My oldest daughter was born when I was working full time for Banfield Pet Hospital as a field trainer, managing the training of 17 hospitals and over 300 employees. I was making almost more money at 25 than my mom was after 36 years at Shell. I felt accomplished, important, like I was on track with a professional career I could retire from and was happy with my work. When she was 6 weeks old I was notified that I was being laid off.
From that moment and for the next 4 years money was extremely tight. We were behind on rent and other bills more often than not. There were times when I fed my kids and ate only what they didn’t eat. I’d sell things in beg/buy/barter sites for cash when I needed gas money. Those were years where stress was extremely high and spirits were extremely low. I didn’t like my life and I didn’t like who I was.
Last year on the way out of my marriage I was actually told, “You need me to provide for the girls.” I took it as a challenge.
In January I started grad school, and next May I’ll graduate with my Masters of Science in Agriculture with a high school teaching certification. Last December I met the love of my life and finally know what true love is. In March I bought a better car for us that’s reliable. This July my oldest daughter turned five and I registered both of my girls for dance. Tonight though…tonight I bought them shoes.
Mamas, I know this may not sound like much, but for me I had to hold back the tears on the way home. You see, after years of not knowing always where our next meals would come from, to be able to go to the store and comfortably buy both of my girls TWO new pairs of shoes and a pack of socks each absolutely meant the world to me. Money isn’t tight until the next paycheck, and my girls will start school this year with new shoes. My sweet Joni will walk into her first day of kindergarten this Wednesday with new shoes that her mama bought her.
Today was the one of a handful of days where I really felt like I’m on the right track because….I bought them shoes.