Home > Extended family, In The News > My own open letter (contains profanity)

My own open letter (contains profanity)

I was just reading someone else’s open letter and it made me want to write my own to the same person holding that sign in that picture and looking intimidating as he tells us all to quit whining.

Here we go with the entitlement crap again. How easy it is to say “Just work harder…”

Let me tell you something about working harder.

My mom was born in 1950. She dropped out of high school at 16, because back then, a diploma was just a nice thing to have. She was married at 18, abandoned by her husband, divorced, and married again at 19. She was expected to stay home and make babies because women’s lib was just getting started. She didn’t grow up at a time where everyone took out a loan and went to college. A lot of women did, sure, but more did not.

She worked a few jobs over the years, until I was born in 1979. Then she stayed home with me while my father worked. She did have a job here and there, but she wasn’t the breadwinner. She was earning money for Christmas gifts, clothes, and so on. On the outside, we were pretty privileged, except that my father was an alcoholic domestic abuser with a wandering eye.

After having enough of his abuse, she left him with me in tow in 1987. She worked at a nursing home for a while, struggling to put food on the table. She often went without eating and there were many nights that we had peanut butter and crackers for dinner. I didn’t know there was anything wrong with this. I didn’t know there was anything missing when I ate plain hamburger with a spoon. I didn’t know there was anything wrong with drinking powdered milk. My mom made a game of it all, because at that time, they wouldn’t approve my mom for food stamps because she was still legally married to my dad and he made too much money. Bootstraps, blah blah. More like trying not to starve to death.

My mom took a job in August of 1988 at a screw manufacturing company. She was a temp for a year, then she got hired on. She had a 401k. She had insurance. She busted her ass. She worked 10 hours a day during the week,  and 6 hours on Saturday, every single week for 18 years. Granted, the overtime did fizzle out toward the end, but it wasn’t because she wasn’t willing. She is diabetic and the job physically took the life out of her legs and the rest of her body. I watched her, in later years, walk out of that factory crying because she hurt so bad from doing her job, but you know what? She got up the next morning and did it all over again.

In 2007, the factory closed and Rockford’s screw products became China’s screw products. Along with that, between the CEO of the company and the bank in charge, the employees’ 401k match from the company disappeared into thin air. So did a large portion of what was paid in. My mother’s retirement went from $23,000 to $5,000. She had no insurance. She had no job. She had nothing. Fortunately, she lives/lived with her boyfriend so she wasn’t homeless, but she lost everything else. After 18 years of dedication and literally giving her health to her employer because she wasn’t afraid of a hard day’s work, she was left with shit. Absolute shit.

Then her health got even worse. She had no way to pay doctor bills, so she just didn’t go. She couldn’t afford all of her medications, so she just didn’t take them. Or if she did, she’d take partial doses. Obviously, her health got even worse from there. She was eventually approved for social security, and eventually she got medicaid, but at 61 years old, she’s inches away from renal failure. Part of that is because of her own stubbornness, but most of it is because of the damage that was done with some asshole in a suit stole everything she worked for her entire life and left her with no way to take care of herself. Remember, part of that was because of the bank itself. It wasn’t that she didn’t have the money there initially. It was taken from her, along with her co-workers.

My mother has 34% of her kidney function left. She can barely walk. I’m scared to death to go around her when I have a cold because if she gets pneumonia again, she could die. There’s not a damn thing I can do about any of it. I don’t know if she’s 1%, 53%, 99%, or any other number, and frankly, I don’t care. I only care that she’s my mother and I can’t help her because the economy hasn’t been kind to me either.

So don’t tell me or my mom to suck it up, because this could be you someday. All it takes is one bad illness or one oops in your endocrine system and you’ll be walking the very path my mom is on. It’s easy for you to say to stop whining now. You have nothing to whine about.

In the meantime, come here and bend over so I can shove 53% of that sign up your ass.

  1. October 12, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    The 53% website made me feel sick. A lot of people are ONE paycheck away from disaster and not because they’re frivolous money wasting entitled assholes but because that’s the way it works anymore.

  2. October 12, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I agree, but I also feel sorry for them because at least we realize how close we are to falling. They’re just as close as we are and when the bottom drops, they’re not going to know what hit them.

  3. Crystal
    October 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    My mom still lives paycheck to paycheck and won’t let us help. It kills me to watch her struggle because I know exactly how hard it is. I grew up, and watched her eat pbj while I ate low quality chicken because it was at least meat. My mom never had the luxury of picking a “good” school district…it was all about what could she afford that at least seemed like a safe neighborhood.

    When I was a teacher I lived paycheck to paycheck because of my student loans.

    I am angry and frustrated when people spout off about “pulling yourself up” and all that rot. When my grandfather was my age, he was in the military and was able to support a family of 5. Today that same family would need food stamps to get by. My mom doesn’t have a college degree and because of that, the 12 dollars an hour she currently makes is the highest salary she’s ever made. She can’t go back to school, and even if she did, who would hire an almost 60 year old woman for an entry level gig?

    My aunt has been out of work for 4 years. FOUR. She has applied at everything from McDonalds to Wal-Mart and not found something. She wants to work. She isn’t lazy. She isn’t entitled. And when her unemployment ran out, it was a major issue for my family.

    I am lucky to be in the so called 1% (or close to it)…but none of that does any good when my family won’t let me help out (beyond paying the college loans my mom took out to help ME succeed).

    I am not better, smarter, or anything different from my mom except lucky. Lucky that I was able to get a college degree, and lucky that my partner has a good paying job…today. As we learned in Nov of 2009…a job can disappear very quickly, and so can your savings.

    • October 16, 2011 at 6:20 pm

      Thank you!
      I don’t understand why anyone would say to suck it up and deal with it, working back breaking labor 60 hours a week and going to school, not having any time for anything or the extra money to enjoy life. I don’t understand why anyone would be satisfied to continue being a slave to corporations – or call people names when they didn’t want to. I refuse to accept misery as a normal way of life. As you know, it goes beyond your own front door. Even those that are comfortable financially should have compassion for other humans that do not and expect better for them.

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