My neighbor, a single mom with a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old,
has no health insurance for herself. She needs minor surgery costing $1,300. I
asked if her dad, a recently retired physician, could help her. She shook her
head and answered, “I won’t ask him. He thinks grown children should take care
Other things my neighbor has revealed in the two years she’s
lived across the street include:
- Her father is abusive.
Her mother was clinically depressed and
incapacitated for months following the birth of their seventh child.
Her father refused to allow the mother to come
to Provo (an 8-hour drive from their home) to see their kids off at the MTC.
My neighbor has suffered serious health problems in the last
two years. Her mother has made one visit and both parents together have visited
only once. They did send tickets for her and the kids to visit them at
Christmas last year. Fortunately, her ex-in-laws make a greater effort to spend
time with her and the grandchildren.
This week my neighbor told me her parents have received
their mission call. They will be teaching Institute classes for the coming
year. I know the policy of having couple missionaries serve as Institute
teachers is a big money saver for the Church. Still, I can’t help wondering
about the effect an abusive man and his depressed, possibly co-dependent wife will
have on the effort to retain Young Adults in the church.