Thursday, February 19, 2009

Waterproof mascara

Waterproof mascara would have been nice today.

This weekend, in the midst of the Ice Fest activities, lots more than I wrote about yesterday went on. A good friend had a healthy baby boy then suffered some serious complications a few days post partum. Luckily, she is on her way home and doing well. Another friend lost a child in a tragic drowning accident. He was 13 days shy of his first birthday. I got over feeling sorry for myself (sore throat, so tired, poor me!) pretty quickly as I started getting ready for the funeral this afternoon. A funeral with a very small casket. So small that only 4 of the 6 pallbearers could actually fit around it to carry it out of the church. Though my eyes were dry leading up to the service, I packed a hanky just in case. Good thing. When Mike and I walked in, I broke down at the sight of a table covered in little Franklin's favorite things--a tiny basketball, a stuffed truck, an itty bitty pair of well worn Nike's (he'd been walking for 3 months already), a wooden train whistle, a hand knit hat, a favorite blanket, a few books. The service was very touching and extremely emotional. Freddy, Franklin's daddy, got on stage and read Franklin's favorite book, "This is Not My Dinosaur!", to all of us as if Franklin were on his lap. The book is one with different textures to feel--fuzzy, soft, slippery, rough--and Freddy gingerly rubbed his fingers over each page after reading the words. "This is not my dinosaur! His fins are too slippery..."

While we can all be comforted by the fact that Franklin is in heaven, free from pain or sin or death, it will take time to accept that comfort while we all work through this grief. I hope to never understand the grief that Freddy and Linda are feeling right now. Mike and I had a good conversation after the service about rethinking priorities and the importance of time with loved ones.

After that, I hate to even blog about the struggles we have been having because they now seem so unimportant and temporary. But, I have learned that it is not good to discount one's own trials even when those around you have greater issues at hand. The renters of our little investment condo have left us high and dry. The first left a month ago and the second moved out over the past few days (4 months before the lease ended) and left the place a disaster. The fridge is full of old food and the power gets shut off tomorrow, the floor is covered in trash and cat food, the cats' litter box is full of poop, there are fish tanks, an old bed, bed frame, random furniture, bags of trash, and other junk scattered about that we have to clean up. The mural they painted on the wall and promised to paint over is still there, the curtains were destroyed by the cats and are left in shreds...and they have paid less than half of the rent for the past 3 months. Even when rent is paid in full, it doesn't cover the entire mortgage. Ouch.

Lessons learned: No pets. First and last month's rent. Deposit. Check references. Make sure you really really really want to deal with renters before buying investment property.

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