Twisted Sense note: This is a contest entry – not written by me, but a contestant in the Club-Content running! Please see the links at the bottom of the post
Our last hotel visit was not for a vacation. It was a stop towards our new life in a new city in a new state. In August 2007, three months after we bought our first house, the housing bubble burst. We decided to have Riley thinking that we’d still be ok, however, we had to close our custom cabinet company about a year later.
Work was not easy to find in Florida since the construction industry was huge there. Work was especially hard to come by for someone who had been his own boss for over 10 years. We came by some unscrupulous companies and individuals that just wanted to hire cheap labor. The money coming in wasn’t paying the bills and with a baby on the way (wouldn’t you know it, I get pregnant and all hell breaks loose!), the added expenses were terrifying.
A few months before Riley turned one year old, we decided to look elsewhere for steady employment. I expected to move to North Florida, but North Georgia became the answer. A woodworking company in Summerville, Georgia needed an estimator, which was what my husband had been doing for years. Salary, benefits, vacations, it seemed wonderful! A week after Riley’s birthday, Chris went up there and was put up in an efficiency hotel until he could find a house to rent.
The two weeks we spent apart was the worst weeks of my life. Little did I know that the upcoming week in the efficiency was going to be just as bad! Imagine a fresh one year old in the tiniest square box you’ve ever seen. The hotels were pretty much up the side of a mountain, smack dab next to the main road coming into the city of Rome. There was no where in Summerville to live, so Rome was the nearest city south. There was no where for him to run or play or even to take a walk with his stroller. I would have usually relished in getting out to do the laundry, but there were no doors in the designated laundry area and my son likes to roam. We were out of that efficiency as fast as we could!
It was an emotional time for me. I was away from my family for the first time in a place where I didn’t know anyone. Chris had befriended the guy that stayed in the room next to us. I feel awful that I don’t remember his name now or what he did for a living. He was there with his company and he would go from city to city doing what ever hard labor was needed. When I pulled up to the hotel that first night, he helped bring everything up to the room that I had brought. He was a redneck for sure and I felt home again!
That next day was Easter Sunday. As we were getting ready to go to a new church, he went to the Dollar General next door and bought an Easter bunny (only pink ones left!) and some candy for Riley and placed it at our door. We didn’t know it was from him at that time, but he always kept his door open and we were able to ask him if he saw the person that put it there. Of course I cried right then! That was the kindest act of love I had witnessed from a stranger. I will never forget that day or ever get rid of that bunny!