“No matter how prepared you think you are for death of loved one, it still comes as a shock, and it still hurts very deeply.” — Billy Graham

It took only a few weeks for Gord to figure it out.  He transferred George to Winnipeg and promoted me to the position of Manager, Data Processing.  Now everybody on the floor including computer operators, data entry operators, and support personnel were reporting to me.  In this position, I was reporting to Gord directly which I like better.  I was given an equitable raise and a new office in the corner.  Lynda was very happy with the promotion. It didn’t bother her that now I was a part of the management and I wasn’t entitled for overtime. 

Margret invited us over to their new home in Oshawa and we met Gord’s mom Dorothy. Lynda was chatting away with Dorothy and she thought Dorothy was a wonderful person and they became friends for ever. Adam was happy to play with Melody and Stephany. It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks cooked on the grill by Gord. Of course, Margret’s dessert was out of this world. We all had a wonderful time.  

The first thing I did to celebrate the promotion, I booked a conference in Atlanta and Gord didn’t have any problem with that. 

The ulterior motive for booking that conference was to see a friend of mine who used to live in Montgomery, Alabama and I had told that to Gord, too. The plan was to drive down to Alabama and spend a couple of days in Montgomery before we go to Atlanta.  Unfortunately, it started snowing like a hell on Friday night and it continued on Saturday.  Lynda was packed and ready to go regardless. My justification for not changing our plan was that I thought we were driving down south and we will leave the snow behind. It turned out to be a wishful thinking. When we got to Buffalo border-crossing, we stopped at a restaurant to grab some breakfast and we met a number of truck drivers who were literary camping there.  They advised us not to proceed with the plan.  We unenthusiastically decided to get back home.  When we got back, Lynda was a kind of upset as she was looking forward to spending some time in the sun. I made an executive decision and called the airline to book a flight on Sunday. 

It was so cold in the townhome that in spite of the heaters working everywhere in the house, we were cold. We had to put our coats on to go to beds.   

Next day we managed to get to the airport in the afternoon without any difficulty and had no problems with our flight.  My friend, Sabir, met us at the airport and we were transported to his house.  It was so nice in Montgomery weather-wise.  Sabir was the youngest brother of a friend of mine.  He live in Chicago when I was living there. He was single and he was a student at the University of Montgomery, Alabama. He had a nice house which was financially supported by his brother in Saudi Arabia.  Lynda liked Sabir.  He was very respectful to her and took us out to a seafood restaurant for supper which Lynda enjoyed a lot.  He had decorated the house for us, dedicating a bedroom for Adam and another for us.  

Next day he invited some of his friends over to meet with us and he took us around in the city to show the university and several other places with the tourist’s attraction. Lynda did some shopping in Montgomery the next day. Sabir drove us to Atlanta on Friday as Lynda wanted to do shopping on the weekend before my conference starts.

We did a couple of sightseeing bus tours but mostly we took a bus to go to different malls to do shopping.  Lynda really enjoyed the city and in addition to buying everything else, she bought a beautiful long dress which for the Christmas party.  She never got tired of mooching around in the downtown of Atlanta, either.  We went to eat in different restaurants almost every day and experienced different type of food.  We were sorry that we had to get back to the realities.  The conference I attended was very interesting, too.

The next day when we got back, I went to work and had a coffee in Gord’s office and he wanted to know about the conference.  He told me about how everything went when I was away and he was relatively happy with the way I was minimizing my dependency.

It took a couple of days for me to put together my expense report.  I knew that if we had driven, the cost of the gas and hotel charges could have been the same regardless of how many people were in the car or how many people were in the hotel room but when it comes to air fares, there was no way I could have justified by charging everything to the company.  I was only happy that we had a nice time and I was prepared to pay for it. I was also extra careful about charging only my meals to the company.  In any case, when I went to see Gord with my expense report the next day, as soon as he looked at the total amount on the report, he got up and closed the door and told me that it doesn’t appear to be correct amount.  I was completely surprised with his comments as he had never ever said to me like this in the past.  So I asked him what seems to be the problem.  He said you forgot to include the other expenses associated with the other members of your family.  I said I appreciate that but I can not justify those expenses.  He said that’s not your decision.  As a result, I ended up re-doing my report and I said thank you.   

Our Story – Chapter 13