The community as a whole accepted the meagre conditions of the family. Over the years they seemed somehow to manage but just how they did it is a mystery. Generally staying a great deal to themselves and hardly venturing out of the old house was due to shyness and a lack of resources. Over time this became accepted. This was fairly typical. Folks just minded their own business.
They were simply overlooked by many. More perceptive and kind neighbours did as much as they could by including the youngest children in outings, church events and community picnics. The older children often remained at home or were seen briefly hanging about the fringe of any social event anticipating sandwiches and cake.
At one time when the father was able he worked for the family. At one time the mother must have tried to manage the home. With the grind of time and loss, both father and mother faded away into the shadows of the house, curtains pulled. The children coped together and lived barely, simply and grimly on what funds they somehow squirreled away. All around , the lives of neighbours carried on. As time went by, the family became almost paper-thin in their quiet desperation.
You probably know it can take a great long while for anyone to really notice a crying shame.