“I’m Sorry, Did You Say Sewer Water!?”

The Next Family

By: Amy Wise

Nice story title huh? Amazing enough it’s my life right now. You can’t make this stuff up, nor would you want to. This is the twisted tale of what actually brought me to writing and made my marriage and family as strong as they are today.

Three years ago I owned a beautiful candy/gift store with a business partner and dear friend. We had a thriving two-family business and went to “work” every single day with smiles on our faces. On August 17th 2007 everything changed and our world was flushed down the toilet….literally! We found out that the water our building was receiving was not drinking water but reclaimed sewer water! Yes, that’s right….sewer water! We finally realized why we all kept getting sick, and to make matters worse, the media onslaught began, the customers ran away, and we had to close our beautiful store. We went from being the “sweetest candy store” to the “sewer candy store.”
Um….gross!

The Otay Water Dept. and all the other parties that had a hand in the negligence, stood in front of the news cameras and said, “This is our fault and we are going to do the right thing!” However, once the cameras went away, they ran as fast as they could to their attorneys and have destroyed us ever since. The destruction of our dream, the illnesses, and the financial devastation, have, needless to say, been more than we could handle.

Three years later we are STILL fighting for what’s right! It’s unbelievable to me! Justice? I’m not sure what that means anymore. We are now being sued by the very landlord/builder that rented the space to us, because we “broke” our lease! We are also being sued by the banks because the store that no longer exists can no longer pay the loans. They said, “The lawsuit is taking too long,” and they want their money! THEY think it’s taking too long!? Really!? Suing the victims?! Wow! Can you say, INJUSTICE!?

The tears have now dried up, and the bitterness and anger have turned to determination. I will never stop fighting for what’s right! The “big guys” always think they can win, morals be damned…but this time the “little guys,” or in this case, “little gals,” are stronger than they ever realized, and we will never ever give up!

What does all of this have to do with my marriage, family, and writing? Well, pretty much everything. When you lose all you’ve worked for your entire life, have utter financial destruction, health problems, and then have to totally start over, all at the hands of someone’s gross stupidity, you either make it or you don’t. There is no middle ground. My husband has been my rock, heart, and soul. He has seen me rise, fall and rise again…actually, more like picked me up off the floor and stood me up again! My daughter, bless her heart, has had to adjust to a Mom who was home for dinner, who had the freedom to come and go from her business, who was happy every single day, to a Mom who has been holding on for dear life while totally starting over. Our lifestyle is completely different now, but the one thing that remains is our never-ending love. Nothing and no one can take that away from our family!

My husband and I have dealt with so much in our 18-year interracial relationship and that is why I write. We keep making it through all the insane trials and tribulations and we keep coming out even stronger in the end. So in a sense, tragedy is turning to triumph as we take all the bad that continues to get thrown our way and turn it into good. I will keep writing, I will keep growing, I will become stronger, I will never give up. I have even been called “Tinkerbell” because I always believe people will do the right thing. I have seen the worst in people these last three years, but I have also experienced the best. What goes around comes around and Karma IS still my friend…I believe it!

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