I had a really hard, hard time coping with something yesterday.
Nothing to do with my family, or my friends, thankfully.
But it affected me, and that effected the rest of my evening (and yes, that is the correct usage for both affect and effect).
I was so unhappy, because of an email I received from the director at the daycare my daughter used to attend (I'm the chair for the board of directors, so I am kept in the loop with most things).
This year, a family is without. No money, no food and no winter clothing for the adults, but even worse, nothing for the children, an 11 year old boy, and a 3 month old infant either.
I cried so hard. I just kept remembering what it's like to feel 'broke'- and when I say 'broke' I mean, no money. There were lean years for my husband and I when we first started dating, and our son was little. Sometimes there was no money for anything except rent- and food was dependent on how much I brought home in tips (it's a damn good thing I was a phenomenal waitress).
But hearing about this family brought those days back to me. Even when Brat was a baby, and I was on maternity leave, there were some leaner months- and my parents helped us. But what would we have done without help? Well, I suppose we'd have done what this family did, and swallowed our pride and asked for charity.
And it can't have been easy for this mother to tell the daycare that she didn't have a snowsuit for her 11 year old, or any other winter wear. That she didn't have warm clothing for the baby. That neither she nor her husband had a coat, or mitts, hats, scarves, or boots. It must have crushed her right to her soul to tell another person that if someone didn't help them, there was a good chance that this year, there wouldn't be a day when they didn't suffer.
And I cried. I am crying now. I know how hard it is to worry about your children, and to know that somehow, even if you have to swallow your pride, you need to provide for your kids. I am supremely lucky that my husband has a good job. That I have a good job to go back to. That we have a family that would never let us or our children do without the basics of life.
But the way that it effected my evening is that I posted on my facebook wall (well, plead actually) for used winter clothing donations, food donations and anything that could be spared from my friends and my family. And they responded. Tomorrow morning I'll be dropping off winter jackets for both children (the older boy gets a brand new coat, which he may never have had before) and the mother, along with formula (Thanks again to my lovely friends), clothing for the baby, some food donations for the hamper, and winter gear.
I am blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. People that I can turn to for help, for myself, or for others.
I'm thankful for the help that has been forthcoming, and I know the daycare is thankful as well.
I am glad we live in Canada, I love my country dearly. But it shows that even in this awesome country, with social assistance and government programs in place, there are people, children, all over falling through the cracks and landing below the poverty line.
"But for the Grace of God go I". I try to remember that, because it's so very, very true.