Job, place to live help struggling single mom and grandmother

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Sal Dimiceli | October 7, 2013

Dear W.C.,

I am a senior citizen asking for help for my daughter, grandchildren and myself. Last year my daughter and her two children moved into my apartment after she was deserted by her husband. My daughter was diagnosed with advanced Lyme disease at the time her husband left. She had been suffering with headaches and flu like symptoms for almost a year before she went to the doctor due to lack of health insurance. Her husband didn't like that she had to give up her job and that he actually had to help her with the children. He left one day while the kids were at school and my daughter was at the doctors for treatment. He took their only good running car, emptied their small savings account, and took all belongings of any value. She had to give up her apartment when she could not pay the rent and was too sick to care for herself and the children.

I am working part-time and it was enough to just get by when I lived alone. Now that I am feeding three more people, using more utilities and all the extra expenses, we have been unable to pay our utilities. My daughter hopes to be back at work by late spring. We cannot survive on my part-time work and social security until then. Our utilities are about to be disconnected.

My daughter does not know where her husband is and is not receiving any support from him. She worked in housekeeping and as a waitress. She has always been a hard worker so being laid up is not easy for her. I watch her struggle to get over this disease and I want to reassure her that we will be fine until she is physically capable of getting back to work.

Caring & Sharing Mother & Grandma

Dear Readers,

I called the grandmother to plan the visit when she was at home. She was in tears when she found out it was The Time Is Now to Help calling. She said she had been so worried because she had just received her utility disconnect notice. She did not think we would get to them in time. We set up a time to visit the same day.

When I arrived at the apartment the door opened before I could even knock. I realized Grandma had been so anxious she had been watching out the window for my arrival. She opened the door in my face and gave me a big hug. I was surprised and said, "What if I was not W.C.?" She just laughed and said, "I recognized you from your pictures in the newspaper and I saw you on Fox News once. I never knew at that time I would need your help myself one day." She invited me in to meet her daughter.

Her daughter was struggling to get out of her chair to meet me. I immediately saw the look of pain on her face when she tried to get up. I told her to stay where she was. I shook her hand and she thanked me for coming. She explained she had cleaned for her first client today and it had taken a toll on her physically. The grandchildren were at school so we could speak freely. I do not like discussing anything worrisome in front of children as they often hear more than you think yet do not understand fully the situation. It can bring them great distress.

I sat in the chair next to the mother and the grandmother joined us. I asked about the Lyme disease and why she let it go for so long. She explained she had been feeling rundown and lots of headaches to start. She thought she was just stressed between marital problems and her two jobs. Then when it got worse she thought she had the flu or other virus. When she started losing her memory and couldn't concentrate anymore she became alarmed. She couldn't even keep track of what she was doing at work and her joints ached so bad she had a hard time with most physical labor. Her husband discouraged her from going to the doctor, telling her it was just a bug and she would get better. He did not want the medical bills since he was not working at the time. She finally ended up in the emergency room and after several different test they confirmed Lyme disease. She was given I.V. antibiotics for several weeks.

The mother became very sad when she talked about how her husband treated her. She said he was angry at her for even getting treatment. He wanted her to continue working and refused to help with their own household chores or caring for the children. She said she remembers the day he left. She had asked him help with the children but he had refused. She said at the time she was suffering from a fever, headache and chills. Then he refused to drive her to the doctor so she had her mother drive her, feeling like she was in a fog was how she described that trip. Her husband was gone, along with some belongings, when she returned home, but she was too sick to notice until later that evening. By then he was long gone. She did not know about the funds missing until she went to use the check book to pay bills several days later and the funds were gone.

By the end of this she was crying very hard and the grandmother handed her some tissues and wrapped her in a hug. In a few minutes the grandmother joined her in tears. Here I was with two women crying over the abandonment, hard times, struggling to financially take care of each other and the children, all while dealing with an illness. Until "We", The Time Is Now to Help showed up, they were desperately alone in fear of what their fate would be. I felt their pain. I could not bear to see them suffer before me. I got up and went to them, as they sat huddled together crying. I leaned over and hugged them both. I consoled their tormented feelings of despair and heart break. I explained about The Time Is Now to Help and all of "You" who help and support our mission of good works. They stopped crying and listened intently as I explained how "We, You" really do care. 

After they recovered I asked some more questions. I asked about the size of the apartment, it was a two bedroom, and the rent. The mother said she did not mind sharing a room with her children. She was very grateful to her mother for not letting them go homeless. I knew of a very nice three bedroom apartment that was available for the same rent.

We went over the budget. I could see they needed some help until the mother could get back to work. I asked her how her symptoms were now. She admitted to good days and bad but said she had felt a big difference just in the last weeks with her memory and the foggy feeling in her brain clearing up. Her headaches also were very diminished. Her joint pain was what continued to bother her when she exerted herself for more than four hours at a time. I asked if she had contacted her past employers to see about any other possible work. She said she had been thinking about calling her employer about doing a desk job that was available. She said she knew all the costs, suppliers, customers and schedules. She could handle ordering supplies, invoicing and other office tasks. I encouraged her to call as soon as she felt capable. They were living very frugally and part-time work would be enough to help them get by and make their budget.

In the meantime we paid their utilities to prevent disconnection. We made arrangements to relocate to the three bedroom apartment. We had repairs completed on the grandmothers car. They could share transportation for now. I promised to help with the other car when it was no longer feasible for them to share a car. We provided food to fill their nearly empty pantry and refrigerator. All this assistance was given with love by "You" our wonderful supporters.

I thank all of "You" for caring and sharing. Together we will continue our good works of compassion for our fellow creations.

Health & Happiness, God Bless Everyone, W.C./Sal

Please Help: 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.                                               

A Very Special Thank You: The Summertime Foundation, Kunes' Country Auto Group, The Rhoades Foundation, Paul Ziegler/Ziegler Charitable Foundation, Dick & Jean Honeyager, Michael Glass, William & Dorothy Tookey, John Poiron, Gerald & Joyce Byers, Ernst Cornielsen, Edward & Kathryn Drexler, Walter & Florence Strumpf, Richard & Carol Hinners, Sarah Casper, William & Jean Isaacson, Jackie Hennerley, Jennifer Olomon, Dan & Regina Mehring, Brian & Elizabeth Fanning, Mark & Gretchen Kitzman, Women of the Evangelical Lutheral Church of America, Pauline Hernandez, J.T. Marty, B.J. Williams, Karin Collamore, Eric Svandra, 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:  Marvin Hersko & Audrey Wunderlin-Hersko in memory of Donald Wunderlin and Barbara Hersko.                                                   

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