Monday, January 26, 2009


I don't know what to do.

My mom continues on an economic downward spiral.  It's so sad and frustrating for me to hear her say things like, "I'm so ready to throw in the towel and just give up, and move in with my parents for a few years".  It breaks my heart to know that she is willing to do that in order to be able to pay for things for Kelsey and I.  My mom is finally living a house that feels more like a "home" than any other place we have ever lived... it's heartbreaking.

When my parents separated in 2001, my mom, sister and I became such a strong unit.  Our motto was always "we will find a way", even when we were living paycheck to paycheck, my mom was working 2 jobs, and she was trying so hard to still be involved in our lives, and make it to those lacrosse games and awards banquets.  She busted her butt so that we could get things like class rings, senior portraits, prom dresses.

My heart feels like it's breaking.  My mom was finally getting back on her feet.  It took her 7 years, but last summer she felt like she was finally beginning to put a little bit of money in savings, and she was able to live comfortably.  When she was diagnosed with cancer, she knew that things were going to get tight... And they are.  The bill just for her actual surgery is $70,000.00  That doesn't include the other thousands that she was billed for for doctors appointments, blood draws, etc.  I think the total is somewhere around $75,000.00.  Insurance is covering a portion of it, but not all of it.  On the phone today, my mom told me that she feels "beaten down".  I feel so strongly for her.

I had saved up about $1500 for this semester, so that I could take my full 18 credit hours without worrying about having to work.  I wanted to be able to focus on my school work, since I'm a senior and taking all 400 level classes with heavy workloads.  Well, I had to lend that money to my mom last November, and now I have $16.82 in my bank account.  Bills are due this week, I haven't bought books for all of my classes, rent is due on Monday (something my mom has always paid for... I take care of my bills, groceries, spending money, etc.)  My mom told me today that the total of her rent and Kelsey and my rent is $1900.  My mom only makes $1700 per paycheck.  So, her paycheck doesn't even cover all of our rents!  Let alone her bills, groceries, etc.  She had to pick and choose which bills to pay for this month.  She chose phone bill and electric bill, so that her heat wouldn't be turned off.  

It makes me sick to my stomach.  Our little family was doing well- finally getting back on our feet after the blow of the divorce.  It took 7 years, but after being frugal for that long, we had made it!  And my mom's cancer has set us back, further back than we ever were before.  I wish I could give my mom the peace of mind she needs.  I'm so frustrated and angry and sad and I don't know what to do.  I could get a job, but even then I won't make money fast enough to cover the things that need to be covered within the next 7 days (for myself and for my mom).

And while I was sitting here thinking about it, the part that put me over the edge and made curl up in a little ball and cry is the thought that some people have it so much worse off than us.  My mom's twice a month paycheck is more than some people in the world will have in a lifetime.  1 in 5 people in this world are living off $1 a day.  Sickening.

I was in Delaware for the entire fall semester.  I should have put together some sort of fund-raiser for my mom.  I should have done something.  This is so frustrating.


lindsey said...

hey, i hear where you're mom's in the same boat economically, though due to different circumstances. my way of dealing has largely been to not deal with it, though that doesn't help...anyway, i'm sorry to hear that you're going through this, i know it sucks.

Jennifer Lehmann said...

After my mom's divorce with her dad she was the same as yours...worked her ass off to not only pay the bills but to be able to do extra things for my brother and I. There came a point where the "we will find a way" came down to moving in with my grandma. No, she didn't like it, but she knew it was what she had to do until things got straightened out again.

Gooch said...

I am so sorry you are going through this right now. My father is in a very similar situation. He called me the other day asking if I had a pen and paper handy. I said yes of course what's up. He replied, "my phone is gonna get turned off any day, so here's my work number to call if there's an emergency."