CHAPTER 12 Reaching Out For Help

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copyright 2017 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

"What you don't see with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth."

Jewish Proverb

"Hey, how's it going?" I asked my Dad.

"Good. Your Mother called Susie," my Dad said in a flat tone.

A wave of shame slammed into me. I took a breath. Susie was a cousin of Mom's and I knew their relationship was riddled with issues.

Mom acted like she had received more judgment from some of her family, than love. And in a lot of ways, I believe it broke down her spirit. She'd always longed for acceptance and hungered for love, maybe from people who were never capable of giving it to her.

I heard rumors that some family believed my Dad had squandered all Mom's money. It made my Parents relationship sound like some people thought my Mom was as dumb as a fence post and my Dad was a cunning manipulator. Maybe some believed that my Mom marrying my Dad was a mistake and it had cost her, her fortune. It was sad to think anyone would think that about my Parents.

So there was a long standing rift between my Parents and some of my Mom's family. And from the stories my Parents had told me, it related mostly to money. My Parents just wouldn't straighten up and fly right, and they'd been snubbed by some for years because of it.

I thought the idea of "family" was having people around who loved and supported you. But any family who smiles and pretends to love, only to judge in the background, wasn't my definition of family or love.

"Shit. So what happened?" I asked.

"Susie wasn't home so Your Mother left a message," Dad said.

Dad and I were against it one thousand percent. I rolled my eyes. Susie was the last person on the planet I would ever go to for help, including but not limited to, being on my death bed. If I was on my deathbed and someone was there beside me, pulling and twisting on my guts, I still wouldn't call her.

But I knew my Mom. When she felt strongly about something, there was no stopping her. It was best, safety wise, not to get in her way. The woman was a tsunami. It would do my life and health well to remember that. If I needed to, it would serve me better to repeat it as a fact out loud to myself standing in front of the mirror so it sunk in.

Sometimes, I would battle with the old lady, ya know, give her a whirl around the war room. Call it sheer stupidity and rebellion or perhaps a calculated decision. But I never came out of it unscathed. I always had new scars. Mom may be cute as a button but she played mean.

Later that afternoon I was cleaning up Mom's email and came across one sent to Susie asking for help a year ago. Either Susie didn't receive the email, or simply chose not to respond. Maybe she wouldn't respond now and we could all forget Mom even made the call.

It I had my way I wanted to forget the whole incident. I was having trouble swallowing Mom admitting to someone on the "outside" that we were in trouble. Telling someone we were in trouble, meant admitting we couldn't handle it ourselves. It was like the worst of the worst things to do with outsiders. I wanted to curl up into a ball and die.

Let's be real, Susie had never thought of us as "The IT" people. I'd felt the disapproval for years. It was nothing she said outright or did, but it was a feeling that came across whenever I interacted with her. She didn't believe in us and she certainly did not understand who we were, or why we did the things we did. It was the reality of the ever present dividing line between us.

I tried to remind myself that I can't control another human being, what they think, and certainly not what they're going to do. I couldn't control how someone else responded or didn't to Mom's request. I was going to have to let it play itself out without my influence. So I let it go. Well, I tried to.

Mom was going to do what she was going to do based on the choices she was making. And then she'd have to deal with consequences of it as well. The only issue about it for me was that I happened to be riding in the boat with her. So, if she started rocking the boat, try as I might, it would be hard not to become seasick.

Dad called the Realtor for Parcel A, Larry, to find out what "proof" the Bank required in order to stop the Eviction process.

"You need a bank statement showing the funds, enough funds to purchase it," Larry said.

Dad also called a neighbor of ours, John, a real estate appraiser. We'd used him several times in the past. Dad wanted to get the real scoop on the current real estate market in our area.

John was sorry to hear of our predicament. He told my Dad the real estate market was in the toilet. John said that he and his partner had managed to save their property, just down the street from ours, from the doom of Foreclosure.

John said our property was probably worth about half of what it had been three years ago. He advised my Dad to offer the Bank the bare minimum of cash, around three hundred and fifty thousand dollars U.S. They'd probably take it because it just wasn't worth what it used to be. The downfall of values in the real estate market was hitting everyone. John said the Banks would be happy to get their money, any money, back.

"The tragedy is magnified when the borrower is a small business owner, employing from 1 to 10 employees. The loss of jobs related to mortgage defaults and the resulting business failures will further weaken our economy and prolong the recession."

Samuel Bornstein

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