The Washington Post piece on my experiences on the threshold is garnering a lot of attention...you could say.
And I'm being asked for all kinds of follow ups from news organizations, but also from people.
I've been working on a book about it, one that tells not only the rest of my story, but the story of so many others, one that talks to people high and low and in between, officials and experts and anecdotal experiencers. It will give perspective not only on this recession's version of poor on every level, but give meaningful ways to get out of it.
It's clearly a necessary work.
I know that now because this is not my story.
It's your story, and his story, and your aunt's story, and your daughter in law's story. It is everybody's story.
Since the piece went wide, I have been inundated with emails, messages, tweets, phone calls. And I braced myself for the very worst.
And I was wrong.
The support, the overwhelming kindness and empathy, and most importantly the now hundreds of matching stories that people have been brave enough to come forward with into my inbox has been a phenomenon of breathtaking beauty.
So many of us were here, are here, or are on the brink of here. My experience, it would seem, is more universal than I even thought.
We are struggling, as a nation, as a people, and as individuals, and we're looking for any glimmer of hope to get us through the next few days, months, years, until the economic fallout straightens itself.
I have not asked permission to share the personal tales of hardship, hope and human resilience, but I wanted to give you a glimpse of the kind of messages I am receiving by the hundreds, even thousands.
"Had to write and say your story touched me. Thanks for being honest and putting you heart out there. So many people are fighting all types of "poverty" in their lives. You never know until you walk in their shoes."
"I am sitting at my desk crying . . . I’m so glad you and your family were able to overcome that situation. Bad things should not happen to good people. My family is going through a similar experience – down the the driving of a paid for, extremely reliable 2007 Mercedes, which is why your story caught my eye. . .we are in the worst financial situation we have ever been in as we approach our 50s. It’s unbelievable and truly depressing. Reading your story gives me some hope to keep trying."
"I went through same experienced. Took me so long to recover. Read yours and made me cry. Anyhow. It was pretty inspiring and took me back to that harsh experience. This shouldn't happen to people that are just trying to get out of a hole. Very sad. "
"I just read your article & I wanted to thank you. Thank you, for reminding people that hard times can happen to anyone & being judgmental doesn't help. Bravo!"
"Really am embarrassed by the vitriol being spewed about you. I respect and admire you despite not agreeing with your political or religious philosophy. Not even gonna argue with some of the apes complaining about you taking help. Jeez, what a divided country we live in."
"Your article...thank you for the aritcle you wrote about "food stamps" that showed up on Yahoo. I did not want to post on that site because of all of the negativity posted about the article. It seems you got a small/brief taste of the feeling of "not having" that so many are experiencing on even bigger and longer continuums..and the emotions, judgments, blow to self esteem that go along with the circumstances. Glad you and your family are doing much better."
And these are just a few of the heartfelt messages.