Regarding your comment in my previous post... the fact that I "know how to use the system" but have all kinds of money to buy teddy bears and go to thrift shops.
Obviously you have not been reading my blog for long. You do not know that we had lost everything, including a beautiful home, friendships, reputation, "stuff", etc. due to my husband's illness. Because of the extreme and sometimes unbearable stress (so say my specialists)... I developed Juvenile Diabetes. The little home in the country we have now was through a special USDA loan for low income people.
As far as using the system... I do not receive Medicaid. I do not receive any govt. help. I nearly died a few years ago, was in intensive care for three days, because I did not have insulin. By the time I told anyone (my daughter), I was already in the hospital near death's door. The results were so devastating that I never fully recovered. I try to work part time a couple times a year at the bookstore but I am unable to work full time. I have just a couple of good hours a day in which to do my housework and keep my home looking nice for the guys and meals on the table.
It was that incident that caused my husband to stop trying to work and to go on disability for an illness he has had since high school, which only got worse as time went on. He is now 60. There was so much proof of his illness through the years that he was immediately qualified for S.S. Disability. He has severe environmental allergies.
He holds a B.S. in Economics and a M.S. in Furniture Engineering and has worked hard through the years, until the day came he tried to work as a salesman at Lowe's and could not because of illness (it was after losing his job there that we didn't have money for insulin). The trip to Germany where he bought me the bear? That was many years ago when he was well enough to hold a job... as a Corporate Quality Assurance Manager who was over multiple plants in Michigan and New England. His trips to Germany were for meetings with the parent company of those plants.
I have no insurance because we have no income other than S.S. Disability. My son does not have an asthma inhaler anymore and also suffers from severe allergies. The last time he had an asthma attack, I stayed up at night with him and kept praying and weeping because I told him I could not call for am ambulance. God answers prayer.
Obviously I was using the system, right? The only help I have asked for is through the Eli Lilly fund to get my insulin free. Without it I would not be alive tomorrow.
The teddy bears were all purchased during the years we did have additional money and most were gifts as friends and loved ones knew how much I enjoyed them (just as they give me teacups now). I depend on my thrift store finds for the very clothing I put on my back. I am in desperate need for a new pair of shoes but (like most moms) I told both the guys to buy shoes first because they needed them even more. Christopher had outgrown his shoes and my husband had holes in the bottom of his.
My son is only a high school senior but he has worked since the day he turned sixteen. He pays for all of his clothing and any "fun" items. He pays for his part of the car insurance so he can drive... a car given to us by the very sweet parents of my son-in-law.
We live on or near poverty income. Do you know how little one receives on Disability? Which, by the way, is not a government handout. It is an insurance plan for which money is taken out of your paycheck each week.
The reason I have been sharing about using our priority list is just this... our regular income is too low to keep up household or car maintenance, purchase clothing, etc. We have learned to live on next to nothing because we had to. Now I love sharing with others how they can live very well, with beauty and elegance, when there is little income.
Before you do another "hit and run" post on anyone else's blog, learn a little more about them. My life is an amazing testimony to the grace of God and the way He takes care of His children. I receive dozens of e-mails from hurting people and I can tell each one of them... He will not let you down. We do not understand why He allows us to go through illness, death, trials, etc. but one thing I am able to tell each and every one... He brings us through them.
By the way, my coffee and bagel at Panera is what I call my "mental health" breaks. My husband's illness causes him to suffer from Bipolar Disorder. My daughter always knew when I'd had a difficult day (as does my son now) because I had to get away for awhile. Do you know, it is so rare for a marriage to last when one mate is Bipolar that the agency we worked with did not know how to deal with a married couple?
I'd say a few dollars for coffee and a bagel are worth being able to absorb God's Word to strengthen me and help me stay married another year. This August, we will celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary.
Just in case you were wondering, the pictures I can post on my blog are only here because of a very dear blog reader who sent me her camera when she purchased another. That is walking in love for a person you have never met.
Sorry friends, but that made me so upset I can't write tomorrow's Sunday Afternoon Tea... which was going to be about Christian Homemaking. I need to get alone with the Lord for awhile. Sheesh... no wonder some people have given up blogging.