I know. Sigh. It has been a long time. For some of you, a very long time. I sincerely apologize for it. It was not for the lack of wanting to reach out to you but it has been a very rough couple of years for us.
The shame of my situation, the difficulty of it, the lack of spare time and the energy centered around making sure Silas is fine froze me into a state of non-communication.
Today, the skies have cleared. I am reaching out to you to update you on the good things coming next.
But first here is the story behind my silence…
In mid April 2017, I learnt that I was losing my job of almost 10 years.
I was not going to be able to pay my rent, which meant that we were going to be homeless. Rents in the area are astronomical and no one rents to an unemployed single mother no matter how spotless her renting record and credit score are. If it was not for the help of a good friend we would be in a shelter. We are lucky enough to have a room in a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood. Currently, the perfect environment Silas deserves to thrive in.
So far, you will tell me that it does not seem too bad. People lose their jobs every day. Very true…
However, finding employment in the area turned out to be more complicated than I had originally thought :
- Commuting to Boston on a daily basis was impossible (we live in a small town 1h00 from Boston when traffic is clear)
- All that was available in the vicinities paid ridiculously low
- I was also told that I was over-qualified or I would not be hired because I am a mother of a young child
After 6 months, I found a position as a rehab tech (now combined to the one of medical records secretary) in a skilled nursing home 5 min from where we live.
I sincerely love my job. I find peace in my heart knowing that I make a difference in people’s life, that I can be of service and that I am closer to the values I hold dear in my heart.
However, the pay is not enough to cover our basis monthly living expenses. In addition :
- I work online doing some admin tasks in the evening after Silas is in bed
- I craft and sell what I create as much as I can
- I do some translations and odd jobs here and there
For those of you that know me well, I am the type of person that tries to put something aside for rainy days but there is nothing left to put aside. Most of the time there is not enough to pay it all.
And my divorce left me struggling with paying off debts and expenses.
My main focus and concern has been Silas.
Silas just turned 5 and he has been a real trooper.
I am so proud of him. I love him beyond words.
He understands that I had to change jobs but it has been a bit difficult to explain the consequences of having to move to someone else’s home and share a room with me. It has been a bit difficult to explain to him why everything changed all of a sudden.
Thankfully, Silas is a very resilient being and I make extra sure that he gets all the love he needs to go through this chapter of our lives in the best way possible.
Now listen, here are the good news...
I am happy to share with you that the finalization of my divorce makes it possible for Silas and I to move back to France.
We are planning to go home in May!
We are moving back to my hometown where we will be surrounded by family and friends. My mother will welcome us back for a transitional period. I will go back to teaching in September and Silas should be going to a Montessori school to allow him to settle in a safe and gentle environment (tuition fees are ridiculously low in France compared to the USA).
Several of you who are aware of our situation encouraged me to start a funding campaign to help with the expenses of our return to France. I was REALLY uncomfortable with the idea at first – having to share my life in the social arena, asking for money, feeling defective in providing for myself and my son… Then one of you told me that I had no reason to feel ashamed, that it is what the community of friends was for. So even though not a 100% comfortable doing so I am creating a page with a funding campaign. Let’s be realistic, I need a little help.
I will miss you all dearly.
In the last ten years, I have made amazing friends in this country.
You have been here for me all those years in ways you do not suspect.
Thank you for your friendship, for your trust, for the time spent together.
Thank you for being you.
While the monetary contribution will help to make the move possible, I am fully aware that we are not all as comfortable as we wish we could be. If you cannot help us that way, why don’t you send us a card or a note to wish us safe travels (the PO Box will be closed at the beginning of May).
Helene and Silas
PO Box 420
Mendon, MA 01756
Yours sincerely, as always,
PS: It is essential for Silas that I retain a civil relationship with his father. My goal here is not to discuss my divorce but to focus on the new chapter of our lives. I am just forced to deal with a series of unfortunate events.
Out of respect for Silas, his father and I, I would also appreciate that this campaign is kept in the private realm. You are welcome to private message me but I will not share any details on the public sphere. I am sure you understand. Merci!
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