Tuesday, March 26, 2013
No one gets a free lunch. Or so the old saying goes.
Until you get to the corporate world, and then they give you free lunch all of the time... but I digress. ;)
When I was a kid, I refused to eat at school. We were too poor to pack a lunch, and I was too embarrassed to use my free lunch ticket. Silly, I know, but true. So I would go all day with no breakfast or lunch until it was time to come home from school, and it was by choice. My mom never knew I was embarrassed to be poor and she most certainly never knew that I skipped my meals.
My mom lost a child (stillborn) before I was conceived. Then, when she was nine months along with me, my father passed away. The two tragedies in a row when she was so young must have been a lot to bear, I'm certain of it, but something happened to her way of thinking, something that kept her from wanting to reach out and grab life. She retreated into a shell after that and never took chances, never tried to make a better life for herself. She was simply content to just get by. She's still like that today. The implications for herself and for me were great, including the fact that my whole childhood was wrought with the real ache of being poor.
Now I'm grown and have kids of my own, and I lovingly make packed lunches almost every single morning (hubby packs most days too). It's such a joy for me to provide a well balanced lunch for the family to take to school and/or work.
It's something I find great comfort in, even though it doesn't mean much to them...they take it for granted, and I like it that way. :)
Those things that were huge in my life are now small today, but they still color so many of the things I do, the way I think, the person I am.
I've grown up, fought my way out of poverty, secured a solid career and valid education. We are not rich by any means, nor are we poor. We are happily middle class. And while that doesn't mean much to anyone else in the world, it means everything to me because my children have food. They have clothes (a lot of them). We own our own home, with a nice piece of land. And we have prepared for their, and our futures. They will never know the burden of being poor like I did. I don't remember to thank God for that every day, but I'm remembering it today. I am thanking God that if you reach out and persist, and try, and work hard, you can make positive changes in your life. I am thanking God for my good health, and the good health of my husband and children. And I am thanking God even for my childhood. Regardless of the poor I grew up in, as a small child I was always happy and loved, and safe. And that has colored me too.
What are you thankful for today?