She’s a single mother of two teenage children. All she needed was a little help — a break from having to pay the monthly bills in order to catch up on the pile of past-due notices. That’s when my wife, Elizabeth, came to me and asked if this family could live with us for “a little while.”
She’s a single mother of two teenage children.
After being laid-off by one job, and let go from another, she found herself dancing on a financial tightrope. Her house was dark and cold, the result of owing the electric company more than $700 in back fees.
They had no water. Couldn’t pay the bills. And the landlord had given her until the end of the month to find new living quarters, as the rent was past due.
This single mother struggled with where to go, and who to turn to next. They had no family close by. This family of three had to support themselves. She had one daughter in her first year at Missouri Southern, attending school on music scholarships, and a son who was a freshman in high school and a talented musician. All she needed was a little help — a break from having to pay the monthly bills in order to catch up on the pile of past-due notices.
That’s when my wife, Elizabeth, came to me and asked if this family could live with us for “a little while.”
This wouldn’t be the first time we have had someone live with us. Her brother stayed a summer at our home during an internship. Her sister and husband lived with us while they were in between homes, and a friend of mine and his wife lived with us for a summer when he transfered and they needed to a place to stay while house-hunting.
I could tell by the emotion on Elizabeth’s face that helping this family was important to her, so in October they moved into our basement.
Soon after, the single mom was able to secure a temporary job and start saving money.
Then, tragedy hit again. Their car quit running. Another setback. Another emotional punch to the gut. The mother was about to give up. But, she was able to get rides to work and continue to save money, now for a car instead of rent. Two months later, they were able to put money down for a car, and also catch up on most of their past-due bills.
Now, nearly six months later, the family has secured a new rental home and is preparing to move. The single mother continues to work at her job, which ironically helps people struggling to pay their bills with financial assistance, and she hopes the temporary position will turn into full-time work.
And during their six-month stay, this family also helped us. They were able to watch our girls when we were both busy with work appointments, and they helped us around the house. They quickly became part of our family.
While she has struggled in the past year to make ends meet, I am proud of this single mother for trying to do everything she can to get her family back on its feet. She could have easily gave up, and she was close a few times, but she never did. It’s a lesson in willpower that we could all learn from.
Neosho Daily News