Living with In-Laws

By Cosette Snarr

We were going through a most difficult time financially, to the point where we knew we were going to have to sell our house to survive. It was at this point my husband’s brother made us an offer—if we would take care of their parents, who’d been living in a care facility, they would pay us instead. As difficult as I knew it would be, I agreed, knowing a huge financial burden would be lifted.

I was well aware having my in-laws with us was only a temporary solution, seeing as they were both in their 90s and had Alzheimer’s. I looked at this time as an opportunity to find a career where I could make enough money to make up for the loss we’d experience when they finally passed.
For six and a half years I struggled to find such a viable solution, but nothing seemed to work. At one point I literally threw my hands in the air and gave up. I figured I’d deal with the situation when we came to it. But by now my father-in-law had passed and my mother-in-law was 98 and very frail. I didn’t have much time.

One day I felt the need to re-visit our life insurance situation. I contacted our agent who reviewed our policies and told me that for our situation we really needed to make some changes. We shuffled some things around and in the process I ended up with a few thousand dollars to put in the bank. Shortly after that my brother-in-law, who was in charge of making all decisions for the folks let us know our services were no longer needed. He felt it would be best if Mom—Dad had passed by this time—was put in a care facility.

What?! Without a thank you or even asking if we were going to be okay?! That was unacceptable! I wasn’t prepared. How would we survive? But we had no say-so in the matter. I was beyond furious and hurt!

At first I became frantic. My initial reaction was that I’d have to find a job. But after so many years out of the workforce I didn’t even know where to start. And at my age (62) who would hire me anyway. On top of that I’d never find a job making the same kind of money we’d been paid to take care of the folks. My mind raced between fear and a limited number of possible solutions, none of which seemed feasible.

After ranting for a couple of days I forced myself to calm down so I could think clearly. I reminded myself we had the insurance money, which was enough for us to get by for a few weeks. I felt strongly that instead of trying to solve the problem I needed to simply be still. I didn’t have any answers, but I truly believed one was going to come. In order to hear what it might be, I needed to have a clear head, not one filled with anger and fear. I intentionally chose to trust that God was going to take care of us.

Six weeks later I felt the nudge to get busy. I crunched some numbers, looked at different scenarios and possibilities and knew I had the answer to my prayers. I could make it work as long as certain things came together, and I believed they would. The peace I felt told me I was on the right track.
It took only a matter of weeks for us to sell our home for the full asking price, pay off most of our debt, and move into a brand new townhouse. As angry as I was over losing the income from my mother-in-law, our financial situation improved immensely.


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Cosette Snarr
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