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Mon Jul 2, 2012, 01:34 PM

My personal reason for enthusiastically supporting Pres. Obama.

This will be a long, very personal post, so, please, bear with me.

Years ago, my parents took out a mortgage on their home. They did so to do repairs to the house, specifically the roof, windows, and driveway. Much of the money was invested in updating the house, which was built in the 1940s, so that it essentially didn't appear like it was crumbling. Some of the repairs inside included new bathroom & kitchen flooring.

My parents were always good at making their payments on the mortgage. In fact, they were never late. For years, they paid their monthly amount and did things the right way. There was never any concern over not being able to make that payment and so, my mom never feared the prospects of losing her house.

Then, toward the end of 2010, my dad became ill and died. He was 57 years old. He was also a Vietnam veteran, who had been ruled 100% disabled years before from his time in Vietnam. He suffered from PTSD and an array of medical problems associated with Agent Orange. I've written about my Dad's struggles before, so, I won't go into 'em personally, but let's just say that his quality of life slipped remarkably the last few years of his life - as he had suffered a broken hip, grand mal seizure, and that final year, 2010, he was bed stricken far more often than not.

Still, even with his medical conditions, Dad's death in that November was extremely unexpected and sudden. We knew his health was deteriorating, but I don't think we expected that it was happening as fast as it was. But he couldn't fight any longer and, one day, he was gone.

My mom is in her 60s and suffers from COPD. It's not as severe as most cases and was directly brought on by her smoking years ago (she quit maybe seven or eight years ago), but it means she's on oxygen a good portion of the day and, when out and about, can become very winded. She's also crippled with arthritis. For most of the final years of my dad's life, she was stuck in the house taking care of him. A lot of this had to do with his declining memory, since he suffered from cerebral atrophy, something that was a direct result of Agent Orange, and because of it, he had awful memory loss. She would have to regulate his eating, and more importantly, his pill taking, because he would forget just having done it. After his seizure, it became impossible to drive and that left my mom taking him to most of his appointments at the veteran's hospital here.

This after spending much of the last 10 years prior being an in-home caregiver to my grandfather, who suffered a stroke in the late 90s. My grandma had asked my mom to help her take care of him because she didn't want to A) have a nurse move in with her and B) put him in a home. My mom agreed and uprooted her family, my father and me, to move in with my grandparents to help take care of my grandpa throughout the final years of his life. This included getting him in and out of bed, helping him use the bathroom, cleaning him, getting him ready for doctors appointments and just being there to help my grandma whenever she needed it.

Neither my mom, or grandma, had much life outside the house because they both were committed to taking care of my grandpa. When my grandparents passed, both almost a year apart, my dad's health declined and my mom found herself back in the same position as a care provider.

Not that she cared. She was always a domestic woman. But it was hard. It's been hard. She had to work her butt off and, truth be told, those people often don't make money. But she also didn't work outside the house for a good portion of the past decade. She held a job for all her adult life, even when I was a kid, but had to give it up when my grandpa had his stroke. She was in her 40s or early 50s at that point and by the time my grandparents and dad passed on, she was already in her 60s and, as I said, with medical problems of her own.

When my dad died, it was a shocker. But we also knew he had some benefits to his name that my mom deserved, since she had been married to him for nearly 30 years (truth be told, they would have celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary last Saturday). So, my mom applied for the benefits and then began living off my dad's life insurance. At the time, she didn't think it would take that long. Yes, working with the VA could be time consuming, but this was in early 2011, just months after my dad's death, and she was certain it would take no more than 200 days to approve. This was bolstered by the information itself, which said they would have a ruling within the first 150 days.

There was never concern that she would go so long without income. But she couldn't afford her house payments anymore. There just wasn't enough money from the life insurance to pay that and have enough over for the bills and food. She struggled with every payment and soon, when the life insurance dried up, she had no income. Outside watching some of her grandkids, and collecting on my dad's Social Security, her money was dwindling fast. That meant no house payments. It was scary to risk not paying the mortgage, but my mom and dad had been good at paying it every month for years, so, she felt it would only be temporary, maybe a couple months at the most.

