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An endless chain of loss

Maybe it's just a stolen wallet, but life has already dealt Debbie Hall hardships. Besides, she needed that money.

By ASHLEE CLARK
Published August 11, 2006


LARGO - Whoever stole Debbie Hall's wallet almost certainly didn't know how hard the rest of her month would be without the $160 inside.

The thief probably couldn't have guessed that Hall has already lost a lot in her 49 years - two marriages, a son and a brother, her home and the use of her right arm.

Hall knows that the wallet - with credit cards, personal items and the $160 - is likely gone forever. "I hope that when he uses the money, he'll regret it," she said of the thief who took the wallet from her car Monday.

The missing wallet is just the latest in a series of losses that began with a stroke Hall suffered 23 years ago, rendering her right arm useless.

She receives $1,200 a month for alimony, and because her alimony is more than $700 a month, she doesn't qualify for Supplemental Security Income disability benefits.

Her developmentally disabled brother died in 2000 after Hall and her then-husband cared for him for years. Her 23-year-old son died in 2004.

After Hall and her second husband divorced, she moved to Largo from Georgia in January without many options. She lives with her brother's mother-in-law and spends many days at her daughter's apartment in Belleair Place.

On Monday, Hall and her Labrador retriever got to Taylor Park at about 11 a.m. She left her purse on the passenger's seat of her car. She said she pressed the lock key twice, like always. Fifteen minutes later, the wallet was gone.

"I could've used that $160 for gas, for a little bit of food," Hall said.

But she lost something more valuable than the cash. A letter that Hall wrote as a teenager to her mother, Shirley Munyan, was tucked away in the wallet. When her mother passed away in 1990, Hall kept the note in her wallet.

"I wonder, what more, what more?" Hall said. "But I have faith and believe that God's with me and he won't let me down."