Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I grew up poor. Very poor. Way below the poverty level. My mom was a single mother with four young children. There were times we didn't have a phone or a car. I can remember times when there wasn't anything to eat in the house. Once I didn't have a coat. Almost all of my clothes were hand-me-downs.

The thing is, I didn't know I was poor. Whenever there was a food drive my mom always made sure I had a can of food to take to donate to the "needy". It never occurred to me that we were one of the needy families. My mom always made sure that we were clean and even if we didn't have the newest clothes, they were always clean and we were always presentable. Our home was always spotless. We may not have had the nicest things, but what we had was well taken care of.

I remember my mom working at a few different jobs. I remember her going to school. She was always trying to make our life better, and that is something I've always admired about her. She wasn't a stereotypical "welfare mom" sitting around doing nothing. She wanted us to have a better life. She even managed to buy her own home.

I went to a private elementary school. I had a great education. The education I received there gave me a great start in life. It was important and my mom knew that.

The other day my husband and I were talking about how we grew up. I told him that I think being poor made me appreciate what I have today. He said he grew up having hard times, too. "I remember my parents having to go to two banks to get a loan." he said. I laughed. "I remember not having food in the fridge. Your 'poor' isn't the same as my poor. You don't know what it's like to be truly poor."

I think it's a blessing that I do.

This post is part of the A to Z Challenge.


Langley said...

I agree, I had a similar upbringing and I consider it a blessing. Beautiful post.

I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life

Teenage Bride said...

we can all learn from hardship. My parents were by no means rich, but we never really went without either.

We were fortunate, and I am happy that my children will be fortunate as well, even so, I want my children to understand where things come from and how much work it takes to get them. Nothing is free and few things are easy, i want them to understand what fortunate is and to appreciate all that they have.

Jules said...

Hubby grew up like that. He has that same appreciation.

Evelina said...

So true for me and my husband. :)

Evelina said...

So true for me and my husband. :)

Marie Anne said...

What an amazing outlook, and I agree with you. When things are handed to you or expected, where is the incentive to work?

I grew up 'poor' too .. still am. I greatly appreciate what I do have, and can proudly say that I earned it myself.

Popping in by way of the A-Z Challenge. I’m blogging at:
Write, Wrong or Indifferent
Marie Anne’s Missives
In the Garden With Sow-n-Sow
Every Day Crochet