Tuesday, February 24, 2009

All That Really Matters

"Honey, please don't panic. I got laid off today."

Not the words you want to hear when you're pregnant with a two year old wrapped around your leg. Not the words you want to hear ever really. I felt like someone had punched me straight in the gut. As I struggled for breath, I sat down right where I was and looked around.

My gaze fell upon the walls of our house . . . a beautiful house in the suburbs in a nice neighborhood with lots of kids . . . a beautiful, big house with a great big mortgage attached to it. I thought about the cars in the driveway . . . one practical (John's of course) and one luxurious and extravagant (mine - I'm sure you're not surprised) . . . neither one completely paid for. I felt surrounded, almost suffocated, by all the things that five minutes before that fell below my radar most days. I rarely worried about our mortgage/car payments/etc. Suddenly, I felt crowded by these things, resentful of how much money they would take to keep. Money that had just evaporated from our lives so instantaneously we had no time to mentally prepare.

John came home that night with the contents of his desk in a cardboard box. Our struggling economy had taken him as victim. He wrapped his arms around me and I cried. I should have been comforting him but he was comforting me. I told him I was scared. We spent the evening taking an inventory of our situation and realized financial doomsday was at least several months off. He would surely have another job by then.

That night in bed we prayed together. I realized something very important. The "stuff" I was so worried about was just stuff. They could come haul it all away and I would still be the luckiest person on earth. My husband is as good as husbands come . . . loyal, hard working, moral, honest, loving, and generous. My daughter is a joy my life didn't know existed before.

I realized that fifty years from now, we'll look back on these times as the moments that really mattered, the make or break it times in our marriage. Another test of our resolve to stick with each other through thick or thin. I knew I had to tell John how proud I was of all that he has accomplished, how smart I thought he was, how grateful I was to be married to such a good guy . . . so I did. I told him my heart was his . . . rich or poor . . . stuff or no stuff. I meant every single word of it.

I try not to lie in bed at night worrying, but I still do. John has had numerous interviews already and has even more lined up. These are companies that found out John is "on the market" and have called to recruit him. Hopefully, things will pan out and he will find a job like the outstanding one he had.

If not, our lifestyle may have to change. Our lifestyle may change . . . not our lives. That is an important distinction to make, and something the economy can never take away. He is my life and I am his, and at the end of the day, that is all that matters. Really.


John never told me he was considered a 'star developer' by his colleagues. To read more, click here.


Jillene said...

Oh Lisa!! I am so sorry!! But you are SO right. You have the most important things in life--an amazing husband, a beautiful daughter and another beautiful child on the way. I really loved your perspective on this--you and your family will be in my prayers!!

Kristina P. said...

It's so scary! We were told yesterday that in July, substanstial cuts will be coming. Awesome!

I hope you make it through this tought time.

Kate said...

Love you guys. You know we're here for a meal, comfort, love, understanding, babysitting.... We here if you need anything. I'd sell the shirt off my back before letting you go without one... (that is just an example of my love, I totally wouldn't go shirtless and you'll never get to that point)..ha

I mean it, I love you guys.

Mary said...

I know you guys will be fine! I also know how badly it sucks, but times like these help keep things in perspective. It really is all just STUFF.

The High Family said...

Wow. I can't tell you how many other blogs I've read whose families are going through this exact same tragedy. My husband has been very lucky so far (he is an engineer) but we are fully aware that in this economy, no one is safe. Sad.

I hope John finds a job quickly and that you continue to look at the positives that this whole situation brings. Enjoy the time you will have together now that he is home...you are a strong family and will get through this. Keep the faith and try not to stress.

Go listen to THREE LITTLE BIRDS(the Elizabeth Mitchell version)...I just did and I think it will make you smile! "cause every little thing, gonna be alright!" ;)

Much luck and many hugs!

Bobbi :)

Positively Creative! said...

Realizing a little late commenting but had to just say...I know your heart...we have a tire business here in AZ and things have really slowed down...I mean SLOWED down. We have had to cut back. It is so easy to get caught up in things when the money is there...but it is also easy to remember your first priorities and what is so important! You seem to have a strong marriage life..have faith..and praying is the right direction! Thanks so much for your inspiration and much needed uplifting-ness!