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This House Is Not A Home

5 Chapter - 4.967 Words - Developed by:
- Developed on: - 57 taken- The story is completed

Joe is tired of his mother Lyn living as a hoarder. Her whole house is filled with old junk, clutter, boxes, old food, mold, rats and bugs. He keeps trying to tell his mother it's not healthy to live like that, but she refuses to listen. This older woman is stubborn. Her son’s warnings are not enough until his mother is hospitalized after breathing in black mold. While she’s in the hospital, Joe and his wife decide to go in and clean her house as a surprise. Will Mrs. Lyn be able to handle seeing all her junk gone, or will it almost put her back in the hospital? Can she part her ways with the clutter for the sake of her relationship with her son?

    “Joe, I need you to go to the store and buy me 2 cans of raid and some mousetraps.” “What? Ma I brought you raid and mousetraps last month. What happened to them?” “Look I can’t stand around arguing with you son. I have an infestation. These rats are chewing up all my wires and all in my cabinets and the roaches and mites have gotten rough. I can’t even sleep without smashing bugs all day!” “Ma they are around because you're not cleaning. You got all that old junk cluttered everywhere, and they love to hide in the trash.” “Son, my stuff is not trash. It's antique items and stuff that is important to me.” Lyn said seriously. “Ma, this is not healthy. I’m buying the stuff and coming straight over.” Joe said. “Yeah yeah son, just take it easy on the road. Traffic is bad today.” “Alright Ma.” Joe said, then hung up. Joe hated the fact that his mother was a hoarder.
    She collected things and had so much junk that it was reaching the ceiling in her home. Lyn had so many memories in the boxes, but she also had unnecessary junk that she no longer needed. Because of all the clutter, mold, dust, rats, roaches, and mites hid under the clutter. Joe was worried that his mom was breathing in germs and disease.
    He was concerned that her health would be put risking. Joe plenty of times tried to warn his mother, even her friends and other family, but Lyn was a very stubborn old woman. The more you tell her no, the more she wants to keep the things. She grew up believing that you cherish everything you have and not throw things out. Joe moved out because of it. At 18, he got his own apartment because he was tired of being embarrassed to invite his friends over to see how filthy his mom’s house was.
    He got tired of having extreme allergies because of the filth and having to live in a tight area, so he left. Joe went to the pest shop called Wally’s Pest Away Shop. He knew that Wally’s shop was higher than most stores around, but Wally’s had the best supplies and repellents. He went into the store and Mr. Wally greeted him kindly. “Hey Joe, you back again aye. How is your mother doing?” Mr. Wally asked. “Hey Mr. Wally, Ma is doing okay, but she is still living in that junk!” “Well, you know what son, sometimes when you tell someone something good to help them they don’t always want to receive the help. Sometimes in life we have to let people learn on their own and step out the way. Soon your mom will see that being a hoarder is not healthy and actually dangerous for her physically and mentally.”
    “Your right Mr. Wally thanks for the advice.” “You're welcome, now what does your mother need this month?” “She needs 2 cans of raid and some mousetraps. Also, do you mind helping me find a mold cleaner because she has a lot of mold in and around the house.” “Follow me I will get the things for you.” Mr. Wally said. Mr. Wally took Joe in the back and helped him find all that he needed. “Okay, come back to the front with me Joe, so I can check you out.” He said. Going to the register, Mr. Wally ringed the raid, mousetraps, and mold spray and then told Joe the total. “Okay Joe that will be $38.99.” Joe's eyes stretched shocked at the price, but he handed Mr. Wally $40. “Okay, your change is $1.01. Tell your mother I asked about her.” Mr. Wally said. “Thanks, I will.” Joe said, then leaving. When Joe arrived at his mom’s house, he got out with the things and put a mask on. He didn’t want to breathe in all that junk, so he covered his face up. He knocked 3 times.
    “Ma, it's me Joe, open the door.” He said. Joe’s mom, Lyn got up and opened the door. “Thanks, son, for getting me the stuff.” “You're welcome…..wait….Ma what is that smell?” He said, frowning. “I think it's that trash can. I haven’t been able to go to the dumpsters and take them out.” “Oh, my goodness!” Joe said fanning his face. “I will take them out Ma.” he said, looking towards the trash bags. The house was so crowded, as if his mom added more junk to the house. “Son sit down for a while and chat with me. I’m making your favorite jalapeño oxtails, rice, cornbread, and some peach cobbler. “That sounds good Ma but….” “But nothing while the food is still cooking, we can chat. So, how is everything going son with work and your fiancé?”
    “Well work is boring and aggravating as normal and Lucille is doing good, she has just been working extra shifts, so I don’t see her as much anymore.” “Oh well, I’m glad to hear you're alright.” “What about you Ma?” “I’m fine son, you know that nosey Mrs. Mabelle had a nerve to tell me I need to clean my house up. She said she didn’t want to hear on the news I died in this pile of junk. I gave her a piece of my mind when she insulted me like that. What she needs to worry about is all those grandchildren she got all that gang banging and partying they stay doing, but she is concerned about me.” Lyn said irritated.
    “Well Ma, she is just trying to help.” Joe said. “Well, I don’t need her stinkin’ help. I’m just fine.” Lyn said, sitting in her recliner. “Ma don’t be like that.” Joe said. “Yeah yeah…anyway when are you and Lucille going to have me some grand babies?” Lyn said laughing.
    All of a sudden, before Joe could answer, a rat jumped on top of his back and he was fighting and yelling. “HELP GET IT OFF ME!” Joe screamed as the rat scurried down his shirt. Joe rolled all over the sofa and was fighting in the air. Finally, when the rat jumped off him, it was trying to run, and Joe stumped on it, killing it. “Ma, why are you just standing there? That thing probably had diseases.” “Oh no Joe I’m so sorry that happened to you. See, that’s why I called you earlier to get the traps. You have to put some down for me. I might have to call an exterminator.” “Ma no exterminator is going to come into this house looking like this! You have to clean up!” Lyn looked shocked by what her son said, as if he offended her or cussed.
    “How dare you Joe! I’m not getting rid of all my good stuff!” “Ma what if the rat had jumped on you would you still be saying that?” He said curiously. “It's just a little old mouse. I mean how dangerous can a mouse be?” She asked brushing it off. “Ma, it's not just a mouse you have rats and do you know rodents carry diseases and bugs? Plus, you won’t be able to put food in your cabinets.” Joe said strictly. “Ummm son, I hate to bother you, but it's a water bug on your head.” Lyn said. “AHHHHHH!” Joe screamed and threw the bug off him, he stumped several times on the bug and was having a panic attack.
    “Ma, that is it. Either this junk goes or I go. No telling what is under this junk, plus you're breathing in dust bunnies. If pop was still here he would have….” “Joe, your daddy was just like me. He collected old cars and old car parts all out in the yard thinking he would make money off them. So don’t you dare just talk about me.”
    “Ma, I’m worried about your mental health. You barely leave the house anymore.” “Joe, I’m done talking about all of this. Now are you staying for lunch or not?” Joe thought about it and he didn’t want to eat from a messy house. “No, thanks Ma, I got to go. I love you, I will see you later.” Joe said, getting up and kissing his mom on the cheek then leaving.

