I have been living with my grandmother for three years.
Together we just make ends meet. Neither of us have anyone else.
I lost my job about nine months ago when the company I worked for went out of business. My grandmother is very sick with cancer and I care for her every day. I would like to get another job but at this time she is so sick she really needs me there to help.
The doctor is not very positive about her cancer. He only gives her a few more months to live. My grandmother is afraid of hospitals. She apologizes to me all the time about being a burden.
I reassure her about how much I love her and tell her she is not a burden. She pleads with me every day to not let her die in the hospital. I have to promise at least three times a day that we will stay right here in her house.
Only then will she fall asleep while holding on to my hand. I love my grandma with all my heart and want to keep this promise to her.
The reason I am writing to you about this is because I do not have enough money to get my car fixed. I need my car to drive her to doctor appointments and for other errands. If I get the car repairs done we will not have enough money to pay our rent.
I cook good tasty food to encourage my grandmother to eat. I go to the food pantry when I can but with my car broke, I cannot get there. She is my last living relative. I have no siblings and never had children of my own.
I would be forever grateful if you could help my grandmother and I at this difficult time in our lives. I do not want my grandmother’s last days to be a financial struggle.
I went to see the living conditions for the grandmother and granddaughter.
I wanted to verify the car repairs, home setting, food insecurity and other possible areas that might need assistance. The grandmother lived in a very small, old rental home. It was only two bedrooms with a living room and kitchen.
After I knocked, the granddaughter checked through the window before opening the front door. I held up my identification and she opened the door. I commended her for being cautious. She said, “You can’t be too careful anymore. Please come inside and meet my grandmother. I have not told her you are coming over. I do not want to worry her.”
I went into the small house and met the grandmother who was resting in a recliner.
She opened her eyes and smiled at me, saying, “Mr. Sal, what are you doing here? I see your column in the newspaper all the time.”
After I properly introduced myself, the granddaughter quickly told her I was there to talk to her. The grandmother instantly looked worried. She told her grandmother, “Don’t get yourself worked up. I asked him to come over to talk about a friend. You go back to resting, we will be in the kitchen talking.”
The grandmother looked relieved, but she sat up and said, “This is so exciting, I want to talk to Sal.”
We visited for almost an hour. We talked, we laughed and we hugged. the granddaughter was so happy to see her grandmother excited over our visit. At the end of the hour the grandmother was very tired. I told her how honored I was to meet her. She smiled as I stood up, leaned over and gave her a long gentle hug.
The granddaughter and I walked into the kitchen that was so close to the grandmother I was worried she would hear our conversation. The granddaughter reassured me the grandmother would fall fast asleep.
The granddaughter looked close to tears when she said, “My grandma sleeps more and more every day. She can barely stay awake long enough to eat or for a sponge bath.” I asked if she was in any pain and the granddaughter was glad to report that so far she had not been in much pain. That was a blessing for the grandmother.
We talked about the granddaughter’s job loss, due to the company closing, and her job qualifications. She was a registered nurse but had been working for a medical supply company in sales. She had done a lot of traveling and seminars.
This was fine at the time as she did not have any children, but had taken a toll on her relationship with her ex-husband and friends. They all had not understood her devotion to her job, and even she wondered about that now since they had so callously let her go.
She told me she would again be looking for work as an RN in the future. She just could not commit to the long working hours of an RN now with her grandmother needing around the clock care.
We went over the budget the granddaughter had put together.
The small amount of income did not go far enough to afford a car repair. The granddaughter showed me the refrigerator and cabinets, all nearly empty. She said they always scrimp and save to pay the rent. The grandmother had rented the same house for fifteen years. The landlord had recently passed away and the family wanted the grandmother out now, even though she had a lease for six more months. I think the reason they wanted her out was because the landlord had kept the rent so low for the elderly woman for so many years.
He obviously had been trying to help her in her senior years. I asked the granddaughter if she planned on staying in the rental if anything happened to the grandmother. She looked around and tears filled her eyes. She said, “I could never stay here without my grandma. I would feel her everywhere.” I offered to call the new landlord and deal with his unwillingness to honor the lease. The granddaughter thanked me.
After explaining the situation with the younger landlord, reminding him a legal lease did exist and how terrible it would look to throw an elderly, extremely sick widow out on the street, the landlord agreed they could stay and apologized. The granddaughter was so relieved to hear they could live out the grandmother’s remaining time, without worry of eviction or homelessness, she began to cry.
I asked the granddaughter about their utilities, to be sure they could manage this expense as well. After review I offered to pay some for their utilities now and into the future to help them afford gas, food and toiletries. I told the granddaughter I would like to see the car. On our way outside the grandmother woke again from her nap.
