House That Love Bought

“After my dad passed away, we were certain my mother would finally leave Gary.”

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Transcript for House That Love Bought

I have not lived in Gary for 21 years. A lot of things happened that I wasn’t aware of. Christina’s dad passed away and I took Kelly to the visitation. And as we’re driving to the funeral home, I’m like, “Oh, my god, I can’t believe this, I can’t believe this.” It was just weird.

The funeral home was located on the west side of Gary, which had some pretty affluent families for that time. They were probably middle to upper class income families, brick homes, and it’s like total deterioration. To literally see a tree growing out of a home in neighborhoods where the kids who should have gone to Westside but they came to Roosevelt because it being the legacy school ‘cause their parents went to Roosevelt—and to see their neighborhoods and how they look now, it kind of reminds me of how my neighborhood is turning, how it’s changing.

As a child growing up in Means Manor, I had lots of really good neighbors. Sometimes I would ride to school with a certain neighbor, like if my brothers had something after school and my mom had a meeting, I’d ride home with a neighbor and stay at their house until my mom got home. We even had a neighbor that my mom gave a key in case someone got locked out. And that was a huge deal, ‘cause that’s just something my mom wouldn’t do. She wouldn’t do it today.

After my dad passed away, we were certain my mother would finally leave Gary. My dad was ready to go, after having lived pretty much his entire life in Gary. He didn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night to renters that were having some knock-down, drag-out fight, some huge argument about something.

He was frustrated with potholes. Our entire life we always had a “Franken-car.” My dad fixed it, kept it going, because he said we were more important than a car. One time I asked my dad why we didn’t have a Cadillac, he said he had five.  So when we finally were all gone and my parents money belonged to them, they bought themselves a brand new car, and my dad was so frustrated that he couldn’t drive through Gary without hitting a gigantic pothole. That was a real issue for someone at that point of his life.

It was an issue for him that there was nothing for them to do, there was nowhere for them to go. There’s no movie theatre, there’s no bowling alley, there’s not a decent grocery store. My mother shopped at the Jewel in Munster for 25 years. 

And my father fell ill and passed away, and my mother just kind of dug her heels in because that home gives her comfort. My dad bought that house when he married her. They raised their children there, their grandchildren. Kelly can go on and on about Monroe, my parent’s house. It’s a very special place. And the years were going by, and my mother was tired of not feeling safe, she had to put an alarm on the house. It got to the point where we were concerned about her, and we thought, finally, she’s had enough, people are leaving the neighborhood, there’s nothing to do in Gary. She doesn’t shop in Gary. But my mom will never leave the house because it’s the house that love bought.