I few years ago, I worked with a client who had no money, health insurance, full-time employment, or left foot. He'd been in a wheelchair for two years because a prosthetic foot wasn't in his budget, and with his recent run of luck, wasn't in his future either.
Right now you're probably wondering what this has to do with women, divorce, or anything even remotely related. Keep reading.
The foot was amputated to save his life after a severe and uncontrollable infection spread through it. Over the next two years he tried without success to get a good job, but as luck had it, he just couldn't get the chance he yearned for. We talked several times, and even though he claimed to be optimistic, I knew he probably wasn't.
On a few occasions he'd say things like: "If I could just get a prosthetic foot, I be able to stand, feel better about myself, and project the image I want others to see. I'm certain that it [a new foot] would change my luck, but I've tried everything. Nobody is going to give it to me, and I can't get a job that will give me any chance of getting what I need for myself".
As a financial advisor, I wasn't very well informed about prosthetics, but I promised to help find a solution that might improve his luck.
The search was on. I Googled every possible phrase I could think of that might return potential leads, and I checked each out. I called every public and private charity in the region. After more than a week, not one penny was raised. I too was starting to think that he'd spend the rest of his years on wheels.
I was about to throw in the towel when I thought of a friend that might just steer me toward something. Marilyn had worked for several companies in various PR and Community Relations roles, and after her husband's death, she joined the staff of the company where I worked. Her office was right next to mine.
Marilyn knew everyone who was anyone in our community, so I just knew she'd be able to connect us to an organization that might help.
As I told her his story; her eyes glistened with tears. She remarked "This reminds me of what I faced after loosing my husband. All I wanted or needed was a chance. I never gave up hope, and I kept looking. Eventually my luck changed".
"I know a United Way chapter director" she said. "I'll call there and a few other people and get back to you".
After two days, Marilyn stepped through my door with a note in her hand. "No luck with my contacts, the well is dry," she said. "I've called everybody I can think of and haven't got much more than very sincere sympathy. I was on my way over with the bad news when I remembered that there's a prosthetics manufacturer here in town. I called there and asked who the sales manager is. Here's his name, you should call and ask him where he'd look for help."
I did. There's a U.S. government program called The Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation which, after applications, interviews, and careful scrutiny, agreed to supply funding to buy the desired foot. Six weeks later, my client was walking, and within a year, he'd not only been hired into a full-time position with benefits, he'd been promoted to supervisor.
Moral of the story? The client's luck improved because of persistence, teamwork, and Marilyn. Just as I started to give up, Marilyn took the wheel and came up with a sensible approach that hadn't yet been considered. She was inspired to help because of the parallel she saw between her situation and his.
There are Marilyn's out there for each of us. Maybe you already know yours, maybe not. First Wives World is intended as a forum where members can find what they want or need. Feel free to use it to improve the luck of others you share parallels with.
Written by Brian Kilroy, an FWW supporter and retired Vice President of MBNA America Bank, N.A. He directed the Financial Advisory Service, an employee assistance, credit education and lending unit servicing MBNA employees worldwide.