She noticed the tears on the cheeks of her granddaughter and looked worried as she asked, “My dear, what is the matter? Is everything okay?” The granddaughter smiled to reassure her and kissed her on the cheek saying, “Everything is great Grandma. We are going to be just fine.” The grandmother reached out her frail hand to shake mine. I took her hand gently in mine and said, “Your granddaughter loves you very, very much. It was a pleasure meeting both of you wonderful ladies. Everything is fine.”
This made the grandmother smile. She thanked me for all we do to help those in need and for coming over.
We went outside to look at the car. It was in pretty good shape but in need of a few repairs and new tires. I would make sure this work would be done to keep these two women safe.
I also shared with the granddaughter gift cards for food, toiletries and gas. She tried telling me we had done too much for them already but I insisted, telling her about all of you and how together, we do our good works.
“Your grandmother needs you to focus on caring for her properly. You cannot do that if you are worrying where your next meal will come from or if you have enough gas to get to the doctor.”
She thanked all of us with a very grateful heart. She explained, “I cannot say in words the great sadness I try to cope with every moment knowing I am losing my only friend, my only relative, the only person who truly loves me, my Grandmother. Add to this living in fear every day wondering how I will be able to keep my grandmother sheltered, fed, with the utilities on and keep the car running.”
The granddaughter broke down in tears, releasing her fear, her potential loss of her loved one. I told her as long as we were here they would not become homeless, be without food, the utilities will stay on and the car will run. I can’t express the gratitude the granddaughter had for all of you and for what we do together. Together we helped these two fellow creations of God spend their last month’s together, without the additional pains of poverty.
The grandmother passed away three months later, at home, peacefully with the granddaughter by her side.
The landlord allowed the granddaughter to stay on one more month. She was able to find a job in that time and a reasonable rental. I called to see if there was anything we could do but she declined our assistance saying, “You did enough for my grandma and I already. In fact my grandma made a comment to me a few days before she slipped away. She said how happy she was that The Time Is Now to Help was there to help us when we needed it. She thanked me for loving her enough to ask you for help. She knows how proud I am and how I would never have asked for myself. I have a good job now. God bless all of you for making those last months of my grandmother’s life not only tolerable but actually a special time for us to share together.”
We have begun The Summertime Foundation $10,000 Matching Grant. Your donation will be doubled for the poverty stricken. Please help. We have so many requests for assistance. Those in desperate need, need us to continue our mission.
Health and happiness,
God bless everyone,
Make checks payable to:
The Time Is Now to Help
P.O. Box 1
Lake Geneva, WI 53147
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 how your donation provided assistance for the poverty stricken.
Please contact Love, Inc. for all your furniture, clothing and household item donations. Call 262-763-2743 to schedule pick-up. We are no longer affiliated with Chris Ann’s Resale Shop.
Geneva Inn fundraiser
Please join us Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at the beautiful Geneva Inn, Grandview Dining Room for a dinner benefitting The Time Is Now to Help. Geneva Inn will be providing door prizes.
There will be an auction, and half of your meal expense will be donated to The Time Is Now to Help to provide assistance to the poverty stricken.
Sal will be present the entire evening to share some of the good works we have been doing.
Please call (262) 248-5690 to make your reservation between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Please state you are coming for The Time Is Now to Help benefit.
Upon filling the dining room with caring donors The Geneva Inn will give an additional $5,000 donation to The Time Is Now.
Please help us to fill the dining room. The Geneva Inn is located at N2009 S. Lake Shore Dr., Lake Geneva, WI 53147.
The Summertime Foundation, Fox Charities, Matt Stracner, Lake Geneva Area Realty, Meridian Group, Inc., Martin Group, John Stensland and family, Mark and Julia Kiehl, Dorothy Heffernan, Moelter Foundation, Ray and Pam Ring, Gerald and Joyce Byers, George Rozhon, John and Kathryn Swanson, Melody Fehling, Donald and Anne Ogne, Christian and Mackenzie Bestold, Lawrence and Cynthia Rynning, Stateline Grange No. 772, Bruce and Nancy Johnson, William and Dorothy Tookey, William and Deborah Mecklenburg, Barbara Bourjaily, Lewis and Jo Ann Hobbs, Marilyn and Diana Kolovos, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God-loving volunteers of all our caring 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.
Jacquelyn Leedle in loving memory of George Leedle. Margaret Cardiff in loving memory of her mother Dot Cardiff. Country Fairway Condominium Association in memory of Mrs. Fran Ukropin.