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The Curse


This is a multi-part series today.  Your best bet is to start at the beginning here before you read the rest.  This is the 4th part of my saga for today, and hopefully I will have a 5th part before the day is over, but it’s content is still unknown and thus we will both be waiting to see what happens.

As I pulled out of my parents driveway at 5:45am with 24 hours of driving and 4 overnights with friends on the way home, my brain was racing.  I had six weeks to not only continue my regular job, work my part time job, start the kids homeschool year and begin the new fall school schedule of activities as a single parent, I must now find a new place to live, purge even more of our belongings, pack our belongings and get us moved.  And that didn’t take into consideration the additional monies I would need to move and get into a new place.  Can you feel my overwhelmedness?  (Is that a word?)

So I drove and I turned things over in my brain…for hours on end as I faced the open road and the kids slept on.

And once we came to a stopping point, I began an urgent search for housing…housing that was affordable.  Housing that would accommodate 5 people.  Housing that would accommodate 3 dogs and 1 cat.  Screech….did your mind come to a screeching halt with that last one?  It should have.  I don’t know how long it’s been since you rented but finding a place that will take 1 animal is hard, finding one that will take 4.  Well…you’re probably able to calculate my odds now.

I didn’t sleep.  I tossed and turned.  I cried (quietly so the kids wouldn’t hear.) I felt like such a failure. How could I have made such bad financial decisions that we ended up in this mess.  And it’s just me.  Just me.

By the wee hours of the next morning, I was desolate and desperate.  I emailed my dad and asked him to reconsider, asking him to at least give us through Christmas, telling him of all my obligations.

The silence over the next few days from that email was deafening.  But the kids and I continued along our trek home and every free moment that I wasn’t driving or trying to keep a brave face and be present for my kids and friends or falling into fitful cat naps I searched for somewhere to go.

I had such great support from my friends during this time.  They expressed the appropriate amount of anger on my behalf while being respectful that this was my dad and it was not meant to harm me. And then they got behind me and starting searching with me.  Offering housing if needed, money if needed and just a ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on.

We arrived home 4 nights later and that email had still not been replied too.  I was cautiously optimistic.  I had finally broken down to call him expressing that I felt like I had a ticking time bomb hanging over my head and every second counted.  He said he would talk to me when we were settled at home again.  I called him as soon as we had unloaded the car. He was on his way out.

Several hours later, he called me back and gave a lengthy explanation and then final answer of No, he would not reconsider.  I was devastated and felt cursed.

And with that, I gave myself a few minutes to cry and then I arose to tell the kids. So Sunday night about 11pm our world got turned upside down as I told the kids that we have 6 weeks to find a place to go.

There were tears, there was stoicism and there were questions.  And with all that being said and done I made two promises to the kids that I would do everything in my power to keep us all together…people, dogs and cat and that we would finish this school year here with all their activities and friends and plans.

My daughter ended the discussions of the night looking around and saying “It feels like we are on TV.  You know like now that we have heard this curse, someone is going to jump out and tell us that we are going to be on Extreme Home Makeover or something.”  Oh, how I wish that was true, but even moreso I’m grateful that if I have to go through this really hard process I have the most wonderful children to go through it with.  I know that what feels like a curse right now could truly turn into a blessing, so stay tuned to see what has happened since Sunday night with this time clock ticking.


  • Reply Financial Fan |

    Hope, I must say that I just don’t understand why your Dad won’t work with you on this. What is his reason that he cannot extend your stay in this home as you search for a new one? As a parent of adult children (and a grandmother), I would do all I could in my power to help an honest, hardworking child of mine through a transition in life. So far in your writing, I just don’t see a good explanation.

    • Reply Sarah |

      I may be misreading the story wrong, but I think he bought the house solely with the intention of hope taking over the payments and title. He does not and never did want to own the house and now that hope doesn’t want it he wants to sell. Only giving you 6 weeks to move does sound harsh, however didn’t you change the deal too by changing your mind about buying ?

    • Reply Hope |

      Financial Fan,
      There is a lot behind the scenes especially on my dad’s end and after some time and distance from the conversation, I fully understand and accept his decision. He has been so generous with me through my entire life…though I only now as a parent really recognize it. I’ve taken so much for granted.
      I appreciate your perspective, and support.

  • Reply Angie |

    I wouldn’t be so scared by the timeline. I’ve had my best luck finding apartments with <2 weeks before I had to move out. Yes it is extremely nerve wracking and stressful. But you're strong. And guess what? No matter how stressful it may be now in 7 weeks you will be looking around your new place and getting settled!

    • Reply Hope |

      You have now idea how happy I will be when 1) this move is over and 2) this house sells. I will so do a happy dance wherever I might be!

