Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Walking Wounded

I’m sorry about this post but the writer in me screams to put the story to paper.

Another wounded fell last night.

On the ten o’clock news, the anchor man reported a man shot and killed his wife and two young children. It seems his wife lost her job recently; they’d filed for bankruptcy and had already taken out several loans to survive. They lived in a house worth $300, 000. The reporter then added, “If you know anyone who is talking about suicide, take them directly to your nearest mental health center.”

I turned to my husband and said, “Yeah. Right.”

Mondays are supposedly the day most people die from heart attacks. The stress of going back to work after a nice weekend. Consider the stress of waking up and having no place to go.

The construction giant fell first here in Florida. It shut down fast and hard leaving countless families scrambling to find some means of employment in an area where the competition is tough enough already. Yesterday, my husband spoke or visited with three former co-workers—all former executives in the construction industry.

All over the age of fifty.

The first man hasn’t even been on an interview in two years since his job loss. His wife has been able to keep her job but he spends his days playing house husband. Yesterday he said if he had a gun he’d shoot himself.

The next man said he watches TV all day after searching the job markets. His sixty-some year old wife is taking a course to work in a hospital while he sits up until two in the morning unable to sleep. They had to apply for food stamps for the first time in their lives. And now he might be able to get a low-paying job up north but he doesn’t know what to do with his house as you can’t give them away here.

The third man was working at our neighbor’s house when we arrived home last evening. He was installing satellite dishes. He used to be my husband’s boss. Now he makes $50 a clip for each one he does. No benefits. His own vehicle. And his wife waitresses to keep them going.

Hope is dying here and I don’t know how to keep it alive. Or even help the others.

I’m sure you've said before "if we ever lost our jobs, we’d just go get anything to survive." We said that too. But what if that anything isn’t available? What if you are in competition with thousands of other desperate individuals?

And my mother wonders why I haven’t called in a month.

Again forgive me. But there is big chunk of American people hurting out there. A new sector of people who haven't a clue how to survive. And they are taking the only way out they see left to stop the hurt.

Please reach out to your neighbor, your family member, your relative who is in a similar situation. I'm sure you know someone around you.

On the surface—they'll tell you everything is manageable. Trust me. They lie to save face.
And even if they know Jesus, remember, Satan is still out there wreaking havoc wherever he can.

Please reach out to someone you know today before it’s too late. Before you hear about them on the ten o'clock news.


Jill Kemerer said...

How true this is. Depressing. I won't spout off about jobs and such, but here in southeastern Michigan, we feel the same way.

One way we combat the feeling of helplessness is to actively look for free and cheap ways to add a little joy to life. I feel good when I'm able to provide my kids with a fun-filled day playing and walking around a park and having a homemade picnic. Nice memories can be made with little or no money.

However, for anyone with little or no income coming in, a sense of worry can overtake every minute. One of my favorite websites is The Dollar Stretcher. No, it won't cure paying a mortgage without a paycheck, but it does provide tips on cutting back everywhere to stay afloat.

If people felt less alone and had a ray of hope in these times, we might be able to prevent some of these senseless deaths. Money isn't everything.

Kristen Painter said...

I really don't know what to say other than we've all just got to have faith.

sarah said...

you have a awesome heart for others! Your post is like a cry and reminder to reach out to people who are struggling in this economy. I hear you.Thank you for posting this. Sarah

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I wish there were enough of the right words to comfort, reassure and lift you up.

I wish I could give you a job, income and health insurance.

My heart goes out to you having lived through this situation twice in my life. I've had the Sheriff, escort me and my two young sons from our foreclosed home, lived in poverty and homelessness in years past.

I continue to lift you both in prayer daily as I do with others who are struggling through this most difficult trial and economic hardship.

I pray that joy, blessings and prosperity will be yours soon.

Lin said...

suicide doesn't solve the problem and is only a counterfeit solution that seems inviting. I had a cousin who was a doctor who took his own life-leaving his wife and 3 sons to cope with his loss. If we remember life is a test and turn to God for strength and guidance He will turn our problems into blessings but it will take time and faith to replace despair with hope. Hang on...He has the power to make our weaknesses into strengths.

Rom. 8: 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Terri: Thanks for reminding me I'm not the only one with problems.

I will pray for your family and all the others, to have hope and strength. The government is not our answer; God is.

Blessings on your day,

Yolanda said...

When I saw the numbers for the newly unemployed for May....my heart broke. As we were part of those numbers in our small firm as well. While I'm enjoying retirement, I'm saddened and am praying because....if we had chose to continue....as employers....we would have kept our business in place for 63 years of hard work, for nothing. Not sure that I'm really saying this right, but my heart is....so I'm praying and loving.


Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, man, this sounds aweful, Terri. I am Canadian, and I don't think things have hit as bad here, though they are worse than a year ago for sure.

I'm praying for you guys, and that the economy rambles back soon. May God win this one!

Warren Baldwin said...

The pain we feel in your post probably doesn't match the intensity of the pain in your heart and family. But, you write so well that I know a good measure of the feeling did come through.

My cousin in central Florida has lost a lot of business. He has quit calling me and emailing me, and I wondered why. Now I may know. I think I will take your advice and call him as soon as I click out of here.

Thanks for writing this and putting some heart into this "economic situation" our country is in.

Ginger said...

