Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Welfare? No, Thanks!

On Friday, January 17th (last week) my mother went home to be with Jesus. She was 87 years old, so had lived a long life. Regardless of the age, you’re never prepared to lose a parent. I thank God Mom’s passing was peaceful, and I was by her bedside when she took her last breath.

I learned many lesson from Mom. She only had an eighth grade education, and wasn’t an academic genius by any means. My dad was the intellectual of the two, but both my parents were hard workers and resourceful.

I grew up in a time when the welfare system as we know it today didn’t exist. I praise God for that because I learned valuable lessons on how to make ends meet. My dad was in the construction business, and back in the 50’s, my dad would say construction was a “feast or famine” occupation.

For families to survive during financially lean times, people had to be creative. Both my parents were. I don’t remember how many summers we packed up after school let out. We headed to California or Washington to work in summer crops. In Phoenix, my parents worked in the citrus or picking cotton. Somehow we made it.

I also grew up with parental roles in our household being interchangeable. My dad could cook, iron and clean house if he needed. My mom could paint, pour cement, and climb on the roof for repairs if necessary.

Mom would take things others discarded and make something out of it to sale. We tagged along with her through alleys, junk yards, and dump sites. When I was young, it was an adventure. As I grew older, it was an embarrassment. “Digging through garbage at the dump, Mom! How embarrassing!”

But I’m grateful now. We didn’t survive because the government supported us. We survived because my parents found ways to generate income.

Thanks, Mom and Dad. 

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