    That night, while Joe was sleeping, he had a dream. In this dream, he saw his mom in the house alone and 1 giant rat and 1 giant roach were chasing her. She was screaming and running as fast as she could, but she tripped over the pile of junk and all the heavy boxes filled with glass came crashing down and fell on top of her, killing her. Joe woke up in a sweat and was crying. “Ma, I got to help you.” He said in a sweat.
    Joe called his fiancé Lucille, who was still not living with him yet, and she answered the phone quickly. “Lucille I had a bad dream about Ma that she died in that house full of junk. It was horrible.”
    “Joe, stop waiting around until something bad happens to your mother. You need to act and wait until she is not home one day, and we go over there and clean up for her.” “But Lucille what if Ma gets mad when she finds out her heart might not be able to take the surprise.”
    “Look Joe, eventually you have to do this. Would you rather something terrible happen to your mother in that house or know that now she is finally safe?” Joe thought about it and he agreed. “Your right bae. I will do something about it. Maybe next week we can.” Joe agreed. 2 days had passed and Joe didn’t talk to his mom because he was so busy at work.
    He had so many things going on these 2 days that he was a little stressed. While on his lunch break, he got a call from Mrs. Mabelle. “Joe come quick, the ambulance is here, and it's your mom. I found her on the floor!” Joe was so scared and nervous he ran back in the building and informed his boss he had to go immediately. He rushed over to his mom’s house in a panic and hoping it wasn’t too late.
    When he got there, the ambulance stated that soon as they came in, they noticed black mold on the walls and that might be the cause of her passing out. Joe was so angry with his mom for allowing this to happen. The ambulance people even acted like Joe might have abandoned his mom there, and he had to explain that his mom lives as a hoarder, and he warned her multiple times to get the junk out of her house.
    Joe had to rush behind the ambulance and follow them to Wimmington Medical Center. When he got there, they rushed his mom to the emergency room and the doctor examined her and her lungs from what the ambulance people told him. They had to put her on an oxygen mask. She could barely breathe and was struggling for air.
    Lyn kept hollering that she could barely see, and the doctors tore all the fabric and clothing off Lyn and noticed an allergic rash was covering her body. “I don’t feel so good.” She kept saying. “Mrs. Drummer you have been exposed to black mold you have black mold poisoning. We are going to try to help you okay, but you have to stay calm.” The doctor said, The doctor and nurses had to give Lyn a breathing treatment, antifungal medicines.
    After an hour of trying to help her, the doctors finally calmed Lyn down, and she was resting. They were going to have to keep her for 3 days to make sure she was cured of the black mold toxins. The doctor then came out to talk to Joe.
    “Hi, I’m Dr. Jordan, your mother is fine now, but we have to keep her for 3 days to watch her. She had black mold poisoning and could have died.” “Oh my goodness, well, how could this happen doc?” “She must have breathed in some mold spores in the house. The house needs a good cleaning because she can’t go back there. It's too risky. The paramedics, please let me know she is a hoarder and that is so dangerous for her health. I advise you to clean the house up while she is here so when she goes back home, she can be in a safe sterile environment.” “Thanks so much doc.” “You're welcome we gave her some breathing treatments and some antifungal medicine, so we just got to keep watch but good thing we caught this early.” Dr. Jordan said.
    “I appreciate this doc. I have been telling Ma for years, but she never listens. It's like she is attached to the junk.” “Well, if she wants to live a healthy life she has to get rid of it.” “Yeah, you're right. Well, can I check on my Ma now?” “Yes, but only for 2 minutes. She needs her rest.” The doctor said Joe went into his mom’s room. “Hey Ma.” “Hey son, I had a scare.” “I know I’m just glad you're still alive. That was so dangerous. If something had happened to you, I would have blamed myself.”
    “Son, stop talking like that. The doctor told me it's mold, but I don’t believe that. I've been living in that house for years. Maybe something else triggered my sickness.” “Ma face the facts and stop denying it. It is mold. I saw the mold with my own eyes. Ma, you got to realize that it's time to get that junk out of the house. The living room is crowded, the bedrooms are crowded, the bathrooms are crowded, and the kitchen is crowded. It could be mushrooms growing in there and you wouldn’t know it. Or worse, spiders or raccoons.”
    “Joe, please stop talking silly talk I will be fine.” Lyn said, laughing it off. “Ma I’m serious it's not funny. You have to stop being stubborn.” “I know soon, but I will remove my stuff in my own time, maybe next month.” She said, patting his arm.
    Joe knew he couldn’t get through to his mother, so he had to handle it himself. “Ma, I got to go, but I will stop by tomorrow.” “Okay son, I love you.” “I love you too.” He said, kissing her on the head and then leaving. “I refuse to get Ma to see this again. I will deal with it myself.” Joe said angrily.

