The Time is Now to Help
Family struck by cancer
July 13, 2011 | 07:58 AMDear W.C.,
Could you please help my family? We are having a real hard time. Last night we had very little food to share. My Dad has cancer. It is hard to watch him try to stay strong for me when he is so sick and in so much pain. He keeps telling me to not worry about him and things will get better soon. I overheard my parents talking last night and my Mom was crying. They were talking about what my Mom should do when he is gone. How can they talk about that? I don't know where else to turn for help.
A Very Sad Son
When I called the writer of this letter the phone was answered by a young man. He seemed excited when I told him who I was. I asked him if his parents knew he had written to The Time Is Now to Help for assistance. He said they did not know yet. I asked him to talk to them and ask if I could visit later that day. He said he would and promised to do it immediately.
I called back in an hour and the young man said his parents would be very happy to have me come visit and talk. I told him I would be over in about an hour; I had one stop to make on my way. I knew they needed food so I contacted a volunteer to shop for enough food to fill their cupboards and refrigerator. I also ordered some hot food that was ready to eat and met the volunteer outside the food store.
I drove into a trailer park and saw a boy that seemed to be in his early teens sitting on a stoop. When I looked at the address I confirmed it was the mobile home I was looking for. When the young man saw me park in front of their trailer he ran to the car. He shook my hand and introduced himself. I was impressed by his good manners. When he saw the bags of groceries I could see the hunger in his eyes.
I asked if he could help me carry them inside and he asked, "Is all this food for us?" I answered him with a smile, "Only if you help me carry it all inside." As he took the bags out of my car he said, "I can't believe you brought this food for us." I said, "Well you told me you had very little food." The young man replied, "We have been hungry for weeks. We have been to the food pantry, but we run out before we can get more."
As I followed the young man inside, yes by this time he was a young man in my eyes, I noted the mobile home was in need of some major repairs, yet the small yard around it was trimmed and neat. When I commented on this the young man proudly said he took care of the outside. He said he had taken over this chore when his father had become so ill.
We entered the trailer and I immediately felt how hot it was inside. The young man introduced me to his mother and she held my hand tightly when she shook it. She looked tired and thin as she helped me unpack the bags of food. She had tears in her eyes when she thanked me many times over and over for the food. I explained the food was a gift from all of you, The Time Is Now To Help supporters, who make my visits of compassion and help possible. Her heartfelt response was, "Please pass on our gratitude for helping us."
She explained her husband was lying down and resting. She said she would put together a plate of food for him right away. I watched as she diced up the chicken I had brought into little pieces and spooned some apple sauce into a bowl. She said he was very weak and could not eat a lot at once. I was very glad the young man had told me they needed food. I could see how hungry they all were and told them to eat while I visited. The wife said she would eat after she had helped her husband first. She looked at me when she said, "He needs this even more than I do." She asked me to accompany her to feed her husband.
I have visited many people that are struggling with cancer and it is not always easy to see their suffering. Even with preparing myself I was saddened to see how far the disease had progressed. I could see every bone in his thin pale face. My heart was breaking for the young man in the other room that would have to go through the pain of losing his father.
The wife helped her husband into a sitting position on the bed. He winced with pain from the movement. When he saw me he whispered, "Who is this visiting me?" The wife said I was there to help and told him she would tell him more while he ate. He looked at the food she had brought to him and asked, "Where did we get this food?" As she slowly fed him his food piece by piece she told him about The Time Is Now To Help and their son writing a letter asking for our assistance. He said softly, "If I hadn't gotten sick we would have been fine." She hugged him and said, "I know that. You are the best husband and father ever." After he ate he said he was very tired so the wife helped him to recline again and we left the room.
When we sat down in the kitchen area to talk I asked the mother how much the son knew. She said she had spoke with him just a few days previous and been honest about his father's illness. She had just come to realize herself that her husband was not going to beat this disease. The young man joined us.They did not have health insurance so the husband had waited too long to be diagnosed. He also had chosen the least expensive, and effective, course of treatment.
It had left him too sick to cope so he had chosen to stop the treatment. The disease had progressed quickly. Now the only treatment he was receiving was pain killers. The doctor had told her at his last visit that he did not have long. She said, "I have not even had time to prepare myself for losing my husband." She began to cry and sob. The young man hugged his mother until she calmed down. She told me she lost her job and was staying home to take care of her husband. All of their bills had been piling up and there was nothing left for food. Her main concern had been keeping the rent paid so they did not become homeless.
We went over their bills. They had just started receiving some of the assistance they had applied for when the father had first become ill. They were so far behind in their electric and gas, they had already received a disconnection notice. Their car was also in need of a repair. The Time Is Now To Help brought their utilities up to date and paid some into the future with a promise from the wife to turn on the air-conditioning. We also had their car repaired. The wife and son were both very grateful for this assistance. I told them we would be back to see them in a week.
The following week I paid another visit with more food. I checked the repairs on their car and made sure the air-conditioning was on due to the hot weather. The wife told me her husband wanted to talk to me. I went to see him and thought the husband was asleep. He softly said, "I am forever grateful for the help you gave my wife and boy." He asked again about The Time Is Now To Help. After I explained, he spoke up and said, "God Bless all of you." He was crying when he asked if our help meant his family would not go homeless. I had tears in my eyes as I assured him The Time Is Now To Help would be sure they did not go hungry or homeless. A smile appeared through his tears.
Another month went by before the wife called to tell me the father had passed away. She said he had repeatedly thanked God for our help, giving him peace of mind. Once again, together, we graciously helped our fellow creations. God bless each and every one of you for making our mission, The Time Is Now To Help, possible.
Please remember the Lake Geneva Area Realty $40,000 Matching Grant. Every dollar you donate will be matched with another doubling your donation. Every penny you donate will be utilized 100 percent to provide food, toiletries, utility and housing assistance ... to ease the pains of poverty of our fellow Americans.
Thank you for Caring and Sharing.
Health & Happiness, God Bless Everyone, W.C.
Please Help: Make checks payable to: The Time Is Now to Help, P.O. Box 70, Pell Lake, WI 53157. The Time Is Now to Help is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization licensed in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. You will receive a tax deductible, itemized thank you receipt showing exactly what every penny of your donation provided for the poverty stricken.
A Very Special Thank You: Dorothy Heffernan, Dennis R. & Michele W. Baltzley, Lake Geneva Area Realty, Richard & Jean Honeyager, Delavan Service League, Martin O'Brien, James & Marilynn Dyer, Frank Huml, Jr., Joan Murphy, Kenneth & Mary Willms, Albert & Ellen Burnell, Christopher Lindquist, James & Rita Barron, Thomas & Diane Brauer, William & Jean Isaacson, Lynn & Robert Koehl, Sylvester & Virginina Seick, Holly Zinzow, Owen & Jeanne Widmayer, Jean Eddy, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God loving volunteers of all our caring food pantries, ALL of you who support The Time Is Now to Help donation boxes, and the businesses that allow our donation boxes. Anyone who would like a Time Is Now donation box in your business, please call (262) 249-7000.
Memorials: The following donations were given in memory of Warren Penkonin: Jerry Ferguson, Andrea Maes, Chris Marszalek, Dottie Ostrander, Mary Picchietti, Lydia Polek, Marilyn Snudden, Clifford & Marilyn Snudden, Roger Williams Family, & Steve Snudden Family.
We Desperately Need Cars: Please donate a used car to help our fellow American's get to work and other daily necessities.
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Please visit: www.timeisnowtohelp.org