Rarely, though more often these days, do people reach out for help when they need it. For a number of reasons, people who need help keep silent, possibly because of the abuse and criticism to which they know they will be subjected; possibly because they’re “too proud” to ask for help.
This couple, though, Lyn and Rich, reached out for help, and “friends” backed out of the way, because, after all, their situation resulted from choices they made.
I empathize completely. My choices made me a single parent – twice. My choices sucked me into poverty. Some people were astoundingly critical. The criticisms and condemnations were hurtful. I held down two and sometimes three jobs while going to school full time in order to improve my circumstances while raising my youngest three children. It was an exhausting time, but necessary.
So, yes, the repercussions that resulted from my decisions (I take full ownership) shouldn’t have to be your problem. Why should you help somebody like me when I chose to marry the men who either refused to pay any child support at all or who paid less than they were supposed to pay?
My situation was different from Lyn’s and Rich’s, though. My parents and one of my sisters stepped forward to help me financially when cars broke down (which happened often) and other sudden unexpected expenses arose. Even with their help, I still lived at or below the poverty level, but I survived with the help of my family.
Lyn and Rich aren’t so lucky with financial support. They met online, formed a business partnership (they’re both freelance writers), and fell in love. On the day Lyn was supposed to fly out to be with him, Rich discovered he had cancer and had to undergo treatment. Lyn was by his side at the hospital throughout his treatments and when chemo was complete, they drove back to be with her family. Lyn has four children. Rich had none, and he was told that because of his cancer, he probably would never be able to have a child.
So imagine their surprise and delight when Lyn and Rich discovered they were going to have a baby! Blessing as it was, it was also a financial upheaval neither one was prepared to handle and neither of them had parents who were able to help financially. But Lyn and Rich are resourceful and Lyn jumped online to find a number of items to “win” (on Listia) for their little Nova Skye, due in June.
Because Lyn requires bedrest due to complications with her pregnancy, her inability to contribute financially has further fractured the family’s income. With four other kids and a couple of pets to support, they have to seek other accommodations, so they will no longer be a burden to Lyn’s mom (though I doubt Lyn’s mom sees it that way).
Yes, we have all made choices that have landed us in our current predicaments. Yes, Rich was told he would probably not be able to have kids. But he and Lyn are expecting their baby very soon. I see that as a miracle. Like being told you’ll probably never win the lottery, you expect you won’t, but sometimes you do. Lyn and Rich felt they won the lottery when they met each other and now are going to have a baby. They risked reaching out to ask friends to help them, and some of those friends abandoned them. I am not one of those friends.
You can read Their Story by clicking the link.
Afterword: Lyn and Rich share the same birthday, May 8th, so Happy Birthday to you both! (I hope you don’t mind that I borrowed your photo.)