My father passed away a year ago. While a great and earnest man, he concealed from me and my siblings the truth about his financial situation. He “owned” a cottage in northern Michigan that he often spoke about as his legacy for his family. He wanted it to be a place that would bring us all together after he was gone. Not only for us, but for his grandchildren and future generations. With this in mind, as he slowly succumbed to cancer, I did my best to allow him to enjoy the place in his final years. COVID came along, but even with him in fear of the virus, I was able to help him enjoy his last years alive. The cottage was his favorite place on earth and the place I’ve felt closest to him since his passing.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until his death that I learned the truth. Over the years, to make ends meet, he rolled his debt back into the mortgage through several refinances. While I thought it was nearly paid off, instead there is now more owed on the place than when he originally bought it. I will never know what he was thinking . Maybe he hoped some miracle would come, or maybe he thought he was invincible, maybe he was too proud to ask for help. I’ll never know. I have to believe he had something in mind, but time ran out on his life.
Now that he’s gone, it’s become evident that his dream is going to die too. I’ve been carrying the mortgage myself over the past year after his savings were used up, but time is running out and what to do moving forward is tearing this family apart. Although it may seem like an insane ask, $218K would wipe out the mortgage and allow his legacy to continue. By some miracle, if this happens, we will NEVER sell the place. I promise it will stay in this family for ever.
Despite leaving me in an impossible situation, I miss my father very much. This whole thing is tearing me apart. As much as I want to maintain the dream he begged me to maintain, the cruel reality of the financial situation he left behind is proving to make this impossible. It’s simple math and it’s not adding up in my favor.
This website is my last hope. My daughter told me today that someday she hopes to tell her kids that grandpa (that’s me) fought hard to keep this cottage for his family. These kids aren’t even born yet and I feel like if I don’t find a way to make this happen, I am letting them down. Hence, I turn desperately to the kindness of strangers.
Anyway, thank you for reading. Regardless of your feelings on my ask, please do me one favor. Any of you who have children, please do everything you can to have your affairs settled so they don’t have to go through this type of thing when your time comes. This small story is just part if the emotional ice berg I’ve had to deal with since his passing. The toll of sorting through all this has worn me out.