    The next day, Joe got up early in the morning at 9:00 and called his fiancé and both of them planned on cleaning up Lyn’s house. Joe even called a dumpster garbage man that he knew, and he was going to help them load the trash up on his big truck. Joe and Lucille both brought garbage bags, a mop, a broom, more raid, gloves, masks, Lysol, paper towels, a duster, a vacuum, and air freshener.
    Joe offered to pay the garbage man $260 just to help them that day. When they got to Lyn’s house they had t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers on and a hat to work in. “It smells in here, Joe.” “I know Lucille, but we don’t have time to complain. We have a lot of work to do before Ma comes.” Joe said firmly. “You start in the kitchen, Lucille, and I will start in Ma’s bedroom.” “What? But I’m scared.” Lucille said grossed out. “Babe, please just help me without the insults.” “Okay fine Joe I’m only doing this because I love you.” She said, kissing his lips and walking into the kitchen. While Joe was in his mom’s room cleaning, Lucille was cleaning the kitchen, and she had to take out a lot of smelly old food.
    It was rotten banana peelings, old pizza boxes, rotten veggies, soured meats, stale chips and pasta, and sour milk jugs. “YUCK THIS PLACE IS A PIGSTY! I love Mrs. Drummer, but this is ridiculous!” Lucille said, frowning. When Lucille went to pick up an old pot, flies flew into her face and she saw maggots all in the pot.
    “AHHHHHH!” She screamed so loud that Joe thought she was in danger. “BABY HELP, HELP!” She called for him. Joe came rushing thinking it was an emergency. “What’s wrong Lucille?” “Joe baby those dirty flies flew in my face and it's maggots in that pot! I feel nauseous and dizzy. I can't breathe in this filth!” “I know babe, but please help me out. I can’t do all this work alone. Just hurry and throw the pot in the trash bag. I promise after this is over I will give you a full body hot oil rub. How does that sound?” “Fine, but….” “But nothing, just endure it until we can get this finish and I tell you what, if you do this babe I will buy you that new sofa set you wanted.”
    “Okay fine, but you better be glad I’m a nice woman because if you had been with other women, they would have not done this.” “Yeah I know, thanks babe.” he said and then went back to clean his mom’s room. Lucille continued to clean and the fridge and sink were even worst. She was upset, but she kept on pushing.
    Meanwhile, Joe was looking through his mom and dad's photos in her room. He smiled and then put them to the side and started cleaning the rest of the room. He had to spray so many bugs, roaches and mites until it was unreal. Furthermore, he was getting a little frustrated, but he kept on pushing. Soon as he opened up her closet, a bat came out and attacked him. “AHHHH YOU STUPID BAT!” He yelled and fought the bat with the dustpan and then the bat fell and stopped moving. “Great, now I have to clean up a dead bat.” He said getting madder.
    It took 2 hours for him and Lucille to clean the kitchen and his mom’s room. “Okay babe, let's take a water break and then we will start on something else. “You will clean Ma’s bathroom and the hall bathroom, and I will clean the living room and the guest room.” “Okay baby.” Lucille agreed they take a 20-minute break and then start again. Lucille was starting to get tired. She was definitely tired of fighting the rats and bugs. Joe, on the other hand, saw a lot of important things he wanted to hold on to but knew it were just in the way and had to go. He kept all the pictures but everything else was thrown in the trash.
    After everything was cleaned up. Joe sprayed mold spray all over the walls, and he sprayed raids in every corner, killing most of the bugs, and he sterilized everything and sprayed Lysol and air freshener. He even called guys to move his mother's furniture out of the house and her cabinets and dressers, so he could replace them. He took her bed out because it was old. He even talked to an exterminator to come out to get rid of all the rats and the bugs.
    After finishing up everything, Joe and Lucille felt proud of themselves. “Wow it looks nice baby.” Lucille said. “Yep it certainly does. Tomorrow before Ma gets home, I will put the old furniture you have from your house in Ma’s house since you said you're getting new furniture anyway, and I will give her the mattress you had for your guest room, so she will have something clean to sleep on. I’m just worried this might be too much for her.”
    “Joe, you stop worrying right now. You love your mother and I think that it is sweet that you went through all this because you cared. I hope she appreciates it.” Lucille said. “Yeah, I do too. The house looks so much better clean, and she will finally be at peace.” Joe said, hugging Lucille. “Joe listen, if your mother doesn’t accept this then she is selfish, and I don’t want you worrying about it no more, okay?” “Alright.” Joe said, smiling at her.
    After everything was complete for the house and the exterminators did their job and his mom’s home was pest, rodent, and mold free, he couldn’t wait for his mom to come home. Mrs. Mabelle offered to pick Lyn up from the hospital and take her back home. She even knew that Joe had cleaned his mom’s house up.

