“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” -Luke 12:6-7 NIV
Tonight I am at a loss of words for my husband.
He’s been a coal miner for the past ten years. He has worked his butt off and was one of the few to take a lot of pride in what he does. Coal Mining is not easy. It’s hard work, dirty, and a night shift job that adds in a whole other knotch onto the “hard work” job description. But all that never bothered him, he always took pride in being a coal miner. Always.
From day one he has looked at every man and woman that works with him with a ton of respect. He thinks of each and every single one of them as family. A brother or sister supporting themselves and/or families down there. He loved his job and he was proud.
He worked his butt off these past 10 years. A couple of years ago, he was finally recognized and promoted to a unit as it’s Face Boss with a new salary. He was so proud, and took pride in every single task on his unit. He worked so hard, and he hardly ever complained. Even through his exhaustion, he still came home a proud man and ready to meet the daily tasks and chores of our home.
A Proud Coal Miner’s Wife
Even though, as his wife, I never understood his love for being a coal miner, and I am constantly worried for his health and safety, but seeing him so proud made me proud to be a coal miner’s wife. However, I can honestly say that I had never been more proud of him till this past Valentine’s Day night.
The coal mine throws a Valentine’s Day party every year for the employees. It’s always a blast to get dressed up and hang out with the rest of miner’s wives or girlfriends. However, this year was different. Every year I have always had his co-workers come up and tell me how my husband was one heck of a hard worker and a great guy, but this year... oh boy! THIS YEAR left me speechless! The amount of men who went out of their way to come up to me while he wasn’t with me to tell me how great of a man my husband is and he is the hardest worker down there, etc etc, I mean it went on and on and on, and I was S P E E C H L E S S! It was truly incredible to witness and be called his wife. ❤️
An Unknown Future + Trials of Self Worth
Unfortunately, reflecting on all that makes this blog post even harder to write. I know many of those guys are gone now. They were laid off in the first, second or third rounds. Some are still there, my husband being one. But we got the unfortunate news that he would be losing his salary come this October of 2020. He would be bumped back down to hourly pay, and full-time night shift without any hopes of a brighter future with the coal mine.
Yes, losing our guaranteed paycheck sucks horribly. That does stink more ways than one. However, the hardest part about all this is his self-worth being lost within 10 years of hard work.
Think about it. You start your job, again - not an easy job at all! But you work your butt off for 8 years and you finally take your test, pass and get the promotion you have been working your butt off for over the past 8 years. You also bite the bullet and stay on nights full-time in order to get a better pay raise and position for your family. BOOM! You did it! And the past 2 years you continue to work your butt off and keep pride in your work. But then on your 10 year anniversary the bomb drops... you’re stripped of your title and salary.
Think about it. TEN YEARS! Ten years in only to be told you have to go back right to where you started and stripped of everything you killed yourself for over the years. Come October 2020, you will have nothing to show for your ten years of hard work. It sucks!
That’s the part I hate for him the most: the part he’s struggling with, “10 years working and nothing to show for it now”.
And I am left with nothing more than heart break for him and prayers. Which the prayer part is powerful. Thankfully.
Turning Out to Be Kind of a Depressing Blog...
So I am left here 12:34am on June 15th, 2020. My husband started his night shift regular hours work tonight, and I am just praying he has a good night. He will enjoy all the days he has left and that at the end of this all, there will be no questions of his self-worth, his time spent. No thoughts of wasted time, or negative anything. I pray, God will create a new spirit within him, the one Drew needs to know his next steps in life.