Sunday, September 19, 2010

Coolred and the year on.

Can anyone remember what they were doing one year ago from today? For most of us that wouldn't be easy, too much going on in life to remember what we had for lunch last week much less a year ago. However, when something truly momentous is going on...well that makes it somewhat easier to recall certain details.

For those unenlightened as to the finer details of my recent past...go read this ....and then a little more here just to get all caught up, more or less.

Go on...I'll wait. *listening to Amy Winehouse*

So, you up to speed now? Good. My children and I arrived back on American shores one year ago today (OK on the 20th but we left on the 19th and Ive got homework to do so this is being typed in between Spanish and Pyschology) and to say that the past year has been just as eventful as the lead up to us arriving here is a misnomer. It's been one roller coaster ride after another...with no end it sight.

I thought I would do this post sort of in a "the year that was" kind of thing with some updates as well. I want those that contributed good wishes and hard earned money to hopefully realize they helped put a family on the road to a very different life...and definitely for the better as far as I'm concerned.

Well let's see. One of the hardest things for me to get straight in my mind every single day of my life that I REALLY am here. I wake up in the morning...go to college or work or the mall...spend the day doing my thing...then lay in my bed at night and ask myself the same thing again and again..."am I really here?" The answer is always yes...but it doesn't make it any easier to believe.

For 23 years while living in Bahrain I dreamed of coming home and STAYING home. Several times I did find myself in the states again, but circumstances prevented me from staying beyond a visit (another post there I suppose), mainly the fact that my children were still over there. There was never really any choice in the matter. Where they were is where I had to be...simple. I could never make the final move to America unless and until ALL my children were with me. This, of course, meant I made several trips back and forth over the years, but never with the understanding that THIS time I was staying for good. In the back of my mind was always the "return date" to head back to Bahrain. I guess my dream was, in travel to America and have NO return date on my ticket. A one way ticket in other words. Obviously that finally happened and here we year on.

I suppose I could do a post full of links to certain events this past year but that would be a pain for me ( I have yet to learn how to link without much hair blog is the worst for it I know) so instead I will just do some highlights of the past and updates of the present and some wishful thinking for the future possibly. Here goes.

1. Kids and I arrived tired, travel worn, and rather wrung out after that truly monumental 23 hour combined flight and layover.

2. Stayed with an old school friend of mine for 2 months while we sorted ourselves out. She was a true friend by giving us a place to stay when we got here...without which I would have hesitated to even make the trip in the first place. Having said that...11 people in a trailer does tend to cause stress and hurt feelings. We did OK considering the forced closeness and differences my kids had to get use to.

3. I managed to get a job working in a gas station/convenience store fairly quickly. I have quite a few posts in the archives detailing interesting customers and what not...there's even a post about 3 men coming in and robbing me...then returning the next day as if nothing happened. Still mad about the police not showing up when I called them. grrrr!!!

4. My 2 high school kids settled in fairly easily tho there were some incidents of name calling..."terrorists" was thrown at them a few times but the principle of the school sorted that out right away and things settled down. My son, Zack graduated later that year with near perfect marks. Not bad considering the upheaval he endured at the start of his senior year, not to mention having ALL his classes in English for the first time ever. He is one smart cookie. Handsome too. Anyone need a smart handsome about 5 to 10 years? LOL

5. I bought a new (old) car in late Nov. as I had been forced to walk across town to get to work after we moved into our apartment at last. My feet were just not happy to accept a 2 hour walk ahead of an 8 hour shift...I was forced to buy the car before they mutinied completely on me. Less than 2 weeks later I was coming home from work at midnight and was struck by a teenage drunk driver. Thankfully I wasn't hurt too bad but he didn't have his seat belt on and suffered some serious injuries. The consequences from that accident have been serious and on going...something I'm still dealing with no end in sight just yet. *ugh*