    After Mrs. Mabelle picked Lyn up she dropped her off but then decided to stay along to see the shock on Lyn’s face. Soon as Lyn opened the door and saw Joe and Lucille standing there smiling, she almost passed out and Mrs. Mabelle had to catch her. “What…..what….what happened to my house?” She said devastated. “Surprise Ma I cleaned the whole house up me and Lucille wanted to surprise you after you got out of the hospital.” Joe said smiling. “ARE YOU CRAZY? ARE YOU TRYING TO PUT ME BACK IN THE HOSPITAL SON? HOW DARE YOU TOUCH MY THINGS AND THROW THEM AWAY ARE YOU A IDIOT!” Lyn shouted. She ran and screamed when she entered the kitchen, her bedroom, and the bathroom.
    “My beautiful items are gone…..they were antiques, and you threw it all away!” She said crying. “Ma calm down it was just junk. You can get new things. We wanted you to live healthy and breathe fresh air.” Joe said.
    “GET OUT ALL OF YOU JUST GET OUT!” She yelled. “Ma but there are no more rats, roaches, mold, dust, or junk, everything is clean.” “WHY JOE, WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS! I TOLD YOU I WILL TAKE MY TIME AND START NEXT MONTH TO CLEAN.” “Well Ma I’m not waiting any longer. You almost died in this house and I had a dream that you died in all that pile of junk and that’s why I decided to clean up!”
    “GET OUT I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU OR YOUR Fiancé EVER AGAIN!” “Ma, you're going too far now, so you're saying you love that junk more than your own son! I came to help you and this is the thanks I get! You were living like a mole in this house and I basically saved your life and this is what makes me ungrateful!” Joe said, getting angry.
    “Joe I don’t want to hear another word, now I gotta go talk to the dumpster people and get my stuff back!” “Ma, you're a sick old woman and I can’t help you. In the morning I’m calling a nursing home to come get you. I’m tired of this all my life I had to live in clutter. If it wasn’t, you're bringing junk, daddy would. I could never invite friends or no one over because I was ashamed of how I was living! I’m glad I didn’t grow up crazy like you 2. Your heart is still in that clutter.”
    “JUST GET OUT JOE AND NEVER SHOW YOUR FACE AROUND HERE AGAIN!” Lyn said hatefully. Tears started to flow down Joe’s face. “Come on Joe, forget her.” Lucille said. “Once we are married you won’t have to worry about seeing Joe again because I won’t let him come back here.” Lucille said and both of them burst out the door.
    Mrs. Mabelle was furious. “Lyn how could you?” “Look Mabelle, I'm not in the mood to hear your smart remarks!” “Well your behind is going to hear it today! You have some audacity to treat your son worse than a cricket. I can’t believe you! You had black mold, roaches, rats, mites, flies, bats, sour food, and rust all in this house and that boy spent 8 hours cleaning this house from top to the bottom and all you can say is get out! Lyn you make me so mad to where I want to slap you! You might have had memories in those boxes but wake up and smell the cappuccino! IT’S OVER YOU HAVE A NEW LIFE NOW. You can make new memories Lyn in a clean house. I never in my life saw someone who loves filth. Lyn you are too pretty and smart to be in the rabbit hole of a house. You deserve the best and your son loves you so much I can tell it, and you hurt his feelings. Now either you're going to pick your old junk or your son, which one? I will leave on that note.” Mrs. Mabelle said and walked out the door, slamming it.
    Lyn cried hard in her recliner thinking about how she did her only son. She was ashamed of how she acted, and she had to make it up to him. Even though she didn’t like Mabelle, she knew she was telling the truth. “I have to apologize to my son. Mabelle was right even though I don’t like her. The house does smell good and it is beautiful. I will let Joe calm down and call him in the morning.” She said sadly.

