Tuesday, March 29, 2016

There but for the Grace of God go I...

Sometimes, as with this blog, I don't choose to write, writing chooses me. This is one of those times.

Lately, I've seen a lot of things go by on Facebook talking about welfare and food stamp recipients.
The comments usually paint the recipients of those programs with a biased brush and a lot of stereotypes. -They are lazy. -They are moochers who choose not to work -They are baby making machines. -They are all unproductive members of society who walk out of the store with steaks, lobster, and champagne just to get into the latest model of a luxury SUV.

I read comments like:  "I've worked all of my life and pay into a system that feeds people who have never worked a day in their lives" "They should make them work for the handouts even if it is shoveling poop." "They're all deadbeats milking the system."

So many judgments, and in my opinion, so little tolerance of lives that they, hopefully, will never experience. While I know that there are welfare recipients who have made careers from milking the system, that is not usually the case. What about the disabled? Or our military families who are near or below poverty level? Our veterans? The elderly? Do none of these groups deserve compassion?

Let me put just one face on this issue.

If you've been a regular reader of this blog, you know that taking care of Mom didn't just cause emotional trauma to my family. It also destroyed my financial security. I used all of my savings trying to support my mother and my family. When that ran out, I stopped paying non-essential bills. My great credit was torn to pieces. All financial support to a caregiver stops cold when the patient passes. I am now an unemployed 57 year old woman who wants to work but can't find a job.

I haven't had any income in 6 months. I am saved from being one of  "deadbeats" by my 21 year old daughter who supports this family. She works 50+ hours a week to keep us afloat. Make no mistake, if my daughter wasn't the person that she is, I would be standing in line with my hand out, judgment from society be damned.

Reading these things hits a nerve. They hurt me knowing that I am not the only person whose circumstances have caused a situation that is not of their doing. But, reading the harsh intolerance of those making comments makes me thankful that they have a life that hasn't fallen apart through no fault of their own.

People say, "Put them to work!"  I say, "Yes, please, hand me a shovel."


Sunday, February 28, 2016

On this day...

It's been a long while since I've visited this page. Well, at least, in the role of writer.

Each day on Facebook I have been reading the "On This Day" feature that, you guessed it, shares what I was doing on this day in the past 4 years that I've been writing this blog. More often than not it shares a link to this page. I read each post almost as if I am a new reader to the blog. I often don't remember the specific episode that spurred the entry, sometimes the memory is crystal clear.

The interesting part of it all is that while I feel the pain, stress, frustrations, and sometimes the humor of the situation, I no longer feel the anger. And I was so very, very angry. It is liberating to know that the anger is no longer consuming me. In fact, if someone were to ask me today to describe what we endured, words would fail me.

I remember being very young and asking my mom why women have more than one child when childbirth is so painful. Her answer was twofold. She said that the joy of a child for a lifetime far outweighs the pain of what is really just a brief moment of time. She then said that the Good Lord lessens the memory of pain until it seams less important. In other words, we heal.

I have a long way to go to be healed. Scratch that. I will never be completely healed. I believe there will always be scars that I worry at and pain that will, hopefully, diminish with time. But, for now I'm calling this a step in the right direction.

Oh, and if I continue with the childbirth analogy? Once is enough for me.