Letters and Diary Non-Fiction posted April 30, 2010

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A Letter to the Editor

Laminate Status

by bhogg

I found out today that even though my writing might not ever receive "platinum" status, it will at least achieve "laminate" status. One of my co-workers was making a service call at a local church here in town. He came back to the office and told me that there was a letter to the editor that I wrote posted to the bulletin board.

Curious, I went by the church, and sure enough, there was a letter to the editor that I wrote in November of 2003, almost seven years ago. To keep it from falling apart, it had been enclosed in plastic laminate. The Pastor there told me that he had once tried to remove it and had been petitioned to put it back! So, even if I never reach wide spread, widely read, fame, I will at least know I occupy a 3 inch by 8 inch spot of bulletin board.

I remember the letter. It addressed a difficult thing for me, a job loss. The subject might be timely today for others, so I would like to share it. There will undoubtedly be errors galore, but I want to post it as it was written. I lost my job on a Wednesday. This letter was written at 3:00 a.m. on the following Monday. My intent was to in one single medium, address questions and concerns that I had received from so many individuals.

Letter to the Editor:

I was fired from my job last Wednesday. In my mind, I've tried to rationalize and incorporate some of the Human Resource drivel that I heard; not a reflection on me personally or professionally, downsizing, early retirement. Whatever - I was fired, and it HURT. This has never happened to me, and I can tell you that it was like a physical blow. In an instant, a company where I had worked for 27 years decided I was no longer needed. I was a "go to" guy, a person of respect. Now, I was nothing.

Telling my wife filled me with dread. Just the night before, we had talked about how things were finally coming our way. All the kids were either through college, or out on their own. The last daughter was married, and now it was just us.

When I told my wife, I didn't know what form of angst to expect. Instead I got love and support. After a hug and a kiss, she said, "I wonder what wonderful things God has planned for us now?"

I'd be lying if I said Thursday and Friday were good days. I began the process of looking for another job - the first time in almost 30 years. The phone was ringing off the hook with people calling and asking me how I was doing. Many said they would pray for me or keep me in their prayers.

Saturday morning I sat at the kitchen table and read the paper. The first headline was about a helicopter crash in Iraq. All the information wasn't in, but it looked like over 30 soldiers lost their lives. Some were being ferried to the airport for their first leave home in months. I've been a soldier, and this story affected me deeply. I know that this affected more than the 30 soldiers. It affected their families, it affected their brothers in arms and it will affect the world; life ended prematurely, possibilities lost for all time. I had to pause and think. I just lost a job. These guys lost their lives. For those wanting to pray for me, please pray for these soldiers and their families.

I went to Church on Sunday, and my wonderful female rector met me at the door. After a hug, she invited me back to her office. She had heard about my job loss and wanted to console and pray with me. As I looked at her, my eyes were drawn to her hair. It was very stylish and all in place. It wasn't her thick, beautiful hair though. It was a wig. You see, she is fighting ovarian cancer and the treatments have caused her hair to fall out. I just lost a job. She is fighting for her life. For those wanting to pray for me, please pray for her.

That afternoon, I went to a funeral for one of my friends' father. I've been to many funerals in my life, and somewhere along the line, it is worded that the purpose is not to mourn a death, but to celebrate a life. I never bought in to that - until now. There were stories being told that had everyone laughing between the tears. My friend had told me that his father loved to sing and was a member of the choir. He apparently was loved and appreciated for other things, because his singing was described as overly loud and predictably off key. As I sang the songs that day, in praise to his father, I was loud and off key (also my affliction). I just lost a job. This family and congregation lost a father, brother, friend. For those wanting to pray for me, please pray for them.

I write this so I can personally thank all of you who have called. For those who haven't, there is no need. I'm fine. The last few days have been turbulent, but eye opening. What I know is that I lost my job. You don't need to pray for me though, because what I've found along the way is my faith, my family and my friends. I am blessed beyond belief!


This will also be a chapter for Midnight Musing. It definitely qualifies. The words that were incorporated into the letter to the editor came to me between midnight and three a.m.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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