Pierce, Me, and the RV

My son Pierce and I are taking a mini-trip this week, and we need a little help with travel expenses. When I say we need a little help, I mean that we are very poor, and we don’t go on vacations because all our money goes to simply surviving and it does not leave much for anything else. Our hope is to go to the Smokey Mountains in NC, in an RV (camper van), if it makes it, to spend some time with each other. No, we will NOT be living in a van down by the river, we will just be DRIVING in a van, possibly near a river or body of water, just so we are clear on our intentions.:) We may go toward the sea as well, we are just hoping to get on the road again.

Here is a little bit about our situation…

(basically, more about us being poor, yay!)

Hi, my name is Susan and I’m a 31-year-old single mom. (Bring on the stereotypes, I’ll slash down every one of them with a sword or a light-saber or maybe even my bare hands.) I have a 3-year-old son named Pierce, who may or may not be a superhero. Still waiting on that one. In our spare time, we do things like read about Winnie the Pooh turning into a bee and how being kind is cool. He teaches me about cars and the wisdom behind all of existence while I teach him about numbers, letters, and how to draw horrible stick figures. Do we like long walks on the beach? Yes, yes, we do. But only if we get to throw sand up in the air like it’s money, that we don’t have…oooooh burned myself, yet remained painfully accurate. Ok, now for the transitional reality check:

I can’t afford to put Pierce in daycare, but I am honored to be his teacher before he goes to school and for that I am very thankful. I wish he could be around other kids in an educational setting, but somehow it all works out, we are just trying to see the positive in every situation. The time we cherish together is so rewarding, whether we are kicking a ball around in the grass, with him cracking jokes at me or giving butterfly kisses, every sappy moment is an absolute miracle. Even when he’s crying over a missing toy or I’m tripping over said missing toy, I would take any bad day over no days with him.

In February, I started working at All About Change, a non-profit in Greenville, SC, working with foster kids and children and adolescents struggling with mental and behavioral health issues. I have an English degree, but I somehow managed to pursue a job that gives me purpose, it pushes me to be better in every way. The job does not pay very well, but I believe it’s common for social workers, teachers, and others in similar fields to joke, “I do this for the money!” Ha-ha, meaning we care and have plenty of room in our hearts to complete our duties as soul-workers without wondering if we are in the right career path. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of us would love to be sipping margaritas on a yacht all day, but my daily calling resembles scenarios where I’m “helping teenage girls find out who they are while helping them to stay out of trouble, and focus on being happy while searching for the meaning in life.” It fills my cup to overflow with so many feel-goods, a margarita doesn’t stand a chance. Ok, seriously now I’m getting thirsty.

Moving forward! I work my second job at a restaurant, the best fine-dining southern establishment in the upstate, the AG, the OG, Augusta Grill. I’m very proud to work with such a wonderful group of people. ALSO, we get to wear cool ties. I am also very thankful for my Mom and Gene for helping babysit while I work. I used to have a decent full-time job with healthcare, but I was basically working to put Pierce through daycare, without leaving enough to live on. Meanwhile, during that time I started to get sick.

Now about this sexy sickness I speak of...cue the Disturbed song, “Down with The Sickness.” I’m deeming it appropriate to joke about my declining health. In all seriousness, I don’t feel well and there is no one to blame except maybe my own self and lack of resources, proper insurance/doctors, or constant refusal from specialists who won’t accept my insurance, whatever it may be, I fake being ok, A LOT. Mom managed to get me an appointment at MUSC in Charleston on Monday, so we are hopeful they will take the proper steps in testing/diagnosis and finally get some help/answers. My health issues have kicked my ass into gear about not waiting to do the things in life that we are destined to do, to take the road less traveled by at times, and hey, whether that road leads you to fields of gold or fields of cow shit, at least there is a field, where we can all witness this wonderful game of life. I cannot explain the courage that dwells inside my heart, both melancholic and inspiring, the yearning to seek, to give, to hope, to love so hard you heal what’s broken, and to continue to show Pierce the beautiful parts as we pave through on this adventure.

I’m asking for help for our trip because I have always been the type of person to want to help other people, to give away my last dollars to those who financially struggle, and even if I had all the money in the world I would be saving some for Pierce and giving the rest away to those who need it. I hate the concept of money, and I have never valued possessions much, but I do value time. Time with my loved ones. Unfortunately, money rules the world we live in. At this moment in time, I’m throwing pride out the window, for some time, with my son. Maybe I can even finish my book, be able to provide more than enough for Pierce, and save the world while I’m at it. If we were able to receive the smallest amount of help, we would be forever grateful. I’m thinking about documenting some of our trip on my blog, and I’m about to share a lot of what I have written with the world. And when I’m finished with my book, I hope you all read it, or at least use the pages to start a good fire or something. This Go Fund Me does not surface in hopes for pity, my life with my son and our dog, Kiowa, is righteous and kick-ass, the whole “being poor right now” part, is just a part. I must say this was quite difficult to throw out there, as many of you know I’ve always been the girl who hates asking for anything, but I guess this is just the way the current situation is, and either way, it will all be ok.

I will end with MORE SAPPY WORDS, (I know, forgive me)…

We are born to experience this life and we are divinely lucky to do so. There is a lot happening in our world right now, and through it all, we have a choice. We can make the world better simply by doing things in a way that will benefit the greater good, for even small acts ripple into miraculous outcomes. We can overcome the barriers of the world we live in, I see people do it every day. I know I will, for my son, for the children who will inhabit the earth, long after our physical bodies have passed. Despite my yearning for all of us to live happily ever after, I know that in suffering, comes truth. I know that I would die for every one of you, if it meant you had a chance to live and to grow and to prosper, a chance to experience more time with one another. I know there is a source of light at work inside you and all around you. I know that I truly found God’s presence, or whatever you want to call it, when I met my son, and this presence, once felt, will make one tremble in joy. I know that this presence, this source of light, lives in the tiny hairs on our arms and when the time comes to be strong those hairs stand up, and we can feel the presence of something far greater than any sense could reveal. Someone once told me to, “Set ablaze the world.” And that is exactly what I hope we will all do, is rise out of the ash and light the way toward a better world.

I just want to say that even if we don’t receive a single dollar, thank you for your consideration and thank you for listening.

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”- Jack Kerouac
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Susan Snook 
Greenville, SC
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