This story just ran on The News Hour and it made me cry. When I was growing up we didn’t live, as so many Americans do, below the poverty line. We did, however, live close to the edge of “not enough” for a lot of years. All these years later, Shanita Simon’s story makes me cry because in her struggles I see the struggles that my mom went through doing her best to raise my siblings and me. My father was around and he did the best that he could, but ultimately contributed little to the well-being of our family–either financially or emotionally. In Shanita’s struggle to not let her children “experience poverty” I see so clearly the parallels to my mom’s struggle to do the same for me.
I’m glad that the story brought forth Shanita’s wonderful sense of dignity and self-worth. I hope that some day, her children will look back at her struggle, her sacrifice, and her dignity and think about her the way that I think about my mom … I hope they look back and think, “Gosh I was sure LUCKY to get the mom that I did!”