W.L. family shares struggle to survive

W.L. family shares struggle to survive

There are 21 comments on the WLFI Lafayette story from Mar 17, 2009, titled W.L. family shares struggle to survive. In it, WLFI Lafayette reports that:

The Murphy family, Stephen and Sandie, lived their American dream--or at least were working to pay it off in a house in the Capilano subdivision in West Lafayette.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WLFI Lafayette.

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Lafayette, IN

#1 Mar 17, 2009
We share your pain too! We are having to make choices like that too! Do we pay the credit card payment or do we pay the electric bill. My husband is laid off but I work as a teacher and make $12.00 less than his unemployment check each week! Very frustrating! We don't qualify for any type of assistance either. However, our neighbors get all kinds of help (food stamps, insurance, ect.) but then can turn around and go to FLorida for spring break & buy their kids 2 ATV's! Very frustrating!

Elgin, IL

#2 Mar 17, 2009
I share your pain anonymous, but cannot share the pain of this family. Making that much money living in one of the most expensive areas around. There is no excuse to have any sort of debt and should have a nice nest egg to prepare in case this would happen again. People need to learn to live off of their take home pay, not their credit cards.
Brian Wilkes

Millville, NJ

#3 Mar 17, 2009
I feel your pain! As you know I may be a little bias, but I love ya Murphy! That story brought a few tears to my eyes.
My only question is “where is all the money?” Where are all the jobs? Better yet where is all of the compassion???
I don’t want to rant on here but I will share my two cents. Having lost my Fiancée in the WTC and receiving $0.00 from the government (because we were not married (a lawyer told me I should have been gay and had a piece of paper filed with the courts I would have been better off.)) I gave up my entire life to be with her and she disappeared around 8:50 a.m. All I have left is a voice message and a different life.
As of present day,,, GOD has blessed me with an awesome wife, daughter and 2 step sons.(The scary thing is my daughter was born naturally on my Fiancées birthday). To rant a little further my wife happens to be a breast cancer surgeon, which is hosed by the government, insurance companies, and patients/lawyers (aka lawsuits).
Now to come back to my initial questions,“where is all the money?” Where are all the jobs? Where is all of the compassion???
I believe we all need to look deep inside ourselves and attempt to figure out what the “right” thing to do is.(And its not all about the money)
Brian Wilkes

Millville, NJ

#4 Mar 17, 2009
A 2 you make some very good points.
1. Credit cards are evil, but ya need one to make hotel, plane, car or most any other type of personal or business reservation these days, heck they ask you for a credit card instead of a social security number.
2. Im a little distraught that you dont feel any compassion for these folks. If, and I mean "if" you had 0 income what "means" would you live in regardless of what area you live in (outside of a tent in the middle of a farmers corn field or government owned desert) Trust me I, oops,, my wife and I make over 400,000 dollars a year in payments to insurance companies, the federal, state and local governments & we dont have a pot to piss in. Heck we even drive Fords.....
carrie brown

United States

#5 Mar 17, 2009

what i want to know is how you can pass judgement on someone that you dont know let alone the illness she has is uncurable she most like will never be the person she was 1yr ago. then go and add not having any income. your meds alone a month are over 1k. i also suffer from this same diease and since you have no idea what it is like to have no job be in the worse pain that there is due to our diease is more painfull than cancer. you tell me what your gonna do. ohh yea dont forget that you have children to feed also

maybe you should think of having compassion for others instead of just sayin suck it up..apperantly you havent seen any news lately as to how bad it is out there.

Love ya sandie tons

West Lafayette, IN

#6 Mar 18, 2009
Dear Mr. Murphy, What a loss to Wabash National. Don't feel bad about the job cut, they've got some real losers on the executive staff that aren't employeed by substance rather than yes men who play golf when the boss wants to (on company time).
You deserve to find a place that really appreciates the skills you bring to the table. Your too good for Wabash! Trust me.....your next job will be so much better than you could ever dream of.

West Lafayette, IN

#7 Mar 18, 2009
I want to show my compasion for this family; however I really am offended that WLFI would use this particular family for a story of this magnitude.

