From the time they were 17 years old, my parents have been inseparable. They never had much money, but raised four girls through a beautiful life, nudging us all on our way with more love and encouragement than you would think possible. Their belief? Be good people, don't give up, keep the faith, and most of all just work harder, and everything will turn out right in the end. Through job loss, miscarriage, starting, making a success of and then and losing a business to a double-crossing business partner, foreclosure and IRS troubles, starting over, medical problems, and personal tragedies in their daughters' lives, my parents have hung tight to each other--and us--through it all.
Now, just when everything has begun settling down and looking up--my dad has recovered from near-deadly complications from a simple outpatient surgery last year, their credit is just about good enough to buy another house after years of renting and double shifts (5 AM to 10 PM every weekday) to achieve financial recovery--they've been hit with their most devastating blow yet.
This week, a little over a month before my parents' would be celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary, my 54 year-old mom was diagnosed with a genetic form of early Alzheimer's disease. Even though she's taking the news with her usual grace, humor and stubborn cheerfulness ("I'm not going to lay down and take this!" she texted me the day she found out), my dad is heartbroken and the entire family is trying to be optimistic, but we're all afraid for the future. Their usual approach to solving problems--work harder, try harder, stay happy and just keep moving forward--won't solve this one.
For the last month, my parents have been in the process of buying a house. It's a perfect "happily ever after house"--a big, beautiful yard, no maintenance needed, in-town location in a great neighborhood, near the hospital, grocery store, parks, and literally next door to one of their daughters. They've put down their earnest money and their credit score is just five points away from where it needs to be to start the mortgage proceedings. What we (my sisters and I) are hoping to do is to give them the down payment they need and we're asking for your help.
With all that they've been through during their marriage, their struggles and losses, my parents have kept their heads up and forged forward together to get through it all. Especially with this latest blow, they just deserve something good to happen to them. This house would be a safe place for our mom to live if her health takes another downward turn, and it's near us girls, so that we can help my dad with her care.
We can't cure my mom of her Alzheimer's, but we can help them during this last, huge struggle. Please help us get my parents with the down payment on their happily ever after home.
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