I arrived in St. Louis the end of August, 2008 from a life in Los Angeles of 25 years. I thought perhaps a new place would help me get a better foot up. I had a job waiting for me; yes I even had the confirmation via e-mail. So with my three birds (ages 16, 16 & 23) we piled into the car and started our adventure. We arrived in St. Louis 4 days later and everyone was fine. But the winds of change were just reving up.
The moving van suddenly did not arrive as scheduled. Many phone calls, excuses from the company, before a phone call arrived to tll me the delivery would be here the following morning. When the truck arrived the driver demanded I pay him $2000.00 in cash immediately or I would not get my belongings. I was panicked and frantic. I found out this is called a 'Hostage Load' and getting more common in this economic mess. It was Saturday and the banks closed in one hour. But I could not afford this cash, and the movers had already been paid.
The bank managers were very kind and we scrambled the money together with the help of credit cards and cash, and I returned to my home. The police were called but did not help me at all; in fact she sided with the mover and told me if I did not pay I would not get my belongings. This of course was a crime in progress, yet I was getting no help. I paid the money. As my furniture was being carried off the truck I saw that there was incredible damage to my items. In the end almost every item, including my bird cages was damaged. I cried and asked why was this happening.
Then the mail arrived....the moving company was using my credit cards and getting payments. I was beside myself. Even the mover said I better report them. I have yet to have my money returned and now there is a lawsuit. As the week passed I started to do some unpacking. That Saturday I woke up, refreshed and opened the door to the bedroom and saw a mouse running across the hall. I screamed and started to shake. I am terrified of mice, rats and snakes. I was in another panic. I knew this was not the only mouse living in the house. There were more.
As the days went on into the next week the mice became more bold and I saw them all the time. Then one night about three weeks after I moved in a rat crawled down the fire place walls and into the living room. I screamed and ran to the upstairs neighbors, who confessed to me that they were having the same problem. The landlord was in Hawaii and did nothing to take care of the situation. I moved immediately as my birds were also being terrified by the rats. I thought now I can get to working and really settle down. I had my meeting with my new employer and was given all the details of the job. The contract would be ready in about three weeks. I was ready to start my new life in St. Louis.
Three weeks came and went with no word from the employer. On the fourth week I started sending emails and leaving messages. Finally after a week of messages I got the email. The job was non-existant. There was no job. In fact I found out there was no job when I left California. I was lied to.
By this time I was frantic. I had been lied to and scamed by movers and landlords and I just did not know what to do. Then I answered an ad on the internet and got told I had to pay for a background check before the job interview. I did that. And I went to the location for the interview and found that there was no job; Again I had been scamed. I reported it to the police, but I was devastated. It was one week before Christmas. I had no job, and my money was nearly gone. That day I got really sick with fevers and cough. I was in bed nursing myself back to health. I did not leave my apartment for over nine days.
Christmas eve arrived and all I could think about was how am I going to survive and care for my beloved birds. Christmas day came, my fevers broke, and my cough was a bit better. My bird Rosy has a Cristmas birthday. He was now 24 years old, and I knew I had to make this life in St. Louis work. About 7pm that night, Christmas Day, I had a craving for pumpkin pie. So I dressed for cold and ventured out my door in search for an open store.
When I got to the vestibule of my apartment I saw a bag on the floor, just inside the door. As I got closer I saw my name on the bag written in black ink. Now I know only about four people here and I could not immagine who put it there. The lock on our front door is a combination and I could not immagine how it was put inside. I went to my car, where I opened the bag. Inside a book: CHRISTMAS JARS and stuck to the front, was a sticky paper and my name written on it.
I had no idea what was in the jar. I opened it and saw all these coins...and perhaps because of the ligt, or the glow from above, the coins appeared to be gold colored!! I was astounded.
I had been through so much sorrow,illness and heartache since my move that the gift was just overwhelming me. I drove all around town looking for pumpkin pie and found none. It was Christmas and stores were closed. But what I did find was a brown paper bag filled with love, compassion and hope for the future. Had God not put that bug in my ear for pie I never would have found the jar; because I was still sick and not going outside. HE does have a sence of humor sometimes. And now I know there are angels among us who watch over us and visit us when we need to see them and feel them. There was not a job inside the bag, but there was far more than a job could ever bring me; and that is HOPE.
I am 63 years old. This is the first time in my life I have ever experienced such giving. Today I start my Christmas Jar to give away next year. And I can't wait to repay the joy. Thank you to the angel who remembered me and my precious birds on Christams Day in St. Louis, 2008.