Mama And Daddy’s House…

I’ve been wanting to blog about my experience with my parents’ house, but could never seem to find the right time.  Those were not the best of times for me, and I like to keep those memories safely locked away.  Blogging about my childhood homes on Friday opened a floodgate of memories, so I figured this would be the perfect time to continue the story with the saga of my parents’ house…

mama standing on the porch of her house in 1979

After finally being able to purchase a second home, my parents lived in their little house on Charlton Street for about sixteen years– when their health rapidly deteriorated.  In the spring of 1989, after spending four months in the hospital,  both of them were forced to enter a nursing home facility.  As a result, their little house on Charlton Street sat unoccupied for eight long years.

It was very hard for me to see my parent’s home, sitting there empty, eventually falling into a state of disrepair, but I had no other options.  At first, their future was uncertain.  After a few months, the two of them checked themselves out of the nursing home, and with the help of my uncle(against my wishes),  they moved back home.  Their time at home was short-lived, and both ended up back in the hospital, followed once again by the nursing home. 

It became apparent that my parents stay at the nursing home would be a permanent one.  If we rented or sold the house, the money would’ve had to go to the nursing home, because my parents were receiving government assistance with nursing home expenses.  I know sometimes people rent or sell illegally, and get away with it, but I wasn’t about to do that. 

All of my parent’s income(except for 30 dollars each)had to go to the nursing home, which meant that any other expenses  had to be paid by family members–including house taxes.  My brother and I shared the house burden for a while, then he eventually sold out his share of the house to me.

Those nursing home years were tough.  It was up to me and my husband to regularly check on the house, and to occasionally mow the grass.  Despite the fact that the house was getting run-down,  thank goodness we never had any vandalism.  In addition to seeing about their house, my parents depended on us for everything. 

My daddy passed away in 1991, but my mother lived in the nursing home for another six years.  When my mother passed away in 1997, it was finally time to decide what to do with my parent’s house.  Almost all of their belongings still sat undisturbed in their house after eight years.  It was very hard to sort through their belongings and try to decide what to do with them.  It was the most difficult task that I have ever undertaken.  My wonderful husband ended up building a storage shed behind our house to keep the majority of their things in,  because I couldn’t bear to part with them at the time.  

We were still in the process of cleaning out my parents’  house, when  a co-worker of my husband’s  found out that  we were thinking of selling the house.  He and his wife came and looked at the house, and despite its run-down condition, were  interested in buying it.  They even offered to clean up and dispose of any stuff that we wanted to leave behind in the house–and I took them up on that offer!  That couple was the answer to a prayer. 

We ended up doing an “owner financed” sale, which means that we had a legal agreement drawn up, and the couple paid monthly payments to me for the next ten years.  Unfortunately, the couple ended up getting a divorce during the next couple of years, but the woman, Marilyn,  kept the house, and continued making the payments.  Marilyn’s health faltered at one point, and she got behind a month or two on payments, but she soon caught up.

At the time that we sold my parent’s house, my husband and I were parents of three teenagers.  The monthly income from the sale of the house was almost enough to make the payment on a small car for our daughter, so we used the house income for the next three years to help buy her a car. 

By the time our daughter’s car was paid for, teenager number two, also needed a car.  Once again, for the following three years we used the house income to buy his car.  After that, it was time for our final teenager to get a car, so we used the last of the house income to help pay for his car, too.  I think my parents would be pleased to know that they helped purchase a car for each one of their grandchildren.

Once the new house owner, Marilyn,  finished paying off the house, she had some remodeling done.  Among other things, she had new floors put in, replaced the old windows, had new vinyl siding put on, and some new decks added to the outside of the house.  When Marilyn and I met at the lawyer’s office to sign the final papers, giving her sole ownership,  I told her how proud I was of how well she had taken care of my parents’ house.

  Every time I ride by the little  house on Charlton Street, I admire it, and think how happy my parents would be if they could see what’s been done with the place.  I know it sure makes me happy…and I love a happy ending.

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Published in: on June 28, 2010 at 10:12 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. aw I love a happy ending too. It’s awesome that the kids all got a car and that the lady got a home that she obviously cares for. I’m sorry for your loss of your parents.


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