It was an ordinary day and I was doing the ordinary task of sending Gary an encouraging e-mail at work. It was a day in December 2001 just months after 9-11, that day the song “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” played over and over in my head. I really had no ideas at the time how the destruction of the Twin Towers could directly affect our lives, but that song wouldn’t leave my mind. That phrase repeated itself as if the needle of my mental record player was stuck in a groove. I said it out loud to my mom on the phone:”It’s the end of the world as we know it.” She thought that was a little extreme. Extreme. We would hear that word a lot in the coming years – especially with the little suffix -ist attached to it. Islamic extremists – when we were allowed to call them that.
It’s funny, but I can still remember the e-mail I sent to Gary that day. It was from a devotional about how God works behind the scenes, and we don’t know what He’s doing, but someday He will open the curtains and reveal some wonderful plan that He has been working on for our lives. I wrote a personal line or two about how God was going to do something really good for us and to keep trusting Him and believing for things to change for the better.
Day after day I tried to encourage him that things would get better at his job, but his situation kept getting worse and worse until he swore that he was burnt out on technical writing and didn’t want to do it anymore.
He never read the e-mail I wrote that day. I had just pressed “Send” when I heard someone come in the door and I looked up and saw Gary walk in carrying a box. It was the middle of the day. Gary never came home in the middle of the day.
“What are YOU doing here?”, I asked incredulously.
“They laid me off.”
To Be Continued…