Friday, September 7, 2012

Love Letters From A Food Stamp Kid

Dear Food stamps, cash-aid, section 8, Free Lunch and Medi-Cal,  

Thank you for sticking up for me those years and making sure that no matter how much money my mom made in tips, I would always have food in my belly, clothes on my back and a roof over my head. Thanks for being there when my appendix almost burst and that time I had all of those cysts on my ovaries. Also, for making sure I could get a filling when I needed one and glasses so I could see the black board at school.

My mom would have figured out how to make the ends meet without you, I’m sure. In fact, she did most of the time. She always found a way to survive. I’m glad you were there, though, during those rough years, so she could also show up at cheer competitions and band performances, play the role of both Mom and Dad and have a few less things to worry about while raising two kids all alone. I didn’t pay taxes back then but, my mom did. I pay taxes now though so, feel free to give a little of my money to someone with hungry kids.

Dear birth control pills and Planned Parenthood,  

Thanks for being there when I made that ever important decision, at the age of 18, to become sexually active. Turns out, sex is super fun. Also turns out, babies are kinda hard…and expensive. I’m glad I got to have one without the other until I was ready. I would have made a good mom at 18 but, I made a better one at 25.

Also, thanks for being around those years when I was working, but didn’t have insurance, and could still get checked for scary stuff like…you know…Cancer. If there is anyone out there who needs to make sure they don’t have a baby they can’t afford or Cancer in their breasts or ovaries…put it on my dime. It’s the least I can do.

Dear Access for Infants & Mothers, WIC and Healthy Families,

Thanks for making sure that when I was pregnant with Logan and underinsured at work, I could still afford to give birth to him without going broke. And when I was pregnant with Brodie, and the doctors put me on bed rest due to placenta previa, thanks for making sure that I could still see my doctor, still get enough to eat and could provide him with newborn care until I could go back to work after my C-section. If you hear of anyone who has a job and, you know, works for a living but still can’t swing their medical bills all the way, give them some of my money. I was grateful to have it. I know they will be, too.

Dear Federal Pell Grant,

Thank you for buying my books this semester and making sure the finance company didn’t come repossess my car when I took that time off to study for summer school finals. I really appreciate it. Thanks for being there when I was young, too. It was nice to know that there was a way for me to go to college even though I was a poor kid. Being broke never had an effect on my grades and, thanks to you, it still doesn’t have to.

I know you pitched it as something that never had to be repaid but, you can take it out of my taxes later when I’m using my degree. Give it to someone else. Lord knows if waiting tables for 15 years has taught me anything, it’s that this great nation of ours could definitely use more educated people.