My dad used to say that my younger sister, Cambria, and I had so much in common: she is an accountant, and I am an artist. They both start with “A.” After that the similarities stop.
We may have been pretty different growing up, but one great benefit of having an amazing sister like mine is that the relationship has only become stronger over the years—as well as the appreciation for the other’s gifts and differences.
I know I have written a lot on this blog about the importance of art and music, and the general healing/coping powers of creativity. But whether I like it or not, they aren’t the only things that make the world go round. I admit it: I tend to avoid financial conversations, IRS forms give me anxiety attacks, and I am often uncomfortable marketing my work. Regardless, my family and I still need money (especially without our main breadwinner) and I need to start dealing with that reality.
Cambria flew down from Seattle this week with the intention of helping me out with Justine for a few days. Justine, of course, loved every minute of her aunt’s company. But Cambria helped me out even more by going through my piles of paperwork, organizing them in manageable files, going through my bank statements and bills and writing up a general budget for me. I thought I was a pretty frugal gal, but I guess living in Southern California is as expensive as everyone says. We have been getting by…I am so grateful for donations. (And a HUGE thank you to all of those readers who have given: they are giving us an amazing and unexpected cushion for several months, its been great not to have to worry.) But we can’t live on them forever. I also don’t know how long it will be before Vernon can go back to work (he was a free-lance designer and not a citizen, so un-eligible for disability benefits.)
And this is where dealing with the numbers with my sister has been such a great wake-up/grow-up call.
My genius sister, trying to figure out my financial system….oops, I know its a headache.
Nah, it’s all good!
I want my readers to know that this is NOT a call for more donations. It is an admittance that I need to get my head out of the hospital world and back to the household.
Actually, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Vernon has been moved this weekend to the long-term/rehab hospital, where he can finally start working toward functioning in the world again. School starts for the kids in one week, so we will be getting on a proper daily and weekly routine anyway. So my sister’s visit, her willingness to organize my paperwork and guide my sights onto general spending goals has come at just the right time. I would love to be able to support the family through my photography, and not that this crazy summer is over, I will be able to focus on that more. I just wish I could plug myself in MATRIX-style and get a crash course in marketing and business downloaded into my arty-head. But it will come.
Now, as for Vernon today…
Cambria, Justine, and I all went to visit Vernon in Brea this morning. Justine was not allowed in as Vernon’s entire hall is an isolation ward. Boo for her. 🙁 Let’s pray again that he recovers quickly from the viruses so they can spend time together again. It is good to know that Maki is old enough to go into the room (he is over 12) when he returns from his summer in New Zealand next week.
While I was in the room, the most darling Occupational Therapist showed up to assess Vernon’s readiness to work.
She was a peach, a bit flirty with Vernon, saying he looks like a dead ringer for Peter Krauss. I had to agree, though I never thought of it before. Vernon took to her immediately, showing off all the work in his arms and hands that we have been doing together the past few weeks. I was so proud of him. She was pleased too, saying he will be ready to do occupational therapy every other day for a start. She said she could tell that had determination and when she asked if he was ready to work, he squeezed her hand hard and nodded his head. I should add that he also nodded his head when she said he was handsome and turned her “knees to butta.”
Here is a photo of Vernon holding up one of the pictures of Justine I showed him.
Not as much wall space here…a curtain separates him from his “roommate.” But we will be sure to get up as many pictures as we can. I was impressed that he was able to hold it up and look at it by himself.
Also…don’t you think blue gown suits him even better than green? I remain grateful and excited about the change.