    That night Lyn was having hot flashes, and she could not sleep. She kept dreaming about the junk in her house falling on top of her, crushing her. She woke up hollering. “I gotta make it right with my son, right now!” She said sitting up. She looked at the clock on the wall. It was 12:30 at night. She dialed Joe’s number, and he answered on the 2nd ring.
    “What do you want Ma?” He said meanly. “Son, I'm so sorry for how I acted tonight. I feel horrible about how I treated you and I didn’t mean a word I said. I think the clutter was actually making me a little crazy, and maybe it was best you threw it all away. I need a fresh start. Mabelle talked to me and I realized that you do care and love me and that’s the reason you did it. I want to thank you son because no telling what would have happened to me. I do like the fact I don’t have to worry about anything now. I can relax, but first I need your forgiveness.”
    “I forgive you Ma.” “Thanks son, oh and tell Lucille I’m sorry too, and I want y'all to come over here tomorrow, so we can order some take out and watch TV together.” “Alright Ma we will be there.” “Okay son love you goodnight.” “Goodnight Ma.” He said, then hung up.
    Lyn felt better and then went back to sleep and slept peacefully. A year passed and Lyn kept her house clean. She felt better and more at peace. Joe and Lucille were married, and they would always go and check on her.
    Joe was proud of his mom for keeping the house up, and she learned an important lesson behind it. Joe was glad his mom made a change and they started a new life. She even became friends with Mrs. Mabelle and invited her over sometimes. This house went from a house that was not a home to a house that was a cozy beautiful home.

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Comments (1)


117 days ago
that was cheezy.