Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

The Time is Now to Help
Ill daughter changes life for grandmother

February 17, 2011

Dear W.C.,

I have been a self sufficient hard-working person my whole life. Then last year everything changed when my daughter became ill with cancer. She was living in an apartment, working, and raising two young boys. It was obvious she was going to need my help. I had no idea how ill she would become from her treatments. It broke my heart to watch how bravely she battled this terrible disease.

She always remained positive around her boys, even when I knew it took every ounce of strength just to ask what they did in school. My grandchildren’s father left several years ago and my daughter has been raising the boys herself since. I was always proud of what a great job she did as a hard-working single mother.

My daughter had to give up her job because she was too sick to even get out of bed. I lost mine when I had to stay with my daughter around the clock to care for her and the boys. I had my daughter move into my small house because she was so sick and could no longer pay her rent. My daughter died after a nine-month battle.

I have been raising my grandsons with very little assistance for the last year. I have struggled to find another job and have been unsuccessful. There are not any jobs available for an older woman who has not worked for more than a year. Our utilities are late. My grandsons are in need of winter clothing and shoes. I made a promise to my daughter that I would raise her boys as best as I could. I don’t want to break that promise.

Heartbroken Grandma

Dear Readers,

The death of a child, at any age, is something a parent should never have to endure. The pain of watching your child lose their life to a terrible disease is heartbreaking. Now, this mother and grandmother has to move on as she tries to raise her two young grandsons on her own.

I called the grandmother and heard a lot of noise in the background when she answered her telephone. I heard what must have been her grandsons in the background. The grandmother very patiently quieted the boys and asked who was calling. I introduced myself. I assured her I would be there to help and asked if it was a convenient time to pay a visit. She told me she would be very appreciative if I came over.

I arrived at a small home that looked a little run down. There was a snowman on the front lawn and two small snow shovels by the front door. When the grandmother answered the front door two young boys jumped out from behind her and excitedly began to tell me about how they shoveled the walk for grandma. I told them what a good job they had done and told them, as the men of the house they need to keep helping Grandma as much as they can. They beamed with pride and said they would.

The grandmother invited me inside. The house was small, with only two bedrooms, a small kitchen, living room, and one bath. The grandmother told the boys to go play in their room for a bit while we talked. The grandmother started to cry and explained she was still trying to just get through each day. She had just enough energy to care for the boys and search for a job. She also had been trying to apply for assistance.

The grandmother said it had taken two months to get the boys past the stage of asking for their mom every day. She said it had broken her heart to tell them she had died and was in heaven. The boys wanted their mom here with them and did not understand she would never be back. The grandmother began to cry again as she told me about her daughter’s illness and death. It was sad to hear what the daughter went through. The daughter knew she was dying and all she could think about was what would happen to her boys now that she was broke. The mother/grandmother promised her daughter she would take good care of her boys.

The grandmother broke down in tears saying “I cannot let my daughter down.” I consoled the grandmother. She said she never expected to be raising her own grandchildren at this age. All her funds were gone within the first year of caring for her daughter and grandchildren. Now she was left with nothing but the small house she and her husband had lived in for years. Her husband had passed away years ago. The utilities would be disconnected in spring if the bill was not brought up to date before that time. The house needed repairs as well as the grandmother’s car. She said she had lost her daughters car because they could not make the payments.

The last of her savings had gone for a very modest funeral. She had kept her daughter home and cared for her around the clock because her daughter did not have health insurance. The medical bill collectors had told the grandmother the medical bills must be paid. One bill collector had even told the grandmother the boys could be taken away if she was found to be financially incapable. Out of fear she gave them all the money she had saved for years. The bill collectors’ threats had worked, leaving the grandmother broke.

We talked about her job opportunities. She was an educated woman that had held the same job for most of her adult life. I asked if that job was still available to her. She said she could never ask them for her job back because she had left them so suddenly when she was needed by her daughter. I asked if she would like me to call her old employer and she said no. I asked her if she had done a good job for them and if they understood the reason for her sudden departure. She said, “Yes, I always did my best for them.

They were very understanding about my leaving.” I told her to let me try calling to ask for her job back and she finally agreed. I called her old employer and introduced myself. They knew The Time Is Now To Help and were happy to talk to me. I explained the reason for my call and he immediately offered her job back. He said he had hired a replacement but that person was always late and missed a lot of days. He set up an appointment for her the following day. The grandmother could not believe she was going to have her old job back. She never even thought to ask since she felt so bad about how she had left. I told her she should feel good about her reasons for leaving. She had been a loving, caring, and sharing mother, and now was doing the same for her grandsons. She should be proud for her decision to put her daughter first in her time of need. She started to cry and gave me a hug, thanking me for the kind words and her job. I told her she had earned her job by her past performance.

We went over her immediate needs, brought the utilities up to date, some house repairs, and car repairs. I asked her about her diminished food supply and she told me she had been to the food pantry but she still runs out of food. We supplied her with several food vouchers and made arrangements for the car repairs to be completed. When I had looked at the boys I noticed the younger boy’s clothes were in very poor condition. His pants were worn and his shoes were dilapidated because he was wearing his brother’s hand me downs. We supplied the grandmother with gift cards for clothing and shoes for the boys.

After our assistance, a job, and guiding her in the right direction for some additional government help, they were getting by much better. The grandmother asked how and why we help people in need. I explained my moments of poverty as I grew up, my vow to God to help and how all of “you,” my fellow creations, make our assistance possible by “your” Caring and Sharing.

When I returned for a visit the grandmother looked healthier due to the financial stress being removed. She was proud to say, “Thanks to everyone at The Time Is Now To Help I am keeping my promise to my daughter.” God Bless all of you for making all our good works possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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: Michael & Sue Borden, Sprecher’s Restaurant & Pub in Lake Geneva, Paper Dolls, Martin O’Brien, Dean & Leeanne Wolanyk in honor of Dr. Mark Brower, Robert & Barbara Hogan, Dick & Jean Honeyager, Randall & Susan Hofberger, William & Sandra Blaesing, George & Lauretta Clettenberg, Kenneth & Nova Kyburz, Jerry & Marilyn Wilkin, Ingalls-Koeppen American Legion Post No. 102, Lisa Luedtke, Michael Burke, Fred Zeller & Bette Popik, Alfred & Mildred Thorson, Geri Hinton, Francis Branfort, 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: Mike Luttropp in memory of Anne Luttropp. Dr. Gerald & Irene Eagan in memory of Anne Luttropp.

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