Recently, yet another friend confided that he was in the process of losing his house. Sean and his wife had endured a grueling era of juggling three jobs and stashing evey penny, dime, and nickel for the down payment. His daughter and son, five and seven, took their first steps, uttered their first da-da's, and performed their first finger paintings in this house. Four years ago, when the Napa River flooded almost destroying the very modest three bedroom abode, Sean whisked his family into a rental, while he labored in the evenings after work, to re-build. And re-build he did, upgrading and waterproofing the entire house. Sean, worked deligently as an independent painting contractor. He never had to advertise for the quality of his work and the integrity of his character paved his success. He is a kindhearted, earnest man; a sincere friend, an involved father, and a loyal husband. A man that people clamor to-- not only because he is trustworthy--Sean is hilarious ( he could be a stand-up storyteller) and is guarenteed to make you laugh.
With the sagging California economy, Sean's clients slowly began to drift into hibernation. Projects were postponed or cancelled all together. Slowly, the familys' meager savings began to evaporate. Then came the fatefull blow--Sean's wife lost her teaching job hurling the family down into a spiral whirlpool of hardship. And there was no one, besides the bank, in a position to toss him a line or offer a hand to pull the family back on shore. Sean approached the bank on several occasions, explaining his dilema. He bargained, wrote a proposal, practically begged the bank to give him time. Time to hoist himself out of economic despair. But they (the Almigthy Bank) turned their hearing aids off, threw them away, and told my friend--sink to the bottom of the pool with the others.
Ironically, work began to pick up in little trickles, then suddenly like a sunami, Sean was inudated with old clients coming out of their resting caves. He now has enough work to keep him and another employee busy for a year. But it's too late--the bank has given him a week to pack up his life, his children, and move on. And what happens then to the house? Does it get tossed in a heap with all of the other houses people have been forced to abandon. Who will buy this house, for less than what Sean owes in back morgage? Another family in the same boat? It's too humble of a home for the elite unaffected folks floating through these tough times in their cash boats. Is there any empathy left, any solace for the working family? Who will compensate those like Sean, who have toiled for years to keep a home and when times are tough, they have their life yanked out from underneath them? Where will all these empty houses with the ghosts of the living still lingering end up?
Causes Karen Devaney Supports
Eve Ensler and any organization that deals with issues supporting women and children and the advancement of their education.