Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Portrait of Courage

My friend Connie is the most courageous person I know. She went from being a stay-at-home mom, to becoming the Head of Household, the decision-maker and wage-earner.

She called me one rainy, dismal afternoon. "Laurie," (she's the only one who gets away with calling me that), "We're going to have to move." Her time in Alpena was over. With her husband unable to work due to medical problems, (including epilepsy), she was working the only available job there--part-time at the local motel desk. This wage was not enough to support her husband, son, and mortgage. No other jobs were available in town. Bills began to pile up, money got scare, and they were on the verge of losing their home.

So, Connie stepped up, took over as head of the family. She sold everything she could at several garage sales. The sectional sofa, the big screen tv, the beautiful dining room table...all furniture, everything of value. I had to argue with her to convince her to keep her beloved antique curio cabinet! She put her house up for sale, packed what they needed, and prepared to move.

The hardest part of all was watching her find homes for her two dogs. Anyone who has ever had a pet knows how much a part of the family they become. She found good homes for both Brittany & Lena, but leaving them broke her heart.

Connie, her husband, and her teenage son, all moved to Sterling Heights this August, just in time for her son to begin a new school, and his senior year. When her sister, who'd promised them a rent free place to live for a few weeks, decided to opt out, Connie again stepped up, and made last minute arrangements. Within a week, she'd found a job too, not one she enjoyes, but something to pay the bills with til she finds something better. After a month of staying with various friends, they finally moved into an apartment, near both her current job & her son's high school.

The courage it took, to initiate this move, to make the plans, and do most of the work in following through, was phenominal. Starting completely over, and bearing the brunt of the decisions & work, was exhausting. But as I watched, listened, and helped however I could, I saw a well of strength grow within her. She is a strong & amazing woman. I think my friend Connie, my best friend since we were both 14, is the most courageous person I know.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Hey, Laura! Just stopped by to say hello and found this beautiful post about your friend. Kudos to her for finding the strength to do what must be done. She's lucky to have a good friend like you to help her through a hard time. Take care!