The $300 Bed

I began watching the first season of TNT’s series, Men of a Certain Age tonight. The show follows the lives of three men well into their 40’s. The character played by Ray Romano runs a party store and is in the midst of a divorce.

Romano walks around in a daze much of the time. In one scene, he leaves his old home after dropping his son off only to return a few seconds later asking his soon-to-be former spouse a few questions. I could tell it didn’t matter what he asked because he wasn’t listening to her answers.

Similar to how a song can transport me back in time, the same happened as I watched this scene. As Romano left his former home and walked to his car without an ounce of emotion, I thought to myself, “I know that look because I’ve been there.”

The first nineteen years of my life were spent in a family with four siblings. That was followed by two years attached to another missionary in Germany. And then nearly six years in a marriage that failed before children arrived.

I woke up one morning in a tiny apartment in downtown Seattle and found myself alone. Alone for the first time in my life. I stayed on the couch staring at the ceiling trying to come up with one good reason I should get up.

I opened the windows to allow the cool Seattle air to circulate through my living room thinking that might bring some clarity to my situation. I slept on an old couch because I didn’t own a bed, and I couldn’t get that fact out of my mind.

That was the low point. I needed a bed, but had little money. So I called my father who sent me $300 to purchase a mismatched mattress and box springs. I borrowed a friend’s truck and hauled it myself. I know it doesn’t sound like much. It certainly wasn’t much to look at. But it was a start. I considered it a blessing that I had a place to sleep.

And what my father doesn’t know till now is that I talked the salesperson down to $100. The remaining $200 was spent on groceries and keeping the electricity on that month.

I don’t often reflect back on this time of my life. Maybe there’s a part of me that feels it will disappear if I don’t attempt to recall it.

The show tonight reminded that many of these experiences still reside close to the surface. And maybe it’s not such a bad thing that I remember how I pulled myself off the couch and began to take small steps towards a better life.

2 thoughts on “The $300 Bed

  1. As much as I hadn’t planned on marrying someone who had been married previously, I’m glad I did. He went through a similar experience, and I think it made him a better husband. He tried harder the second time around. Something good came from the experience, and I was the recipient of the good. Blessings come from strange places.

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  2. I’ve been there, and actually in some worse places. There have been a few times in my past when I could see no way to move forward in any direction.

    My faith in God, no, I take that back, God alone, pulled me through. My faith has risen and sunk during my life, but God rescued me even when my faith was a dying ember, barely a spark.

    I felt good reading this post. It reminded me of how even when we have no more resources and things look horribly bleak, we can still go on.

    All the credit goes to God.

    Like

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