|11-23-2004, 07:44 AM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Franklin, MA, 02038
A Heartwarming Holiday story.
I figure with all the goofy news stories I usually post, that a feel-good story usually deserves to be posted. Found this in today's Boston Globe.
She was sitting at her desk in a suburban office park on one of those afternoons when life feels like a bad practical joke played by someone you don't really like. Carrie Sylvester was just trying to survive and not doing very well at it.
Her divorce was just completed and, despite the typical public proclamations to the contrary, who really feels good after that? Child care for her two young kids was more than she could afford. Then there were grocery bills, clothing bills, credit card bills.
And the big one -- the mortgage on her Marshfield house. She was three months behind and falling farther behind by the day. She had knocked on the doors of banks, but to no avail. She was, in her own words, "robbing Peter to pay Paul," and had been confessing to herself that afternoon, "I have to come up with four grand in the next few weeks, and that's not going to happen."
In other words, she was a 36-year-old single mother facing foreclosure as the holidays drew near, just one of countless people living lives of quiet desperation in a house or a cubicle near yours.
On Nov. 9, a phone call was about to change much of that, but Sylvester had gotten up from her desk and didn't hear the ring.
That afternoon at 3 o'clock, Kevin Cobb was driving his pickup truck home to Marshfield from his job at the Coca-Cola plant, listening, he confesses with some embarrassment, to WMJX-FM (106.7), a soft-rock station better known as Magic. That's when he heard the DJ say he needed to hear from Carrie Sylvester of Marshfield within 30 minutes for her to be a finalist in a contest in which her mortgage is paid for a year.
Cobb had never heard of Sylvester, but figured his wife, a lifelong Marshfield resident, probably had, so he called her on his cellphone.
"I just assume everyone in Marshfield knows each other, like it's a 10-person town or something," he said.
No, Kristen Cobb told her husband, she didn't know Carrie, but she checked the local phone book, found her name, and called her house.
Sylvester's father picked up the call. He's there all the time helping out with her kids while she's at work. He told Cobb that he had talked his daughter into registering online for the contest because he's always listening to the station. Problem was, he had just turned down the volume to say his daily Rosary.
Immediately, he called his daughter, but couldn't get her on the line.
At about that time, Carrie Sylvester got back to her desk, saw that her father called, and called him back. He relayed word to her that her name had been announced on the radio. She, in turn, called the station and was told she had won $106 and would be entered into the grand-prize drawing on Nov. 12.
Three days later, she was listening as her name was announced at 9 a.m., and immediately telephoned to secure her prize -- $1,200 in monthly mortgage payments for a year, and another $8,000 in home renovations and the like.
"When they called my name, I went berserk," she said yesterday. "I was 30 days away from foreclosure on my house. I had nothing else. I was literally talking to my lawyer about the other options. I said that maybe I'll win that contest. He said, 'Yeah, you better hope.' "
She's talked to Kristen Cobb twice now. Once, the two of them broke down crying together on the phone. Today, she claims a $14,400 lump-sum payment that will hopefully give her enough time to dig out from the predicament she's in.
Heading toward Thanksgiving, Carrie Sylvester has a lot for which to be thankful -- fate, which can be so cruel one moment and kind the next, and for a young couple she never met who gave her help when she needed it most. Sometimes, things have a way of working out.
Hey, Foz now has a video game blog. Go and Read It.. NOW. http://8bitmindin64bitworld.blogspot.com/
|11-23-2004, 08:40 AM||#3|
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
"I lit another cigarette. Unless I specifically inform you to the contrary, I am always lighting another cigarette." - from a novel by Martin Amis
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