Friday, August 22, 2008

Pay it Forward

Everyone who frequently read my blog knows that I love my parents dearly. No matter what they need, I will do what I can to provide. I guess I’m that way because they raised me and you know that adage that says “each one teach one”, well that’s what happened to me while watching my parents help others.

Growing up my parents was considered the couple that made it. Other family members from every state would call for emergency help and my dad or mom always responded. Mind you the emergencies were real and some even saved lives. As a child I watched family members come back to thank my parents for helping them. Some were successful business owners, others had fled areas to get away from drugs or other negative things they found difficult to ignore. But all borrowers always reported back how they had grown and thanked my parents; some even helped others, like the pay it forward concept.

Now that my parents are older, dad being 75 and mom will be 70 in September, their finances are much different. So as the oldest daughter, I will help when they need it. Now, my parents divorced after 33 years but dad has been allowing his woman of 10 years to live with him. She is 70, never worked and supposedly has no income. So dad pays all the bills. The thing is my siblings feel like if they help him they are keeping his woman. I say, dad has a right to be in love and to want companionship and that the woman is not my concern but if dad needs something and she benefits so what! My siblings and even some relatives say that I shouldn’t help him because of her. Is that stupid or am I?

I’m glad that dad has companionship even though she is broke. It won’t stop me from helping him after he gave me a good life…….

Did my siblings forget we grew up privileged and getting everything we wanted and even changing cars regularly in high school and college? Who do they think took care of their little spoiled butts? I am thankful that I lived well under my parents. I am thankful that dad worked hard so that we could have the things we wanted and needed. Dad has never asked me for anything. But I go over and see the bills and check the refrigerator to see that he needs groceries or help with his bills. He does not have to ask me, I just do it because I know he needs help. Plus I want my parents around healthy and stress free as long as possible too.

Would you let your mom or dad struggle because they have a companion that can’t help financially?


GC (God's Child) said...

well, your question only has one answer. But I'm not so sure it's quite as stark as letting a parent struggle because of a companion who cannot contribute.
There's more to the story isn't there? Does she have no children? What's she been up to the last 50 years or so?

TJ said...

My dad and I have a complicated relationship, but I'd help him if he was in need.

kathi said...

I'd help my parents...have helped. But I'm like gc, can't help but wonder where her own family is and why they're not helping. I'd help with utilities, payments, etc...but I don't think I'd be giving her a handout. I'm not as cold as I sound, I'm just of the mindset that family comes first. I believe it's our responsibility to leave an inheritance to our children and I'm not sure I'd be giving my childrens share to her.

BostonPobble said...

It doesn't sound to me as if she was a part of your parents' divorce in any way. They've been together for 10 years so it's not like the relationship is a flash in the pan. We, your readers, don't know enough about her situation to judge what she's been doing for the last 50 years (was she comfortable and then hit hard times? was she married and didn't have to work? was she scamming the system? we don't know.) so there's no way to say for certain. what I would hold onto is the fact that she makes your dad happy. she's sticking by him, in spite of him not being able to provide every little thing possible. I just know a lot of people who would've been in real trouble if their families had turned their backs just because they didn't care for the partner. of course, that and a buck fifty...

Rose said...

I think this woman has been kept most of her life, never working. Her past live in lover died and I don't think she was married. However I did contact her daughter ad spoke to her about the situation. She claims to want to help but was in hardship herself due to the recent and unfortunate disabling of her husband whom she said lost his company due to illness. The daughter claimed to want to help but said she was barely making it herself.
Now don't get me wrong, dad would be okay if he gave up that big house but at 75 he is stuck on his home and wants to stay there til death. One thing though he has left the house to my mother, isn't that sweet? I have all the paperwork. I'm just trying to keep dad stressfree so he can be around longer. Yes, if he moved into a smaller house he wouldn't need anything....but as he said we'd have to kill him to remove him. (I'm laughing but he was serious) But really I am glad that at 75 he can still feel love, but my siblings just want her to pay for her keeps...Helping your parents should be something you do from the heart anyway. They don't ask you for things, but as a parent knows their child a child should know their parents.

