Upon occasion the Pride group allows me some latitude in posting something personal. This is going to be one of those times. Some may wonder if I understand the hardship some are suffering since I am now retired so I am not fighting to keep a job. Let me tell a little about my background.
As a child I was brought up in a very rural environment. The first house I remember living in was by the railroad tracks. We had no inside bathroom or plumbing. Our refrigerator was a wooden box that Dad had to put a block of ice in to keep food cold. Baths were taken in a galvanized big metal tub on the kitchen floor. We took turns in the same bath water. I lived in constant fear of the “bums” getting off the trains and getting me. I had been warned.
We then moved up in the world. Our next home had indoor plumbing and a refrigerator. There was heat in only one room and the bedrooms were freezing. It was not unusual for me to miss 30 days in a school year from illness. We had rats and mice in the house. Mice would build nests in the foot of my bed. I ate more rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, and quail than I could possibly count. I remember one time having thirty rabbits dressed out at one time. It was food and we appreciated it. There was no shame in being poor.
At the age of 12 we moved to Rockford so Dad could find work. Things got better.
Fran and I got married when I was 20. We had no money but I had been a racer at the regional drag strips so I traded the racing motor from my car to get some cash and we rented a very small one bedroom apartment. Our first couch came from the Salvation Army. Fran was unable to work but we were scraping by and we had our first son. A year later almost to the day I broke two bones in my left leg and was put in a cast up to my rear for seven months. Our only income was the little from disability insurance from work. We were on the ropes. We barely made it until I was able to work again. We did nothing for recreation. If I hadn't already felt it I then knew the gut wrenching feeling of having nothing and no real prospects except a job that took me back.
Finally we were able to get our first home. It was about 800 square feet in size but it was our home and for the first time I had a garage. From that point forward things kept improving with the birth of two more sons and job opportunities. Things do work out in the end. I feel we were blessed and although we will never be rich I appreciate all we have been given.
I want all who are suffering right now to know I absolutely understand the sleepless nights and deep hopelessness you are feeling. Better days will come. It will make you appreciate the good things in life much more when they arrive as do I. You are never alone in life.
I would like to ask any in that situation right now to drop an email to the Pride or any Candlewick board member and let us know what Candlewick can do to help you through these times. That is the only way the board can know what you need. There are some good people out there.