We were counting on our federal tax refund to pull us out of a rent hole we’ve been stuck in. About three weeks of unemployment hit our family, and benefits were, of course, denied—temp to perm jobs count as contract work. And contract work is ineligible for unemployment insurance, even though you still pay for it. But anyway. She reached into our network, found a new full-time gig, but we were still stuck in this rent hole with another eviction notice looming.
So, we rushed to finish our taxes, as soon as the W2′s came, as soon as humanly possible, we filed. By some miracle of numbers, the refund was exactly what we needed to catch up! Plus a very little extra. “We can go out to dinner,” I told her, ”or see a movie.”
“That would be nice,” she said.
We took a deep breath, another eviction notice averted, and waited for the wire transfer in 7-10 days. The money never came. The eviction notice did.
And when she investigated, when she called the IRS Hotline, a robot phone voice told her that the Department of Education had offset the refund to pay some of our student loan debt.
When she told me about it, she was sobbing, and I just collapsed into a panic attack, hyperventilating. I barely kept myself from vomiting. It was a real mess, but it scared her out of her own panic. There was talk of a hospital visit, but I protested. We don’t have health insurance. She called out of work. She insisted, a family emergency—i.e. my collapsing health. It was a bad morning.
I announced the devastating news on Twitter. I was angry and bitter. I was ready to give up. I think that was part of the tweet: “I give up.”
I went back to bed, physically and emotionally exhausted.
Then something amazing happened. Around noon, a woman popped up on Twitter and announced her $20 donation to “get this party started!” Within minutes, another donation—this time it was a familiar follower. She’d donated before. Three times. She owns the t-shirt I wrote. And now she’d convinced her mom to throw a $75 donation into some Twitter poet’s internet hat. Soon, $100 donations were coming in, a few $50, another $20, etc. etc.
I’m humbled. I’m touched. I’m overwhelmed. And I’m definitely not feeling angry and bitter anymore. For that, I thank you. And for the money, my little family is especially grateful—especially Bodhi.
What else can I say, blogosphere social media world? What are you always looking to the sky for? Look around you. Open your eyes. Pay attention. Other people are the real miracles.
» Thank You «
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And thank you for reading along.
And please note: I’m not giving up.