Sometimes life throws people really, really crap situations and it pains me to think that there isn't anything to do to help out.
My parents have always worked hard, especially my Dad who started as an apprentice and has worked his way up to setting up 2 companies which succeeded very well and co owning one which started the whole 'own business ideas' in the first place. As his work was project managing building projects during the recession when the big jobs dried up he got itchy feet and wanted to try something different and use his hard earned money from the last 10/15 years or so to help set something up. Once my Dad has an idea like this there is no stopping him, he spent hours and hours trawling through internet sites, looking at potential business venture buildings, meeting various people etc. Two years ago he bought a restaurant about 20 minutes away from where they live, it needed some work to get it looking good, and boy was it hard work getting it done for opening night. Unfortunately problem after problem happened, first with the other management (one of them being the head chef) many, many problems with future chefs, some not turning up, some just too in-experienced, some demanding more money and acting threatening towards my Dad and walking out the week before Christmas. Of course agency chefs aren't cheap, especially around Christmas and New Years, and of course with all these problems it was really hard to keep standards up. With any business in this industry it relies heavily on word of mouth and people just weren't getting the experience that my Dad had intended, money was extremely tight and then it's a vicious circle. He decided to sell the lease to someone he knew as she had worked the front of house originally unfortunately this still isn't working as the restaurant isn't making enough money to make ends meet.
The bank has been breathing down my Dad's neck for ages, and now things have really got serious, so much so that my parents could loose their house. The house they have been in and made their home for 13 years, the house they could have paid off the mortgage for had they used Dad's profits (despite the hefty tax they would have paid doing so).
I saw my Dad yesterday and I have never seen him so down, like he said himself, he literally doesn't know what to do, everything he has ever worked for has gone, and he doesn't have a plan any more-which is really unusual for my Dad. I haven't seen my Mum but I know she has (quite understandably) been really upset, my Mum's a worrier like me, she didn't ever have too much faith in this business, she doesn't earn a high wage but does a job she loves-luckily she has always been a money saver so that has helped them pay bills etc. for the last, well I'm not sure how long I don't know all of those details.
It was heartbreaking talking to my Dad yesterday, I have never seen him so...broken. He said he's never felt so depressed, and he's not the type of person to spill out his emotions. He kept making comments like, "I might just jump of that train bridge by the restaurant", and as I left "you don't want to give your old man a kiss too do you, might be the last time you see me". I am pretty sure he was joking, but when he said, "I can see why people do it now" I got the sense that he really, really see's no way out of this...
I really want to help them out, but unless I win the lottery I really don't see how, I just want to do something but feel so helpless in the whole situation. You couldn't meet much more hard working, honest parents than mine and I just wish things work out for them in some kind of miracle.
Sorry this post was a bit depressing-I just needed to get it out. Just wish the banks were always such arseholes!