To the Editor,
A recent prayer request in a small religious magazine brought my own urgent concern home to me. “You can imagine the stress both physical and mental,” the writer commented as she described “moving slowly” out of the family home where she and her brothers and sisters had lived since 1957. In the financial avalanche of family breakup, home foreclosures and surrounding apathy I know it well. In the struggle against foreclosure my sons and I are at increasing risk of losing our family home where we have lived and paid taxes since 1967.
Disposing of furniture, books, clothing, etc. is to be expected but what will become of family memorabilia? Photographs, souvenirs, family treasures, how can they be saved? This is an anticipatory foreclosure trauma that should be brought to light. For example, there is a large collection of family photographs accumulated over the years in our house. Representing five generations of our family many are from our country of origin. Tucked away in boxes with pages of family ancestry prepared by a cousin, some were left with me for safekeeping by brothers and sisters on the move. Our family is scattered thousands of miles apart.
And what will become of all I have saved from my children’s lives, childhood awards, souvenirs, artwork, precious photos – relics of their childhood? And who can think of the disposal of family heirlooms and handcrafted items such as needlework, handmade lace and the like? If our whole family heritage and memorabilia are to be discarded with home foreclosure, then what will happen to succeeding generations if there are any? When will the silence be broken?