January 25, 2012 | 07:38 AMDear W.C.,
Could you please help my wife and children?
Our family was blessed with health and both my wife and I had good jobs. We had a nice house and two cars. Now two years later everything has changed.
My wife suffered a blood clot during the birth of our second child two years ago and was lucky to survive. Unfortunately she did not have sufficient blood flow to her brain for a few minutes and has suffered tremendously because of that. She lost most of her memory and speech. She had to relearn how to walk and feed herself. She suffers from mood swings and outbursts.
I had to take a leave of absence from my job to care for both her and our two children. It soon became apparent that I had to care for them full-time. My wife went on disability and I am on unemployment. We are applying for more assistance but are on waiting lists.
I already sold both our cars but we owed every penny to the banks for the loans. We already lost our home to foreclosure. I sold all the furniture and personal belongings I could just to purchase an old car that barely runs. I use this to drive my wife to her therapy and doctor appointments. We survive very frugally for a family struggling with a major disability and two young children.
I have been to the food pantry and that was a big help especially over the holidays when we were able to get a turkey that lasted a few days. My oldest daughter is finally out of diapers so now we only have the expense of one child in diapers. What I want to do is move my family to Florida where my mother lives. She wants us to live with her so she can help me care for the children and my wife. This will allow me to go back to work. She is not able to help us financially. My wife's parents are both deceased. Could you help us to find a reliable vehicle that would get us to Florida with our few remaining belongings?
Forever Changed Family
I had received another letter from a concerned neighbor regarding the well being of this family. I contacted them first and they told me he was a good man, how hard he worked. Also the fact he was a great father and husband, how he stood by his family and cared for them.
I know there are many risks for pregnant women and their children due to my own experiences with my family. I was made even more aware of the perils for women and children when I had an in-depth conversation with Robin Lim, winner of the CNN Heroes 2011 award.
She runs a free clinic in Indonesia for pregnant women. She brought to light the need for proper prenatal care and postnatal care. She also spoke about how things can go wrong even with the best healthcare. Pregnancy can be a risky medical condition for many women, just as we find with the woman that is the subject of this request for assistance.
When I called the phone number listed on the letter of request, I was saddened to hear the recording stating the number was no longer in service. I decided to drive to the address listed immediately. When I arrived I could see a small beat-up car in the driveway and a light on in the window.
I was relieved to find the family still living in the foreclosed home. When I knocked on the door it was answered in a few minutes by a man holding one child in one arm and another young child peeking from behind his leg. He looked distressed so I quickly introduced myself, holding up my identification. I saw his immediate relief.
He said they had been expecting to be evicted any day and he thought it was the people that had come to evict them at the door. He was very sad as he said, "I don't know where we would have gone." I told him that was why I was there to speak to him.
He brought me inside and introduced me to his wife. She was sitting at the kitchen table. She seemed confused by the introduction and asked several times who I was. The husband gently repeated himself each time she asked, then several minutes later she would ask again.
I could see how she struggled. She kept apologizing for her disability. Her older daughter climbed in her lap and said, "I love you mama." and I saw her smile and hug her. The mother then looked at me and said, "My family is the only thing that keeps me going. I have to get better for them."
After the father settled his daughters with a snack we sat down to talk. We went over all the assistance they were receiving and how they would get by in Florida. They were already working on assistance in that state with his mother's help and he had a job lined up. I asked for the contact and I called to confirm employment. The father told me about the birth of the youngest child and the complications that nearly took his wife's life.
He told me about the past two years of rehabilitation, therapy visits, around the clock care for a newborn baby and three year old, along with around the clock care of a woman with disabilities. He began to cry when he showed me pictures of his wife from just two years ago. He said he missed the friendship and companionship they had always shared. Now he admitted he felt more like a caregiver than a husband. After talking with him about his new role in their relationship, he wiped his eyes.
I could see he needed the help from his mother to take on some of the care giving duties. He was exhausted and overwhelmed. It happens to many care givers that try to do everything themselves. I asked if I could talk to his mother and I handed him my cell phone. Without hesitation he called her and after they spoke for a few minutes he handed me the phone. His mother, the grandmother of the two children, was very excited to talk to me. She was very enthusiastic about them moving in together and she assured me she was very capable of helping.
I told him The Time Is Now to Help would provide transportation for his family. He looked like he was going to cry with relief. I asked him to see his car. It did not take me long to see the car was one step away from the scrap yard. It had holes in it, burned oil profusely, had a bad exhaust leak, bald tires, the transmission was slipping, and numerous other problems under the hood.
I asked if he would like to swap that vehicle for a minivan that was recently donated. He began to cry. His little daughter asked him, "What's wrong Daddy?" with a worried expression on her face. He picked her up, swirled her around, and with a kiss told her she was going to see grandma. There was a lot of happy excitement in the house after that. The wife picked up on the families happiness and kept smiling too. God bless all of you who help The Time Is Now To Help replace pain and suffering with happiness.
After new tires were put on the van and a thorough inspection, it was transferred into the father's name. A volunteer came to help them load their few belongings and some donated items as well. They were given food for the journey, funds for a motel stop on the way, gas cards, and we also renewed their cell phone plan. If they had an emergency on the road I wanted them to be able to call for assistance.
When I came to say goodbye even the wife seemed to remember who I was, though not quite comprehending why I was there. The father had a happy smile and I could already see some relief on his face. He happily buckled the children into their car seats and the wife into her seat belt. As they waved goodbye in the donated minivan, loaded with some household necessities, food, diapers, clothing for the children, they all waved goodbye.
I received a phone call when they arrived in Florida. He reported the minivan ran very well and in a storm they encountered on the way the new tires were a blessed relief. He handed the phone to his widowed mother. She was so happy her son and family were there. She told me how lonely she had been and how she now looks forward to helping her family. He thanked everyone at The Time Is Now to Help for our assistance in changing their life for the better. Thank you for caring and sharing.
Please remember the Fox Charities $25,000 Matching Grant. Every dollar you donate will be matched by another, doubling you assistance for our poverty stricken fellow Americans. A Big Thank You to everyone for supporting The Time Is Now To Help. Together we make a big difference in the lives of our fellow creations.
Health and Happiness, God Bless Everyone, WC/Sal Dimiceli Sr.
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