We have much less fortunate people in our community that shows the face of most of the nation in their struggles. This couple has a home that most of us would never be able to afford; they have luxuries that some have never had and never will. A luxurie to an average family is to have a washer and dryer that work, this couple says they have to scrimp on using less detergent. Show the face of our community.
No family left behind

Simpsonville, SC

#8 Mar 18, 2009
In response to the Murphy family and the current position you are enduring; My prayers, hopes, and wishes for you all is that the exposure of this coverage will provoke immediate response and offer from those intelligent and able enough to recognize your past attributes and the potential you possess to integrate effective, profound, and progressive productivity to whoever and whatever you contribute your efforts and energies. The entities and citizens of our society have suffered and endured enough loss and stagnation, and hopefully our society has reached a bottom that will ignite and stimulate movement, change, and growth.
In response to the anonymous person who was quick to judge, having little to possibly no information about the history and character of this family, by stating. Making that much money living in one of the most expensive areas around. There is no excuse to have any sort of debt and should have a nice nest egg to prepare in case this would happen again. People need to learn to live off of their take home pay, not their credit cards.
First, such a statement reflects very shallow cognition, beyond that of a one frame mindset. How do you know that a nice nest egg investment was not lost to investors like Enron or AIG? Or how would you know whether or not there have been past medical conditions with astronomical fees attached? Or even better yet, how would you know that a significant amount of income was not spent giving and contributing to others thru self sacrifice by this family? That may not denote a justifiable excuse according to your values, standards, and mindset but I can assure you that it does for me and many others. Not only does such present a justifiable excuse, I can proclaim, being a recipient of their generosity and sacrifice, as such, being what you define as an excuse. A few years ago, when this family was in a better position with employment, income, and resources, they sacrificed and spent thousands of dollars (with no expectation or request for return) to help me better my position. Had they not spent so much helping me, they would have another month of money to pay their bills.
Further, this supports, such a statement as you made, not only as judgmental and ignorant, but also a reflection of self centered greed and gratification. People make other investments outside of just material things that cost money. Sacrifices and contributions made to other people helps our society circulate and productively grow. Not everyone has the mindset to spend all of their earnings on their own personal nest eggs. Despite a persons or families social stature, if we do not have the ability to feel others pain, we probably will not retain the ability to identify with other aspects of their experiences and lifestyles either, having such a self centered mindset. Please do not misunderstand that I am passing judgment and personally identifying you as a self centered person. But the mindset of having no excuse to have any debt and that they should have a nice nest egg, is. It is obvious that other sacrifices and values have been made, considering that property ownership does not equal income.
I respond not to offend or retaliate, but rather to encourage a little deeper thought before responding with such a knee jerk statement. Despite our positions, we all need each others support and understanding. I wish you the best of luck during these hard economic times. Not only would other fellow citizens benefit from a more understanding, compassionate, and knowledgeable voice of input, I think such direction enhances our own personal growth and positions as well.
Brian Wilkes

Millville, NJ

#9 Mar 18, 2009
No family left behind,
VERY well put! There is compassion and intelligence still out there... You just gave me more hope for this world!
Sandie Murphy

United States

#10 Mar 18, 2009
First, I want to thank those who offered support for us.....not because we are worse off than everyone else......but because a few out there have compassion for ALL human suffering and loss. I know that I do as well, and I respect and appreciate that trait in others.

To address the person that wrote that my disease was "suspect", I suggest you read for 10 minutes about Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD) and simply try to grasp how progressively debilitating this disease is. There is no cure and I travel from doctor to doctor trying to find some help with the horrific symptoms I now live with every day. It is so rare, most doctors have never heard of it, much less treated it.

It takes INCOME to live.....no matter where you live. Our "nest egg" was depleted trying to make ends meet with little income and with astronomical medical bills due to my condition. We have maintained COBRA at all costs due to my health problems and to protect my four children.

Our financial woes are not due to credit card debt or mismanagement on our part, our problems lie in the fact that for 14 months we have tried to pay our bills with little financial compensation to make ends meet. Can any of you relate to that? If so, perhaps empathy would be more appropriate than anger.

This story could have been one that people in similar situations could relate to, instead you have attacked us and our integrity and honesty out of judgment and hate. We do not "have" this house.......we are about to lose our home and everything in it. Can any of you relate to that?

