To understand where my father was at this point, you need a little understanding of my mother (whom I fondly called “Little Mother”, as I quickly bypassed her in height by age 13.) As I mentioned, Little Mother was introverted, had not worked out of the home since before she was married, and undoubtedly suffered from depression. As we were growing up, she often had physically illness, pain and had multiple surgeries.
Raised by a loving but poor ministerial family, in her adult years she carefully accounted for every cent. Her checkbook was manually balanced to the penny. She kept the books for my dad’s business for years, she was a perfectionist and a great bookkeeper. My mother certainly contributed to his business success. She hated debt, and in later years was appalled at loans my dad took out to fund his business.
Now I was faced with how to handle my dad’s accumulating debt.
⇐Dad in 2006, is that Lewy lurking in his eyes?
I talked to my sisters, I prayed, I explored alternatives. The best temporary solution was for them to take a loan against the house.
We were also at the place where we knew they had to sell the house, my dad wasn’t keeping up on the repairs, my mother couldn’t safely go down the stairs to do the laundry, and it was a pending disaster. (I’ll have a “house blog” for you shortly.)
I planned a meeting with both my parents; we gathered around their brown formica kitchen table, the one that had been there since my childhood. The table had a little red spot, a defect that always bugged me. I stared at the red spot, wondering where to start.
I slowly explained to mother the situation, how much he had spent on the credit cards, how little income his “business” generated. Also the fact he had to pay rent and phone for his office.
Dad said there silent, already a blank stare in his eyes.
Mother cried, abhorring the thought of taking out more debt on the house at this age.
I was sick to my stomach, this was truly the last place I wanted to be, sitting at the brown kitchen table with the two of them, talking about money.
Would she agree? What would happen to them? Where would they live? How could they live?
I didn’t know it at the time, but this is one point where my faith in God’s provisions was sorely tested.
It was also a time I clearly heard his voice. “I will take care of their finances. They will be okay.” In the coming years, I clung to that promise.