Fabgrandpa and I don’t celebrate Christmas in the traditional, spend all the money in the bank on useless gifts way. We DO send a small gift to each of our children and grandchildren, we just don’t buy gifts for each other. It is just not what we do. We feel blessed that we have reasonably good health (OK, I have plantar fasciitis, diabetes, and high blood pressure; and he has had oral cancer and has COPD, but we DO ok with our health), and that we have “enough”.And believe me when I say, I know what it is like to not have it.
In the course of my day today, I read about Kathryn and Bill. They live in Texas near a friend of mine, who is good friends with them. They have been married for 35 years, and raised six children together who gave them 21 grandchildren. In March of 2009, Kathryn followed her lifelong dream and opened up children’s boutique and consignment shop in Katy, Texas called The Children’s Carousel. In November, 2009, they received custody of six of their grandchildren. As a grandmother myself, I can see where that would change their life immensely! Taking care of children is a chore best fit for the young–being a grandparent parenting six grandchildren would be not just emotionally and physically exhausting, but financially draining as well.
In July 2011, Bill felt a sharp pain in his neck and developed a blood spot in his eye. This turn of events landed him in the hospital to have what they expected to be a simple stint proceedure, but actually turned out to be open heart surgery. After he surgery, Bill woke up to kidney problems and the realization that he was blind in both eyes, due to complications from the surgery.
He was moved to an assisted care facility, then home. He needs around the clock are that no one in the family is able to provide for him. Kathryn has tried to remain strong through this ordeal, but the realization set in that Bill is no longer able to see and can never work again. Now the legal guardians of only three of their grandchildren, they are the sole providers for them, and have the other three most of the time as well.
The events of the past several months have been hard enough to digest. Add to that the fact that their house is being sold in a short sale and they are forced to find somewhere else to live. As if that wasn’t enough, Kathryn fell on a makeshift fence at The Rice Harvest Festival and broke several teeth and is in constant pain.
I am asking you, my readers, to think about what you would do in any one of these circumstances, and try to find it in your heart to be a Christmas Angel for Bill and Kathryn and their grandchildren. You can make a cash donation via paypal, by using my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email me for the email address of their friend, Lisa, who can give you a mailing address if you want to send clothing, food, or toys, gifts other than money. If you send a paypal donation, please put Kathryn and Bill in the subject line. I will certainly make sure it gets to them. I only wish I could do more for them, or that I lived nearby so that I could lend a hand in some way. At the very least, if you could share this post with your friends and family, tweet it or share it on Facebook, I would very much appreciate it. Thank you. May the spirit of Christmas fill your heart tonight.