. And it’s mixed with the excitement of school and a new job you’re having fun with and the worry about your parents who are far away. Bitter and sweet all mixed together. Once again there are so many parallels with my life. I’ve just listed my condo because I want to relocate to another province, there are worries about a parent …. Wish you were close enough to grab a coffee or a glass of wine – I know we would have many things to chat about. Take good care! I think you’re pretty amazing!
  • Penny Sharman
    commented 2016-10-07 08:21:12 -0700
    Stephanie, I am so sorry you lost your house and I am so in awe of your grace and strength as you face this upheaval. You are such an inspiration to me. Congratulations on your new job – how delightful for the patrons to be greeted by you. And I can’t go without wishing you the best of luck in your new life as a student.
  • Cathy
    commented 2016-10-07 05:59:57 -0700
    Loss upon loss, I so get where you’re at, and I’m so sorry. I gave up “our” home, and since my husbands death, both my parents have passed on, as well as several other important people in my world. Even I don’t believe my story. I look back at all my chapters, and somehow keep writing more, keep living because I am still here. You will, too. The greatest loss is my husband, I’d move an infinite amount of times to be with him. Take care.
  • Dori Capano
    commented 2016-10-07 05:34:18 -0700
    Stephanie, I am sorry you are losing your home. Though you have had time to mentally prepare for this outcome, the emotions will surely have their way. I am happy that you have a lot of support from many directions. I believe gratitude for everything that follows loss (in time) is important to continuing on in life. You are not only surviving, you are thriving. Good for you.
  • Lisa Richardson
    commented 2016-10-06 22:41:48 -0700
    Stephanie I’m so very sorry. Another loss after being through so much already. It’s true, all is not lost. But it sometimes is hard to see the plans being laid out in front of us isn’t it? As this life moves you forward remember we all love you.