Hello my name is Michael, Let me tell you a bit about myself, I am 18 years old and in the past 3 years everything in my family's life has gone and made a turn for the worst. When I was 15 years old my father decided to take my mother to court for custody of me, although his true motive for taking her to court was to remove the child support that he was ordered to pay every month. I did not want to live with him he made it his mission to put a financial burden on my mother with court fees, attorney fees, time, etc. Here is a good example of his cruel nature, and an example of why my mother left him when I was very young. It came to a point where my mom could not keep up with the bills fighting for my custody, so my mom tried to come to an agreement with him. She was forced to stop receiving child support from him in exchange for my dad acquitting the case. All in all, my mother spent $23,000 which took a big hit on my college fund, as well as emergency reserve money. With no help from the child support it didn’t get any easier.
This all happened over the course of 2 and a half years, and within those years many other things came about. During the child custody issue, my grandfather, who was always there for me in place of my father as small boy, had a stroke. He was showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease and that’s when we took him to the doctor for a brain scan. The scans showed how he was at risk for having a stroke, so we immediately had surgery done on his carotid artery. During the surgery he suffered 2 strokes affecting the left side of his brain which disabled the right side of his body. He survived thank God, but he needed to recover. My grandmother always stood by his side, being married for more than 50 years I couldn't imagine how she would have reacted with him leaving her just yet. Now, mind you my grandfather was a very independent man before all of this happened to him, he still drove everywhere, got his own groceries, worked on his own jeep, and always came to visit me everyday at my house after school, whenever I came home I was always glad to see his blue jeep parked outside. Now, he and my grandmother live with my mom and I, we had to take them out of their apartment because my grandmother simply could not give him the 24/7 care that he still requires and we all try to provide it the best we can for him. His Alzheimer’s only keeps getting worse and a lot of times he forgets who we are, which deeply saddens everyone, someone who you've seen pretty much everyday for your whole life and suddenly they are fading from you is just horrible. With the Alzheimer’s and the stroke effects working together my grandfather's speech is very slurred making him hard to understand. Almost every night he wakes up at odd hours and one of us has to accompany him to the restroom, or calm him down because he woke up angry from one of his dreams. I have to change his diapers as he has poor control of his bladder, but I love him and he did this for me when I was little so I will do the same. All the medical and insurance bills are beginning to get out of hand and plus my grandmother is beginning to show signs of Alzheimer’s as well, and my mother and I aren’t sure how were going to make it with both of them in need of 24/7 help eventually. It's very depressing and sad to see someone you love debilitating and slowly dying before your eyes and you are helpless about it.
Bills and stress were piling up and I could notice how drained my mom was of working so hard to keep everything going steady. I felt I had to drop out of high school to help my mom pay bills, my mother was against the idea of course, she wanted my education to be most important but I assured her that after a little while of helping with the bills I would go back and get my diploma. She agreed. She was a school teacher making mediocre pay in an elementary school, and it just was not cutting it with 4 people living under the same roof, between medical bills, medicine, utility bills, clothing, insurance bills, and food. I gave every check I made to her to help out.
Now its 2013, So far living on reserves and welfare only helps a small percentage, my minimum wage jobs aren't cutting it either. My car needs repairs but I can’t afford to pay for them. Bills are piling, I want to go to school for a computer science degree, but I cannot afford it just yet, nor can I leave my mother to face all these challenges alone. I've tried going to my dad but between his alcoholism and selfish greedy attitude he as not done anything but help ruin my family. Often times I can hear my mother crying and it really gets to me, I keep helping and doing as much as I can but sometimes it’s just not enough, that’s why I'm here. My mom is not aware that I am doing this for her and I want it to be huge surprise when she finds out people are willing to help us, it will give everybody in the house a much needed break. I am sick of seeing my mom tired and sad all the time. She really needs a break from everything, I want to see her smiling again and maybe she would be able to find some time to go out with her friends. If you read this all I thank you, and please if you can help us everyone here would greatly appreciate it!