"It is 1932 and we are currently experiencing the Great Depression. Today I got home from my final day at school to find out that my father had committed suicide that afternoon. "But why mommy?" my one of my sisters sputtered through her tears. Father killed him self because his last few customers had finally gone broke and he was so overwhelmed with despair that he just killed himself.
"Over the next few days I had to find work so that my mom and two sisters could eat. I ended up working on a farm owned by the man down the road. Because nobody had any money he paid me with food. My family and I lived in the south where constant good weather meant a constant supply of food. Because of my job I was always able to bring at least two passable meals worth of food home.
"The farm work is hard and has very long hours so I can barely see my family. That is pretty good because the empty space at the table for us to deal with. It especially hurts mom to the point it almost is causing her physical pain; it is too hard to watch. Mother hardly eats at meals so that my sisters and I can have more food, "You're growing you need it more," She'll say. She is wasting away. I don't know if she is going to make it much longer the way things are going.
"Mom just died. I have to care for my sisters now. I really hope this will end soon. We are really scared; I'm doing everything I can but my sisters aren't like they were before father and mother died. I don't know if I can handle this much longer. I don't know if we can handle this much longer. The amount of work farming and caring for my sisters has started to take its effect on me. I find myself to be much more snappy than usual and I can hardly keep my eyes open by the end of the day. What did I do to deserve this?"
-From the journal of Paul Jacobson.