Editor's Note: The following is a letter to The Time Is Now, a private charity serving Walworth County. The founder, who knew poverty as a child, now provides help for those in need. Every penny donated goes to the needy for daily necessities of life. Donors will receive a tax-deductible itemized receipt showing exactly where every penny was spent. We'll publish a letter most weeks.
(Published March. 16, 2007, 2:38 p.m.)
D ear WC,
My daughter and I have been struggling for the past year. After 12 years of marriage my husband decided he wanted a divorce and moved to another state with his girlfriend. My 10-year-old daughter feels the pain of our divorce, especially since her father never calls and, of course, never sends any child support.
I have been working at the same job for the past five years. The pay is OK and that is what almost supports us. I do not smoke or drink and I do not spend money on anything unnecessary. I do not have any savings.
I try to do what's best for my little girl and I love her more every day. I try to give her more love and attention to keep her out of the deep depression she falls into when she thinks about her father.
If you have a chance, could you please call or visit? We would really appreciate it.
A loving mother
D ear Readers,
I had an opportunity to visit with this mother and her wonderful daughter. We talked for quite some time. When the mother brought up how her husband had left her for another woman, the daughter looked down in embarrassment. It was as if she felt shame over being abandoned. I know that pain and sorrow of being left by your own father. This little girl expressed the same feelings for her father that I had for my father-that she still loved him. I guess it is our way of forgiving and living with things we cannot change.
We talked about happier subjects like what the girl likes to do for fun. She would get a sparkle in her eye and a smile on her face then she would talk about the things she would do at school and in gym class. She liked school and she had outstanding grades. The mother asked me if I wanted to see her report card. As I looked at the little girl I could tell that she really wanted me to see it. I said, "Of course I would." Before I could finish my answer, the little girl was off her chair and in the next room. She came running back with her report card and handed it to me. She looked at me while I read her subjects and grades. I was very complimentary after each one. After praising her for her fine work at school, she lit up with pride and smiled at her mom. I handed her report card back and she returned it to the other room.
I looked at the mother and told her she was doing a wonderful job. The mother thanked me. It takes a lot of added support from the remaining parent, when one parent leaves, to help get the children through the emotional stress. The mother is still carrying a lot of grief over her failed marriage.
There was a knock at the door and it was one of the little girl's friends. When they went into the next room to play the mother was able to talk freely. The mother said, "I don't know what happened. We had a great marriage, and then all of a sudden my ex-husband was quiet for a while." She continued telling me how she would ask him what was wrong.
One day he confessed he had found someone else. She was shocked and confused. How could this happen to them? He left her soon after and left her to try to explain to their daughter why he was leaving. The mother was devastated. The daughter was heartbroken, asking, "Mom, where is Daddy? When is he coming home? I still love him. He still loves me, right?" The mother would cry and feel the extreme stress of the bills piling up.
My dear friends, what happens to vows-in sickness and in health, good times and bad? I know a couple in their 90s who are celebrating their 69th anniversary. I also know other couples who are much younger celebrating decades. At the same time, other couples and families are going through the pain of divorce at an alarming rate. Adults sometimes make decisions with out considering how it will affect others in their family. When people plan a family, there is a commitment of love to one another and who they, together, bring into this world.
This mother and child needed help with their rent, help with food and help with their utilities. I called the employer and again, this person was not aware of the situation. Not many employees really talk to their employers and tell of their difficulties at home. Most important, how many employers would search their heart and help out their employees? This gracious employer gave the mother a 25 percent raise. Between the raise and our assistance we were able to help this mother and child stabilize their financial situation.
Together, we put some happiness back in this child's life. We helped fill a void in her life. There is no reason she should be seeing her mom crying over unpaid bills. The mother said she blamed herself for her daughter's feelings. I told the mother she should be congratulated, because she and her daughter have such a great love for one another. The mother is doing a wonderful job raising her daughter.
I send a prayer out to all parents to be strong, for each other and for their children. I send a prayer out for those who think the grass is greener on the other side. Maybe all they need to do is put time and effort into the people who are in their lives now. We all do. I pray that their times are more fruitful, happy and full of sharing and love. I want to thank everyone for reading, for caring and sharing. Please continue to network The Time Is Now to Help, share our common care for one another. Together we make our communities a better place to live in our great United States of America.
Health and happiness,
God bless everyone,
A special thank you to: St. Vincent De Paul and St. John's Human Concerns Committee, Data Specialists Inc. and employees, The Bemis Foundation, Tom and Sue Stelling, Richard and Jean Honeyager, Jay Ieronimo, Margarie Egger, in honor of Lucy Hibbard's and Jill Cummings' birthdays, in memory of Helen Behrens, 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 to Help donation box in your business, please call 249-7000.