Thursday, March 26, 2009

~I was once her~

Today I was in line at the grocery store and I was reminded just how much my life has changed and how much I have been blessed. There was a lady maybe a little younger than myself ahead of me and she was taking awhile. I noticed she had her groceries separated into piles on the belt. I watched as she was adding on her fingers to see if she had enough money to pay for all of her items. She looked back as to say sorry because I had to wait. I was in no hurry and I soon realized she was using WIC and food stamps to pay for her items and I was reminded of a life I once lived see I was once her.

When  I was nine months pregnant with Eleni Ray became very ill. I'm sure you have read my other post but if not he was diagnosed with kidney failure. He was put on the kidney transplant list and they started him on dialysis. I felt like we were about to enter a different world one we knew nothing about.On one particular day when I went home from the hospital reality hit me and hit me hard.  I had an eviction notice on my door, a four year old who was hungry and I had no money or food, and a husband in ICU. I remember crying so much and so hard I thought I was going to be sick. The life I once knew was no more. I didn't know which way to turn or what to do. The hospital helped me get set up on Medicaid and directed me to my local Social Services. I was devastated I had to rely on welfare and food stamps to survive. My pride was hurt I did not want to live like this I wasn't one of those people. Well, let me tell you learn to swallow your pride when you have a 4 yr old looking at you for food or just a glass of milk. I learned real quick to be thankful for the help I was about to receive. Friends and family all donated money and food to help us out until all the financial assistance kicked in. Within a month we were living a different life but we were surviving. My life changed but so did the way I look at things.

I can remember being that young mother in line with my two children and people staring at me and whispering as I pulled out my Wic and food stamps. They didn't know me and they didn't know my story. Who were they to judge me.  Today when I looked at that lady I couldn't help but wonder what was her story? I was reminded how many times I have been blessed.



Bittersweet Primitives said...

Donna, thanks for the reminder to be thankful in many ways. Oprah once said on her show that everyone has a story, no matter what it is, even though we don't think so. I never forgot that. We may never know what a person's story is or situation but we should remember that they have one. Thank you again for the sweet thoughts. I will remember your story! Sherie

Cindy B said...

I see many familiar faces in that same food line at the store and our food pantry .At one time or another, we all have contributed to these programs ...and it means all can recieve it as well....I figure more power to moms for seeing their children have the food they need for good nourishment. Our church also has contributions of food that we take to our town's food pantry..people sharing produce from gardens etc..
well written and no doubt you understood her feeelings well.

Kindra said...

I hope that woman's problems are short lived. Thank you for sharing your story.

Thanks always to your sweet comments. A custom sign is usually $15-17 depending on how long the saying, plus shipping. :)

Carmen said...

Donna~ if you were strong enough to get those those times I don't doubt you can get through anything!They say that what dosen't kill us only makes us stronger and I believe it. You've probably read about my son almost cutting his foot off last summer? Well THE DAY he was released from the surgeons care, my hubby was taken by ambulance from work to the ER with massive GI hemorrhage. They got it stopped, found out it was a diverticular hemorrhage, sent him home and 2 nights later it happened again. The second time he lost so much blood he needed a transfusion.He looked SO pale and weak I thought he would die right there!Needless to say, I found I can handle alot more than I ever thought. About the lady.. isn't it sad that so many people judge others without knowing a thing about them and your right, chances are she has a story of her own:)

kal said...

I also have been one of those young mother & wives. My kids were 8 & 4 and my husband had to have emergency heart valve replacement. He was our only income, as I was a SAHM. Now 9 yrs later, I thank God for the compassion and love that was shown to us. It truly made us into better people. I am so thankful for everything. It sure changes your outlook. I learned how it feels when people judge you. Everyone has a story, and not everyone chooses that life.

This Country Girl said...

Boy is that a good lesson for us all....Be careful about judging because we don't know their story and we haven't walked a mile in their shoes!

I can't imagine dealing with what you have....and it is never easy swallowing your pride. That one is tough for me!

I hope I can always be an encouragement to others because you never know what they're going through!

Thanks for sharing this very sweet and thought provoking post, Donna!


Leslie said...

I was a WIC recipient for a few years myself. I do realize how far we've come and I often have to think of that on the bad days. I still have a hard time, though, because I know all too many people that have somehow cheated the system to get these handouts that they don't really deserve. There were times we applied for more help (like with our heating bills) and were denied but yet someone else that I knew got it and made more money and didn't have children. It never made sense to me. So I guess sometimes I hold a grudge because of those things and I'm all too often quick to judge. I really shouldn't....I must remember there are a lot of good, honest, hard working people out there that find themselves in binds and be thankful we have these wonderful programs to help them out :)

Have a great day!


Happily Ever After said...

HI Donna,

Thank you so much for sharing that story. No one ever knows what a person is going through. I see so many people in the grocery or in town and they have such sad eyes. There is so many people that spend a long time in the valley's, but if they will only put God first in their life, the mountain top is where they will end up. I'm on the board of directors at my local social services. It breaks my heart to see all the children that are in the system and the families that have ran into hard times and must get assistance. But, Donna I would rather know that the taxes that come out of my paycheck go to help people that have always tried to work their way through life than those that depend on the system and wouldn't work in a pie factory so to speak. It blesses me to help those in need, none of us, no matter what type of job we have is not safe from sickness or the economy now. We have a fund at church that we help people that are going through situations. It does my heart good to know that the money goes to someone that is going through sickness or other things. As Christians, it is our duty to help our brother/sister. God will bless those that helps others.

Thanks for sharing this story....


Karen said...

Good morning Donna.
I am so happy I found your Blog - you visited mine yesterday and THANK YOU!!!
This story is an inspiration to ALL.
I don't think there has been a time that we all at least once have judged someone and not even know the story behind it.