August 13, 2012 in Finance
This morning, I received an instant message from a childhood friend that lives in the area where I lived for the first eighteen years of my life. My parents still live there.
My mom and her mom were good friends until her mother died.
The last time I heard from my friend, it was to tell me that my parents’ apartment complex was on fire.
My parents live in a new place now. However, the experience was traumatic and they have been slow to recover from it.
I assumed the news this morning was of similar nature and I braced myself for it.
This time, it wasn’t about my family.
It was about hers.
My friend’s sister-in-law had died over the weekend.
“She was dehydrated. They had lost their house, moved into an apartment, and were evicted from it. So, they were living in their truck in the Wal-Mart parking lot for a spell. She had a bad sore on her thigh and so when he took her to the hospital she was dehydrated, and had a serious infection. Antibiotics caused cardiac arrest (so they say) and on Saturday had a massive heart attack.”
Her brother is a few years older than me. He started working for a local business when he was in high school and, as far I as I know, he had always had a job. He was skilled at his craft.
He had inherited the family property. It was the property where I spent many Sunday afternoons playing football as a teen.
I shared a music folder with him in the tenor section of our church choir during our Christmas cantatas.
I rubbed my eyes and re-read the message.
Somehow, he lost the family property, moved to an apartment, was evicted, and was living in his truck with his wife in the local Wal-Mart parking lot.
I tried to imagine what it would be like to live that way in my hometown during this summer’s record-breaking heat.
According to my friend’s account, antibiotic treatment for a sore, combined with dehydration, induced a massive heart attack.
The story was virtually beyond my comprehension.
Questions raced through my mind.
How did her brother lose everything?
Was the wound so bad that the medical staff decided not to treat the dehydration before they administered the antibiotics?
Are more people in my childhood hometown experiencing this type of poverty?
My friend ended the chat so she could go to work.
I turned to my blog feeds in an effort to erase the story from my brain.
The first story I saw was this one.
Then, I remembered.
Our world’s financial situation is dire.
Those who can muster a peaceful response will survive and, in most cases, thrive through the challenges.
Those who can’t respond peacefully may face other outcomes.