Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our Story

Our story is like so many others today. We have had our ups and downs since we got married, like all couples, but this last year has really been a test to our love, and faith.

We purchased the farm, three years ago this December. It had been Wendell’s, and my dream since we first met. We were totally amazed we even qualified for the loan, as we had filed bankruptcy the first year we were married. We had worked hard to get our credit back, and it looked as if we had succeeded. I was working for a well known health insurance company and he was working for a family owned, farm store.

A year after we purchased the farm, I lost my job. I had found another but the pay was considerably less than the $12 an hour I had made, working for the insurance company. I had been at the new job only six months when I was let go there. It was hard for us, especially when I was already juggling the bills to make our $702 house payment each month.

Before my job loss, Wendell was developing some serious health issues. He had been suffering from tingling and numbness in his hands. We both just ‘ignored’ it, hoping it would go away. (A lot of it having to do with all the previous trouble we had been having with his health insurance, through his employer.) Unfortunately, it didn’t go away.

About six weeks after I had lost my job, Wendell woke up, numb from the waist down. This couldn’t be ignored. He didn’t want to go to the doctor because he knew we could not afford it. I basically had to force him to go. We would worry about the bills later. His health was our top concern.

I got him to our family doctor, who then sent us to a neurologist. They did an MRI, and then we waited. The day we went back for the results, the doctor immediately admitted Wendell into the hospital. He had to undergo a spinal tap that confirmed he had Multiple Sclerosis. He was in the hospital for five days, receiving heavy doses of steroids to help put the MS into check. That was a week of total shock for us both. We did not know what was going to happen to him. Like many, our first thoughts were that he would be in a wheelchair.

Luckily, the doctor was able to get the MS under control. Wendell was unable to go back to work and now has to take a daily injection of a drug called Copaxone. Due to him not being able to go to work, the company he worked for terminated him. Per their handbook, if a team member goes out on FMLA, and cannot return to work after twelve weeks, they are considered to be ‘voluntarily’ terminating themselves. Now he had no job.

Through God’s blessings, we were lucky that he did have short and long term disability insurance through the employer. We were also blessed that he qualified for Medicaid, as we could no way afford the $2300 a month for the Copaxone he had to take daily.

With having to deal with the medical issues, we also had some financial issues to deal with. We became late on our mortgage payments and credit cards. We had tried to work something out with our mortgage lender to no avail. I was constantly getting the run around. Then I got the foreclosure notice in the mail. I had seven days to respond to it. The letter had been postmarked, three days prior to when it was written. I had received it, one day after the deadline to call them.

As a last resort, I contacted our local news station, and told one of the reporters, Kathy Sweeney, our story. She was very interested in it, and asked us if we would be willing to share it with the area viewers. We agreed, not know if it would help us in our situation, but hoping that we may be able to help others going thru the foreclosure process too.

Kathy, and KFVS12 did several interviews with us that aired in November. I think as a result we did help others. After all was said and done, we decided to let the bank take the house. With Wendell’s illness, there is no way I could take care of the farm by myself.

We were lucky to come across a mortgage counselor who is working with our mortgage lender, and they have now agreed to let us stay in the house while its being put up for sale. Supposedly, if the house doesn’t sell in 90 days, they are going to let us sign over the deed. The house has been on the market for 30 days so far, and we haven’t had anyone look at it or heard anymore from the bank.

Now we are just sitting here waiting. I really can’t say that we are just sitting here because we are constantly trying to get things moved to a storage unit, as we’ve been told, once it does sell, or they take claim of the house, we will only have a few days to get out. We have had to get rid of all of our animals, which was a gut wrenching experience for both of us. It was like giving our children away. It’s a very scary, and sad situation for us.

We’ve had some good along with this bad, so please don’t feel sorry for us. That is the last thing we want.

In August, I was given the opportunity to go to school. I am working on a two year, Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. God blessed me with a work/study program that basically allows me to work off my tuition as I learn. I will be only eight credits short of the degree come May 2009. I’ve discovered that I love cooking, and baking. I am hoping that a job in the food industry will be easier to find. People have to eat, right?

Wendell was released to go back to work part time but there are several restrictions on him. He has always worked hard, doing manual labor. The new restrictions say he can not lift more than 20 pounds, repetitively, he can not be exposed to the heat or extreme cold. He is finding it hard to get anything like. Luckily, he’s found an agency who is trying to help him.
That’s the long and short of it. If there is anything I didn’t mention, and you would like to know, please feel free to message me. I would be happy to answer any questions.

Now… the real blogging can begin.


  1. Dear Debbie: I thought I'd just start your blog from the beginning. I am soooo sorry about what's happened to you!!! My heart truly goes out to you! Do you mind if I pray for you and your family?
    Hugs to you,

  2. Cath, We can use all the prayers we can get. Thank you so much and I hope you continue to read. I really enjoy writing this.