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Friday, June 1, 2012

Keep On Moving Forward

Keep On Moving Forward

What a wonderful thing it is... family. You can always turn to them for a helping hand. Through good times and bad, they’ll always be with you. Of course, being born into a wealthy, prestigious family made life even better. Our wishes were always fulfilled. We had the perfect house, school, clothes, anything, you name it. Even with all this, my sister and I didn’t understand one thing... there’s always a time in life when you’ll have to struggle.
It’s been one year now. Anne and I have changed so much. We never would have if the recession hadn’t hit. My father, a financial broker at the Nasdaq building in New York, was a very hard worker. Why did it have to be him? Things were going really well. It happened on a day I remember very clearly, one day that I’ll never forget.
The day was sunny and bright. It was in the middle of August so summer was almost over. We were waiting for our dad to get home, because Anne, Henry, and I wanted to get new shoes and school supplies for September. He finally arrived at six o'clock, an hour after his usual time.
We couldn’t see past his depressed mien, but that didn’t stop Mom from asking what had happened at work.

“Nothing much,” he replied, “I’m just really tired.”

“Dad, can we go shopping for school supplies?” I asked, “We need new shoes too.”

“Didn’t you hear your father, kids? He’s tired, and anyways it’s too late. We can go another day,” our mom remarked.
We left the room but Henry stayed back. He made an excuse to get a snack from the kitchen. Little did my parents know that he was eavesdropping on them.

My father was speaking almost in a whisper, “Diane, I’ve... I’ve lost my job.”

“What! They can’t do this to you!” she explained, “You’ve been in the company for fifteen years!”

“I know. It’s the recession,” he answered.

“So what are we going to do now?” my mother questioned.

As if with all the answers my dad said, “I’ll just have to find another job. We have enough money to stay in this penthouse for a couple of months. For now, I just want you to look for new houses and don’t tell the kids just yet. As for shopping, keep the expenditures to a minimum, only buy what you really need.”

After listening to that conversation, Henry sprinted up to our room to tell us the news. We were dumbstruck. A minute later, Anne and I started laughing.

“That’s a nice one Henry,” I joked, “ Like Dad actually lost his job!”

“Yeah. You really got us there for a sec,” Anne agreed.

“I’m not joking! Why don’t you believe me?”

Anne declared, “Hmm... Let’s see... You play pranks like this all the time, and they’d never fire Dad, even if we are going through bad times.”

“If you don’t believe me, come downstairs and I’ll show you proof.”

My sister and I looked at each other. We were both thinking the same thing. Our brother was crazy. The two of us ended up following Henry. Everything seemed normal. Mom was on the couch searching the web and Dad was in the bathroom. This was Henry’s time to search for proof. He finally found a paper with the Nasdaq company letterhead. It was a letter to Dad. Here’s what it said:

Dear Mr.Paterson,
It is to our disappointment that we have come to the decision to fire you. We can’t afford to give everyone their salaries because of the recession. We apologize for the inconvenience.

We all looked at each other in disbelief. The bathroom faucet turned on and that was our signal to put the letter back. Then the three of us walked over to the family room to talk things out.

“I can’t believe it!” Anne wailed, “How are we ever going to get new clothes or shoes? Lizzie... will we have to go to pu... pub... public schools?”

Henry sighed, “Anne! Dad lost his job and all you can think about is clothes and schools? Think about the grief Dad must be going through!”

“He’s right,” I claimed, “We should be consoling Dad at a time like this. Instead we’re thinking about ourselves. Are we really that superficial?”

“Uhh... you kind of are! Okay, first thing tomorrow we’ll talk to him. Agreed?”

“Agreed,” the two of us said in unison.

The next morning we all planned to talk to Dad at breakfast. There was only one problem, he wasn’t there. We didn’t bother asking Mom since we knew he probably went out for a job interview. He didn’t come back until after we ate lunch.

“Well Diane, I went for three... kids!” he exclaimed not realizing we were in the room.

“Dad,” Henry started, “We know you lost your job. We just want to tell you that we’re here to help you in anyway possible. We love you.”

“Oh kids. I love you too. You guys do realize this does mean you can’t take a shopping spree anytime you feel like it, and we might have to move.”

“Yes and we’re ready!” The three of us said together.

“Thank you. Now as I was saying, I went for three job interviews today. They all went pretty good. We just have to wait for the calls.”

An hour later, the calls finally came. Dad was denied the opportunity of the first two jobs. The last call held the good news we were all waiting for. Yes, he got the job! All of us were filled with joy. Even if it does pay much less than Dad’s old job, we’re still happy with it. Now a year later, life still goes on. It might not be the one we had but we’re thankful. We support each other and that’s all we need. When life doesn’t go your way, you just have to keep on moving forward.


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