I had just finished a committee meeting at our son's school and was discussing lunch plans with the group when I got a phone call from my husband.
"You need to come home now."
I knew he had a meeting with Human Resources that morning, but this didn't sound good. I had walked to the school that morning, figuring that I could catch a ride home with one of the committee members, but when I looked around I realized everyone had already left. I put the phone away and started my walk home.
I'm not a patient person, so about 5 minutes into my walk I called him to ask what had happened. “They fired me.”
It's a good thing I was walking, because if I'd just been standing I probably would have fallen over. We'd moved across the country and had bought a new house in a new town barely more than a year ago for this job, and he had the only income in the family.
He went on, giving the details of his morning. What struck me was how the note of stress that had been present in his voice for months was completely gone. Gone. He sounded like a different man.
I finally got home and he looked like a different man. He'd been getting more and more serious as the budget cuts grew deeper and deeper. In front of me was my husband, but not the serious husband of the last year, but one who was laughing. To say I was surprised was an understatement.