It wasn't. Because of government cuts and freezes, there was a logjam of new claims to file and 150 days turned into essentially a year and a half.

The mortgage bills have mounted as the VA continued deciding her case. There was a point, earlier this year, where it felt like my mom would lose her house. So, she stepped up and looked into Obama's mortgage program and began going through the process of saving her home. That has helped immensely, setting up new payment plans, which has bought her some time.

Of course, that all was moot if the VA never ruled. The MHA still requires you to pay your mortgage! And dammit, Mom was getting the runaround when she contacted the VA. Not that I put the blame on them, they were just so inundated with claims that they've been struggling the last few years meeting them. It's tough. I get that. We get that. But for her, this was her livelihood. This was her parents' house, the home she grew up in as a child, the home where she first raised my brother Richard, who died at age 12 from leukemia, and the home she and my dad made their own when my grandparents died. They did everything right when they took out that mortgage. They didn't do it for luxury reasons. They didn't go buy a new car or jet off on an expensive vacation. They didn't splurge the money on superficial goods - they fixed their home.

They were never late on their payments.

They were good, honest people who just got caught up in a bad cycle.

And earlier this year, it appeared as the chickens were coming home to roost.

Desperate, she wrote President Obama. I know, silly, right? What the heck could he do? But when you're desperate, sometimes you do crazy things like that.

She outlined everything that had happened - my dad's illness, his death, her struggles, and the fight to save her house. We didn't expect a response. And none came officially from the White House. So, after a week of nothing, we decided drawing up plans on what to do if my mom lost her house.

Then, maybe two or three weeks after her letter to the President, she received a call. It was the VA. Some man who was calling from Minneapolis. Not too surprising, since the VA has kept my mom updated on the benefits since she filed shortly after my dad's death. But this call came from a different location and the man, laughing, asked my mom right off the bat if she contacted the President.

Why yes she did. But how would he know?

He laughed again. The White House had contacted them and asked that they push through my mom's case. I kid you not. Honest. Hand to God.

My mom was floored.

Today, she finally got the letter. They approved of her benefits and back pay all the way through to December, 2010 - the month after my dad died.

She can save her house now.

With a big help from President Obama.

41 replies, 5605 views

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Arrow 41 replies Author Time Post
Reply My personal reason for enthusiastically supporting Pres. Obama. (Original post)
Drunken Irishman Jul 2012 OP
riverbendviewgal Jul 2012 #1
glowing Jul 2012 #2
Kahuna Jul 2012 #3
pnwmom Jul 2012 #4
freshwest Jul 2012 #5
rox63 Jul 2012 #6
livetohike Jul 2012 #7
a kennedy Jul 2012 #8
Grown2Hate Jul 2012 #9
Glimmer of Hope Jul 2012 #10
redwitch Jul 2012 #11
JNelson6563 Jul 2012 #12
LittleGirl Jul 2012 #13
tilsammans Jul 2012 #14
bigtree Jul 2012 #15
BlancheSplanchnik Jul 2012 #16
AnnieK401 Jul 2012 #17
heaven05 Jul 2012 #18
PatSeg Jul 2012 #19
Iwillnevergiveup Jul 2012 #20
Cracklin Charlie Jul 2012 #21
emmadoggy Jul 2012 #22
BanTheGOP Jul 2012 #23
Kteachums Jul 2012 #24
hedgehog Jul 2012 #25
nenagh Jul 2012 #26
japple Jul 2012 #27
Auntie Bush Jul 2012 #28
Skittles Jul 2012 #29
pcaulfield Jul 2012 #30
joshcryer Jul 2012 #31
Drunken Irishman Jul 2012 #32
DemocratsForProgress Jul 2012 #33
Tobin S. Jul 2012 #34
calimary Jul 2012 #39
momsrule Jul 2012 #35
iamawesome Jul 2012 #36
sueh Jul 2012 #37
Democrat 4 Ever Jul 2012 #38
southernyankeebelle Jul 2012 #40
Faygo Kid Jul 2012 #41

Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 02:02 PM

1. This is such a happy ending

would be a good ad too for Obama but then again your mom just has to tell all her friends and neighbors and her local newspaper. and you too..

