Love Poems and Sad Stories - Forclosure -The Final Chapter in His Life

FORCLOSURE

Foreclosure
Foreclosure
Moving
Moving

===================

In the previous story, "Your Job Has Been Eliminated", an engineer is laid off one month after his 65th birthday after working for a company for 37 years. To get severence pay, which he desperately needs, he is forced to sign an agreement to not sue for age discrimination.

---------------------------------

To make ends meet, he is forced to do contract work which eventually dries up due to the severe economic conditions in the area. Then, when the value of his house declines more than $60,000 dollars in less than two years, he is forced to abandon it and let the bank forclose on it. "Forclosure" is the true story of what happened next.

----------------------------------

Taken from the book "Love Poems and Sad Stories" by rjsadowski.

====================

====================

Foreclosure

====================

Slowly, he dragged the armchair from the Florida room down the stairs to the family room. He recalled how his wife had agonized over selecting the exact fabric for the couch and armchair at Ethan Allen so that they would blend in with the wrought iron and glass furniture and give the room an outdoor look. He Had thought about trying to sell the Florida room furniture when they realized that there would be no place to put it in their new apartment in Milwaukee, but there wasn’t enough time.

------------------------------

He had stopped making the mortgage payments several months earlier, and had stalled as long as he could so that his daughter could finish her junior year at Dearborn High, and now they had to leave quickly before their dwindling savings ran out. They needed what little money they had left to pay to have the containers with their furniture shipped to Wisconsin and to hire some men to unload them. He was seventy years old and he could no longer do any heavy lifting and his wife had arthritis.

------------------------------

He had thought about trying to sell the house and pay off the mortgage, but in the current economy, the value of his house had declined more than $60,000 in three years and he no longer had any equity. Besides, homes weren’t selling in the depressed job market in Detroit. They had mortgaged their property to the limit several years earlier when they had adopted Valentina, Maria’s older sister, who became available when she turned sixteen.

------------------------------

Valentina and Maria were Russian orphans who had been adopted by a family in Seattle to help take care of their young children and to clean their house. If they disobeyed, they would be punished. They would be made to sit with their arms extended straight out in front of them for long periods of time. Sometimes, food was withheld or they were forced to sleep outside in the cold. Maria would never give in, so she quickly became available for re-adoption. However, Valentina was a good worker, so they kept her.

-----------------------------

He had promised Maria that if Valentina ever became available, they would adopt her too. When the phone call had come from Valentina saying that she was sixteen and asking if she could stay by them, there had been no hesitation. They would adopt her too and the sisters would be re-united. They had no choice now but to abandon the house and declare bankruptcy,

-----------------------------

The decision had been made months earlier that they would move back to Milwaukee before declaring bankruptcy. He had promised his wife sixteen years earlier, when they got married and he had moved her to Michigan, that after he retired from Ford, they would move back to Milwaukee where she grew up, and almost all of their relatives still lived. This was there last chance, because after the bankruptcy, there would never again be enough money to make the move.

-------------------------------

This had meant separating Maria and Valentina once again because Valentina had fallen in love and gotten married and would remain behind with her husband. Maria had been reluctant to leave Dearborn Heights and the only real home that she had ever known, but there wasn't any other option. She needed to finish high school and Valentina and her husband did not have room for her in their small apartment.

-------------------------------

Valentina, her husband, and one of their friends had packed the four metal containers that would be used to move their belongings to Milwaukee. Almost half of their possessions had to be abandoned and left behind. Besides the Florida room furniture, this had included an upright piano, a self-propelled lawn mower, several hundred books including forty years of National Geographic in slipcovers and an irreplaceable collection of jazz records which he had carefully collected over the past 50 years.

--------------------------------

This was his second and final trip back to the house since they had made the move to Milwaukee. The first time, he had taken the train there so that he could pick up their second car and drive it back. He had loaded up the car then with anything of value that he could salvage. This was his final trip back so he had used their minivan so that he could load some of the larger pieces into it.

--------------------------------

He would never again return to the only home that he and his wife would ever own. Once they filed for bankruptcy, it would be five years before they could begin to re-establish their credit rating. Since he would be 75 years old by then, they would never again have enough money to live anywhere but in an apartment.

--------------------------------

He had gone through as much of the remaining items in the basement as he could, discarding unwanted items into large black garbage bags. The garage and basement laundry room were already half filled with these large black bags. They had tried to get rid of as many of them as they could before they moved using the weekly garbage collection, but the city had a limit on how many they would collect in any one week.

--------------------------------

To get rid of the rest, they would have to have paid several hundred dollars for the city to provide a container and they just didn't have the money. This left the house with a very cluttered appearance. In addition, the tree roots in the front yard had partially obstructed the sewer line so that when it rained, water had backed up into parts of the basement.

---------------------------------

Now, he sat on the chair that he had dragged down from the Florida room with his feet on several old towels that he had laid down on the damp carpet. The house seemed strange and lonely without his family and dogs and with no TV in the background. He would spend the night on one of the family room couches that they had abandoned and return home to Milwaukee early the next morning.He couldn’t help thinking that this would be the final chapter in his life.

