Well, it’s Christmas season 2016 and I believe in miracles; in fact I’m praying for one. It’s all I can think about, as a mother, it’s what I so desperately need. It’s what my family deserves, after the roller coaster year we’ve had. So, God I am praying you will provide the solution we need and I am hoping Santa Claus is kind to us this Christmas.
2016 actually started off really good! My spouse got a new job and the money was allowing us to catch up on our debts that we were behind on. So, we were starting to plan for the future and what we’d do with the extra money once debts were paid off. But, there was a big price that came with the job; it meant my spouse being out of town for 3-4 days every week. So, our child that we had prayed so long for, our miracle that took 16 years to receive; she missed a lot! She missed 1st birthday, 1st steps and so many things. I made videos and we FaceTimed, but it’s just not the same. However, she loved the job and hoped it would pay off later to getting us where we needed to be financially.
Then in July, after being given off most of the month of June, she was laid off. This was a major blow in our lives and we just didn’t know what to do. We felt betrayed, we felt like God had left us and mostly we felt that we needed to do something quickly to ensure we had a roof over our heads and that our child felt safe & secure.
We had always dreamed of owning a small farm. (Well, my spouse would love to own a 1,000 acres to leave to be conservation land once our child and any kids he has are done living on it.) We knew the market was going up for our area and that soon the taxes would make it nearly impossible to afford our house payment. We thought of selling our home, but weren’t sure what to do after that. Our family needed a fresh start, and we prayed for an answer.
After some sleepless nights and tough conversations, the choice seemed obvious, we needed to head back up north where our family & friends were. In late 2014/early 2015 my mom’s health had continued to decline until she was finally put into a nursing home. As things progressed, my dad started to really struggle with being alone and would often mention suicide when on the phone. I had reached out to senior services throughout, but my parents always refused help and would kick them off their property. Around early 2016, my mom was placed in hospice care for Dementia, and my dad just got worse.
After talking with my dad, the decision was made we would sell our home and stay with him, until my spouse could get established with a job and we find a new home. On one hand I felt morally this was the right thing to do, I am the youngest of their kids and the only one that even has anything to do with them. Still, I was very apprehensive and had many nightmares over the decision, as my childhood had been formed by mental and physical abuse. My spouse had only known the kinder, older version of my father (she lost her father young & thought of my dad fondly), so this seemed like the choice to make.
Things were crazy, thankfully the house sold and we got kindly movers to pack all our belongings (we packed) into storage. For those considering moving, if you have a small child you need a great support system; packing with a child is very hard. I was truly surprised and saddened by those we knew, people respond sometimes poorly to you moving away; like no one would help!
We arrived at my dad’s and immediately a sense of doom and utter overwhelming despair came over us. My dad, indeed was not coping well living on his own. The house was not livable; it was not sanitary at all. We were exhausted from the drive and just snuggled our child and cried ourselves to sleep. The next morning we drove 2 hrs to spend a little time with a dear friend and wrap our heads around the situation we now faced. I’ve never felt so overwhelmed, scared and just depressed in my entire life.
But, my spouse is my best friend and my rock! We reminded ourselves it was temporary and what our goals were, and that our child needed us to be strong and get through this. And obviously my dad truly needed us too! Our goal was to buy enough land and have him a granny pod put on it, so he could live independently and still be cared for. And I wanted our son to have time with his grandfather. So, we put on our big girl panties and faced the future.
We stayed at my dad’s for 6 wks. The first week was very friendly and I think some good memories were made. But as the days went by, his agitation would increase. He’d talk to himself a lot at night; what started as PRAYERS ended up being him arguing and mumbling to himself. The entire time we were there, he never showered. He would drop medicine on the floor and leave messes in the bathroom. All of which we cleaned up and tried to make him aware of the situation with medicine as kindly as possible. We cleaned, we cooked, we sat and visited with him and watched his TV shows; we did everything we could to try to help him.
Then one evening, he just lost it!! He started yelling at our son (he’s not yet 2) because he was crying. I was cooking and my spouse was supposed to be watching him. So, once I found out why our son was crying, I told my dad; because I didn’t understand why he was yelling at a small child. That ended up being a huge mistake; as I soon was being called every obscenity in the book! And found myself feeling once again like the young abused child as my father was trying over and over to strike me with his cane; while I was holding my son. I called 911 as my dad threatened my life, and we were soon on our way to stay at a hotel for the night.
The next day, my spouse reached out to a loved one, who dropped everything and came that afternoon to help us get our belongings out of my dad’s house. He said we could stay with him for as long as it takes to find a home. That afternoon, my spouse went to get our stuff, my dad threatened her with violence as well. She called the police, who just the night before said they would come help us get our stuff, they refused to come help! The only way to get our stuff was to give my dad $500. Money that we did not owe and that he gave no explanation for. But, after it all, we arrived safely at our new temporary home; and slept knowing we were all together and safe.
My dad has since called and left messages of hate and informed us that he threw everything out for trash that we left behind (about $1k worth of food and home goods). I haven’t talked with him, and I won’t. I have reached out to two different senior service agencies, asking them to get him help. I do believe he has Alzheimer’s or some mental disorder; but I also know it’s not safe for my family to try to help him. I will continue to reach out, and hope they get him the help he needs, as he’s a loose trigger and potentially dangerous, if provoked.
Currently, my family is safe. The family member we are staying with is beyond kind and gracious and we are truly blessed. But, there is still great stress and hardship on our family. My spouse drives 4-5 hrs round trip to work, 4-5 days a week, working 10 hour shifts; she is exhausted. And there is no comfort so great as to be in your own home. And that is what we are praying for, is to find our forever home; the place we will raise our son.
We are finding it difficult to find what we want, close enough to her current job. But if she looks for another job, then it delays us finding a home. I lie awake feeling like such a failure, all I want is for my family to be able to settle back in and feel safe in their own home. I am a SAHM, so my spouse feels tremendous stress over not being able to find a job that pays better (she enjoys her job, but pay is not what is needed). But, once we’re settled back in our own place, I can start selling my sewn goods, and I think it will help take some burden off.
We are doing this all in hopes of raising our son to be connected and close see to nature. To raise him to live a life more connected to the beauty of nature and not technology. So, I spend my days with my son who spends most his day laughing, oblivious to all that is going on; and that brings me some comfort. And I go to bed every night praying for a miracle (a great job offer, the perfect house (in our budget), for a sign from God telling us what to do); but mostly I am just grateful for the blessings in my life. For, I am truly blessed.