Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wheel of Fortune

I'm going to be blunt. My family is poor. We're not the "ghetto" kind of poor. We're the "Utah-Mormon-spend-more-than-we-can-ever-afford" kind of poor. So writing this blog I don't want anyone to think I'm being dramatic so you can say, "Oh Carah, you're not poor. At least your parents have a house. You lived in a nice neighborhood, had nice clothes, food on the table, etc."

What a charade.

And now as it all comes crashing down I feel as though I need to explain the kind of world I come from.

My dad never made it past 10th grade. My mom never graduated college. They got married when my dad drove semi, lived in a garage, and all he had to his name were two chainsaws. And if you think I'm exaggerating, maybe I am...garage is a kinder word than where he actually lived.

Now 33 years later it pains me to say my parents don't have much more to show for themselves. Both my sisters, Alyson and Bethany, have made it their life mission to never end up like my parents. They plot every facet of their lives, from finance to dating men, to ensure they will never end up in the hole my parents have dug themselves. Alyson and Bethany went to college and they constantly make sure there is no possible way that they will ever need anything from anybody.

My parents bought our house in Provo 14 years ago when they actually had all five kids living at home. They couldn't afford the 8 bedroom, 4 bath house then and they can't afford it now. Only the problem now is that my dad doesn't have a job...oh, wait he didn't have one then either. But as well as that, the market is terrible, and not only will no one buy their house, even newer and nicer houses are getting foreclosed on so my parents haven't got a shot at selling theirs.

So maybe they could rent out the top half of their house and make another family pay rent there while they live in the basement! Great idea! Oh, except they tried that. Nice LDS family in their ward moved in with their six kids, trashed the place, refused to pay rent and still owe my parents 5,000 dollars. Which the court ordered this family to pay...and I'm sure they will as soon as they come out of hiding.

So with my dad's small "business" framing artwork that he runs out of the basement that brings in zero to no money ever bringing my parent's lives down from the inside out and preventing my dad from ever getting a job that ya know, has a paycheck, they are at the brink of complete and total financial ruin.

Like I said, they are this far along in their lives with nothing to show for it. When your parents have to file for bankruptcy, plead with the bank not to auction off their house which would therefore leave them with zero equity, zero money, zero possessions, and absolutely no place to live it makes it difficult to sleep at night.

Oh, and that's not all. As if that all didn't already cause an ulcer in all those reading it, my mom has had to digress to bringing in a foster son just to pay the day to day bills. Not even the mortgage. The bank is ready to jump on them any day. It'd be great if my dad could realize the framing is business is nothing more than a hobby and get a real job, not even a career. Just any old job at Costco or Convergys. Anything is better than having a foster son who, at first, seemed perfectly normal but, upon further review, makes my parents lives a living Hell and is spending this week at juvenile detention.

My parents deserve better than what life has given them, especially my mom. My mom should have been exalted on high years ago. Ignore the fact she had the crappiest childhood growing up in Detroit in the 50s and 60s, having to live in the center of the riots...Disregard the fact she had an alcoholic father, five ungrateful and smart-aleck kids, and she's in the mess she is now with a husband who doesn't respect her opinion and does what he wants...forget all that and literally just because she has had to raise my deaf brother Aaron who is the biggest pain in the butt ever I know she will have the most sprawling, lofty, magnificent mansion in Heaven God has ever co-signed for.

So here I sit. Hoping the next phone call I get isn't from my parents in the hospital because their foster son put them there. Or a phone call from the homeless shelter. I hope by now you've seen I'm not being overly dramatic. I'm serious as a heart-attack.

1 comment:

  1. Im sorry Carah, thats really awful to hear. My family has gone through some really rough times too, and I had to keep telling myself there was a reason for them. And that somehow it would prepare me for bigger challenges later, having gotten past the rough times I now know that to be true. It doesnt make the hard times any easier, but this too shall pass. Ill keep your family in my prayers