The Gift Speck Gave Me

August 20, 2009

For a long time I’ve hated my job. On paper it sounds great, I represent kids with disabilities with their legal issues. I competed for this two year fellowship and I thought it was the best thing that happened to me. Though the work I do is great my workplace is a toxic environment with little career growth opportunity. In January my boss offered me a permanent job. The economy sucks, she reminded me. Many lawyers are going on months unemployed, consider this offer seriously.

Quit your job! Jack told me. You’re miserable. Yeah the job market sucks so take some time off and pursue your dream of writing. Still, I felt too afraid. I earned a paycheck since I was 16 years old and though I wanted to see how the writing thing turned out, the risk of no check with nothing to show for it kept me stuck. Then in February I found out I was pregnant.

It’s perfect, I told Jack. Speck’s a good reason to quit and when my job ends I’ll have six weeks before delivery, just enough time to get the house ready and have some downtime. I told my boss I would not stay on. I glowed with anticipation for my future.

Then I  lost Speck. My boss, realizing why I was quitting said The offer still stands, if you want to stay on, we’d love to have you. I went home that night and lay in the dark. Tears streamed down my face as my heart splintered. It was in that darkened room that it hit me. I saw my life in sharp focus. So I quit my job. I won’t have a paycheck. We won’t be taking fancy trips. Less eating out and discretionary shopping. But so what? I lost someone I loved, someone who filled each dream I had with joy. He was gone, so what if my life superficially gets tighter? What’s the point of all this? Why stay at a job I hate? All these worries are meaningless. What matters is your health, peace of mind and those you love. There will be other jobs but there will never be another Speck.

My job ends 9/9/09 and I plan to pursue my writing. Never in a million years could I imagine taking this leap. People tell me I’m brave, but I know the truth. It’s Speck. It’s all thanks to Speck. He taught me tomorrow is never guaranteed. He taught me to make the most of what I’m given. Were it not for Speck I would never have the strength to let go of my fears.

It hurts like alcohol on a deep wound when I remember Speck should be kicking in my belly now. This job that’s ending was for me to spend sleepless nights caring for him. There are still moments, like right now, that I long for him so badly that it hurts to breathe. It might sound crazy since we never properly met one another, but I will always love him for who he was and for what he taught me.

Outside the sun is shining. It seems like heaven ain’t far away. It’s good to have you with us. Even if it’s just for the day. – The Killers



  1. I am crying, reading your post, crying for you, for Jack, for Speck even though we have never met, will probably never meet – my heart breaks for you and my tears flow for you.

    • *hugs* your words mean a lot to me. Thank you.

  2. What a beautiful way to think about it!

  3. that is so sweet, and i’m glad you quit if it will make you happy.

  4. I had some of those same conversations… I’m glad that you quit. I didnt have the guts and it postponed so much emotionally because I just “left” to try and continue working.

    I know this isnt how you wanted it to be, but I’m glad that you made the decision that feels right.

  5. Birdless, Katery, Michele, thanks. It’s not been an easy decision, but when I miscarried it made my choice almost unavoidable. I think often times we stay in bad situations at work, relationships, etc because we think we have an eternity… we don’t.. we only have today so if we can work to better the future we should do everything in our power.

  6. We have to try to take something good out of losing our babies (even though I don’t believe that it happened “for a reason” or anything like that!) For many of us that comes in the form of really realizing what’s important in life. . . and so often it *isn’t* staying stuck in a job we hate 🙂 I’m so proud of you for taking this leap of faith.

  7. What a beautiful gift Speck gave you, sweet Kate.

    Thank you for this moving post.


  8. This is such an incredibly powerful and moving post. Your Speck – he loved you so much he gave you courage in the depths of your despair.


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