Stephen worked very hard to get to where he was in his career (35 years in the making). Can any of you relate to THAT or do you just choose to be bitter and resentful that we HAD (past tense) more financially than others.

BTW, Stephen was NOT one of the executives that got big bonuses while other people went poor. We got NO compensation from Wabash other than his salary (maybe a turkey at Christmas). Do not generalize and make us out to be the bad guys.

We have four children that we have given our life to, I have an incurable extremely painful nerve disorder that affects every part of my body. I will spend the rest of my life in pain, and Stephen has tried to do everything he could looking everywhere in the US for another job. It is the economy that is keeping us down, just like it is all of you.

We ARE part of you and all your suffering. This was simply OUR story to tell. It is no more significant than all of yours. We never suggested it was. Again, I have compassion for ANYONE in our situation.......I would never judge you or be hateful to you because of it.

We believe with all our heart that God will vindicate us and that God will be with us, regardless of whether we lose everything or not. Many of you have ripped us to shreds with your hatred and bitterness. I ask that you at least watch the rest of the segment tonight because therein lies OUR hope and our answer......perhaps yours as well.
Brian Wilkes

Millville, NJ

#11 Mar 18, 2009
Struggling wrote:
I want to show my compasion for this family; however I really am offended that WLFI would use this particular family for a story of this magnitude.
We have much less fortunate people in our community that shows the face of most of the nation in their struggles. This couple has a home that most of us would never be able to afford; they have luxuries that some have never had and never will. A luxurie to an average family is to have a washer and dryer that work, this couple says they have to scrimp on using less detergent. Show the face of our community.
In my opinion I believe that WLFI did an awesom job. I dont live in IN however my family is from Terra Haute, my neighbors son graduated from Perdue (and he is about as smart as a pet rock even after his parents spent thousands of dollars to send him there)ok back to the point I was trying to make.
I agree with you on the "less fortunate" comment. I have traveled all over the world and one memory comes to mind, I was in Honduras SCUBA diving and on the way to this fablous resort on the bus I witnessed a small community perched on a hill side next to a creek. The huts (made out of just about anything metal or wood) had poop pipes sticking out the back of them (into the creek). Now, about 20 yards down there were women and children doing laundry in the same creek. So to your point yes there are less fortunate folks on this planet,,,, lets not even get into the South Africa scene.
And the point I am trying to make is, this issue is not just about a middle class Indiana family, its a GLOBAL issue.
A few thoughts,( which I rarely have )
How can anyone justify spending one million dollars on a single missle to kill 10,000 folks when u could use that one million to feed 500,000 folks?( Ask OBAMA )
How can any one justify sending billions to bail out businesses that p away there money on their boards and executives? oh wait so they can tax the money again....( ask OBAMA )
Stephen Murphy

United States

#13 Mar 18, 2009
Wile E Coyote .... feel free to contact me if you want the details .... sorry you feel necessary to be critical .... maybe you should watch tonight and gain some perspective .... we are just one story....

I can assure that at the time I did not make "Bad" life choices ... when did it become wrong in America to try to better yourself and improve your life style ... I worked hard to provide for my family and help others ....

By the way Wile feel free to share your name and a part of you life story ....
Someone who knows you

United States

#14 Mar 18, 2009
Some people will never understand unless they have to walk in the exact same shoes you guys are in. Which, of course, we know is highly unlikely to happen...
I live with and am fighting the same disabling, non-curable, extremely painful disease as Sandie. I understand.
I lost my job after an accident that caused this disabling disease. I understand the no income and how fast savings, 401k's and other retirement savings can go.
I'm sure the Murphy's have spent all of their saving and income on all of their bills until the money just ran out. I know they did not spend it foolishly and they are far from extravagant people.
Hang in there Stephan and Sandie!!! I know the efforts you are taking to get back on your feet.
a caring person

United States

#15 Mar 18, 2009
My heart and prayers go out The Murphy Family.
I know the feeling of losing everything. I dont have credit cards and live from paycheck to paycheck. With raising one child is horrible.

We cant go to the movies out to fancy dinners.

I have cancer, And I know about traveling from Dr. to Dr. is exhausing, and frustrating, with all the blills ect.

I make little money for the job that I do have, how long will I keep my job only my employer knows.

