Rewinding back to September 2017: I took leave of absence from work and played the role of the Disneyland dad, home-care nurse which was an absolute privilege. In late December the company I worked at then had eliminated 450 positions locally including mine here in Cali, and opened as many new positions on the east coast. Nope, not going there. After Madi passed I’d be lying if I even tried to imply that I wasn't emotionally spent, needed to disconnect, decompress, to grieve, to travel and just be away, but most importantly to re-position Angela as the most important woman in my life.
Do all things happen for a reason, was this part of His plan? The circumstances are oddly coincidental: my job officially ended two business days before Madison left us. Had I not been laid off, I would have certainly taken time away but would have probably rejoined my team after a month or two to complete the projects that I had in-flight. I'm still maneuvering through many scenario with those the question of the day. Frank told me that God has a plan for me now, and reminded me that His plan didn't include taking Madison away from all of us. Amen
So what's my role now on planet earth?! I was asked twice in the last week if I work, am retired, or?! Exactly, it’s a mystery! Wait, I know! I’m an unemployed volunteer. It’s time to sit at the grown-ups table and either grow a pair, get more tattoos and sport a man-bun, or get a haircut and rejoin the workforce. 'Hope' that we're financially able to retire absent logic, arithmetic, and common sense has been unsettling. I'm expecting two potential job offers in the coming weeks, which is equally unsettling. Yes, we can get by for now plus some plus some more... (there’s a ‘but’ coming…): I don’t really don’t want to go back to work. I enjoy volunteering and want to travel and frolic with Angela. But! If I need to work a few more years, I’m more employable now than I would be down the road. So...
This week Angela and re-tuned our financial goals. We outlined them to a trusted financial planner and in parallel I created a ludicrously detailed spreadsheet to determine if my numbers would align with what she was crunching-up for us, measure twice and cut once. Angela and I met with our planner this morning and she opened with the meeting with “You guys don’t have to work anymore and your play-money goals will work, I'll show you the numbers.” Interesting… I was actually nervous on two levels. I let her know I’m expecting at least one job offer next week, maybe two, but she confidently replied “don’t take either one, go play” but added that if it’s fun work and I enjoy it more than travel, volunteering and playing, take it! Hmmm. Wait, another wow, I really can’t believe it, are we really there? This is the point in our lives when we can actually drop the microphone and say “bamm, I'm done working”, and actually plan on spending our kid’s inheritance… Madison did want that… she reminded me of it several times late last year saying “dad, you and Angela will need to take a lot of trips and go play.” I replied “Thanks Shug, I love you with all my being but not only are we going to spend your inheritance, I’m going to rape and pillage your college fund too”. Madison grinned broadly... she wanted us to be able to play.
Not a day goes by that we don't think of Madison. While there is a spiritual puzzle in me but there are still some pieces missing. I'm not spiritually broken, far from it but certainly not anywhere close to having answers to my seemingly simple questions. Driving Madison's car because the Genesis keyfob battery died led me to Frank's radio program, then our long conversation about faith over breakfast, and a our walk together. Then a car exactly like Madison's makes a u-turn right in front of us and I have to ask myself if any of this coincidence? Madison was always such a smart-ass: was she behind any of this watching from above with a cheshire cat grin... is that even possible?! Perhaps this was part of His plan, or merely a sting of coincidences?
(If this was you Shug, thanks, nice touch, I miss you too. Regardless I'm getting closer, and I know you wanted that)