6. I made the decision to enroll in college for the Spring '10 semester as it was something I have always wanted to do but never got the chance. I was rather hesitant considering my age and how long it's been since I sat in a classroom but felt the only thing stopping me was ME...and went ahead and signed up. At the moment I'm focusing on Psychology and Journalism majors...but nothing set in stone just yet. I see so many interesting classes I would like to take...and am considering the option of making a career out of being a college student. LOL The first semester was hectic juggling work, kids and college. I felt at times I wanted to either quit work and focus on college (if I could afford too *sigh*) or quit college and just live my life as it was. Quitting the kids wasn't an option so they were stuck with me. I eventually sorted myself out and got everything done. I even managed to finish that first semester on the Deans List. woot woot!! I've started my second semester and so far, the way things are going, I will enjoy my 5 mins on the Deans List and consider it a fluke. Spanish is HARD!!! *ugh*

Oh yes, my two oldest kids also joined me at college and so it was a family affair. We all managed to finish our first semester on the Deans List soooo yay us.

7. My best friend from Bahrain came to visit me twice so far. Once by herself and once with her children over the summer. Her second visit coincided with my mother coming to visit as well. Those couple of weeks had their ups and downs but we had some fun. I noticed my kids were very happy to see her...I guess she brought a "touch of Bahrain" with her...and reminded them of who they are. (as if they could forget) She is just about the only family they still have over there...and she isn't even related by blood....just by love...and that's fine with us.

8. One by one the older kids have all found jobs and so we are scratching by...doing OK. I can't complain but if I could have a home to call our own...that would be icing on the cake. Living in an apartment has many of which is that the local cops consider this their "donut shop" and spend copious amounts of time here for various reasons. I would just like to have a permanent home and decorate accordingly...with a dog in the front yard and a swing in the back.

9. My daughter has decided it's time to get married and so is busy making plans to get that process done. Hard to believe my "baby" is all grown up and taking the marital plunge. If it were up to me I would forbid her to marry...I'm somewhat jaded in that area...but it's not up to me and I can't put my animosity for all things marriage related off on her. I hope she is happy and content. That's all I can say.

Oh yes...he better be good to her...I can wield a mean baseball bat when pushed. I'm just saying.

So that's it pretty much. I could give you all the nitty gritty details (and there are some of course...maybe for another time?) but basically we are busy getting on with it. Right now my oldest son and I are combining college and full time work...daughter will join us again as soon as she gets this little marriage thing out of the way...LOL. Rest of the kids are doing their thing and we are taking it day by day.

Again I want to reiterate that I wish for those people who helped us get here and thus changed our lives (for better I hope) will appreciate the fact that their efforts were a stepping stone for all of us. There are a couple of friends who went the extra yard, and you know who you are but wish to remain anonymous but a shout out for you all the same. You know who you are.

I hope we are deserving of the trust you placed on us when you made the decision to share your monies or your good thoughts with us way back when I asked you complete stranger to many of you...and just a blogger to many others. Your trust in me and what I asked of you was much appreciated and the ripples are still occurring.

Thank you all.


Tracey's Life said...

You should be very proud of yourself. I am!

AlabasterMuslim said...

I'm so proud of you too! And your family! Alhamdullilah I'm sooo happy everything has turned out for the better. I can't believe its been a year already since we all tried getting you out of bahrain....

And since I'm a lover of romance, you have to tell some details of your daughter getting married!! how is she 'planning' it?? I mean, I figure in Bahrain the word would spread, but here in the u.s. is it a bit different? Unless she has someone in mind already!! Ahh tell her I said congrats (even if she hasn't found anyone yet) and inshallah she will find a handsome good man, ameen.
(And of course, keep the base ball bat close by.)

Forty Pound Sack said...

I knew you could do it. I was right. I'm very impressed with your spirit, your work ethic, your devotion to your kids....all of it. I wish you good luck and good health and much happiness. I look forward to reading about your progress, and I wish I could take you to lunch, LOL.

janice said...

Thanks for the reminder and for remembering the journey. Time does fly. Always wishing you and yours the best America has to offer. Keep up the great progress you've all made thus far.

Chiara said...

Great post (and title ;))!

Congratulations to you and your children, and best wishes for continued success!

My own post on your year (thanks for agreeing that I do one), just went up: Coolred and the Gang One Year On--Living the American Dream!

I hope you and your readers will enjoy its slightly different take on the year. :)

Jaz said...

