The Box.

The day after my husband’s firing, a file box (and my husband’s final paycheck) arrived via courier. It was difficult to imagine how fourteen years of work life could fit into a moving carton and an envelope. By the time it arrived, everyone in our house was deeply involved in the process of moving on to the next resume, job, class, activity, workout, or competition. The whole experience reduced my husband in a way that I had never seen since I had known him. It was agonizing to process that that it was his new reality, but at the same time I wish he understood that the children and I experienced it too and that we all were doing the best we could given the situation.
I was determined to keep my family as healthy as possible and to guide my children through this process as much as I could, all while trying to navigate life and everything that came with it. For the first couple of weeks, while my husband dusted off his resume, calls started to trickle in one or two per day. Some of his friends had begun to return calls, much to my relief, but as my fast came to an end, I had to prepare myself and my children for the possibility that our almost eighteen years of living in Vancouver, Washington could be coming to an end soon.

Rude Awakenings.

There are few things like losing a job to inform you of who your real friends are. While I was praying and fasting and praying some more, my husband soon discovered that the vast majority of the people who he knew as friends would not even return his phone calls or text messages once word got around concerning what had happened to him. I was completely prepared for that, what I was not prepared for was the extent to which some of his older friends responded, or rather the extent to which they did not respond.

The last job my husband had left to join this company that ultimately fired him was the company that had brought him to this country and they got into a bidding war with the company my husband ultimately joined. The company that had originally hired him actually bid higher, but my husband decided to join the new company with its new opportunities. Now I was left to rethink whether those 14 years of opportunities were worth the severed ties and closed doors that were a part of our constant existence now. Sorry does not even begin to describe how I felt.

Opportunity Knocks.

I was doing what had become my regular routine of kids, their activities, my activities, my activities that prepared for their activities, etc., but all of those activities were turned upside down on an October afternoon when I got a four word text message from my husband of over twenty years. He had been fired from his job of fourteen years. It was raining outside and they had not even allowed him to take his umbrella on the way out. After fourteen years. Who does that? Too many people, I have since discovered. I knew I would have to cut any expense from our budget that was not absolutely necessary. I called my parents to ask them to pray for us in general and for me because I would be fasting and praying until God showed me my next move.

A real “blink. blink.” moment.

Tom Delay says that people are unemployed because they want to be and that extending unemployment benefits discourages people from looking for jobs. Wow. I can’t say that the people I have known to have lost their jobs decided, one day, that they wanted to be unemployed. I can’t say that at all. I’m so glad I’m an Independent.