I was having a hard time deciding where to post this message: Personal News? Miracle?Spiritual Journey? Creative Writing? I guess, it is a bit of all.
First, the "personal news" item: yesterday, I helped my daughter and my grandson to move to a first floor suite in the same co-op building where I live on the third floor. Since my youngest son already lives close by, in the apartment building next to mine, I am looking forward seeing them more often, yet having our own privacy. The best of both worlds!
Now, the "hell" item: partly by choice, partly by fate, our family is more than adept at moving. I myself lived on two continents, in two countries, two provinces, dozens of places in many cities and towns. Normally, I rent a truck, my two sons and my daughter invite their burly, big, muscular young male friends over who were more than happy to help out as long as they were promised pizza and pops, or as they grew older, beer.
This time, it was different. Last year has been quite difficult financially. Consequently, all my savings are gone, and my credit cards canceled. Emese, a single mother, never had a credit card. Therefore, we could not rent a truck, and my daughter had to hire a moving company instead,and pay them cash.
The movers quoted that it would take about three hours for the move, to be on the safe side, we were counting on having money for the worst case scenario of four hours. It seemed like the most expensive, but the easiest move anybody had in our family to date.
As soon as the movers arrived, we knew that expensive this move might be, but it will not be easy: one of the mover guys was a young fellow, who seemed to be stiff high on some substance. His boss, the driver was an older man, not exactly professional looking either. They walked in, they looked at the stuff already organized in the livingroom -I told you, we're EXPERTS at moving- and the older guy said
"You've got boxes"
"Yeah"- I said, "Isn't that what all moving people have? Boxes?"
"It just makes the move harder, than having to move furniture only" he replied indignantly. "and, the apartment is far from the elevator. A long walk...it makes things so much harder" he complained.
I looked at him,and hoped he was joking. He was not. To make a long story somewhat shorter, the two movers moved as slow and as euthasiastically as two drunk slugs. Trying to speed up the move, my daughter and I, with the aid and interference of my grandson, moved all the stuff, -including the boxes- out of the apartment, and into the lobby by the elevator. In spite of our efforts, two hours later, we had only , a futon bed, an entertaintment center, two drawers, and a kitchen table on the truck.
My daughter and I were exhanging worried looks: this was going to be one EXPENSIVE move! We were just trying to figure out how to get our slugs get MOVING, when the situation got a hell of a lot worse: they suddenly announced, that the move will take not three hours, not four, but an ADDITIONAL five hours, "at least"...SEVEN HOURS IN ALL! Again, I hoped he was kidding, but he was not. When he heard, we do not have the money, or the time for seven hours of slugging, they told us, if we do not pay, they will take the stuff off from the truck, and leave. Now, I REALLY hoped he was kidding. Surely, he could not be serious?! He was.
Two and a half hours after they walked into the apartment, the movers were gone, with half of the stuff out by the sidewalk in the rain, the other half upstairs in the lobby by the elevator. We had a toddler asleep on one of the bags, we both had a headache, and I was having anxiety attacks.
We spent the next two hours phoning friends, foes, enemies, (I even called my ex husband!), we called moving companies, we called a newspaper, I even called the police -I am not sure what they would have done, but I was desperate!- to no avail. People were either at work, did not answer their phone, or they were "otherwise occupied", having dates, dinners, and dog grooming appointments, all of which were much more important than our situation. We were stranded, and desperate. Finally, I announced, we called everyone that I could think of. There was no help. We were in a hellish situation, and the devil only cared!
Then, I remembered, we called everyone, but God. So, I've called God. I did a five minute "prayer", which, I admit sounded much more like a temper tantrum than a prayer. But, it worked. Miracle number one: I looked around, and started to laugh. No, I did not loose my mind....but, it hit me, how ridiculous and "Seinfeld like" this situation was. My Big Fat Gypsy Move.
Then, miracle number two: the phone rang, Lazaro, my new "boyfriend" was calling. This -me having a "boyfriend" was not only new, but a miracle on its own. I only met Lazaro two days ago...and in the two days, as if he wanted to prove all tenets in that book titled "He is Just Not Into You", he has demonstrated that when a man IS into a woman, he does not need six months to make up his mind, he is not afraid of commitment, he DOES call no matter how busy he is, and, he does not only do not mind to be called "boyfriend", but he is the one who suggests a relationship from the get go! This situation was so new, I forgot I had a "boyfriend". I answered the call, and told Lazaro in approximately two thousand words (at five hundred words per minute) the story of our move, and our situation. He remained calm, and asked for the address. I gave it to him. He said: "I'll be off work in half an hour, will be there in an hour. Now, relax."
I did not know what good it will do to have him here in an hour, but...at least, he would be here. A big, burly chest to cry on.
Miracle of miracles: half an hour later, two big burly guys I have never even seen or knew about before arrived with pizzas, coffee and juice. They announced they were Lazaro's friends, Jesus and Gabriel. (I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!). By the time we ate the pizza, Lazaro arrived, with a truck he rented. By the time I recovered from my shock, we were at the new place, ready to unload the truck.
I went inside to get the keys from the maintenance manager, only to find the whole co-op in the community room having the annual budget meeting. Beth, the maintenance manager came outside, and I told her our story of the movers, in a way of apologizing for not being at the meeting, interrupting, and being so late: by this time, it was 8PM. She gave me the key, and went back to the meeting, and we started to undload the truck.
Then....another miracle! Before I noticed, the whole membership of the co-op was helping us to move! One lady took my grandson inside for milk and cookies, while the rest of the co-op, young and old, moved not only the heavy stuff, but yes, even the boxes...I was choked, and had to fight back tears. So often I am guilty of lamenting the coldness and individualistic nature of this culture: yet, these people were more helpful, and more loving than my own friends, who were full of useless advice, but empty of real action.
The miracles still did not end! This new "boyfriend" of mine, the guy I have met two days ago, refused to take the money for the truck, and looked almost as indignant at the sight of my daughter trying to hand him the money, as the movers did seven hours ago, looking at the boxes in the living room. "You're a single mother" he said "and I am happy to help". With this, he gave me a big hug and kiss, asked me if I needed anything else.... and with that, Lazaro, Jesus and Gabriel were gone.
I looked at my daughter, and said: I've learned a few things today: I learned, I have no friends, but I have more friends than I knew I had. Secondly, this guy Lazaro was a "keeper". Thirdly, we have to be careful when hiring movers. Fourthly, and most importantly, I've learned that when everything else fails, God will not fail me.
It was the best move ever...and it did not even cost a cent.