This story is about fulfillment and learning. It happened to me, but Iím sure that Iím not alone with this experience. It happened at one of our darkest periods of the history of the United States. It started many years earlier, with my quest for financial security, the ultimate, as society would have us believe. I found it with 57,000 shares of stock that I bought at an average of around ten cents a share. After two to three years the stock reached $6.00 a share, a value of $342,000.00. Not a bad profit.
I sold some of my stock, my brother-in-law said I was greedy. He said I should wait, said the stock will go up to $10.00 a share. Where is the greed? I was stupid and greedy, I listened to him. It dropped to $5.00 a share and I sold some more. I still had about 45,000 shares. At that time I was working at a very stressful job (not from the work, but from the other employees). Finally I quite, after almost eight years of stress. If you ask me why I stayed so long, if I had all of that stock and was eligible for social security three years before I quit, I would tell you "stubbornness" and "stupidity." I wasnít going to be done in by those people.
By then my childrenís play, Cancel Christmas was in book form and I published it, also produced the play a few times. I felt on top of the world. I must admit it was a grand feeling. I like watching people on the "Wheel of Fortune" or the "Big Spin" getting the same thrill I had. It is heady stuff. Especially if you have been scuffling for many years, trying to get to that position.
I was working on figuring out my next move. Everyone, friends and strangers, loved Cancel Christmas. Many said it should be animated. My family was very supportive and encouraged me. I called Disney Studios. They only look at material submitted by a Writerís Guild Agent.
So, a Writers Guild Agent was my next goal. An agent said that a screenplay was necessary. I studied Lou Hunterís book on writing screenplays. Final Draft, a screen writing software program that I purchased at a convention in Los Angeles, was on my computer. It took some time, but it was finally finished and off to the agent. Marion Wright of the Wright Agency called me one morning when I was at a very low point, said she loved the screenplay and was sending me a contract. Wanted me to sign it and return it with a couple of scripts. I was feeling on top of the world.
After sending my agent some scripts, one of which she was going to submit to Disney, I had a dream. To make it short, Walt Disney shot my hand with a rifle. The full dream is on my web site: www.parsec-santa.com/celebrity/dreams.htm.
While visiting relatives and a dear friend in Florida, I received a message from my agent. "Disney lost your script, send another one." Fortunately I had my laptop with the script on it. Two scripts were sent incase they lost another one. After a few months, one of the scripts was returned. The other is still floating around Disney Studios.
During that time, another event happened that took three years to resolve. It was necessary to sell all of my stock at prices from $3.00 to $1.50. It was for a very good cause and I would do it again. It was also a good feeling to sell the last of that stock which had so many bad feelings connected to it.
In that three years I bought a Condo. I really did okay but the drain put me at rock bottom. I sold the condo and bought other stock with some of the profits. Big mistake; thought history would repeat it self. Thatís a another story.
I moved out of San Diego into a rented room in Oceanside, CA. The person I rented from was a great guy. I really liked him. I was going to produce my play in Oceanside. The theatre people procrastinated and I ran out of time. Planning for the next year finally showed me I was in the wrong area. I moved to Huntington Beach to be near my Daughter, Samantha, her great husband and my two wonderful grandchildren. It took my last dollar. I was flat broke. My Social Security covered the rent, The other bills bled me of the rest of my savings.
I ran some ads for computer consulting, which was starting to go good for me in Oceanside. However, in Huntington Beach there was not one response in a month of ads. What do I do? I was watching every penny. Sold stuff in a swap meet that kept me in food for a while. I was at the bottom. Quite exciting. I was stressed beyond belief. Went to bed and said, "Tomorrow I am going to change all of this." That night I prayed for help, guidance and a direction.
I needed $138 to cover the rent. My SS check came on the third and my rent was due on the first. Things were looking bleak. That next morning I called a care giver company that told me I had to have three years of experience. That was discouraging. I tried another and told them about my experiences in Florida and in Northern LA. They set up an interview. I got the job. They were very professional which made me feel good. When I came home that night there was a check from the US Treasury, the same Treasury who audited me twice, once at the cost of $2500.00. The check was for $138.00, the exact figure I needed. Thank you IRS, thank you God. That was a message if I ever saw one.
The care company called and said that a terminal cancer patient in San Clemente needed someone for four hours a day. Thatís 35 miles form Huntington Beach, I was very tired of commuting. My earnings were not going to be very good, but something said it was the thing to do.
My first day was August thirty-first, 2001. The patient and his wife were wonderful people (I will call them Frank and Linda out of respect for their identity.) I felt a strong affinity toward them. He was a strong personality. We had some good conversations, he was a real likable man. They had two cats and a dog. I have allergies and asthma. Was this going to work? In the first week he declined, became confused and disoriented. I started wheezing with asthma. Fortunately, Hospice came frequently. They are wonderful people.
The phone rang on the morning of September eleventh. "Turn on your television!" The drive to San Clemente that morning was the most spiritual drive I have ever taken. There were no speeders, no one cutting people off, the drivers in the other cars were driving as if on remote control; they were as stunned as I was. Frank never knew about the tragedies in New York or Washington.
Frank had lung cancer. By the end of the second week he was declining rapidly. I stayed that night because Linda, his wife, could not lift him. The next day was my seventy-second birthday. Took the day off, but returned that night and stayed every night until the end.
I found myself doing things that I never dreamed of. If you had told me a year ago that I would be giving another human a bath, or changing his clothes, or helping with the toilet duties, I would have laughed at you. It all felt right, and I got two things I had been seeking for a long time - compassion (not once, did I become impatient.) and a direction. It was not a money making direction, but a giving and helping direction.. I was never very compassionate, more impatient than considerate. For a long time I had been asking for more compassion, it finally came.
Frank was rapidly declining and it was very difficult for his wife. I had grown stronger and the wheezing was gone. On the eighteenth day, the family gave him permission to go and said goodbye; the dear man passed away a few hours later. I closed his eyes with sadness, and gratitude to a man who changed my life. He was cremated and buried at sea, the way I want to go. Only for me, I want them to set the container on fire; a Viking burial.
All of this would not have happened had I kept the stocks, or sold them when the price was high and invested in a business or promoted my book. I did do some writing. There was a reason for this, only I didn't know what it was.
Below is the end of my story. The reason for putting it last is that I wanted everyone to read the first part of my story, I felt some would stop if they thought it was about religion. It is not about religion, but about what I believe God means to me. If you want to say that is religion, that is your business. I see God as a cosmic, universal force that is holding the universe together. We are like atoms that are a small part of a very large, unfathomable object. Therefore we are a part of God.
God put his arm around me. He didnít speak to me, but he did let me know that he was there for me. I have to add to that last sentence right away. He is there for everyone; all earthlings. In the eyes of the cosmic forces of God, we are all the same.
I believe there are keys to that cosmic force. Iíve seen it work, but too many people get caught up thinking that the key is the total answer, and that their key is the only key. Come on, be real. Why should there be only one key when there is such a diversity of humans on this planet. Why do we kill each other over that belief? Do you think that makes God, Allah, Buddha, Mohammed, Shiva, or any other name for the cosmic forces, happy to see earthlings killing each other over a name or a belief. I donít think so. We are so close and yet so very far away.