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January 02, 2007

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The article was like reading about myself and my son since he decided to go to college full-time. Social anxiety disorder makes it almost impossible for him to work and go to school at the same time--so we both had to make a lot of sacrifices. We thought they were worth it--still do; but a medical emergency did send me temporarily over the edge into really scary poverty. I've learned a lot about my character and my identity because of this experience. I know the difference between "want" and "need," and that I'm not the only one in this situation. We assume that all homeless people made bad choices that landed them in that position. That's not always so. When I recover financially and physically from this experience, I WILL ALWAYS DONATE MY TIME AND FUNDS TO PROJECTS LIKE THIS ONE. What you do is so important. Thank you.

Thanks much for sharing this article. It is really humbling.

Interesting article, and what I find most appealing is the writers continual optimism and positive energy despite the circumstances. Like the woman in the article, I too once thrived in a successful career, a middle class standard of living, and a basketful of pride. After a devastating illness in 2002 which resulted in the loss of my career, home, and all that followed in the domino affect of such an event, I quickly realized in a sobering moment that in some weird way, I had gained a lot more than was lost.

Our new tiny apartment afforded my teens and I a closeness I hadn't realized we were missing, the bowling and carnivals and movies, and theme park entertainment became a thing of the past and cuddling in front of the tv with some popcorn, and our new game nights at home brought with it more riches than money could ever buy. We learned that almost nothing in the world is worth expending our small budget on to buy new, and if we can't find it at yard sales and thrift stores and freecycle - then we don't need it. We learned to cook 'garbage stew' and we learned to hunt sofa cushions for change for dinner and most importantly we laugh. I remember one time not to long ago my car broke down one night and my oldest and I sat in the middle of nowhere - laughing.

It's ironic but I can honestly say I am far happier and richer now in life, than when I had financial success and a career. Sure, we all need money to live, and sometimes I wish I had a little more just to get by, but I do consider myself a lot richer than I ever was because I don't think we would have stumbled on the truer meanings of life had this tragedy not happened to my family. I believe life is as one perceives it to be, and the key is to never allow negative energy to shadow the circumstance..

Wow... the most amazing part is that she has turned down offers for help. Very rarely do we come across people who truly manage not to pity themselves no matter what.

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