---------------------------------

Chapter one had been the first eighteen years that he had spent growing up in a small town in north central Wisconsin. Other than the death of his step brother, it had been a happy time, going to school and playing with his older brother and friends.

---------------------------------

Chapter two had been the four years that he had spent attending the University of Wisconsin in Madison. It had been his first time away from home and he recalled staring out the window of his physics class that first semester, watching the leaves fall and wishing that he was at home instead. Fortunately, he had spent the first two years living in a dormitory room with another student from his hometown. They managed to get home for the weekend every three to four weeks. The last two years he had lived alone off campus in a private home, but by then he had adjusted to living away from home.

-------------------------------

Chapter three had been the long journey to Newburgh, New York where he worked for Dupont for five years. This had been equally difficult that first year because he had no vacation time and 1200 miles was too far to travel in a weekend. To make matters worse, that first Christmas occurred on a Wednesday and it was impossible to get home even by airplane. It was the first Christmas that he had ever spent away from his family.

Fortunately, a friend from work had invited him to have Christmas dinner with his family. They became good friends the rest of the time he had lived in Newburgh, and leaving him and his family was one of his biggest regrets when he had moved on to the next phase of his life.

------------------------------

Chapter four was brought on after Dupont sold their Newburgh plant to Stauffer Chemical Company. Dupont had not been making money the last few years and had decided to get out of the vinyl plastics business. Stauffer came in and immediately started making changes to reduce costs including cutting back on benefits.

It had become obvious that there was no future there, so when the opportunity to relocate to the Ford Vinyl Plant had popped up, he had readily jumped at it. Besides an increase in salary and benefits, it involved moving to Mt. Clemens, Michigan, which was half way back to his childhood home in Wisconsin. He had spent the next 25 years there living in a one-bedroom apartment until his marriage to Linda in 1993.

--------------------------------

The current chapter began when they purchased the three-bedroom home in Dearborn Heights where they would spend the next sixteen years. Concurrently his job at the Mt. Clemens Vinyl Plant had ended and he had been transferred to the Ford Exterior Plastics Division in Dearborn assigned to the chief engineer. Moving their furniture from Linda’s apartment in West Allis, Wisconsin and from his apartment in Mt. Clemens was one of his last fond memories of his brother Larry.

To save money, they had decided to rent a moving truck rather than hire movers. As a wedding present, Larry had offered to handle the move with a friend of his who was a professional mover. His friend claimed to have once helped Oprah Winfrey in her move to Indiana, but he never found out the details. Larry and his friend lived in Antioch, Illinois where they rented the truck.

Early one Saturday morning, they drove to West Allis, Wisconsin, were they loaded all of his wife’s furniture and belongings including an upright piano. They then drove nearly 400 miles to Dearborn Heights, Michigan, where they unloaded everything into their new home before continuing on to his apartment 30 miles away in Mt. Clemens. After spending the night, they loaded his three rooms of furniture and also unloaded it into his new home.

They then drove back to Antioch Sunday night so that they could return the truck to the rental agency Monday morning. If he hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, he never would have believed it. It turned out to be the only time that his brother Larry had ever set foot in their house. His Brother had always planned to visit but it had never worked out. In fact, before he had unexpectedly died in 1999, his brother had planned to retire and spend several months with him here helping to fix up the basement.

=====================

He thought to himself now, as he prepared to spend one final night in the house that he and his wife had loved so much, that he was now beginning the final chapter of his life. He hoped that it would be a long chapter because his wife Linda and his daughter Maria still needed him. Valentina was married and could take care of herself, but Maria had never fully grown up even though she was nineteen years old.

Linda, although fifteen years younger than him, had rheumatoid arthritis and depended on him to do almost everything. She would be hard pressed to take care of herself and Maria if he died. It was probably a good thing that they had been forced to abandon their home and move to an apartment. Still, he couldn’t help but feel regret that he had been forced to abandon his home and declare bankruptcy.

He had worked for 42 straight years without ever being without a job before his position was unexpectedly eliminated when he reached age 65. Even then, he continued to do contract work for four more years until he could no longer find someone to hire him. He had always paid his bills on time and he had always kept his promises.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

No use sitting here thinking about the past, he thought to himself. He finally took off his shoes and stretched out on the couch, which was one of their first purchases after they had moved in. It matched the other couch, which they had moved from his apartment in Mt. Clemens and now both had to be left behind. He didn’t bother to turn out the light because it would be too depressing. Besides, he didn’t expect to sleep very well.

============================================ 

They are finally situated in their new apartment in Milwaukee. They have filed for bancruptcy and their youngest daughter is completing her final year in her new High School. Each morning he wakes up at 4:00 AM, makes a pot of coffee and sits all alone at the computer playing "Solitaire".

============================================

The setting of this true story (Forclosure)

show route and directions
A markerDearborn, Michigan -
Dearborn, MI, USA
[get directions]

B markerMilwaukee, Wisconsin -
Milwaukee, WI, USA
[get directions]

More by this Author


Comments 1 comment

Magdaleine profile image

Magdaleine 4 years ago

rjsadowski, you are really a good writer. Hopefully these true sad stories will be the begining of many true happy stories.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working