My mom sent me this email with the subject line “OUCH!”:

Hi, Honey,

I don’t suppose you have a job for me in LA. Turns out that my plans will all come to nothing since the district has decided not to renew the program.

I’ll be getting to 60 this year, and finding a job with great benefits may be a stretch.

On top of everything, they said I could quit any time I found a new job. Interestingly enough, while my bosses are supposed to be “Working for Children,” (new slogan), they didn’t care at all if we just dropped 275 kids who desparately need tutoring.
I’m caught between the proverbial rock and hard place.

I don’t really know where I belong, or what I can do to get through this next year or so.

Ah, well, it’s always been that way in my life…. at least financially.

I’m at a point now where I need to have family around. I hate being alone.

I hate it that students will not get the tutoring they need going forward.

I’ve been making a difference in children’s lives in this job. I don’t want to go back to making widgets.

This probably doesn’t remotely relate to your life, but mine is not so good right now.

My family is scattered. I don’t know where to go or what to do.


I replied to her a few minutes later and wrote:

Oh, Jesus, mom. That really sucks.

How long do you have left? What happens to your pension?

Have faith … everything will be okay in the end. We can deal with anything.

She wrote me at 8:53 AM Pacific to say:

It’s not like they’re firing me, just eliminating my position. They’re also taking away a lot of one-on-one time that kids desparately need it.

I guess my last day will be July 31. They’re claiming major budget cuts, but I’m not buying it. [name redacted] used to bring in 26 Million a year. Now, no one knows what to do about grants.

My pension is fully vested, but it’s not a lot of money. I have a small IRA that I’ve been paying into for about four years. I also have Social Security benefits coming, but I don’t think I’m old enough to qualify for a couple of years. Obviously, I’ll have to get a job, but I’m pushing the big 60 more every day.

I don’t want to stay in Gainesville, but I honestly don’t know where I belong. [name redacted] says that, if she ever gets married and has kids, she wants me around, but I can’t go traipsing all over the country to be with the people I love.

I just don’t know what to do… You say you won’t be in LA forever. [name redacted] wants to move to Seattle. So, where do I belong….?? I don’t want to go back to Daytona. I guess I’m basically homeless, too.

Thanks for writing back and for the inspiring words.

I love you,