The phone rings, and the look of panic consumes her face. "The kids might be taken away, and the house will be condemned if we can't get it cleaned by tomorrow..I need your help, please!" are the words that resonate through the earpiece. If she stays home, guilt will overwhelm her. If she goes to help, guilt will overwhelm her. She decides to go, and make a last ditch effort to rid her sisters house of the filth that has consumed the lives of her nieces and nephew.
The house has a distinct odor. Stale, rotted, hints of mold and god only knows what riddled here and there. The stairway carpet gunked up with sticky this, and crumbs of that. The wood floors covered with a thick sludge that can only be removed by scraping it off by hand. The walls covered in a film of crayons, marker, and random beverages. Mouse droppings form a border around every perimeter of what was once a home...
Toys, trash, clothes, scraps of food, empty soda cans, dishes, paper. Everywhere.
The looks on the children's faces show no signs of dysfunction. This was their normalcy. They were upset that their belongings were being tossed into the large dumpster...they just didn't understand. The children were upset because they were being forced to throw their belongings away. They didn't understand what was wrong with the stuck-on gunky-crud covering each and every single belonging. The looks of confusion streaming form their faces pained her heart even further. She could also tell that the parents were upset over the matter, but not in the same way that she was upset.
She still doesn't know if these children would be better off in foster care. She is uncertain that her sister can maintain a safe and healthy environment for this family. She knows she has done everything in her power to help...and at the same time, she embraces her helplessness. All she can do now is expect the worse, but hope for the best.
4 days ago