Survival Means Not Allowing Ashley’s Story to Happen Again

I came across a blog post that stopped me in my tracks. I decided to write about it today because I think it’s that important.

The post is called “Ashley’s Tragic Story: A Heartbreaking Example Of How The Economic Collapse Of America Is Destroying Lives.” I can’t do justice to Ashley’s own shocking account of events, but I’ll summarize as best as I can.

At the time of this writing, Ashley lives in upstate New York. She lost her home, car and father in the space of a few months. She lived with her father, who lost his job in 2009. He couldn’t find another one, and things went down hill from there.

Ashley took a part-time job at a pizza place. Without a car, she walked to work. In a snow storm in February 2010, she struggled to get to work only to find the place closed. No one had called to save her the trip.

Her snow boots were falling apart, and she hadn’t been able to afford the cost of replacing them. On the day of the snow storm, her feet became frostbitten, and she eventually had to have them amputated. She didn’t go to the hospital emergency room right away for fear of the costs involved, which would bankrupt her and her father.

One day in March, her father committed suicide in the middle of the night, leaving Ashley a note. He said he loved her, but had failed her.

In the time since, a neighbor lady took Ashley in and treated her like family.

Ashley shared her story with the hope it might help someone, but also to let people know things are worse than we’re being led to believe.

Lots of things come to mind from Ashley’s account. It’s a real wake up call, isn’t it?

You can blame Wall Street, government, the medical lsystem or whoever you like for Ashley’s plight and that of countless others. But what if they’re not the ones who failed?

We’ve allowed ourselves to become dependent on the government for jobs and medical care. What if you and I simply need to look after those around us better than we do? We’ve lost our sense of community, and Ashley’s tragedy clearly demonstrates that. But the little things we do for each other make such a big difference.

A few who commented on Ashley’s story questioned whether the account is true. I have no reason to doubt it, but we question many things on the Internet these days, don’t we? As well we should.

Granted, there are several things which could be picked apart. For example, why couldn’t Ashley have gotten snow boots at a thrift store? She said they were watching every penny. I know what it means when paying a dollar might as well be a hundred. But some charitable organizations offer clothing items for free.

And where was the neighbor lady who has been so helpful to Ashley after her father killed himself?

We live so apart from one another, don’t we?

Now let me address a vital part of Ashley’s awful plight—her father’s suicide. He became so depressed that even Ashley’s love and need for him didn’t get through to him. If only he could have seen that he still had something to offer her, in spite of his overwhelming feeling of failure.

I understand what it means to despair and even have suicidal thoughts. You may be surprised how many others understand, too.

If you’re in deep despair over your own situation, think of others first. Get help, whether from a professional counselor or a friend. Just talking to someone can help. Hearing yourself say out loud the things you’re thinking can put things in perspective for you.

When I say to think of others, I mean think of them in a different way than you’re thinking of them now. Someone needs you, in spite of what you think your shortcomings are. There are times when just being there for a loved one or friend is all that’s needed to get each other through dark times.

You were put here by God for a reason. Even if you don’t know what that reason is, don’t doubt it, and don’t forget it. I invite you to view a previous post I wrote called “Survival Means Suicide is Not an Option.”

Here’s an additional resource. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

If you know someone who’s depressed, or if they look like they might have some other need, reach out to that person in some small way. How about offering a helping hand around the house or yard? What about bringing over a few groceries?

As I said earlier, little things we do for one another can make a big difference. Just a friendly word or gesture could save someone’s life. At least it can make things a little easier.

Here’s one final thought. What if Ashley’s story is a hoax? Does that invalidate the lessons we can take from it?

Look around you today. Survival means not allowing Ashley’s story to happen again, especially to someone you know.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.