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Friday, December 12, 2008



This was quite the happy week for our daughter-thankfully.

I don’t know if I’ve ever said, but our daughter has had more than her fair share of misery due to the economy. Both she and her husband were underwriters. I think you have probably guessed what happened-first; they made money hand over fist. Being young and knowing it all, they also spent money-hand over fist. Then came the POP!

They were treating themselves to a 3-1/2 week vacation in Europe, came back and got the news that grandson #1 was on the way. They had been wanting this news for several months so they were on top of the world.

We all know what happens when you’re up too high, at some point you have to come down. And they did-HARD. Three weeks after the news, our daughter was laid off. Three weeks after that our son-in-law got the boot. They weren’t the only ones, far from it. In fact, 2 months after that, the company went under. Thankfully, they were getting the top of the limit from unemployment, so they were actually making more than I had been earning. Our daughter had a very high risk pregnancy, but our son-in-law was going everywhere, phoning anyone and applying online for every job that he could find a way to use his skills. He didn’t get a job until 2 months after our grandson was born.

Then grandson #2 was on the way and our son-in-law found himself out of a job again, this time 2 months before this baby came. This is a lot for any couple to go through in 18 months time. It took Alex until the baby was 4 months old before he finally got a job in a completely different field-he became a juvenile corrections officer. Poor guy does not have it easy; the pay is very low and he has been working the graveyard shift for almost 6 months.

Try being a family man when your wife and kids are up at 7 and you’re just coming in the door and have to go to sleep! And there is no way to not stay “on schedule” on his days off. So they see each other like ships in the night.

My daughter wrote up her story and sent it to Dr. Phil. She loves Dr. Phil. The producers were asking for people to tell them about their hardships, so Sarah sent in their story. How they were living, all they had lost, not having any savings left and having to ask us for help and that her mother-in-law had let them stay in her mother’s home (which is literally falling apart and in a really bad area) without paying rent. There’s more in all this that would explain it, but this is already getting way too long!

Here’s the surprise-the producers picked Sarah to come to be part of the Christmas show audience, which traditionally gives out a lot of nice gifts for those in need.

So this week, Sarah went to the Dr. Phil Show. I think the woman is still in shock. “Mom, Paula Deen was there-she gave us all a whole ham, a set of knives, pots and pans, a cookbook and a subscription to her magazine! There are tons of gift certificates and other stuff!”

Oh, and Lance Bass and several other celebrities were there. She is still so excited that she doesn’t remember what he gave the audience-“Mom you have to DVR all of Dr. Phil’s shows next week, they didn’t tell us what day it will be on!”

Okay! I will set it up-I’m able to do that now. I can’t do it now for the whole week, but I am very good at setting it the same day!

After all was said and done, my daughter was surprised-the total in gifts came to about 10 grand.

They deserve it. They’ve really had a bad time of things. The sad part here is, there just aren’t enough places in the audience or sponsors to donate enough to take the pain and suffering away for everyone. I wondered how they made their choices?

My daughter also realized something by being part of this audience (not that she didn’t know it, but now it was more real, if this makes sense)-as bad a time as she and her husband have had, there are many more who would have considered her hardship practically living high on the hog compared to their lives. One woman who was there was a single mother of 9 children! 2 were adults, but she still had 8 people to feed, clothe and put a roof over their heads. This gave my daughter something to pause and think about-I’m always telling her, there’s always someone out there who is way worse off than you, so be happy with your perceived miseries.

She usually would roll her eyes at me. Now she realizes Mom really isn’t such a Pollyanna after all. But our daughter is a generous sort-her first thought was what she could give to those of us who had been helping them out all this time.
Not a surprise to me-I have always known my daughter is a person of generosity and fortitude.

And now for another couple of shameless plugs on my latest articles:
This one is on the Shea Therapeutic Riding Center-
This one is on a pediatrician who is also a MOM (mother of multiples) and author-

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