Thursday, April 21, 2011

The tragedy of the carpet man.


He knocked on the door right as the kids and I were finishing up Operation: Fine! You Don’t Have to Wear a Coat but You at Least Need to Put Shoes On.  He was there to measure for our new carpet {fist bump}.  I showed him were to do the measuring then excused myself to check on the kids who were now outside playing.  Coatless AND shoeless, in case you’re wondering.  He was a friendly gentleman - teased with the kids, told me all about his new carpet measuring thingamajig, complemented me on our teak floor and laughed openly when he came outside just as I was trying to impress Brynlee with a flip on the trampoline.  Oh heaven help me.


As I followed him back upstairs to discuss our current carpet pad situation he pointed to my collage of family photos hanging on the wall, “You have a beautiful family.  You know that, right?”  I thanked him and we continued talking carpet.  It was a conversation with numerous interruptions.  Jace decided he wanted his coat and shoes on after all.  Brynlee asked if she could have some strawberries.  Jace needed to use the potty.  Brynlee decided she wanted her coat and shoes on after all.  Brynlee and Jace had a squabble over the yellow swing and Jace used his teeth as a weapon.  There were tears.  You know. . . the usual interruptions.

As he was getting ready to leave, and with yet another interruption, he made a comment that caught me by surprise. “You are so blessed.  Whatever you do don’t ever do anything to screw this up.”  I’m sure I looked at him strange.  I mean, I had to of; that’s just not a comment you expect to hear from the carpet measuring dude. 

Then he told me his story:  He was raised a good kid.  Served an LDS mission.  Came home.  Met and married the love of his life.  Graduated from college.  Got a good job.  Had two beautiful children.  Life was all he dreamt it should be.

And then he was introduced to cocaine.  He became severely addicted.  Suddenly all he cared about was his next fix.  He lost his job.  His house.  And eventually, his wife and his kids {who were 3 and 5 at the time}.  Then, while high on cocaine, he was involved in a shoot-out with the police and all but lost his right arm.

They were able to fix his arm – to an extent.  It’s stiff, robotic, can’t be raised above shoulder level.  Years later he fought his cocaine addiction, and won.  He’s a recovering cocaine addict – clean for three years.  He was able to find a new job.  A new place to live.  But his family?  His wife?  His kids who are now 15 and 13?  He’s lost them forever.  He will never get back the years he missed out on.  Never, ever.

“Ya’know Kimberlee, he said while moving his bum arm in my direction, his voice cracking, I’d give my right arm.  My left arm.  And both my legs if only I could get it back.  If only I could raise my kids as I should have.  If only I would have treated my wife right.  If only I’d never found cocaine.  That’s years of my children’s life that I will NEVER be able to get back.  Like I said. . . you are so blessed.  You have a beautiful family, you have everything.  Whatever you do DON’T EVER SCREW THIS UP.  Don’t EVER screw this up.”

I thanked him for measuring for carpet, for sharing his story and then sent him on his way.  I ran outside and hugged my kids.  Tightly.  Called Spence and told him I loved him.  Because the carpet man is right, I have everything, indeed.  I’m living my very own fairy tale.  I am so blessed.  I.  HAVE.  EVERYTHING. 

And honestly, so do you.  And whatever you do DON’T EVER SCREW THIS UP.  Just don’t. 

If I do one thing right in this world I hope it to be this - I hope to never, ever screw this up.

XOXO


*This post is also being used as my Project 52: Glimpse into Motherhood post.
Because to me motherhood is being fully aware that with family you have everything.

12 comments:

Jami said...

WOw! God Bless the carpet man! We are SO BLESSED, even with screaming kids :)!

Miranda said...

This is such a lovely message that I am now bawling over. Thank you Kim. For reals.

My friend Charlotte's motto was "I have everything that I want and all that I need." I try to remind myself of that all the time.

Rachel said...

Well now I am crying. But I feel like getting up and being a mom...gladly without all the procrastination and feeling sorry for myself. I pray every day that I don't screw this up!!!

Erica said...

There are no words...

tharker said...

Whoa. Indeed, God bless the carpet man! I hope that one day he is able to find peace and is able to forgive himself. What a sweet man. And what a wonderful reminder for all of us. Thank you so much for sharing this, Kimberlee!

Nick and Karalynn said...

I got new carpet a couple years ago, and I barely even knew the carpet man's name, let alone his life story. I'll admit I'm a bit jealous.

Candace Boice said...

What a wonderful thing to share with us! And more so, what a wonderful message for the carpet man to share with you! Thanks for this sweet reminder of how blessed I am in my life right now :)

Jo (@ boogaloo) said...

Thanks for sharing carpet man's story - and reminding us how lucky we all are :)

Fancy Fonts said...

Heavy stuff. This is what I love about Project 52...whether I'm reading other's posts or writing my own, it makes me think about how lucky I truly am at least once a week.

Sabi said...

That's a wonderful post you wrote. It is amazing how life lessons can be taught by anyone, really! I wish the best of luck to you and your familly :) Sabi @ Thought Bubble, visiting from Simply modern mom

Angee said...

What a wonderful message. I think we often forget how blessed we are.

Emily said...

Way to make people cry over carpet! Thanks for sharing.

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