Everyday survival: Maggi’s story
Guest post by Maggi S.
My name is Maggi and I’m now 63 years old. When i was 50, I had a good job, my father lived with me, and my daughter lived at home while working and going to college. We had a nice little house, cars in the driveway, and enough money to eat out when we wanted.
In 1997 my dad died suddenly at age 78. It was quite unexpected. A few months later my daughter came home from college one day and could hardly walk and complained of aching all over. She was quite the athlete and this came as a shock. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and had to quit her job and drop out of school. She had bills – a car and a small balance on a credit card – and had no way of paying for them.
Her dad and I helped and she got better after a few years. Eventually she was able to move out and married a nice young man who met her after her illness and appreciates her for who she is now. But helping her pay medical expenses wiped out my savings account in about 5 months til she could get county insurance. It was hard but worth it to get her better.
My own health deteriorates
I have had fibromyalgia for as long as i can remember and never let it stop me from doing whatever i wanted or needed to do. After a car crash in 1993, it got worse but was manageable till 2002. In 2002 I was getting sicker by the week with chronic fatigue syndrome and eventually lost my job because of absenteeism.
Well, with that loss came losing the house and the car. I sold the house prior to the housing bubble but got enough to live on for awhile. I had to sell most of my furniture and “stuff” that I’d collected over the years and move into a small apartment. I applied for disability but was denied and went to live with a friend of mine when i ran out of money.
For over a year, I had only food stamps to help with expenses in my friend’s house. I had to give up my kitties because she was allergic. She was a true friend and helped me as much as she could.
There’s always hope
I refiled for disability several times and was finally approved. I moved into a small apartment again on my own and got a new kitty, too. It was very hard because apartments are expensive and utilities are very high here in Florida because of the year-round heat.
I got by as best i could til this past March when I qualified for a low cost apartment in a retirement building just across the street from where I had been living and in my life-long neighborhood. I finally have enough money to get by on now and am able to put a few dollars away for the future and for prepping.
This is my story. It was rough while going through it, but it made me stronger to handle whatever is yet to come. I’m sitting in my cute little apartment with my kitty sleeping on the floor by my feet…..and I am happy….content, to be more precise….but still I can say I’m happy.
I’ve been able to prep!
I have been a hurricane prepper all my life, learning from my Mama and Daddy as a child here in Florida. I don’t have much income but I am now in a position to start a better and more permanent prep for myself and the kitty. I just went shopping Friday and bought a lot of good stuff for the pantry and got several soda bottles from a friend and cleaned and filled them with water last night to add to my “water wall” behind the couch. I’ll continue with that as I can.
It was extremely hard losing the house and my “stuff” that i had worked all my life to get, but that’s in the past now. The hardships and experiences I’ve been through have made me the person I am today. I can truly say I’m ready for the future…be it good or bad.
Thanks for listening to my story. Hope I didn’t bore y’all too much. Disaster comes in all shapes and forms and you just need to slow down, pray, and ask for the strength to get through it all. Prayer works well….believe me, I know.
Thank you, Maggi, for sharing your story. If you would like to send Maggi a note of thanks or encouragement, you can do so by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and it will be forwarded to her.
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