Let’s face it, you can’t take the day off from work if you are sick, but parenting is a whole different ball game because everyone still needs to eat, homework has to be finished, and kids need to make their commitments that team mates depend on them for such as cheer leading or Girl Scouts. So what happens when you have a chronic illness and you are a single parent earning no money/funds? I’m not talking about the occasional flu that we all get -we end up sucking down some type of medicine to help us sleep through the night and the next morning we feel well enough to get into the car and drive our kids to school only to go back to bed and sleep for a bit. That happens to all of us. We lose maybe a day of money/ funds. No I’m talking about something that goes further than this.
During my divorce several years ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis-an autoimmune difiency disease, which over two years of watching developed into cancer turning into a thyroidectomy for me. Then they found a lump in my breast. Then I was just sick because of all the medications that the doctors had me on. Yes, it felt like when it rained it poured.
I am fortunate that I have made some wonderful friendships over the years, so I am able to ask for a favor now and again when I am in a bind. I am blessed now to be part of a church and my frame of mind and faith have really had a big difference on me, but before then, I was grateful to have wonderful friends that contacted me and asked if they can help drive me to the hospital or could they make me dinner?”
Yes, people like that do still exist and I was overwhelmed by these friends and their kindness. Remember back in the days when someone moved into your neighborhood and you brought over a cooked item to welcome them, not to mention when they were sick you were right there to help out your neighbor. Well these days with our society and all the overwhelming strangeness that tends to be out there those days are unfortunately long gone. Sad but true.
I even had a couple of people that volunteered to help me out financially, especially when they realized I was late on rent and needed food. Some friends gave me small loans to get me through the urgent challenge, some gave me money without question and said they would pray for me, some gave me the idea of funding websites which help raise money in times of need. These crowdfunding sites such as Go Fund Me allows you to explain why you need to raise money and the timeframe you have to raise it. Then friends, family, and anonymous donors help you out in your time of need. I have to mention the web site because it truly helped me in my time of need. I could only work part time, but that wasn’t enough to make my bills, however it was too much to qualify for the many family and government resources that I tried to sign up for just to get temporary relief until I was well enough to go back to work full time. Believe me I called 211 -a help line and sat in several government waiting rooms for hours trying to get some relief explaining my situation and everyone was truly moved and wished they could help, but I didn’t qualify under the guidelines that had been established.
Keep in mind that I had worked for the same company for 16 years and that alone hurt me because it showed that I was a hardworking dependable person with consistent job. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t earning a salary now because I was on Family Medical Leave, I had a job to go back to and that was what mattered in the eyes of the government.
At one point our electric was shut off for two days until people at work found out and took up a collection to have my electric turned back on. Still it showed the power company that I had resources and didn’t qualify for the normal government aide. I was so angry. I wasn’t asking for permanent help, I was just asking for temporary help until I recovered and could make my bills on my own.
Even local churches could not help me, remember at this time, I was not a member of a church and many churches were receiving so many requests for help and were tapped out and had nothing to help out with.
I even contacted the “Help Me” section of a local TV station who tried to put me in contact with certain agencies, but again, I was turned away because I had a job to go back to when I recovered and had been making money before the illness. So I turned to the Go Fund Me Sites and friends and was finally able to move my daughter and myself into a townhouse that I could afford. I just had to get back to work which I eventually did.
I write this to tell you that I was able to make it through the ordeal even though it was a tough one. I still have trouble working full time sometimes, but I am able to make it through the worse of it with my faith being strong. You tend to see even the worse of times differently when you have a power greater than yourself that you believe will take over and rescue you before it gets too bad. That is what happened to us. Great People at just the right time.
If you are sick or in need of help, rethink church and pray, reach out to your schools and friends, and as hard as it is now is the time to tell them the truth. Tell them that you really need help. That was the hardest thing for me because I wanted to believe that I could take care of everything as I always had, but now this was beginning to effect my daughter and I had to put my pride aside and take action.
We live a modest life now, but we have food to eat and a place to live and we pray every day reminding ourselves that nothing will happen today that we can’t make it through.