Thursday, April 28, 2016

In The Homestretch

I'm a closer to than from, a sixty year old nag who's beat all the odds, racing towards the finish line and feels fantabulous!

Last week I took four days off to spend them in Orlando with the part of my family already there. It was the best Tim and I have gotten along in (literally) years, and felt wonderful. It's not easy to remain together after going through over five years of wondering if you will make it, but have and will.

I've always loved Tim but haven't been in  love with him this last little bit of the journey. It's a nice feeling to fall in love again.

Kudos to him more than me. I can be vicious, he doesn't have a mean bone in his body and more patience (with me) than Job ever thought about having.

He did remark how skinny I had become (and he's right).

My best comeback was "yes, but at least I still have ten digits".

I was pretty freaked out when almost whacked my digit off over four weeks ago but today was the first day I didn't even need to wear a band aide.

Maybe I am a doctor, or at least could play one on TV.

My thinking behind the miraculous recovery of my digit is this:

I must still have a lot of pointing to do.

I need to point out all of the wonderful things which have happened to us in just the past two years. I need to point out how much we are loved. I need to point out how our lives have taken an upward turn and point out how wonderful all three of our kids are doing. I need to point out that for the first time in over half a decade we are debt free and months away from paying our home off. I need to point out we are the luckiest unlucky people on the planet for all the help we've been given...  from both new jobs we secured through friends, to family who have not only stood by us through the financial abyss but sometimes paid our way.

I never ever thought after the last half decade  we would be in the financial position we are today, yet we are.

My thoughts these days are only (and should be) paying it forward.

I have two nephews I used to spoil rotten and have only recently been able to do again. I've taken care of my kids and also been able to help them as well. I've been able to give a drop in the bucket to my sister who I owe everything to.

I owe my brother even more but lucky for me is a man much like our father and loves unconditionally, even with a nag like like me for a sister.

I was at work tonight, with my favorite utility guy washing dishes.

Massey and I bought him a face shield at Christmas so all the chemicals don't splash his face when getting down and dirty scrubbing pans. He was overwhelmed and wears it every shift.

He takes twenty minutes to don his outfit before each shift to keep from getting soaked, made of plastic garbage bags he's pieced together.

Tonight while at work searched Amazon for rubber waterproof aprons and found him one.

It's ordered and on the way. Another dishwasher who I love too was also working  and saw what I was googling so asked him if he would wear one?

His response... "Ms. Kelly, I'd wear the hell out of it."

 He's about my age, has one one hand which is paralyzed but comes in every shift and never complains or asks for assistance in performing his job.

So I ordered him one too.

In two to five business days we will have the best dressed dishwashers in the airport. Bonus points both came with long rubber gloves. (Richard really wanted some long gloves)

Richard , the one with the face mask said he'd be glad to pay me for it, especially since it was a pay day week. I told him not to insult me, it was a gift from me and Massey. Then he said he wanted to give me some money to help with Massey's education. I told him that was out of the question.

You know what?

I've met some really great people at the airport and some are the hardest working most underpaid people I've ever been lucky enough to encounter. I've said it before, my favorite people at the airport are the shuttle drivers and the women who clean the restrooms.

This job has blessed me beyond belief and I would be a thankless, if not worthless person if didn't help others who had an attitude better than my my own while doing a physically harder job than I do but perform it every day with no complaints, a smile on their face and always a kind word to say.

I told Richard the way he could repay me was to write Massey a letter (he is quite the eloquent writer) and tell her how much he likes her and has enjoyed meeting and getting to know her.

It will be a letter Massey will cherish, as will I.

Counting down the days and thanking  peeps who've made me understand what life is really all about.

Don't just talk the talk, walk it ...  every day.

My entire first six months at the airport was a deer in the headlights, faking it the best I could until it all came together. I studied every single shift every chance I got for literally months until this old dog learned her new tricks.

Now two years later am rocking the job in every sense of the word. I'm on time every shift and work my skinny butt off from the time I walk in until the time I stagger out.You get what you give and I give the job my all. I'm still a little nervous walking away from an almost six figure salary but has given me the confidence that now have the skills required to find a job equally as good in the busiest tourist destination in the country, Orlando.

I'll always love my Ecco peeps and be eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and for them.

I've learned how to read customers and "allow them experience joy" while dining with me, thanks to Fifth Group standards and had more compliments as a server working there than any other place I've worked in almost forty years of being a "Plate Slinger".

 I also got to work side by side with my youngest kid for an entire year and let her experience what it is to work for a top notch restaurant, and fills me with pride to witness her knock it out of the park each and every shift. She will be sorely missed, of that I am sure.

The two shifts I work each week without her never go unnoticed. First the shuttle bus driver taking me to the terminal often asks where she is, then most times get the same question while going through the TSA security checkpoint. Then all the servers and cooks at work ask about her and how she's doing in school? Then our chef's will ask about her... even the woman cleaning the restroom when I skirt across the atrium to visit the john. I'll walk out alone after work through the security checkpoint glass doors and often times the TSA guy will say "Where's the other Cotton?" I'll get back to my car and leave the deck to pay for my parking and the attendant always crouches down, peers into the passenger side of my car and say "Where's she at?" (drives me crazy they end their sentence with a preposition but it's the thought that counts)

 She had the best mentor of all, my first manager who trained her well just like he did me.

 She got to meet Ang Lee, the brilliant film director.

 She also met Chris Evans,Captain America.

She even met the cute, very personable Sam Smith.

What a way to spend your year as a young twenty year old kid and even get paid for it! She paid her own way through college this past year, had money to spare and has memories to last a lifetime.

I've witnessed Massey growing into her own this past year and has been more than a bonus to experience it with her.

I'm a lucky person with many faults but also a person who's finally stopped waiting for the next proverbial shoe to drop and finally kicking up her heels to dance.

It's getting better all the time!

I suppose it could have gotten worse but lucky for us, didn't.

Looking forward to what the future may bring us and excited to find out.

Stay tuned...COTTON

No comments: