So yesterday I went out for a walk (if I didn’t get the heck out of my house, I was going to go bananas and freak out on someone), and I decided to listen to a podcast. It was The Daily and the episode was about this woman named Jasmine who owns a restaurant in Baton Rouge with her hubby and their two daughters. I’m not going to recap the whole episode, but in a nutshell she was talking about whether they were going to open their restaurant back up right now.
You see, their oldest daughter has lots of health issues because she was born verrrryyy premature, and they can’t risk her getting sick by reopening their restaurant. On the other hand, if they don’t reopen, they could lose their business, and then their house, and ultimately the ability to care for this daughter. So you either risk your daughter’s life by reopening, or you risk your daughter’s life by not reopening. That is a totally crappy decision to have to make. It had me tearing up on my walk, and I wasn’t the only one. The host literally had to pause the episode for a moment and collect himself.
And the awful thing is this is just one story. Just one. OF MILLIONS. Multiply this sadness, this anxiety, this dilemma by millions of people and that’s what is happening everywhere in this country.
I turn on the news and I see the cars lined up for miles waiting for food. People who never thought they’d have to take this kind of help. People who are feeding their families two meals a day instead of three because they have to figure out a way to cut back.
And what kills me is I look around my area, and I see people lining up for something else. Puppies. And pools. They’re sold out everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with getting a puppy right now. Or a pool. But the divide has never been more apparent to me.
Half the country is lining up for food, while the other half is lining up for puppies.
There’s one more part of the podcast I haven’t told you yet. When Jasmine (the woman who owns the restaurant in Baton Rouge) was in the shower one day a few weeks ago, her eight-year-old daughter left something on her bed. All the money she’d saved up from her allowance. $57. She left it with a note that said she wants her mommy to have it in case it would help their family. It was heartbreaking. The host asked what Jasmine did with the money, and I waited for her to say she gave it back to her daughter. “No honey, you saved this, it’s yours.” That’s what I would do with the money. That’s what people in my area would do with the money.
But Jasmine didn’t.
She said she held on to the $57 and she’s praying she doesn’t have to use it. I just about lost it when I heard her say this. The thought that a mother would have to borrow money from her eight-year-old daughter. But that’s what’s happening. Everywhere.
I’ve found myself missing a lot of things lately. I miss getting my hair done, and watching my daughter ice skate, I miss eating at restaurants, and wandering around Target aimlessly, and lots of other things. But I’m not going to complain about it. From now on when I want to complain about how much this whole thing sucks, I’m going to try to remind myself that it sucks a lot more for other people. And just because I can’t leave home doesn’t mean I have to live in a bubble.
If you liked this, please don’t forget to like and share it. Thank you!! And if you have the means to help, you can do what I’m doing today. In honor of Jasmine I’m giving $57 to Feeding America and another $57 to UNICEF. And if you have a story like Jasmine’s, feel free to put it in the comments on my Facebook page if you feel like sharing it. Thank you.