Monday, February 06, 2023

Grandfather's stroke makes for tough times

| December 14, 2010 8:00 PM

His sons are such good boys, said this father of two.

They do their homework without a fuss. They get good grades and clean their rooms without complaining.

"I don't know how to tell them Santa isn't coming this year," said this single dad.

"They've been through a lot. They deserve better than I can give them."

The mother in this family moved out about two years ago leaving her 6- and 8-year-old sons behind. She soon stopped visiting or calling.

The dad doesn't know where she is these days.

"She wasn't happy for some reason. I think she met someone else," the father said. "What I don't understand is how she can just forget about our sons."

The dad's parents, the boys' grandma and grandpa, helped each day by caring for the children after school until the dad finished work making deliveries for a furniture business in Spokane. When the economy slowed and the father was let go, the boys still spent time at their grandparents' small condo.

"My parents loved having my sons around, and they loved being with their 'Gram and Poppy.' They took them to the park. They went for walks. My dad took them fishing sometimes," the father said.

Tragedy struck last summer when the grandfather had a crippling stroke. He can no longer speak, walk or feed himself. The grandmother now spends nearly all her time caring for her husband with the help of an aide, and doesn't have much time or energy for the boys.

The extended family's finances have dwindled to near nothing as well.

The dad's unemployment checks barely cover the rent and utility payments for their home, a small apartment several blocks from where the grandparents live. His parents used to help him provide a few extras for the boys, but the stroke put a strain on their budget.

Without help, the dad said there won't be much of a holiday celebration in their house this year.

"My youngest still believes Santa is magic. I'm not sure about the older one, but he gets just as excited. I just don't know how I can keep it going for them this year," the dad said.

With our readers' assistance, Press Christmas for All works to brighten the holidays for folks like this - people left jobless, homeless or who are barely making ends meet, individuals with disabilities or illnesses. Many are alone this holiday season.

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