Thanks to you all who keep checking on me. The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind, again. So are you ready for the latest bombshell? I lost my job. Yes. We were notified last Monday, and last Thursday was our last day in the office. When I say “we”, I mean pretty much the whole Home Equity group – at least those of us based in Stamford. Another casualty of the mortgage crisis.
My life in the past five years just feels like a series of moments. Mostly bad, but some good. So let’s recap, dear friends. The highlights (or lowlights, as the case may be):
March 30th, 2003: My dad died from pancreatic cancer (only 60 years old)
December 28th, 2004: Our perfect daughter Annika, the absolute light of our lives, is born after a near-perfect pregnancy.
June 1st, 2006: Start a new job. Closer to home, but a different industry so a challenge to ‘learn the ropes’
June 9th, 2006: My grandmother passed away – at the ripe age of 94 – bless her soul
June 20th, 2006: Mom is diagnosed with lung cancer and starts an aggressive course of chemo/radiation
Fall/Winter 2006-2007: Mom puts up a good fight, but struggles with her health, including pneumonia and an esophogeal ulcer that makes her unable to eat and requires a feeding tube
March 2007: Mom has double vision and they find a spot of cancer on her skull, pressing on her optic nerve. Starts a new round of radiation and bounces back.
April 13th, 2007: Mom is too weak to get out of her chair. Calls her neighbor to take her down to the hospital.
April 17th, 2007: Mom falls in the hospital and breaks her hip (actually I think her hip gave out due to the cancer and she fell). She has hip replacement surgery the next day.
May-June, 2007: After just a difficult week at home, mom spends her last months between the hospital and a nursing home.
May 3rd, 2007: I find out I’m pregnant!
Middle of May sometime: OMG, it’s twins!
June 20th, 2007: I have CVS to find out if the babies are chromosomally OK (no CVS in Duluth, so I drive down to Minneapolis for it). A week later, I find out the babies look perfect, and we’re having a boy and a girl!
July 1st, 2007: Mom passes away after a very painful, difficult struggle
End of July, 2007: I return to CT, return to work. I’m VERY achey and uncomfortable.
Mid-August, 2007: One of the twins is quite a bit smaller than the other. Next month need to see a perinatologist
Mid-September, 2007: Both babies grow, but one is still much smaller. Showing signs of pre-eclampsia (high BP, swelling). Start working from home.
October 2nd, 2007: Mention upset stomach at perinatologist appointment. She orders bloodwork, stat. I’ve got HELLP Syndrome. I’m given steroids and babies will be born in 48 hours.
October 4th, 2007: My precious twins, Cole and Lina are born at just 26 weeks
October 8th, 2007: We are given the devastating news that Cole had a very severe bleed on his brain. No idea what this will mean for his future.
October 26th, 2007: After he becomes septic and very very ill, we make the heartwrenching decision to let him rest. He passes away in our arms at 3:00 pm.
January 4th, 2008: After a long uphill climb and getting past so many challenges, Lina is doing well. We decide to bring her to Greenwich Hospital to be closer to home, since I must return to work.
January 8th, 2008: The babies’ due date. The doctor tells me how well Lina is doing. She might be ready to come home as early as next week. I am elated, walking on air.
January 9th, 2008: We receive a call from the doctor. Lina’s bowel may have ruptured, she needs to go back down to Columbia Presbyterian for exploratory surgery. She is rushed in as soon as she gets there. The bowel is not ruptured, instead the blood supply had been twisted and cut off. The surgeons untwist it and hope that the restored bloodflow will heal the bowel. She is septic though, and it is unclear whether she can beat that.
January 11th, 2008: The surgeons operate again to determine how much of the bowel is salvageable. It turns out the blood supply itself was damaged and the entire bowel has died. There is nothing they can do for her. They bring her to us and she dies in our arms. Again, it was Friday, about 3:00.
March 17th, 2008: We are notified that our business unit is being shut down/merged with another and that our positions are being eliminated
March 20th, 2008: Last day in the office
OK, I don’t mean for this to be a pity-party, but doesn’t that seem like an awful lot for one person? There were lots of other things along the way, including my own bouts with pneumonia and recurring bronchitis. And of course there were moments of joy, too. Mostly centered around Annika.
In fairness, I should mention that it was not a shock last Monday when they informed us that our positions were eliminated. Anyone working in the mortgage industry (or even reading the news) could see the writing on the wall. Weeks before we had been told that things looked shaky, then very bad. For probably 2 weeks we knew it was coming and were just waiting for HR to get the paperwork together.
And, if I’m honest, I am not entirely distraught. I’d been with Citi for 12 years, and so my severance package is enough to take some of the pressure off. Still, after being with a company for 12 years…most of my friends are from Citi along the way… packing up last week felt very sad. It was saying goodbye again. Another loss. A blow on top of everything else…but then again, with the other events of the past 5 years, I am keeping it in a very different perspective.
So you’d think after all that, I could at least take a week and relax. But no. I got in touch with an old boss of mine (who had left Citi) and wound up setting up some interviews down in Delaware for yesterday. Then they called and asked if I could come down Tuesday as one person’s schedule couldn’t accommodate me on Wednesday. So I spent Friday suit-shopping (ugh) and Monday filling out a loooonnnnggg job history questionnaire they required. And preparing. I hadn’t interviewed (properly) in 12 years. And what I interviewed for 12 years ago was very different. Of course, I’d had some interviews within Citi, but when you’re internal, it’s different. So anyhow, the past week was anything but relaxing.
But I thought the interviews went well. I have a pretty good feeling. And my old boss has a couple of different possibilities in mind, so I feel pretty hopeful that something will work out. Whew. So now I can relax. I hope.