Has it been a year already? It doesn't seem that long ago that we were all just really rooting for you to get back home on those Ramadan flights. I'm so happy to hear that you're all moving on and that inshallah your daughter will break the cycle and have a long and happy marriage.

Wafa' said...

i always believed it and you made me more sure, mothers are the best and most beautiful creatures on Earth :). you thank all those people who helped you which is great but you really need to thank yourself and be proud of yourself for never stop going back for your kids, you are amazing :)

caraboska said...

In the name of God. I definitely second the rhetorical question 'Has it really been a YEAR ALREADY???' Wow, so happy for you all to be able to live a normal life now... May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you.

Angel Darling said...

Congratulations on making it through this year. Your story, as many have said through out this year, should be published! I wish you continued success. I know you will make ALL your dreams come true, I just know you will!

Anonymous said...

I miss u girl, and will come to visit u again and again, u and the kids r my family too, Maryam

Susanne said...

I really enjoyed this update. I have to agree with Wafa'. As I was reading this and putting myself in your situation, I was thinking what a HERO you are! You are an inspiration and show us all what hard work and determination can bring about. Thank you for being a good example to me!

Best wishes and may this year be even brighter!

coolred38 said...

tracy..thank you..and I am..sometimes. LOL

alabaster...thank you as well. My daughter already has the groom in mind....just getting the details sorted. I will make a post on that most likely...not everyday my first born takes the plunge.

forty pound sack...I wouldnt mind going to lunch with you (I sushi please) too. Thank you for the kind words.

janice....thank you and np.

chiara...thanks for the post, its pretty detailed and the different take on it is interesting.

jaz...yes hard to believe its been a whole year. Is it just me or does time go by at the speed of light in the states...and the speed of molasses in the gulf? LOL

wafa...why thank you...but its what mothers are meant to do..not all of them do it...but that doesnt really make the ones that do "heroes or special"...just makes them mothers.

caraboska...thank you so much.

angel darling...I hope so too.

maryam...i know you do and we cant wait to see u..again and again and again.

susanne...thank you for the kind words...and for appreciating hard everyone does.

Ayesha T said...

Wow, I can't believe it's already been a year. I'm so glad things seem to be falling into place. IA, you and your children will continue to go from strength to strength!

Anonymous said...

Please try in live in the now and your life will change so positively. Are you not tired of going back to all the mess you have had in your life !!
Or do you just like to dwel on more problems !!
I am happy for your progress but positive change must be present in all aspect of your life ..including your writings.

coolred38 said...

ayesha...thank you and so do I. we meet again. hmmm. Your comments arent very why leave them? This post is far from negative...all about our "positive changes" so your apparent missunderstanding of this post shows me you didnt even bother to read it...whatever.

btw my blog, I will write what I want. Others can choose to read or not...comment or not...that includes you. Dont like what I write...get off my blog. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It is sad to see so many of your readers enjoy reading about your misfortunes and commenting with their silly remarks which shows that all of them have some sort major problems in their lives (the type you have). You guys all need to get a life and write about the positives things that can make a difference in someone's life based on your experience. Give advice not dewel on the past.
Then again white trash always talk about the bad health, bad relations, bad luck, bad days no matter where they live. I used to be around so many of your kind and it did nothing but bring me down with no end in sight, yes I am here to tell all to stay away and find happier blogs to visit.
you have nothing good to add to any day in life.

BJR said...

Coolred --- congratulations on your accomplishments! I am one of the readers you referred to, who took a chance and decided to help a fellow American come home, even though we never met. I am certainly glad that everything worked out so well. I am sure you can conquer the challenge of Spanish as well, if you set your mind to it. I recommend finding something you would be interested in and that you are familiar with. and find a Spanish source. If you enjoy People magazine, get that in Spanish. If you grew up reading Bible stories, get a Spanish Bible. Anything where you already KNOW the content, so you can just get used to the vocabulary and sentence structure. That's my two cents' worth, anyway.

Anonymous -- we must be reading different blogs. Coolred vents her frustration at times, but overall the posts seem positive and optimistic, future-oriented rather than dwelling in the past. Your criticism puzzles me.