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 02:12 PM

2. Wow, now that's pushing thru some red tape... LOL. She must have written one heck of a letter.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 02:18 PM

3. Sniff...

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 02:20 PM

4. Aw. This choked me up. I'm so happy for you both, Irishman. n/t

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 02:42 PM

5. He's more like most of us than people expect. And that's a good thing!

It's also why Beck attacks the word 'Empathy.' Because that's what Barack has. How could he not have it with his upbringing?

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 02:49 PM

6. So glad for the happy ending

Thanks for sharing her story.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 04:20 PM

7. K&R and thank you for sharing your family's story

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 06:48 PM

8. Mr. Irishman.....

and you're the best, and so happy for your mom. I'm voting for da man too. GOBAMA, GOBAMA, GOBAMA.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 08:07 PM

9. You've always been one of my favorite posters, and this is officially my

favorite DU thread EVER. What a fucking AMAZING story. Thank you for that. I'm here at work tearing up. Thanks a ton for THAT too!

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 08:50 PM

10. What a great story!! Glad things worked out for your mother. She deserves it

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 09:55 PM

11. I am so glad!

So happy your mom gets to keep her home and that faith has been restored. Our President is a decent human being and I am proud of that fact.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 07:14 AM

12. Dude.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 08:12 AM

13. yeah! The POTUS

comes through for you and your family. Tears of joy!

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 08:40 AM

14. Wonderful story!

Very happy for your mom!

(Jeez, can you see anything like that coming from a Romney administration? Yeah right.)

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 08:40 AM

15. nice

k&r

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 09:16 AM

16. KnR and posted to FB, with this remark:

Oh PLEASE, you MUST read this amazing story. ESPECIALLY if you think Republicans will take care of you and your concerns as a citizen of this country. (How anyone could think that is beyond me, but..... nevertheless...)


Thankyou DI, this is .....just.....


really important.



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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 09:56 AM

17. Thanks for sharing

Not that I was even considering not voting for Obama anyway.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 10:09 AM

18. humans in the white house

wow

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 10:11 AM

19. What a wonderful, uplifting post

Thank you for sharing it. I am so glad your mom will be able to keep her house.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 10:34 AM

20. Well, Mr. Irish

This is one helluva story with a great ending. The Obama campaign should use it in a commercial.

Can I just say that I'm awestruck at the multiple catastrophes your family has faced. You all are the faces of wrong-headed policies that can seriously mess up lives. But you've come through it with determination and grace, and your mom.....well, she's a saint!

K&R

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 12:11 PM

21. Obama Cares


Your mother's selfless devotion to her family proves that she cares, too. What a great story!

Thank you!

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 02:05 PM

22. WOW! At first, I wasn't going to take the time

to read this post. I'M SO GLAD I DID!

That is an incredible story! I'm so thrilled for your mom that this all worked out!

Wow. Just wow. Great story.


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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 02:36 PM

23. This would NEVER happen if the Rethugs were eliminated from the planet

 

There is no question that without republicans, there would be NO problems for any people in the US, and far less problem on the planet. Your heartwarming story epitomizes the very existence of the most rogue, abusive, destrictive entity in the history of this planet, and must be destroyed before other good people like your family is targeted by Romney, Boehner, McConnell, and the GOP.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 03:08 PM

24. A wonderful ending to years of trial! It is a shame she had to endure all of this!

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 03:53 PM

25. Wonderful story! thank you!

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 04:06 PM

26. Oh my....wonderful story...

It is so heartwarming to read...and such a relief...

