Thirteen years ago today my Father killed himself.
He was distressed about bad financial decisions that he had made that were exacerbated by the collapse of tech stocks earlier in the year.
He thought that he couldn’t face my mother or his children or his many friends because the bottom had fallen out of his life financially.
We learned within days of his death what my Father bravely knew and wrongly kept to himself.
We learned that my Dad killed himself because it had become clear that he and my mother were going to have to give up many of the luxuries that they had enjoyed, the big house that they loved and the prestige of their comfortable life.
What he didn’t understand was how wrong he was about us.
My Mother would have lived in her car for the rest of her life for the chance to spend even another week or month with him.
My brothers and Sister and I would have emptied our bank accounts and made whatever sacrifice that we had to make to help them to have my Dad standing at the sidelines of our children’s games again shouting encouragement to they young athletes and obscenities at the referees.
All of us would have stood side by side with he and my mom in foreclosure court, bankruptcy court or any other court if we could have even spent one more Sunday with him sitting on the floor in front of the television criticizing the coach and the players of his beloved Cleveland Browns.
If he only understood how much we loved him and had a clue about how much we have missed him each day of the last thirteen years he would have done whatever it took to face up to his financial challenges and focus on the things in life that are more important.
That’s why I have so much admiration for the clients who we represent who are facing foreclosure. Every single client of this firm is facing a challenge that they never contemplated they would have to face. Every one of our clients is facing that challenge with courage and determination.
Thousands of people in this state, every day allow their homes to go to an uncontested foreclosure. Some people are afraid to tell their wife or husband or children about the problems facing them. What I can tell you and I wish I would have had the chance to tell my Dad, is that for most of those clients there is a solution through litigation, settlement or even bankruptcy to allow them to stay in their homes and to resume living the life they expected.
If you are facing a financial challenge that seems insurmountable you owe it to the people you love and who love you to make sure you reach out for help. We will meet with or talk on the phone to anyone who calls or emails. Your friends and family will admire your courage and determination.
If someone think someone you care about is facing foreclosure or financial challenges, remind them about how much you love them and encourage them to reach out to a professional like a psychologist, or a housing counselor or a lawyer who can help them.
I wish every day that my Dad had given me the chance.