  • Reply TPol |

    I can’t help but think how this is going to affect your relationship with your dad in the long run… In one of your earlier posts, if I remember correctly you have mentioned that you could find affordable housing and better cost of living if you moved two counties. If you do that will you be able to keep your promise to the kids? Or will you have to move again next year? With 4 pets, you will probably need a house rather than an apartment.

    This sounds so overwhelming right now but God has mysterious ways. Praying for you…

    • Reply Hope |

      I am so blessed to have my dad, TPol. And despite this really hard time right now, our relationship will thrive and hopefully be even stronger after getting through this and no longer having a money situation between us.

  • Reply Kili |

    Hi Hope,

    I guess I do understand your dad in some way; maybe he feels if he extends until Christmas, this will turn into an extension until Valentine’s Day… then it will be until Easter… then it will be until the end of the school year and so on. I guess he might feel hurt too that you’re not making use to buy the house off of him (which I do understand your reasons not to buy it)
    It totally sucks for the moment & I don’t know how the housing market is in your area, but I do believe you are strong and will find a way to make it work.

    Also echoing what Mary said on a previous post:
    Maybe it’s time to sacrifice some of the things you’re holding on to at the moment…
    Like maybe sending the kids to public school (must not be forever, but maybe for a while, so that you have more time to make things work)

    Best of luck with everything !

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi Kili,
      After time and distance, my perspective is like yours and I do understand where he is coming from. And frankly, this six weeks of stress will pay me back tenfold with removing the money issue from between us so I march on.
      I haven’t addressed the homeschool suggestion and I won’t much, but suffice it to say that is not an option to me at all. I realize there are many varying thoughts of homeschooling and misconceptions. I KNOW homeschooling is the best option for my kids, it’s been proven to me many times over.
      Not meaning to sound defensive, just want to be clear on my stance regarding my kids’ education.

  • Reply Mary from SC |

    Oh my gosh…even in my wildest imagination, I couldn’t think of a father making that kind of stance. You are a strong, resilient woman and you will figure this out and be all the better. You have a giving spirit and prayerfully, the perfect opportunity will come along. Stay strong and as I once read…just do the next right thing. That will help keep you from getting overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing this situation with your readers. We are here for you.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you, Mary, I was not expecting this either, but as most know God’s plan is not our plan. And I certainly know that my own life has been filled with a convoluted mess of twists and turns, ups and downs that have led me to the most wonderful places and truly a life I adore.
      Thank you for your kind words!

  • Reply Walnut |

    This may sound a bit harsh, but I would not be so concerned about your promise to keep the kids close to their activities. If anything, now is a good time to put a pause on as many activities as possible.

    You’ll definitely want to search for a home and I encourage you to search in a more rural area (if this is possible). You’ll have a better likelihood of finding a reasonably priced house with room to spread out.

    As far as money goes, now is a good time to pay the minimums on everything and start hoarding cash in a big way. If you have the option to sell your vehicle and find something affordable, definitely do so.

    • Reply Hope |

      Hey Walnut,
      If it wasn’t so close to the school year/activities starting I would probably agree with you; however, since we have already committed to homeschool co op classes, gymnastics teams, robotics teams, etc…well, you can see why I would not want to disrupt the kids’ lives anymore than this circumstance warrants.
      Also, I don’t rush into a BIG move as I really only want to do that once, so taking this will give us all the change to catch our breathe and wrap our minds around a big move.
      (As someone who moved 18 times before graduating from college, that I’m even considering moving my kids away from the city of their birth is a HUGE step for me, so I need to take it slow and make sure I’m sure. I don’t want them to be as rootless as I am.)

  • Reply Louise |

    This is so stressful. I’m so pleased to read that you got a rental already. Being free of the debt to your father will be very, very good for your mental health. Reading between the lines here and on your other blog, it sounds like there are some very dysfunctional relationships in your family, and if you can get some independence from them, you might have a better time extricating yourself emotionally and maybe establishing healthier relationships in future (although you can’t control them so maybe not).

    This isn’t the purview of this blog, but I can only interpret your fathers ultimatum as a punishment for not agreeing with him. Sure, I can think of other reasons why he might need you to move that quickly and be regretful that he is making your life more difficult, including immediate financial need, but it sounds like that is not what’s happening. All the best to you and your future journey with your debt and your family!

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you for your very astute observations. I too hope that by removing the financial aspect of our relationship and with the distance that my parents move to Texas put between us, we can begin to heal and hopefully have a very healthy albeit long distance family relationship.
      I wrote about my perspective of family and how it has changed alot in the last few years and now know that family is not only the blood ties, but the chosen ties you have: http://hopeeternally.com/what-does-your-family-look-like/

So, what do you think ?