In rural part of our service area sits a little grey manufactured home on top of a hill. Fannie’s home.
Fannie’s house is neat as a pin-- inside and out. It was clear that the elderly woman took pride in her residence. “My mother always told me if all I had was a bed and a bathroom, I’d have all I would need, so take care of it,” said Fannie.
And so she has. But despite the fact that you could nearly eat off of the spotless floors, you certainly couldn’t stand on them. Fannie has lived in the mobile home since she was 19. Nearly five decades of wear and tear, 3 children, 7 grandchildren and nearly a dozen great grandchildren have taken their toll on the floors, especially in the living room.
“Aint nothing holding it together but the carpet.”
Fannie was telling the truth, as our jobsite foreman Luke White found out when he fell through one of the holes. “That place is dangerous,” Luke said.
It’s a wonder that Fannie herself hadn’t fallen through. Over the years, the 68-year-old had learned to gingerly step around the spongy spots. However, that became harder as the entire span of fifty-year-old pressboard deteriorated and her physical health declined. It was an accident waiting to happen.
Our volunteer staff recently began work on reinforcing the floor joists, laying new plywood decking and linoleum. Annie had originally been scheduled for repair work months ago—that is until the pandemic hit. Now that the work was being done, Fannie could hardly contain her excitement.
“I thank God for Sr. Linda. She recommended me for these repairs,” said Fannie. “I couldn’t afford to have any of this done.”
“I don’t get anything but that little ole check every month,” Fannie continued. “As soon as those bills roll in I try to get to the post office and pay ‘em. I do the best I can, though. I don’t want the house to fall down.”
A client for a number of years, we have assisted Fannie with food and the occasional utility bill. Her road has not been easy.
“I have been on my own since I left home,” she expained. “I was just a teenager. Even when my husband was living I was still on my own. He didn’t do anything for me but beat me,” Fannie says.
Fannie’s husband died early in their marriage. She was only 26. Never remarrying, she raised her children on her own. The determined woman has worked hard all of her life. Most of Fannie’s days were spent in housekeeping, cleaning hotel rooms. Proud of her work, she bragged that management would score staff on their performance in each room. “My rooms were always at the top—97, 98. No one could beat me!”
Her work ethic is evident at her home and she still tries to keep everything spotless. But all the years of physical labor took a toll on her health. Fannie no longer works, unable to walk for any distance. She ambles along, teetering from side to side. Five slipped discs cause her a good bit of pain.
Volunteer staff spent three days repairing the damaged floors in the aged mobile home. Now a safe space, the elderly woman is ecstatic. One may even think that she is more pleased with the new linoleum that replaced the old carpet. “Not only will the floor be sturdy, it will be easier to keep clean! You know I can’t hardly vacuum anymore.”
Over and over, Fannie expressed her gratitude for the repairs done. I Thank God for Sr. Linda. And I thank God for all of you!”