Because some lifetimes won’t be that long


Tonight I sit here in the quiet listening to the wind outside whipping through the rafters upstairs, bringing a chill into the air. The wind chime’s dance sends soothing tones across the darkness. The boys are asleep but I can’t yet seem to find that peaceful escape of my own. Today, Brendan Bjorn became a teenager. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that he is now 13 years old! Wasn’t it just a few years ago that he was a baby I could lovingly cuddle in my arms? Apparently not. Time flies, and all that.

As birthdays can make a person do, I am feeling sentimental, reflective, and my heart is heavy with emotion while my mind is spinning with concern. This past week, I’ve done everything I could think of to facilitate finding a long-term home for my family: I met with a government Minister in the Dail; I met with journalists; I continued to (unsuccessfully) apply for rental houses on the private market to avail of HAP; I wrote here about the type of house we need and why; I posted on Twitter photos of where we are now with explanations of how dangerous and unsuitable it is. Yet, despite my best efforts, nothing has changed. We still are on the verge of homelessness as I delay going into emergency accommodation for as long as I possibly can.

In this silence, it comes to me that I don’t want a long-term home.
And I certainly don’t want a rental home with a mere 12 month lease. 

What I want is a home that will last our lifetime. 

One of the other things I did last week was to enquired about a low-interest home mortgage loan scheme offered by the county council to people on the housing waitlist. Quite disappointingly, I learned that I am not eligible to apply for such an opportunity because my income as a full time carer to my son is not actually considered as income. It is social welfare – a fact I despise. And, regardless of the security in the regular monthly payment from the State, it is not income that qualifies for any type of loan in the eyes of those who set financial guidelines. I was also told that it isn’t seen as secure finances because my “circumstances could change.” Yes, true, one day I will no longer be a carer because some lifetimes won’t be that long.

I then pointed out to this person on the other end of the phone that anyone at any time could lose their income, whether they work at a large corporation or the small shop down the road. It didn’t matter.

I then pointed out to the person on the other end of the phone that if I could obtain this low-interest home mortgage loan, I would get off the housing list, freeing up a space for someone else, and simultaneously give my two sons a family home that would last a lifetime…or should I say, two different lifetimes. It didn’t matter either.

Basically, it doesn’t matter that the work I do 24/7, which literally daily saves the life of this vulnerable, amazing child of mine, is that of a highly skilled nurse. It doesn’t matter that if I brought in less money working at a local shop, I would then qualify to apply for this low-interest home mortgage loan. Social welfare is not accepted, full stop. I wanted to scream, “But I don’t want a hand out, I want a hand back up!”

What I want is a home that will last our lifetime. 

The wind is still howling through the house and in my ever-growing tiredness, I will share something so close to my heart, and so unique to this journey, that I doubt many will understand. This is another aspect of finding a home for my family that weighs on my soul, one that I’ve never before voiced…

It’s the part about how some lifetimes won’t be that long. You see, I don’t want to ever have to leave the home where Brendan Bjorn will spend his last years with me and his brother Declan. I don’t want a council house where shortly after I lose Brendan someday, they tell me we must go and give it to the next family on the disabled housing list who needs a modified home. No, I want to stay there, in that home – in our home – where he was for his remaining time, which I hope and pray is a good number of years still to come. For the rest of my own lifetime, I want to be able to walk into Brendan’s old room and visualise his smile, to hear his laughter, to feel his presence. I want Declan to be able to reminisce, as his own cherished memories of his brother arise, when he enters this room or looks out that window.  I don’t want to ever have to leave behind the home where all those final memories will have been created. 

I know I couldn’t bear leaving it behind…

…because some lifetimes won’t be that long.

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One thought on “Because some lifetimes won’t be that long

  1. Louise

    Hello warrior!

    I wish I had the wealth to buy you a home. You try and work so hard 24/7 but face so many brick walls.
    Why can’t a so called millionaire celebrity or wealthy business person, see your struggle and buy you a secure property?

    Sending strength

    Louise xx

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