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Staving off an eviction

22:30 Jan 1 2013 San Diego, CA, USA

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My sister and her family were in danger of being evicted right before the holidays. Our relationship has always been strained over the years, because we grew up in a troubled household that did not teach us the value of family or the need to stay close. Over the years we have had very little contact, and when she began to have problems, she wouldn't talk to me about them. In fact, I had never met my niece and nephews, as we hadn't seen each other in 13 years.

My sister is a single mom with three kids, and the economy has been very hard on her. Once she could support the entire family on her paycheck, but now she must live on assisted living and still has a hard time paying the bills, and it all caught up with her at the worst time of the year.

Being proud, my sister had a really hard time coming to me for help. But after working with her landlord, I was able to intervene and help them from becoming just another homeless statistic - and only one day before their eviction hearing.

The best part of this story is that we all got to spend the holidays together, and my sister told me that for the first time in her life she felt loved and no longer judged. Her children got to experience a holiday that stressed the importance of support and love in our lives, and with me, an uncle they had never met before. Needless to say, there were lots of tears this year, and all of them joyous.

In times of trouble, there is no shame in asking for help, and sometimes the only way to heal a wounded heart is to bare it wide open. It is also important to remember that despite our differences, family is the most important thing that we have. Words mean so much, but actions mean everything, and I am extremely grateful for having lived out all of these lessons with my sister over the holidays.
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