Sharon because it had to be said! said...

With no disrespect to your siblings Rose, you are right and they are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! There is only one REAL question here and that is, "Do you or don't you love and respect your Father enough for what he did for you in your lifetime to return the favor to the best of your ability?" From what you have shared, you were raised like I was take care of your own. This rings thru clearly throughout the posts on your blog as it relates to those you love so why should your Dad's companion factor into the equation at all?

I consider being in a financial position that enables me to help my Mother and Grandmother (who raised me jointly) a blessing and a gift. Anything I do for them is considered a gift from my perspective and as is the case whenever you give something to someone, it (whatever IT is) then becomes theirs to do with as they please....even if they choose to share it or give it to someone for whom I have little or no affection.

You are doing the right thing, so go on and continue to DO YOU as the kids so eloquently say!

Momma Bear said...

Rose, God will bless you for doing what you do for your dad. I think it's very admirable that you do it and you have a Spiritual attitude about it. I sort of have a simular situation only my mother passed away. Even though I have never really know from time to time whether or not she's a good companion for him; I would help him if the need arises. I don't have much money and it's hard to get him to accept help but I would certainly help under the same circumstances that you have with your dad.

princessdominique said...

I think I would be more inclined to give things like food and directly pay bills than just put money in the account that she (that other woman) could access. You never know another person's motives and even 10 years is not even time to tell what a person is after in a marriage, but I think it was noble of him to leave your mom the house. That says a lot about his character. Does the woman know he's leaving the house to her or just something you have knowledge of?

TDJ said...

I see your point Rose, but I also understand your siblings. I'm an only child, so there's no way I'd let my dad go without food or utilities, but I can't see just being an endless cash cow for he and his lady. Very touchy subject.

Rose said...

I help dad with emergencies and over the top utility bills. He never asks though. I do it because when he was able he did everything to make us happy. Plus I do love him. His girlfriend is nice. She is between 65 and 70. She is respectful, just broke I guess. Maybe my siblings want our parents back together. Together they would be financially stable but after 33 years of marriage they are best friends, that's all. I just accept the situation because he is happy. My siblings are selfish and are all about the Me generation. Yes she knows Dad left the house to my mom. He put her name on the deed. That just tells you how kind he is. I think he still loves my mother and she him, but time marches on. But let something happen to either one and they break their necks getting to each of to give support. Everybody thinks they are still married.

Jdid said...

i'd probably do what you are doing

Believer 1964 said...

I have helped my mother on occasion and she has done the same for me. She’s always willing to help, without me even asking, and it's one of the things I love most about her. In fact, I often need to tell her to quit it. Nevertheless, this is how she loves, and I get it!

I vote to keep providing for your dad however and whenever he is in need. I think it’s the honorable thing to do! You’re a wonderful daughter and I bet he’s so proud of you.

rebecca said...

Sweet And Low


Sweet and low, sweet and low,

Wind of the western sea, ,

Low, low, breathe and blow,

Wind of the western sea!

Over the rolling waters go,

Come from the dying moon, and blow,

Blow him again to me;

While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.


Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,

Father will come to thee soon;

Rest, rest, on mother's breast,

Father will come to his babe in the nest,

Silver sails all out of the west

Under the silver moon;

Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.

-----by age of conan


Anonymous said...

Rose, there is a certain respect that our generation was raised with...that is to whom much is given, much is expected. I agree with you. Your father has a right to be happy and if his Significant other profits from it, then so be it...that contributes to his happiness and longevity. He is not showing disrespect to his wife of 33 years or his children...he is simply choosing to live his golden years as he sees fit. I have taken a job on weekends to cut lawn and hedges to earn extra money to send to my parents twice a month...You did what you knew how to do and when you knew better, you did better....