Jeff and I are by no means poverty stricken. We both have good paying jobs and we're able to pay off our monthly bills. We try to split bill paying between both our pay checks. Jeff pays for rent and utilities and I pay for the car, my student loans and any other bills that come our way.
We managed to knock Caderyn's birth bill out fairly quickly (all the while our eyeballs were bulging at how much it actually costs to have a baby) and then the bills from his week long stay in April started rolling in.
Caderyn wound up in the hospital for a whole week with RSV. This was basically a cold, but, because he was so young (5 weeks old) it started attacked him in other ways. He was plugged up to the point where he would turn a tint of blue when he was sleeping and he had such a horrible cough they were worried about pneumonia. He was hooked up to oxygen all week and they had to do breathing treatments. We still don't know how he got it because he hadn't been around anyone who was sick!
The treatment we got was phenomenal and I can't thank the nurses and doctors enough for all of their help and understanding...but...wowza! Talk about expensive.
Money has been a little bit tight ever since. Every month I write that check to the hospital and as much as I wish we could use that money to go toward something else, I know that with each check, we're getting closer to paying off another bill and being able to put more money in savings, or towards student loans or buying the much anticipated mini-van. Oh yes, the mini-van.
So this Christmas we were in Great Falls with Jeff's family and after opening presents on Christmas Eve Jeff's mom passed out cards to each of the siblings. Inside was a beautiful card with a special note from Jeff's Mema who had made her journey to Heaven after a long battle with Alzheimer's in July. She had also given each of the kids a significant gift that made Jeff breathe a huge sigh of relief and say, "We can finally pay off his whole hospital bill."
I told Jeff he could do whatever he wanted with the gift. He didn't have to put it in savings, he didn't have to pay off any bills, he didn't have to do anything with it he didn't want to do. I told him he could go on a trip to Tennessee and visit family or use it to go see his Grandparents in California if he wanted to. But, my sweet husband decided to use his gift to help our family out.
You have no idea how much we've been smiling this week after writing, hopefully our last hospital bill (until we have another baby!). I'm going to try and celebrate this weekend by surprising Jeff and taking him to a movie.
From the bottom of our hearts Mema, thank you so very much. I wish I could have met you and you could have gotten to hold your great-grandchild.
I feel like I do know you in a way though, through the wonderful stories Pam ,Craig and all of your granchildren tell about you.