Prayers, for all of us who are in the same situation.

God Bless.
Rita Wells

Kewanee, IL

#16 Mar 18, 2009

I feel your pain, the economy has let us all down. I know what it is to tell my children they can not have something or we are unable to do something, because we don't have the money.

And to have to live with RSD, I know the pain you are in and what you endure everyday. People think that if you can not see an illness you are not actually sick.

Think again.

RSD KILLS people. Not the disease itself, the madness from the pain that one must endure, drives Many to Suicide.

There are people who will try to judge you, they know nothing of your life and struggles until they have lived in your shoes. I know you are both strong people and have a deep faith in God. He is with you.

I know you are working hard to get things back in order and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Keep your chin up and know you are in my prayers.

Hugs of Hope are sent your way.

Zephyrhills, FL

#17 Mar 19, 2009
As far as the Murphy family, I HAVE been in there shoes, I did lose our house because of the medical bills from my husband and father..Please don't judge someone you don't even know...my husband tried for Social Security Disability for 14 years and got one check b4 he "died"...yes, I got the back money, and used most of it for his funeral..yes, I know what it is like to think you may be homeless after working your whole life to achieve the things and losing them...Yes they have a nice house (from what I saw on TV) but d@$%^^, he worked for it..I also have RSD and believe me, I know what it feels like. Instead of judging, maybe you should have taken the time it took writing that nasty comment, to "google" RSD and see what she is going through...I have lost a VERY good job because of RSD from an operation,no fault of my own, and NO, I can't sue the doctor!!! My heart goes out to the Murphy family, things will get better..No, I don't know them but would feel privileged if I did...God Bless
Wile E Coyote

Ludlow, MA

#18 Mar 20, 2009
If this family didn't want to open themselves up to criticism, then they should have declined being on tv.

Doing well for oneself is just fine. Living beyond one's means is not.

To S.M.:

I went to college from a low income family and managed to graduate with no debt.

I went to grad school, graduated with no debt.

Found a good job initially but now the company is really hurting.

I bought a modest house and my payment is 13% of my monthly gross. What was your payment % when you last had a good job?

I put away 20+% of my income to savings/retirement.

No car payment for 8 years now.

zero credit card debt (and a zero balance)

I've had to deal with medical issues from birth.

Even if I had to burn through my 10-12 months savings, my family would provide lodging for me (as a last resort). They offered back in 1999 when I was temporarily unemployed and had but only a few hundred dollars to my name.
Sandie Murphy

United States

#19 Apr 7, 2009
Matt 7:1-5
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother,'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
It is truly pitiful to me that you have nothing better to do than to condemn a family that is already beaten down by life and circumstances beyond our control. I will pray for you fervently. We, at least, used our real names. Why won't you??? We felt like we were speaking for everyone in our situation.We did not do this news segment to receive criticism, but compassion and empathy. Clearly you have none. I feel very sorry for you.
Be very careful.....you may think our situation could never happen to you, and I genuinely pray it does not. If it does, I hope sincerely that the people around you show you compassion and empathy and not condemnation. The Lord be with you.
my 2 cents

Rensselaer, IN

#20 Apr 13, 2009
Hugs to you. I know someone with RSD and it is definitely a soul journey. Stay positive and don't let people bring you down...you have other things more important. A house is only a home when you are in it making memories....don't be afraid to let things go and make new memories.
We've survived 2 sick children, large medical bills, and not knowing how we'd get through tomorrow; yet we always did and do.
You have each other and no one can take that from you. So your life style changes, everyone is going through some sort of this. Keep your faith and hug your babies just a little closer. Hope for tomorrow and do some of the ideas in the book, The Secret. Tomorrow will be better if you believe!

Dayton, OH

#21 May 5, 2009
With all the bail out plans the Obama administration is handing out to the banks, we can now say that these companies have not paid taxes. This is because the bailout money for the banks exceeded taxes owed. So if everyone believes bail outs will bring the economy around, then why didn't the government simply not tax businesses? When we tax businesses the businesses add the tax to the product, and the consumer pays in the final price of the product. So this is not Wabash's fault, but rather our government's fault for not allowing private enterprise to prosper. In other words government is in the way of progress. Bailouts don't work. I hope you all get your jobs back!

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