My story starts with a new job for my husband. Excellent pay, crazy good benefits, decent hours and weekends off. Who wouldn't feel excited? This after struggling with medical bills following a series of medical disasters for both of us over the past 8 years that wiped out our meager savings and floored us with the costs of medical care. So this new job was such a blessing to us.
Right away, some things became evident. This job was anything but a dream. What started out being described as,"current accounts we just want to upgrade services for" became nothing more than a fancy way of saying telemarketing. Managers, whose own job security came from making sure their crew sold, sold , SOLD made for a tense, stressful environment. My husband began to be stressed and depressed. He spoke to our family doctor and was prescribed an antidepressant. Instead of it helping, he began having panic attacks. Bad ones. He collapsed at work one day and was transported to the hospital via ambulance. Initially, they believed he might be having a heart attack or even a mild stroke. More expensive tests. The next doctor appointment I attended with him. Turns out the antidepressant was causing the panic attacks. So a medication switch. But early on still having panic attacks and trying to bolster himself to return to work. He couldn't do it. He could barely find the strength to get out of bed without vomiting from fear of that work environment and the need to be at home where he felt safe and no pressure. I made him quit the job. I needed my husband to be okay and not tip over the edge with a nervous breakdown or worse. Over the next couple of weeks we began to avail ourselves of local social programs to help us meet our needs. I am disabled so it fell on my husband to do the food pantry trips. While everyone was kind to him it is a humbling experience to stand in line outside of a food pantry waiting to be allowed in to be given bags of food. Another local agency paid our water bill for us and gave us a gas card. My hubby began to feel better and began applying for jobs. Interviews followed but we're still in the process of finding employment for a 60 year old man with limiting health issues. This is where we found out what kind of a neighborhood we live in began to happen. Word began to get out what was going on at our house. Two bags and a ten dollar gift card to a local grocery store showed up on our front porch for our pets. It's still a mystery to us who did this. One of our neighbors gave my husband a bag full of frozen beef when she saw him out walking our dogs. Another neighbor shopped for groceries and dropped off 2 bags on the porch. The same neighbor who gave the beef caught my husband this morning giving him toilet paper, tissues, hand towels and offers of future support if there is need; just call them. Our neighborhood is truly a blessing to us. In times of trouble hubby has always been there to help. He'd run to help clear trees following storms. Clear sidewalks after a snowstorm. Whatever and whenever the neighborhood was affected my husband has been there to help. It's what neighbors do. At least in our neighborhood.
So to Pamela & Jim, Amy & Alicia, and our mystery provider, we love you all. Your kindness will never be forgotten. As Pamela has pointed out, "everyone has been where you guys are. If not now, in the past or one day they will be". It's nice to know we're part of a neighborhood filled with people like these wonderful souls. I would wish this on the world. That everyone can make a neighborhood filled with loving people.