Regrettably, some individuals find it difficult to extricate themselves from violent relationships and embark on new beginnings. Nevertheless, amidst these challenges, tales of exceptional courage and determination come to light. One such inspiring story is that of Cara Brookins, a mother of four who, despite financial limitations, embarked on a remarkable journey that would forever reshape her family's trajectory.
Emotionally drained after the end of her second abusive marriage, Cara Brookins made a transformative decision to rebuild her life. Her remedy involved constructing her own home, a skill she acquired by watching YouTube tutorials. Following the sale of her Bryant, Arkansas property, she embarked on a search for a new abode to shelter her four children.
Despite the financial constraints that made everything seem too small at the time, Cara was resolute in her determination to reunite her family under one roof. "However," she acknowledges, "I had no clear plan on how to achieve this." Cara devised a daring scheme to construct a home from the ground up.
She recalls, "It felt like, 'If anyone were in our situation, they would do this.'" Looking back, she acknowledges the unconventional nature of her decision, saying, "No one else saw it like this, and in retrospect, I realize it sounds insane." With $20,000 for a one-acre plot and a $150,000 construction loan, Cara set her plan in motion.
Cara embarked on a crash course in construction through YouTube videos, learning skills such as foundation laying, wall building, gas line installation, and plumbing. Her children, spanning ages from two to seventeen, actively participated in the nine-month construction of their 3,500-square-foot dwelling. Fifteen-year-old Drew played a pivotal role in the planning, while eleven-year-old Jada hauled water from a neighbor's pond and mixed concrete for the foundation mortar.
Working during her kids' school hours, Cara remembers, "It seemed impossible the whole way through." After school, the family headed to the construction site, laboring late into the night. Amidst the blur of sometimes conflicting YouTube tutorials, Cara hired a part-time firefighter with building expertise to assist them.
On March 31, 2009, Cara and her children moved into their newly built five-bedroom house, which they affectionately named Inkwell Manor in honor of Cara's aspirations as a writer. Cara went on to publish multiple novels, including her memoir "Rise: How a House Built a Family," slated for release on January 24.
Reflecting on the unconventional choice of building their own shelter, Cara admits, "We were mortified that building our own shelter was our best alternative." However, she acknowledges that this endeavor became the most transformative step she could have taken for herself. Her resounding message: "If I, a 110-pound computer programmer, can build an entire house, you can do anything you set your mind to."
Cara advocates for setting a singular goal and persevering. She encourages others to identify their aspirations, take incremental steps, and invite fellow healers to journey alongside. In her words, "There's immense power in that."
The remarkable account of Cara and her children's journey is best conveyed through their own voices. Watch as they share their touching narrative of resilience and hope:
Even in the most catastrophic circumstances, there is always hope for a better future, as demonstrated by Cara’s narrative, which today serves as a tribute to the tenacity of survivors.
DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.