Karen, her husband, Matt, Jackson and MaryBeth moved into the house after Ray moved out. The plan was for Karen and Matt to buy the family house. Karen and Ruth agreed on a conservative price – it was fair all the way around and it seemed like a good plan. Now Ruth and Karen would also be responsible for Ray’s share of the debt on the funeral bill, because he made it very clear that he wasn’t going to pay it, and the taxes which hadn’t been paid. They made arrangements with both to hold off on foreclosure. So when Karen and Matt purchased the house all of that would be taken care of. Each of the kids would pay a part and have a nice little bit of money left over and Ray and Malachi would be paid for their one-sixth of one-fifth.
But when Karen and Matt lost their jobs it made that impossible for them at the time. Karen went out and found a job. All Matt had ever wanted to be was a sheriff’s deputy, so sadly he was in no hurry to find another job. His family was well off and they helped them financially. He did take a part time job as a quail hunting guide. Unfortunately they couldn’t secure a mortgage in that state. Several months went by and the collectors began to force the issue again.
She and Matt went to Ruth and Charles to try to develop a plan. They asked Ruth and Charles if it would be possible for them to pay the taxes and Ray’s part of the expenses, just until they got back on their feet and could purchase the house. Ruth and Charles owed half anyway and Karen and Matt would repay them. Without even discussing it, Charles flatly refused. He suggested that if Karen and Matt couldn’t get a mortgage they should move out and he and Ruth would buy the house.
Now Charles and Ruth were in a position financially to borrow the money to pay the bit of debt and let Karen and Matt remain in the house. But Charles didn’t see the fairness in that. Matt was a lazy bum, and he told them as much. “How long would it take Matt to get a job? He wasn’t about to finance this and get nothing in return”. With that the proverbial “shit hit the fan” and a large argument ensued. Charles asked them to leave. Cue Tammy Wynette, “Stand by Your Man“. Even though Ruth didn’t agree with Charles she didn’t say so in the heat of the moment. She would wait until things cooled to tell him how she felt. Charles’ explosive episodes were infrequent, but the damage had been done. Ruth knew he was capable and it was always an underlying fear. He had accomplished just what he wanted. He was in control and Ruth wouldn’t dare go against him.
A few days passed and Ruth picked her timing. She told Charles that she would rather make Karen and Matt the loan. They were raising Jackson and MaryBeth so they were getting the benefit of the house. She couldn’t stand the thought of making them move out. They were the only family she had left and she’d rather be out the money, even if they never paid it back, than to loose them over this. They’d all been through a really hard time she wanted to help them get back on their feet. This all seemed very greedy and selfish to her.
None of that made any difference, Charles’ mind was made up. Fortunately Matt’s wealthy aunt made a house she owned available to them indefinitely. Karen and Matt moved out, Charles and Ruth secured a mortgage to pay the debt and buy out the rest. With that Charles had managed to successfully drive a deep wedge between Karen and Ruth. Karen wouldn’t speak to Ruth except when it was absolutely necessary for business. Ruth couldn’t even look Karen in they eye. It was official. Ruth had nobody now but Charles and his family. She’d thrown what little family she had left away over a lousy few thousand dollars.