It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Worried Daughter” who, with the help of her husband, supported her father after he fell on hard times for a year (and to the tune of $20k plus) with no end in sight to her father’s inability to support himself. Unfortunately, she and her husband were not in a position to continue paying her dad’s rent and her husband did not want his FIL moving in with them, putting the LW in a terrible position of potentially watching her father become homeless. She wrote: “I don’t know what to do. Ignore my father’s situation and figure he will work it out eventually? I cannot do that if he is on the street. Or do I watch my marriage, business and the life I’ve worked hard to build for myself crumble because my father won’t/can’t support himself?” Her update below.
It’s been several years. I did not move my dad in. He found a small apartment and got a “gig job” doing deliveries. Candidly, it’s been a rough few years for him. He’s struggled a lot and my husband and I have helped as needed/requested (which, honestly, has been far more my giving because I see a need, rather than his requesting, but nothing like before – think dinner and a gift card here and there, rather than constant bill paying). He is now 65 and has “retired” in that now he can get his retirement/SS funds and is eligible for Medicaid, which helps.
My thoughts on this side of things are that my dad worked his ass off from ages 17-60 as a print journalist/writer. He had a solid, if relatively low, but steady income for decades. Then he got “downsized.” He is also admittedly shit with money. But, no one wants to hire the “olds” to do what he’s always done. So, he found what was available. It’s a walking delivery job — hard, demanding, through 90-degree and 30 degrees in the rain, and he’s done it for the last several years. He’s looking at doing it for several more.
When I wrote to you, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was scared. He was scared. But, we found a way to make it work so far. Things are going to change, but … we’ll work it out. I’m no longer scared that it can’t work.
I still believe that your advice and the commenters’ advice was invaluable. Thank you for your advice, your time, and your efforts.
Happy New Year to All.
I’m so glad things are not as dire as you once feared and that your dad still has the physical ability to do the work he is able to find and can piece together a living, with some occasional help from you and your husband. You are all lucky to have each other, and I hope things continue to work and you are able to enjoy each other’s company and the comfort you are lucky to find. Thanks for the update, happy new year to you, and best wishes!
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.