Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Good news and bad news

Good news first:
When we got back from 2nd night Seder last night, there was an unexpected, pink, sparkly package on the porch for BabyGirl.

Would you believe Mitzie and her boyfriend had stopped by with a gift? You should have seen the look of pure joy on BabyGirl's face when we read the card. Heck, you should have seen the look of pure joy on my face when we read the card. BabyGirl hugged the card tight to her heart and said, "This is absolutely definitely going in my treasure box." She's absolutely definitely right.

But wait! There's more! There were two messages on the phone, one from Mitzie and one from Raoul, wishing BabyGirl a happy birthday.

When we did a little birthday gig last weekend with BabyGirl's best buddy, Lulu, who was born on April 1st, I said my own wish as the girls blew out their candles, and this momma's wishes come true.

And the bad news:
My brother, one of the legion of working poor, was laid off yesterday. His wife is a hair dresser who works part time, he was a technical writer. They have two young daughters, 4½ and 2. He was given $3,000 which would cover his COBRA medical coverage for 5 months. The contract technical writer he helped hire a year ago got to keep her job because she costs less than a salaried employee.

He went through a spell of unemployment just before my sister-in-law found out she was pregnant with their youngest, but managed to find a contract job that turned into salaried. He said he was just beginning to feel like he could breathe again, and now he got kicked in the gut. Again.

My brother is one of the nicest guys I know. He's also one of the smartest guys I know but he was always hampered by some severe learning disabilities. Of course, we're old enough that schools didn't know from learning disabilities when we were coming up. He spent most of his school years being told he was stupid and that he didn't try hard enough. He even had his 2nd grade teacher tell him that he didn't deserve to have survived his 1969 open heart surgery because her daughter didn't. He did some college but didn't finish.

Nothing, nothing has ever come easy for him, and yet he's still one of the nicest guys I know. It was just starting to look like life was smoothing out for him a little and now this. They have no financial cushion, they have no retirement funding, and I'm sick to my stomach with worry for them.

It just breaks my heart.

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