Gary and I continued to live life to the fullest extent possible for the next 5+ years.
As far as my job at the law firm? Well after moving up the ladder from receptionist to legal secretary I was starting to get bored again. One day a girlfriend and I were having lunch at a Chinese restaurant, and then I opened my fortune cookie and read something like “A new opportunity is awaiting you.” WOW!
When I got back to work that same afternoon, one of my bosses – who knew that I had been getting restless – called me into her office to inform me that the small law firm where her husband worked was looking for a paralegal/secretary. I ended up getting the job, but after falling into the same routine of bad-talking people, after 2 years I had gotten myself into trouble and ended up quitting. I decided to start doing freelance legal secretarial work and ended up landing a great job in a large law firm. They told me I could pick and choose my hours, and work as much or little as I wanted.
But alas… My first position was a 2-week stint working for one of the in-house attorneys. They stressed how important my position was for that 2-weeks as the attorney I would be working for did a lot of confidential stuff that needed to be kept under lock and key. Plus, they were pleased to inform me, he was the only one in the whole law firm whose secretary had a computer. Whoa – I’d never even touched one of those; I had only worked on memory typewriters! Of course I certainly didn’t tell them that…
Well of course my temporary boss figured out pretty quickly that I had no idea how to use the computer, much less turn it on (yes, I’m serious)! One day when it was quiet I started tinkering with it and finally figured out how to turn the power on. I thought surely it couldn’t be hard to figure out how to type a letter, but it didn’t happen. Why this guy didn’t have me fired is beyond my comprehension. Those 2 weeks were brutal.
In the meantime, my sister had gotten married, and they had started popping out kids. Gee, they were kind of cute… Gary and I started talking about perhaps it was time for us to start a family, as well.
But then one day Gary laid a bombshell on me: When we have kids, I want them to be raised in a church, with a good foundation.
WHAT? Where did THAT come from???
I told him I’d think about it. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God – I did! I knew that He was living up there in heaven watching over the earth. I also knew that I was okay with Him – after all, I had been confirmed in the Lutheran religion, just like mother wanted me to.
But things got even weirder. Gary started reading a Bible! To make it even stranger, he started going into our bedroom, closing the door, and praying – sometimes out loud! I was a wreck; something was wrong with him, I was sure of it!!!
One day he told me that his mom had sent him to Bible camp when he was a teenager, and there he had made a commitment to Jesus. Huh? What did that mean? Very interesting that he had never mentioned that before! He told me that he had been feeling lately that he needed to get right with God again, as he had fallen so far away.
The bickering started. I knew I was okay with God; if he needed this new thing, then leave me out of it!
During this time period Gary’s beloved mother became quite ill. She had been struggling with numerous health problems, and started going downhill rapidly. This was so hard to watch – she had become so precious to me! Plus Gary’s step-dad had recently had a stroke, and after a blood vessel ruptured, had died.
Gary’s mom was eventually transferred to Swedish Hospital in Seattle, and passed into the next life rather quickly. However it was interesting how it all happened.
All of the family had gathered at the hospital, and everyone had left her hospital room except for Gary and myself. In just a matter of minutes after they’d stepped out, his mother took her last breath. It was very peaceful – just a soft, deep inhale.
But Gary told me later something astounding. He said that when his mother breathed her last breath, he saw a vision. It looked to him like a hand reaching down from the sky, and at the same time his mother’s hand reaching up to the sky. Both hands clasped together. He said he knew in his heart that this was a sign of love from his heavenly Father that everything was okay, and that his mom was now safe and sound with no more pain.
Bizarre for sure…