Friday, May 20, 2005

Watching Everything Fall Apart

That's what it seems like here lately. Everything's falling apart right before my eyes. Sure, my life has never been a cake walk. There's always been, illness, stress just like every other person on the planet. And I've always felt like in the end everything would work out. And it usually does. I'm not unrealistic: I know that death is part of life and there's no gain without loss, etc. But sometimes things gang up on a person and make them wonder what cruel joke the world's planning to play on them next. That's where I am.
We were 3 1/2 years into a land contract on our "city" house. Things were going along fine. No, we hadn't made all the repairs to it that we would have liked to, but we're making the payments and still having some leisure money left over. We'd gotten several projects underway and we hadn't gone into any more debt because of it. We had a car payment for a car that's still under warranty, and a van that is not under warranty that we have less than a year left to pay on. We were close to our jobs and while we were a bit crowded, we managed okay.
Then mom passed away. Just months before she died, I realized she had nearly $80,000 in debts. Her house appraised at $70,000. This cute house in the country on an acre of nice land surrounded by pine trees and flowers and a chain link fence and a nice little barn....the house I grew up in. Not only was I attached to it for sentimental childhood reasons, but because it was out in the country, away from city life. As her estate's executor, I became responsible for all the upkeep and maintenance for the property; no help from my "family;" None of the boys wanted responsibility for anything about the house.
Shortly after the funeral, after the obituary was printed, someone broke in to the barn and took all of her power tools. I talked to her attorney about it, who suggested I have someone move in the house, not to leave it vacant, or it would probably would be looted as well. So I packed up the family and moved to the country...about a 15 minute drive from our jobs and "city" house. We decided we loved it so much that we'd try to pay off her debt and buy it.
Since, we've been paying bills at both homes, trying to work 3 jobs between us, take care of 3 kids, and do it all well. Meanwhile, I've been told by her attorney that he'd like to get the estate wrapped up in about 90 days. Augh! How am I supposed to save money to get a loan for the house (closing costs, etc.) when I'm paying two sets of bills and starting to fall behind on them? Then, like Murphy's law dictates, the van broke down. Then the car. We had to end up buying an older model car from a friend, who has been very kind in letting us make payments. Turns out, the van has a miriad of electrical problems too complicated to even attempt to work out right now.
Needless to say, I'm feeling the stress. Part of me associates being able to keep this house in the family with being a good daughter. Another part just doesn't want to move back to the rat race of the city, albiet a small city. Another part realizes that this is a "good mom" thing to do. Our whole family gets along better out in the peaceful country setting. Another part can't imagine what a new owner would do to the house...what was lovingly built with their blood, sweat and tears over 50 years ago. The hand crafted knotty pine cabinets....I can imagine them being ripped out and new, modern ones put in. A new owner might not understand their charm...or care. It's not feasible for me to imagine what that day will be like if I have to let the house go to auction and lose it.
The other day I found myself talking to God, praying for His direction. I know I am letting this whole thing wear me down, I'm not trusting Him. I told Him that if this is the right thing that I am doing...what He wants...His will...that I needed His guidance and direction. I needed Him to show me which way to turn. I don't know which way to turn on my own.
Is it falling apart? Or am I just not seeing the path I need to take? How I wish I knew the answers before the test began....