We Didn’t Know

We didn’t know that 4 years ago when we sold our first home that we had just beaten the beginning of the collapse of the housing market.

We didn’t know that same fact when we built our dream home.  We bought the plans, we watched every brick go up, we picked out every color.  We moved in, but we didn’t know…

…how badly it would hurt for me to leave my son and head to work each day.

…that “it’s all going to be fine” was so far from the truth when I quit my job.

…that the financial markets would also begin to collapse and make my husband’s job very difficult.

…that the school districts would place freezes on hiring, making it impossible for me to return to teaching.

…that the house payment that we easily afforded would become harder and harder to pay.

…how many debts and obligations we would have to let fall away.

…how many times in one day the phone could ring.

…how embarrassing it became to say “I’m sorry, we can’t pay…that amount…or anything.”

…that it would only take about a year to use my entire 401(k) savings that took 8 years to accrue.

…that the time that bought us wasn’t enough for things to turn around.

…how quickly the downward spiral would take us to a point of no return after missing that very first house payment.

…that things still wouldn’t be better after two years…and three.

…what it felt like to be served with foreclosure papers.

…just how little we really could live off of.

…how really, truly amazing our families are.

…that we’d have tough talks.  Tougher than you can imagine.  More often that you can imagine.

…that we’d eventually resign ourselves to silence.

…that we’d become strangers.

…the humility it takes to walk into an office, forms in hand, and ask for assistance to pay for food and healthcare for our family.

…the toll that four years of emotional hell would have on our minds, bodies, outlook, faith, marriage, children.

…that we’d stop turning to each other.

…that walls would come up, hearts would harden and numbness would set in.

…that it would hurt so badly to see happiness in others.

…what happens to a person when they completely turn inside.

…what it feels like to wonder when? How long?

…that help wouldn’t happen.

…that miracles don’t always come…at least not when you think they might.

…how easy life was 4 years ago.

…that everything would fall apart.

We didn’t know.  But now we do.

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