This last Saturday, the day before Father’s Day, my mother-in-law was scheduled to move from one apartment with multiple floors to another apartment that was just on a single floor. The reason was to allow her to continue to live without assistance; at 80+ her knees could not handle the continual up and down stairs. MIL had made all the arrangements to have movers come and help her and with the assistance of Honey the whole thing would take less than 3 hours. Everything was packed and ready for the movers at the arranged time, 10am.
I arrived home from work at noon and shortly after Honey came home and informed me that the movers had not arrived yet and they had been unable to reach anything more than an answering machine. Honey was angry but with nothing else she could do, she returned to her mother’s and waited with her. At 3pm there were still no movers or any message from them. MIL was beside herself and Honey was on the verge of going postal. No movers, no messages, no answer when they were called. What is wrong with these people?!!! Since everything was packed and furniture dismantled in preparation of the move, they had left an 80 year-old woman with no bed to sleep on and no cookware to cook with and since she had made the decision not to involve her family except Honey in her move, no people to help change this situation.
Around 3pm Honey had started moving boxes in our car, things that could be unpacked and placed in drawers and cupboards but by 5pm everything she could do without a moving truck was done and now the question “What are we going to do?” was being asked of me. What do you mean ‘We’? I was injured (I had hurt my back on Wednesday) and could lift nothing. We only had an SUV that could not hold any furniture and there was a refrigerator and hide-a-bed that needed to get from point A to point B. I believe that at that moment the kind way to put it was ‘we’ were ‘hooped’. So I did the one thing I could and I sent out an SOS to my crew.
I have written about my crew previously but have not re-published the article so let me give you a quick summary. I define ‘my crew’ as friends that step-up when needed and once they say “yes, you can depend on me”… you CAN depend on them!! There are different kinds of crews depending on what the need is. I know people with special skills and include them when my crew selection warrants it, electricians, carpenters, heavy equipment operators and just last year I had a linguist join my list of crew members. These people all share one thing in common, they are dependable people. If they can’t help me they will say so and no feelings will be hurt, but if they say that they will help… its money in the bank.
This was a simple job, one that required only two-hands and a strong back. It was also as last minute as you could get and truthfully, a task that everyone hates. I don’t know anyone who likes playing mover. There was no way I could get enough bodies together for the Saturday, since it was already approaching the dinner hour, so Honey decided that our best plan of action was to get a truck and crew for the next day. In the meantime Honey told me we needed to put MIL’s food, clothing and bed under the same roof. “It would be great if she could get up in the morning, go to church and come home and the whole thing was done,” she had said to me, “but we need to get her bed moved today.”
I sent a message to IT Genie who was working until 6pm. He had a pick-up truck that could transport the bed and it was after all his grandmother that was in need. He told me that he would come right after work and get the job done, “depend on it” and I did. By 8pm MIL was settled into her new apartment where she could spend the night. She had one chair, her television, a bed, a light and her food and most of her clothing. She was told just to get up in the morning and go to church and when church let out and she came home all would be done.
“But don’t you need me here?” she had asked, “I can miss church, God won’t mind and after all I’m kind of mad at God right now.”
What does God have to do with this??? I wasn’t aware that God had a moving company??? HE/She/It had nothing to do with the unprofessional actions of the guy’s she called! Twice, to be sure that everything was arranged properly!! God only helps with one move and it doesn’t involve refrigerators and hide-a-beds!!! Honey told her that she shouldn’t be angry with God but with the asshole movers that didn’t show up and to go to church as she normally would and all would be well, “you can depend on us.”
I sent out a barrage of SOS messages around 6pm. I started with family but not getting any immediate replies I decided to include friends just to be safe. In total I sent messages to 6 people, twice the number the job required. I also made arrangements to pick up a large enough truck to fit all of MIL’s furnishings in at one time for 8am the next morning. The message said to meet at MIL’s old apartment at 9 am Sunday morning and since the job was a small move I promised them all they would be home by noon.
Sunday morning I drove 30km and picked up the truck and a dozen donuts. Honey brought our coffeemaker from home and all the fixings including Styrofoam coffee cups left over from our backyard wedding. I got to MIL’s with the truck at 8:45am and at 9am six of us (including Honey), stood drinking coffee outside the apartment. Five of the six messages had been responded to and I believe I will hear from the last person with an apology for his absence once he returns home from camping and gets the message on his home phone. The number was more than we needed and within 90 minutes we had loaded and unloaded MIL’s furnishings. Church hadn’t even officially started yet! The organ was still playing background music!! MIL had yet to sing her first hymn and she was already moved!!! In fact we waved at her as she stood outside the church mingling with the other parishioners prior to the service beginning from the truck with all her belongings as we drove by on the way to her new home.
Once the refrigerator had been unloaded, ‘my crews’ work was done. As we all stood chatting outside MIL’s new abode at the completion of the job I could not help but notice that on this Father’s Day that this six person ‘crew’ was comprised of a daughter, a son and four fathers, and note that all were there to be of aid to one mother. Honey stayed behind to unpack MIL’s belongings and by the time MIL returned from her weekly communal with God, the job was done just as she had promised her.
I can never say enough good things about dependable people. The people that over the years have comprised the many ‘crews’ I have assembled, are people that to me represent the best of the best. They are more than just friends; they are people of high character and moral standards. They are ‘step-up’ in a pinch people, they are ‘if they say it they mean it’ people, the type of people we should all aspire to be. My thanks to them all for coming to the aid of an 80+ year-old woman whose only mistake was that she believed you could pay for dependability.