Well done Mumsy & Pres Obama!

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 06:36 PM

27. Tears of joy!!! Thank you for sharing

this outrageously great story.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 09:00 PM

28. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story about your mother, her hardships, the VA and Obama's help..

So nice it had a happy ending.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 09:06 PM

29. please give your mom a big hug for me

she sounds like an awesome gal

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 11:38 PM

30. Nice!

Good to hear.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 11:52 PM

31. That is an amazing, amazing story.

Thank you for sharing it. Best wishes to you and your mom. Wow.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 01:43 AM

32. Thank you everyone for your replies. It means a lot...

I would reply to you all, but I didn't expect this kind of response!

Anyway, my mom sent an e-mail to the White House thanking Pres. Obama and his staff. She did so mostly so that he could see he is having a positive impact on many American lives and not getting too dispirited during a grueling presidential campaign!

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 01:52 AM

33. You're a very fine writer.

If you could find a place willing to feature you as a regular contributor, rather than just someone posting on a discussion board, that would be really cool.

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Response to DemocratsForProgress (Reply #33)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 06:05 AM

34. I agree. I noticed that as well as I was reading the post.

I'm glad everything is working out for your mom, Mr. Irishman.

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Response to DemocratsForProgress (Reply #33)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 04:45 PM

39. You certainly are! This is a WUNNNNNderful story!

I'm sharing it on Facebook.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 12:10 PM

35. Real Joy

I feel a great joy while reading your post. Joy for your mother and family and joy for all of as with such a wonderful man as our president. i wish more people would know and understand all the radical scourges that have been inflicted on the popluace by the conservatives and right wingnuts.
Democrats care!

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)


Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 12:43 PM

37. I'm so happy for your Mom. President Obama, public servant, came through for her.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 01:06 PM

38. To all the people who didn't get help from the VA today

I am so glad Drunken Irishman's mother got the help she needed to save her home. That story is why I believe in the Democratic Party and President Obama. If only there weren't millions more just like her waiting for assistance.

For the last two years I have had the pleasure of working for the federal government. My job was literally a life saver. I was given a chance for a new beginning with decent pay, good benefits, safe working environment with truly smart and gifted people and the opportunity to prove myself and move forward with a future I once could only dream of. I'm one of the truly lucky ones.

Being in the federal government has given me a new perspective of what the Repugs think of us. The agency I'm in hasn't had a pay raise in three years with no proposed raise in the new budget year, we have seen our budget cut over 10% for the last three years with another proposed cut in the upcoming budget. We have had employees retired and positions not filled. In my small office of nine we are down three positions. We were swamped with work with 12 employees, with nine we are drowning. We can't begin to help everyone who needs our help yet we are all there, working non-stop, without breaks, lunches at our desk and impossible caseloads just trying to help while Repugs talk about how we are paid too much money, our benefits are too costly (but they truly love theirs!), there are too many of us and we are just lazy, money draining leeches.

I deal every day with every congressional office in my state, my office does all the work for my entire state plus we work with people both nationally and internationally who contacto us directly. People go to their Congressman seeking assistance - and I'm glad to help - but the hypocrisy by some of these offices who do not hesitant to dump the problems THEY created in our laps while telling anyone who will listen that we are suckling off the public teat and if they could just get rid of us then all would be right in Reichwing world.

I buy my own office supplies because the budget just doesn't stretch that far, we take on cases that should have never gotten to us if other agencies had the funds to do their jobs correctly to begin with, we are daily spitting against the wind trying to help people and then getting to listen to Repugs talk about how terrible the federal government, especially their workers, are. /end of rant

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 07:50 PM

40. Congratulations. However, it is sad that you all had to write the President to get what should

 

have been done long before.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 08:57 PM

41. Wow, missed this one when it was posted. Wow.

Great story. Congrats.

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