The Time is Now: New friend, help with expenses change widow's outlook
I am an 80-year-old widow that needs help. I have been renting the same house for the past ten years, ever since my husband died. I am having a hard time paying my rent this month due to a car repair and I had to go see the dentist. My car repair was much more expensive than I had thought it would be and it took all my rent money I had set aside. I do not work and I live on social security. It is not much but I have always been able to get by. Now I am in terrible pain all the time due to several bad teeth in my mouth. The dentist told me to go see an oral surgeon but I cannot afford that. I don't know what to do about this as I can barely eat or even think straight with this pain. If you were only able to help me with one thing, at this point I would choose getting my teeth fixed even if it meant I would become homeless. I can't continue living like this. Please, please can you help me? I have never asked for help before in my life. This is very humbling for me.
I went to the address listed to make an unplanned visit. It was a small older house. My knock at the door was answered by a senior woman. She recognized me and after I showed my identification she invited me inside.
Even before I had introduced myself I recognized she was in pain. She visibly winced and was holding the side of her face. I asked the woman how bad her dental pain was on a scale from one to ten and her answer was nine. I was filled with sympathy over the pain she was suffering in. Dental pain is usually very intense and unbearable. I could see that was what she was enduring.
After a brief conversation I began to ask important questions about her family and finances. She sadly shared with me, “My husband died ten years ago and one of my sons died three years ago. I have one other son but I never see him and he never calls. He lives out of state.” I asked more details about her troubled son and saw the pain she suffered from that as well.
The senior woman tearfully shared with me the details of her husband's painful death from cancer ten years previous and then three years ago she lost her son to cancer as well. The broken hearted woman's voice broke as she said, “Only the good die young because both those men were so good to everyone they knew, including me. The only family I have left, my son living in Texas, never even calls. He is so wrapped up in his own life he does not care if I am even alive.”
I could see this weighed heavily on her heart. I let her talk about her sons and she told me how different they had always been, as she put it, “right from the start.” One son had always been compassionate and loving, did what was right, and was always there to help. The woman said, “He was just like his father. They were always close. He took it so hard when his father died. He just never seemed to get over it.” Then she told me about her other son that she never saw. “He was always impatient and jealous over his brother. I always loved them the same but it is funny how different they turned out.” She shook her head sadly as she looked down at her clasped hands.
I reached over and grasped her hands and she looked up in surprise. She smiled and said, “Do you know how long it has been since someone has talked to me or held my hand? Do you know what it is like to live in pain and fear and not have any friends or family to turn to?”
I looked her in the eyes and said, “Yes I do. I see it often. That is why I am here. To find a way to help you and if I can't give you the help myself I will find someone that can.” She was crying again saying, “God Bless you, thank you, thank you.” I told her to not thank me but to thank all of “You” who would make her assistance even possible.
We went on to going over her financial problems. She showed me the dentist bill and car repair bills that had thrown off her whole budget. I looked them over and they were not extravagant. The repairs on the car were within reason and necessary to safely operate her vehicle.
The dentist bill was for x-rays and an exam. The dentist had given her an oral surgeon to call and he also happened to be one of the oral surgeons we have used for The Time Is Now to Help clients in the past. I knew he would do a good job and give us the best price possible for the extractions needed to relieve her pain. I told her she needed to have this done as soon as possible. I pulled up his number from my contacts and called to approve her surgery. I handed the phone to her so she could make an appointment. She looked surprised but took the phone from me as I told her to make an appointment.
After she made her appointment I made a call to a volunteer to set up a driver for her day of surgery. The senior woman was even more surprised when she heard me making these arrangements. She said, “I am speechless. I have had no one even care about me for years and now you even make sure I have someone take me for my surgery. I don't know how to thank you for this.” I said, “The only thanks we need are prayers for The Time Is Now to Help and all the people we help.” The woman's reply was, “You don't have to ask me for that. I am already thanking God for you.”
After a thorough review of her finances I could see she was just getting by before these two emergency expenses. I set up an appointment to have the remainder of the work needed on her car completed. We paid her overdue rent to help relieve some of the financial strain. When I finally got up to leave the senior woman wrapped her arms around me and gave me a long hug. She kissed my cheek and said, “You are an angel W.C.”
Several weeks later the senior woman's whole life was improved. She is now pain free and her mouth improves daily. The volunteer continues to check on her regularly and is happy to report the woman is very independent. After spending time together and some food deliveries, especially soft foods and soup as she was recuperating from her surgery, they have formed a wonderful friendship. The senior woman that was once all alone now has a friend. She also has started going to church with the volunteer. The once lonely, sad and pain- filled woman is a completely different person. Her life has been renewed thanks to all of “You” making our mission possible.
At my follow-up visit the senior widow wanted me to share with all of “You” her heartfelt thanks for all we do together. I had previously explained to her how I do not do this alone, it is all of us together. She asked me to tell all of you, “Please tell everyone that is involved with The Time Is Now to Help that they are in my prayers. I am so thankful for all you have done to rekindle my life. Every day has once again become such a blessing. I have no more pain. I am not living in financial fear and I know I am not alone.” With that I gave her a hug and told her, “You will never be alone again.” As she hugged me in return both our eyes were filled with happy tears.
Thank you to all of “You” for making our mission of relieving the pains of poverty even possible. Thank you and God Bless you.
Health & Happiness, God Bless Everyone,
Please Help: There are many coming to us in desperation. Our good fellow creations need our compassion. Together we make a big difference. 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: Fox Charities, Paul Ziegler, Lake Geneva Economic Development, LaVerne & Jean Reu, Martin Group, John Stensland & Family, Sid & Patty Johnson, Charles Carlson, Marilynn Kalman, James & Janet Jurik, Ellen Flanagan, Clark & Charlene Hatfield, Charles & Nancy Castelein, Ada Duffey, Robert & Mary Winter, Victor & Doris Kranitz, James & Susan Mirabella, Jr., Joseph & Cecilia Kowalski, Harry & Patricia Buchert, Jr., Nancy Yaeger, Jean Zitzler, Darrell & Elizabeth Frederick, John Poiron, William & Dorothy Tookey, John & Marian McClellan, Dennis & Carol Frederick, Gerald & Joyce Byers, Francis & Eleanor Wall, Marvin & Audrey Hersko, Virgil & Sharon Wuttke, James Borden, 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.
Please visit: www.timeisnowtohelp.org