The couple have called the quaint two-story house their home for 51 years and have tried their best to maintain it over the years.
Jimmy and Marilyn Curcuru's house in the coastal town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, has been in the family for over 75 years. The couple themselves have called the quaint two-story house their home for 51 years and have tried their best to maintain it over the years. However, with health issues taking a massive toll on the family, tending to the many needs of the aging house took a backseat as Mr. Curcuru couldn't physically take on big home repairs like he once did. Neither could they hire someone else for the job since they simply couldn't afford it over the piling medical bills.
Then they received an anonymous note in their mailbox last month. The note addressed to "Current Resident," read: Please Paint Me! Eyesore — Your Neighbors. Thanks! Mr. Curcuru was overcome with embarrassment and anger when he read the hurtful letter. "It was frustrating to read it, and it was also hurtful," the 71-year-old told The Washington Post. "We know that our house needs painting — they didn't need to point it out to us. If they'd knocked on the door and asked about it, I could have told them why this was happening to our house."
The Curcuru's misfortune began when the family matriarch Marilyn developed multiple sclerosis about 30 years ago. The 72-year-old is now mostly confined to her bed and requires constant care. This was followed by Mr. Curcuru suffering a heart attack and undergoing quadruple bypass surgery about 15 years ago. "I used to enjoy working on the house when I could, but now it’s hard for me to do it," he revealed. "It's not a good idea for me anymore to get up on a ladder." Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of well-wishers, Mr. Curcuru won't have to get up on a ladder to fix up his home any time soon.
Donations poured in from far and wide after the couple's daughter, Michelle Baran, learned about the letter and posted a snap of it on Facebook along with a response from her sister Lynanne. I don't usually like to post things like this that are very personal, but in this case, I will. My parents and sister live together in a house that my mom grew up in. My family for many years took care and maintained this house as best they could, but due to some circumstances, the house repairs have got to be too much for them. Today they received this note. I invite all my friends to share this post, so this coward may get to see this letter my sister has written in response, wrote Baran.
Lynanne, who is her mother's caregiver, delivered a scathing response to the anonymous author of the note. "To my concerned neighbor, thank you for letting me know my house needs to be painted. Guess what? I know. I've been working on it for almost four years. I myself always drive by houses that look like mine and wonder what's up in their lives. I don't judge them not knowing what they may be going through. For example, their mother got diagnosed in 92' with MS. That their dad owned his own business and took care of her. Wasn't easy physically or financially. Helped raise his three kids," she said.
"Then he himself had medical problems when in 2006 had a quadruple bypass. A year later kidney failure and a few more physical problems. So one of the daughters left her job around 2007 to take care of her mom. Dad healed as best he could and worked his ass off until this very year. Still not completely healthy. The daughter hasn't had a raise in her pay for about 12 years being her mom's caregiver but does the best she can so mom doesn't have to go to a Nursing home. And to the concerned 'neighbor,' I don't hate you, I feel bad for you that your parents didn't teach you to be kind to your neighbors," Lyanne concluded.
Baran's post quickly went viral on social media, with supportive comments pouring in from people in Gloucester and beyond and local retailers offering discounts on renovation materials. One of the Facebook commenters, Faye Passanisi, started a GoFundMe page for the Curcurus to help raise money for restoration work and has since collected over $39k. Mr. Curcuru gushed that he was overwhelmed by the kindness of his community. "People look out for each other in Gloucester," he said. "If somebody needs some help, we just get together and do it. It’s all just very heartwarming. I wish that I could thank everybody personally. I'll have to write a 'thank you' letter at the end of all this and publish it in the paper."