Your account recently had insufficient funds.
Please take immediate steps to resolve this.
She held the paper in her hands. The bold words mocked her.
Just that morning those words had been heralded as a defense.
Standing before the child support judge she was told,
“You can’t get blood from a stone.”
She left the courtroom defeated and teary-eyed.
The next day, she went to work. Twenty people were laid off.
She inherited the work of three people; but not their pay.
A week later, her manager asked why she’d missed a deadline.
“You can’t get blood from a stone,” she’d answered.
Her manager wrote her up. She meets with HR on Monday.
The first of the month rolled around, and the landlord demanded the rent.
She claimed exemption based on “insufficient funds.” He started eviction proceedings.
The electric company sent a shutoff notice. She called and spoke to the representative. Again, she pleaded “insufficient funds.” That night when she and the children came home, they ate dry cereal in the dark.
Cold winds from Canada blew in light, fluffy snow. The children stood at the bus stop teeth chattering in thin coats; their pants too high and their shoes too tight. Other mothers of tightly bundled children stared and whispered in their huddled group. One broke away from the group and asked her why. She told her the truth. The State calls him a deadbeat, yet he continues to thrive while those whose existence he is responsible for do not. The mother looked sheepishly toward the group. The bus came and the children piled on. The mothers disbanded; heads down, each going their separate way.
Before leaving for work, she bent her knees in prayer. “Dear Lord,” she said. “You know the reason for the bracketed numbers in my account. I ask, Lord, for you to clone me into three people. Two to go to work, and one to take care of my home and children. That is the only way we shall ever have sufficient funds.”