I began work at this retail store, which was similar to Macy's, when I was seventeen years old. I had just graduated high school, so I was hired as a stock girl. By the way, I loved that job but I also loved helping my manager set the floor and dress the maniquins. Within a few months, my manager added clerical work to my job description.
I was learning the retail business from the ground up. A year later, I became assistant manager and was moved to a new department. My Department General Manager spoke to me about becoming a manager and he told me A &S would pay for my college education as long as I received a B or better. So, I began college, and continued to work as assistant manager. I was learning to manage my time wisely because as most people know retailing is demanding, yet had it not been for A & S, I would not have been prepared for what happened to me many years later.
Years passed and I got married and had a family. A &S became my past because I left work a few months before my daughter was born. Both Mike and I decided our children should have a stay at home mother. Life was dreamy. I was taking care of the children and the housework and Michael began a business. Then one fateful day, Michael had a massive heart attack and almost died. My dreamy life came to an abrupt end. When I was informed that my husband might not make it through the night, my first thought was, "how am I going to raise my children?" I knew retailing was out of the question because of the demanding hours, but there really was little else I knew. As I sat by his hospital bed, I cried, thinking I was going to lose the most amazing man in my life and my children were going to lose a loving father. I prayed through the night as I know many prayed along with me, and the following morning Mike survived the night and three weeks later, we brought him home.
Once we were back home, and he was on his way to recovery, I remembered the doctor's words, "I don't think he'll survive more than five years, since his heart suffered much damage.
I thought about how I would take care of our children if I had to do it alone. I decided to go back to school and become a teacher. Now, I had children, a husband, a home, and a part time job at the local school as a teacher's assistant. I started college taking two classes my first semester. By the second semester I was attending full time. I graduated four years later with a B.A. in Secondary Education. I then completed a Master's in English Literature and after graduation decided I waned to earn a Master's in Community Mental Health. During those eight years, I worked at School of the Holy Child as an English teacher and at C.W. Post as an adjunct professor; my children continued to have home made meals, my husband still had a loving wife who went on vacations with him and on lovely dates, and I managed to include two years of internships as well. I admit I had an unbelievably supportive family. They helped with every aspect of my busy life, but I learned that if one manages one's time well, one can accomplish anything.
© Natala Orobello