I am a 50 year old widow; wow that sounds weird still. It's only been a year since Ron died, but it still seems strange without him here.
We were married for 31 years, and during that 31 years, we almost always had a "guy on the couch". That was our way of giving back. We couldn't really afford to formally give to a charity, but we almost always had a place where someone could crash, have a warm meal and be part of our family for a day, week or a month. Sometimes they were trying to get clean from drugs and just needed a clean place to stay for a few nights. A few were travelers that just needed a place to stay overnight. Sometimes I would hear of a friend or a friend of a friend who needed food. I would immediately take a look at my own pantry to see what I could spare to help someone else eat. Sometimes the food deliveries were under cover of night, so people would not feel self-conscious about receiving help. There were several holidays, both Thanksgiving and Christmas, where we would all package up the leftovers and the kids would take them down to the local AA meeting hall or a homeless camp, if we knew where one was that year.
It seems that giving and helping has always been part of my life. That's why it has been so difficult for me to have to learn how to ask for help and accept others' generosity over the last year. When my husband died unexpectedly last year, I was unemployed and completely unprepared for his death. We had no life insurance. I was on unemployment, but the day before Ron died I was informed that they were reversing their decision (still don't know why), and that I now owe them $3200. Well, needless to say, I was not in the mental frame of mind needed to appeal any of that stuff. If it had not been for other people's generosity, I would not have made it through those few months without becoming homeless.
I finally was able to find a job with a good company, and I am bringing in a regular paycheck. I am still adjusting to paying everything myself (Ron always paid half the rent and a few of the monthly bills, like internet), as well as a much smaller paycheck than I have been used to. I make enough to pay all of my montly obligations, such as rent, electricity, gas, trash, internet, car insurance and car payment. I have just enough left to pay for gas and a little bit of food to last until the next paycheck.
Here is where I have my current issue. No money for extras.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my story. Even if you aren't able to help, I would appreciate you sharing my story. I am grateful to all who help. Thank you so much!!
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