Living Happily Ever After


Blog Articles

Miracle Mail

I am terrible at remembering to collect my mail each day.  I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because my former spouse always got our mail, so it has been over 20 years since I’ve had to collect my mail.

But one year ago that changed. Due to my spouse’s crimes, the revelation that He had been running a ponzi scheme for 15 years, His prison sentence looming, our pending divorce, and other traumas…I took over everything–including the mail collection.

Each day, it seemed, hate mail arrived. I was shocked that we received it, and even more surprised at where it came from: total strangers, all across the U.S. It became so frequent for awhile there that one day I realized it had been one week since we had received a piece of hate mail!

An occasion to remember.

However, not all of the mail was hateful.  For the first two-three months of the nightmare, other anonymous mail arrived, the complete opposite of hate mail. I would open an envelope to find a gift card to a grocery store, Target, Costco or WalMart.  Other weeks, I would open an envelope to find some cash.  Other times it would be words of encouragement or an uplifting thought I really needed at that moment and that helped me continue on when the day had been particularly disastrous.

I called it Miracle Mail. It was such a blessing to me and to my children. It helped us survive, not just emotionally, but physically.

Thank heaven for those who “never suppress a generous thought.”

We were getting by on very little money as all of our accounts had been frozen. The cash I had I withdrawn on March 18, I had put in my wallet and then kept my wallet with me at all times. I didn’t let my spouse know where the money was because I was afraid he’d steal it! Trust was non-existent. (I guess it shows you may choose to allow a stranger to remain in your home for your children’s sake and because you feel it is the kind thing to do, but that doesn’t mean you trust Him.  At all.)

Any time my children needed lunch money, etc…I pulled a small amount of cash out of my wallet and used it.  I didn’t dare look at it, because to see the minimal amount, and to see that minimal amount dwindling, would have added even more stress to a life that was already bursting at the seams with it!

I remember getting down to the last $20, and then finally to the last $1, and wondering what we were going to do…and then an anonymous piece of mail, miracle mail, containing a gift card or cash would arrive at the very moment I needed it. There are some amazing, generous, kind, and charitable people. They literally saved us.  And of course, most of it was anonymous so I had no idea who to thank.

We also lived off food we had stored for emergencies, so although we weren’t eating our favorite things, we were able to purchase less at the store and still had food to eat. And, as with everything else, we got by with a little help from our friends.

A friend stopped by one day and unloaded a car load of food items from Costco–”fun” food, as she called it, that my children hadn’t seen in awhile like fruit snacks, crackers, Mickey Mouse-shaped chicken nuggets, cookies, etc…THAT was a highlight of the nightmare experience for my children! It was like Christmas in our kitchen!  They were thrilled to enjoy, once again, some treats they remembered from their former life.

Other friends called when they were heading to the store and asked if I needed anything.  If I didn’t need anything, they usually dropped food off anyway. Other times, they picked up what I needed and more.

And many women from my church delivered meals to us as well.  I think we had one entire month of dinners brought to our home by good women who were concerned about us and wanted us to not only have food to eat, but to feel loved. They delivered dinner every night until I finally asked them to stop–I couldn’t move my food storage and felt like we needed to use it up and provide for ourselves as much as we were able to.

Another friend brought us huge, delicious Sunday dinners EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY until we moved out of state.

True, we may have been hated by some, but we were also SO LOVED by so many.  That compassion, and Miracle Mail, got us through.

There’s Nothing Like Love Songs

I used to watch a t.v. show where real-life people, singers, perform.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?  ”American Idol.”

The last time I regularly watched was in 2009.  That night, most songs were love songs, and by the time the episode was over, I was thoroughly depressed!

To know what I didn’t have, to know what I probably never had (and just hadn’t known it), to realize how ripped off I got in love, marriage, eternity, romance, partnership, trust, honesty, life, a whole and complete family, a father for my children (even in alimony and child support) was sadly overwhelming.

There’s nothing like love songs to make you realize what you don’t have!

I finally couldn’t let myself think about it, or I was afraid I might not carry on. So I tried to put those thoughts out of my mind, I quit watching “American Idol,” and it was a long time before I could hear a love song and not cry.

Kahlil Gibran said, “Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.”  He was right on.  Inside, I felt like a burned, blackened, twisted, dry, bent, lifeless, broken, dead tree!  (If you’ve ever seen a mountain scarred by a forest fire, that’s how I felt.) And thanks to “American Idol,” and love songs, I realized that.

So, if you are in love, or are fortunate enough to be loved by someone, take a moment today and acknowledge that blessing in your life.  Because life, with love, IS a tree blossoming with flowers and fruit, boughs bending toward earth, laden with goodness and beauty. Bounteous. Beautiful to behold. Fragrant. Nourishing. Satisfying. Satiating. Protective.

Even love songs recognize that.

And if you aren’t currently in love, or loved, don’t give up.  I haven’t.  I’ve seen new life, flowers, and green leaves grow out of the most inhospitable environments–cracks in rocks on cliffs, charred fields, even burned, dead, twisted and broken trees.  I’m counting on that.

The Price of Crime? Don’t Ask!

Five days into the nightmare I had to ask:  How big was your initial mistake?

You see, if I understand it right, His ponzi scheme began when He did a stock trade that lost money.  He said He did a bigger stock trade to cover that loss and lost money again.  So he chose to omit those two trades from his statements that month to make the account balance sheet look better. And after that, He said it was too late.

The ponzi scheme was in place.

I remember, now, why you shouldn’t ask questions you don’t REALLY want to know the answer to.


My ENTIRE life, my marriage, my family, my dreams, my children’s dreams, our forever, our future, everything of mine and everyone else’s was destroyed…for $5,000.  It made me want to throw up.

Even back in 1994, $5,000 was not a life or death amount.  I was stunned that I had lost everything, and every other victim had suffered their own losses as well, for a measley $5,000.  I hope I recover from that revelation.  I don’t think I’ll ever look at $5,000 in quite the same light.

I remember thinking, “That’s all the mistake was–FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS?  And now ALL OF THIS?”

The answer to my next question was even more unsettling. (To me.)

I asked:  When did you do it?  When did you suffer the loss and hide it?

He didn’t know. The man who had never forgotten a birthday or an anniversary (had even thrown in an “extra” one one year–what can I say, He was a good, kind, thoughtful and patient husband in many ways–yet another reason I had loved and trusted Him and had no reason to suspect what He was doing while at “work” those many years) didn’t know the date His crimes began.

How can the date you stole, how can the date you broke the law, NOT be etched in your memory forever?

Note to self:  AGAIN, don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to!