Helping hand aids mother with disabled son

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Sal Dimiceli | April 15, 2014

Dear W.C.,

My 9-year-old son struggles daily with his disability cerebral palsy. I take him to physical therapy, his doctor, dentist, and other specialists. My car is in need of repairs. My husband left when our son was 2 years old due to the stress. He just could not handle that his son was disabled and would need a lifetime of care. I also have a 7-year-old daughter that I need to provide for. I have found myself unable to pay utilities and rent this month because my ex-husband has not paid his child support for the last two months. He has just started a new job and hopefully will be able to catch up going forward, but for now we cannot pay our bills. My son eats a special diet and needs medications and diapers. Could you please help us catch up on these bills? I try to not stress out over the constant care giving but the financial stress has me very worried.

Stressed Care giving Mom

Dear Readers,

Caring for a disabled child full-time is not easy for any parent or caregiver. When you have to worry about financial problems as well, it can easily overwhelm you. This caring mother was at her breaking point not only because of the constant hard work needed to keep her son as healthy as he can be, but due to the fact she had not received her child support for two months when the father had lost his job. When I spoke to the mother on the phone to arrange a visit she was very grateful to hear from us. We set up a meeting for the next day.

The next day I arrived at their rental. They were renting a duplex that was handicap accessible. The door opened before I knocked as I noticed who must have been the 7-year-old daughter had been watching out the window for me along with her mother. After introductions, and identification was shown, she invited me inside. The mother introduced me to both her children. The son stricken with cerebral palsy was in a wheelchair. I noted his speech was affected when he tried to speak. He was not mildly affected by cerebral palsy, as I had hoped.

In the many years of helping poverty-stricken handicapped children and adults, I have seen many cases of cerebral palsy. Some are more afflicted by symptoms than others. The mother spoke openly in front of her son, explaining his care and asking her son to answer some questions as well. His speech therapist encouraged this. He had to follow a special diet and needed help while eating. He shared with me his favorite foods. The mother spoke about how smart both her children were. She said, "I try to keep positive and be thankful for the blessings we have. I have to keep that frame of mind or I will not be able to be the best mother I can be for them."

The daughter sat next to her brother to read him books. The mother said this was one of their favorite activities. She said the sister's voice seemed to soothe him and it was how they spent some favorite time together. We moved to sit just out of their hearing but close enough to keep a watchful eye on them. We went over her budget and financial problems. I looked over her overdue bills and we talked about her car repairs. When she was needed to help her son for a few moments, I went outside to take a look at her car. The tires were in terrible shape but the rest of the car was not that bad. The repairs it needed were very routine and shouldn't be too expensive to complete. When I came back inside the mother was ready to finish our conversation.
I asked about the father of the children. She was obviously not that happy with her ex-husband. She said he was not involved in the day to day care of the son. He would take his daughter out every other weekend for a few hours, but never offered to help with his son. She said, "I wouldn't trust him to care for our son properly anyway. He is too self-centered for that." The mother said he had been paying his child support on time ever since the state enforced it  over a year ago. Then he lost his job. He never offered to help out during the two months he was unemployed. The mother told me he had acquired another job since she wrote her letter for help. She was bold for her children and contacted his new employer. She had confirmed he was in fact now employed. She also confirmed her child support had started again. I complimented her on her follow through.

I commended the mother on her excellent care-giving skills. The children were obviously well cared for and the house was clean. The mother had tears in her eyes as she said, "You have no idea how much that means to me. No one ever tells me that I am doing a good job. It is just good to hear." I asked if she belonged to any support groups and was happy to hear she had just joined one being held at one of the sons therapist groups. I knew it would be good for her to meet people going through the same day to day life.

We brought the mother and children's rent and utilities up to date. We purchased new tires and had the repairs completed on her car. I even brought over a few books for the children to read together.

The last time we spoke the mother shared her thankfulness for The Time Is Now to Help. She was also grateful for joining the support group and the new friends she was making there. She was happy to report they had even gone on a group field trip. She said it was the most normal she had felt in several years. The other parents had many resources and ideas to share with her.  I am grateful we were able to help this family get back on track and see some joy on the mother and children's faces.
Together, we will continue to replace the fear, pain and suffering of poverty, with compassion, healing, Caring and Sharing with our hearts to change lives. Thank you for helping us achieve God's good works for those in desperate need.
Health & Happiness,

God Bless Everyone, W.C./Sal

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