This post is so true. There are so many hurting people. Not since the great depression have we seen such economic struggle.

If there is a silver lining to any of this, it has taught us all we can live on less and learn to see the difference between wants and needs.

We do need to reach out to those who are struggling right now..especially those that everything may seem to appear "o.k." They need to know that through Christ all things are possible.

Carmen said...

In the midst of the cry of your heart, someone is hearing and someone is doing something to help another.

Thank you for sharing this story...horrible as it is, you've managed to encourage people to reach out.

It's interesting that sometimes hope comes in the form of sharing hardships overcome, as in one of the comments on this post.

Keep on hanging on to His Word and His promises. You're truly an inspiration Terri!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Although we're a bit more recession proof here in Baton Rouge (so far), I have noticed more people at the men's shelter recently, when I go to bring/serve supper.

Terri, is there any way you and the other families can band together for support and brain storming? Maybe exchange bartering info and/or start a community garden? We've got a great farmer's market community here, and lots of us share around the garden's harvest. Sure does help the grocery bill.

Praying and sending hugs!

KelliGirl said...

This is one of the most powerful things I've read in a while. I'm covered in goosebumps.

My heart aches for you and for all those struggling in these times. Last week I sat with a friend who's 55 yo husband lost his job the day before (she doesn't work). They have a daugther getting married and another in college. She has health issues. They have no savings because of a crisis last year. I don't know how they'll continue financially.

Thank you for your story. It gives me a deeper understanding and great sense of responsibility to move past empathetic platitudes.


skoots1mom said...

wish i could fix it...
prayers for better tomorrows

Jody Hedlund said...

Praying for you. Thank you for sharing a dose of reality. Sometimes I'm insulated from what's really going on in the country, so I appreciate getting a glimpse of the difficulties.

Amy De Trempe said...

Thank you for posting this. Along with prayer and faith, we need to offer a shoulder as well.

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh Terri. My goodness. I know that things like this are happening all over, but our national news media chooses not to cover these stories, pretending that "things are getting better." But they're not for so, so many people.

You will be in my prayers. This, too, shall pass.

Sassy Granny ... said...

Such powerful advice, my friend!

Here in Arizona the housing market blight has affected everything. The trades here are desperate, and where once existed a thriving economy there's now a rash of foreclosures and bankruptcies ... and far too many people committing violent crimes. Fear summons the worst in people.

Truly we need each other. I think of the horrendous devastation of the Dust Bowl, and how farming families came together to help each other. The Depression too; which for some reason brought the best out in so many.

Oh may we lean hard on the Lord as we seek to aid our neighbors. He alone is refuge in such great storms.

Please let me know how I can help you.


Kara said...

Terri I am praying for you and your friends. Our part of Texas seems to not be as affected, at least not yet. But I see how my parents lost so much of their retirement, just as they retired. Sad to see your life's savings virtually disappear. I keep telling my husband we have this little piece of land and if we had to all our family could come and live with us. I pray that as a country we can have this mentality and reach out a helping hand to those around us.
Thanks for reminding us how important this is!!

BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning said...

Still praying for you, Terri. The Lord will provide. I know that sounds feeble but He will. Trust. and cry out to him.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

My heart breaks for all those who are experiencing difficulties in the unstable economy. We have a friend at church who is starting up a support system/job networking kinds of ministry very soon. I just got an email a few days ago from our congregational care pastor asking me to pray for this person as he pulls this new ministry together. It is so difficult all over.
I continue to pray for our economy to improve and for everyone's financial situation to become solid again.

It just makes me so very sad!

I will be praying for better days ahead.

your bloggy pal

Jan Cline said...

Oh Terri, how well you told this story. You have captured the essence of the pain this country is in. Praise Jesus, this is not our home. We continue to pray for you and Curt. Blessings my friend.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

It's staggering how many folks, who've worked hard all their lives, now find themselves without employment. I'm grateful for a part-time, temp position. Yet, there's no security, no benefits, and little pay.

You're in my prayers, friend.


ginny said...

yep, it is so true here in Michigan also. The economy has beenb a true reality check for a lot of folks. Our food pantrys are getting empty, the Salvation Army store is constantly filled with people looking for clothes, many of our independently owned stores are going out of business here, upscale markets, closed down. Our town is looking like a ghost town. There are empty storefronts everywhere, forclosed homes abounding, and depressed anxious people everywhere.
We can barely make ends meet, have spent all our life savings when husband lost his job, and fear sets in somewhat everyday.
All I have left is prayer and trust in God, that's it.......

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

So what can I do for you, friend? I'm reaching out...


Sinclair said...

I am among the unemployed through no fault of my own. The firm where I worked downsized in January, and I have been searching for work since then. I have had a few interviews, but mostly no response at all to my resumes and inquiries. No offers at all, for any amount of money. I am lucky that unemployment covers my current needs, but when it runs out? Living in faith and prayerful requests for guidance...
I am sorry that there are those who think suicide and/or murder is the answer.

Warren Baldwin said...

Back from the ballgame! Thanks for your post while I was gone. I have a couple of pics up now.

I did call my cousin. They are in a financial struggle in Florida as many of their clients have gone out of business. Their income is down by about 50%. But, he seems quite positive and upbeat. He is very spiritually oriented. Thanks again for this post and the nod to call.