Most of us know the value of a good friend in times of trouble and how they can be of help. And most of us either have had a prepping setback, heard of such setbacks, or have thought of what would happen in case of a setback. You can imagine the loss of valuable preps to such things as flooding, storm damage, or even theft. But recently I had a major setback come from a completely unexpected direction.
In 1997, through my church, I met a wonderful woman and despite our age differences (she was 21 and I was 34) we committed to each other. Even though she was not into prepping, I felt that she would come to understand the necessity to do so. In 2000 we were married and started making plans for a family. We decided that she would finish her Master’s Degree then I would go back to school. In 2003 she finished her degree, and we were blessed by the birth of our daughter.
After a few months, my wife started searching for a job appropriate to her chosen profession and education level. But after seven months, finances dictated that she accept a job at a rate much lower than she deserved. Unfortunately, this meant that I needed to continue to work full-time in order to try to rebuild some of our exhausted financial cushion. Then we were hit by four hurricanes in a little over a month. We were without power for the better part of three weeks during this time, and without power, I was unable to work. Fortunately, she was working for a state agency at the time, and they only lost power for a couple of days. This really got me into seriously trying to convince her that we needed to start prepping, but she was reluctant. It was when we once again exhausted our cushion and almost ran out of food that she agreed that maybe we could start buying some extra foodstuffs. As I already owned several first rate firearms and about $100 [face value] in junk silver coins, I thought this was okay.
In 2007, shortly after the birth of our son, we moved from an apartment across the state to her hometown and our first home. During the first load we moved, I included the majority of my firearms and silver, as I felt unsafe about some of the people watching us move out. Turns out, I had it wrong. When we made our second trip to our new house, we found that someone had broken in and stolen my firearms, ammo, silver, television, DVD player and other assorted valuables. I was especial upset, because they had gotten the Garand and M1911A1 that my granddad carried through the Pacific as a Marine during WWII. To add insult to injury, the insurance company refused to pay for our losses as we had moved in two days early, and the policy was not yet in effect. Nevertheless, we went on with our lives.
As time went by, we slowly started building our food preps and other small items. By the middle of 2009, we had maybe two months of food stored for the four of us. In late 2009, my mother-in-law came to live with us, and she is a believer that our government will provide for us in any disaster. Needless to say, she thought I was being paranoid. My wife decided that maybe I was going a little overboard with the need to store so much food, and stopped trying to purchase any more than we already had.
In early 2010, I was accepted into the local police academy. This involved working full time during the days, and attending classes nights and Saturdays. The only time that I had to spend with my family, was Sundays and the time I was home to change into uniform after work. But my family was behind me all the way. After nine long months, in early December, I graduated and passed the state exam. I immediately started filling out applications and the waiting began.
Then the biggest setback to date. Exactly one week before Christmas day, my wife said she wanted a divorce and that I needed to move out immediately. It turns out that while I was at school trying to better our lives, she had found someone else. Needless to say, I was completely shocked and devastated. But knowing that nothing good could come from trying to stay and fight it, I moved into a rented room. I decided that she should keep all the preps we had, as our children would be living with her, and I wanted to them the best possibility to survive. The only things I took with me were a .22 rifle and a 9mm pistol. The AR-15, Remington 870 and Glock I left with her, since she knows how to use them. It turns out, this was a mistake.
I was depressed. I felt betrayed. I was angry. But most of all, I missed my kids. When I get up to get ready for work, they aren’t there to “help” me. When it’s time for bed, they aren’t there. I spoke with my pastor. I prayed for the safety of my children. And yes, I cried. I prayed for a new best friend. I looked into myself and found the things about me that I didn’t like. I’m overweight, out of shape, and suddenly poorer. I decided that I needed to change all of these things. I changed my diet. I prayed for a friend to help me. I started hitting the gym five days a week. I prayed for a friend to keep me motivated. I started trying to buy extra food every payday. I used my tax refund to purchase a well used AR-15, 200 rounds of .223, and $3.30 in junk silver coins. I prayed for God to show me someone that would get me through this troubled time, someone that really cared about me, someone that would be there no matter what. And then one morning (two weeks ago) while shaving, I realized that my prayers had been answered. I had been seeing this person every single day of my life. Looking in the mirror, I realized that the only person that could do all the things that I asked, was me. Nobody could be a better friend to me than myself. I thanked God for giving me this answer, and thanked Him again for being so patient since it took me so long to realize what He was trying to show me. Since that day, I have found myself.
I am continuing trying to prep as best I can, but I am severely limited in the storage space I have. It was while searching the web for storage ideas that I came across SurvivalBlog. I have yet to purchase any of the books recommended here, but I know that I will do the best I can with what I have. I don’t have a BOL or a BOV or even a BOB, but what I do have is mine. I will keep going until I have gone through every bean, bullet and Band-Aid, knowing that my best friend will always be there.
Oh, BTW, the reason that leaving the preps behind with her turned out to be a bad idea, she used the food so she wouldn’t have to go grocery shopping, and sold the remaining guns and gear to buy her new boyfriend a Valentine’s Day present.