After a short time being unemployed and depressed, I have begun working as a data analyst. While working with numbers and precision are not my favorite things (narrative is so much more forgiving), I think I’m doing a fairly good job for a newbie, and I’m thankful my boss does quality control checks of me frequently (and gently).
Currently, I’m working with data on the homeless population. There are an awful lot of homeless out there who, a year ago, were making ends meet. Money was tight, but they had something to eat. The house might have been drafty, but it was dry, and once tucked in, the children were warm.
And then came a change. A layoff, a divorce. The loss of affordable child care that allowed a parent to work and get by. And relatively overnight, the ends stopped meeting, and they became homeless.
A month ago, I lost my job, but I never worried that my family would go hungry. I knew if someone in the house got sick, we would still go to the doctor. I stopped buying clothes for myself, but was never cold. I got a little depressed, but knew I would find work. I drank some wine, but each night I went to my king size bed, crawled under two comforters and a quilt, adjusted my three pillows, and snuggled up to my warm husband. Just like every night.
Lying there I say a prayer of thanks and gratitude that I have that bed, that my kids are all tucked in, warm and healthy, that truly, I NEED nothing. I’ve said this prayer for years, but after piecing together some of the stories hidden in the homeless surveys, it’s has taken on a renewed life.
“There but for the grace of God, go I.”