Walk With Me
|Bravely Walking into the Future|
I have been intending to post for several weeks now, but have been dragging my feet....
Hoping that I would be able to announce some good news, like Jason had taken a plea deal OR that the store was in the black and debt was paid off Or something else that equals peace in my life.....Yet, I am at situation "normal".....relying on the Grace of God each day that the store will make it through......having to ask for help financially again to help with our heat situation It is part way done, but is of course running into delays and extra supplies. We are about $5, 000 short of what we need to finish paying for the heat remodel and to help keep the store open this month. (Remember: this old farmhouse didn't have any duct work.) Please donate here if you can or leave donations at our store if you can.
So many people have helped these past few months, and you have no idea how much your cards and prayers have meant to me and the children. While I don't want to list individual names in case I would accidentally forget a name, (plus so many people left money and cards anonymously), I decided that I would list all the companies that have stepped up to cover repairs at our house, store and duplex in just the last three months. I hope that you will send them your business if you can. They have truly stepped up and helped God provide for the "widow and orphans." Here is the list in no particular order:
Thomas Heating and Cooling (formerly known as Hockenberry Heating and Cooling)
Y.C. Construction (Jim Sarlo)
St. Thomas Construction (Jason Hendricks)
Wetherell Enterprises, LLC (Shane Wetherell, Septic Tank pumping & repairs)
Landon Property Management (Benjamin Clark)
Peter Stetson (painting & wallpaper removal)
Pivotal Propane from St. Clairsville, OH (propane heat tank & installation)
Also, while they ended up not completing our heating remodel, I would like to thank the following four men/companies for being willing to bid on the job and for offering advice, again in no particular order:
Gombar Refrigeration Heating & Cooling (Doug Doyle)
G&L Heating & Air, Dillonvale, OH
I would be remiss if I did not mention my two "right hand man" companies that are helping me to get through this maze of life right now: Both B.J. Nurczyk from D'Anniballe Accounting and Dean Bucci (along with Michelle Tedreau) from Payroll Plus have answered countless questions and talked me off many an emotional cliff the past few months. They have been very patient because I am sure I have asked them the same question several times when I have forgotten the answer.
Francesca Carinci (my attorney) and her secretary Amanda have also offered endless support as well.
Finally, Marissa Bortz with Alive, Inc. has also helped to explain the new twists and turns that certain events have taken things during the past few months.
When I was praying about what I should write about I got stopped by the school principal to let me know that a parent had called expressing concerns because my littles have been talking.....So, I write the following to the families in my community and for any future victim families out there.......And I am open and as honest as I can be right now since I have to be very careful since there is a court case still ongoing with the possibility of a trial and for the protection of my children.
So, as I have previously mentioned my younger children don't understand what is going on at all. We know that at least of one of the younger children was hurt while she was sleeping. She thankfully seems to have no memories of the event, nor do the other two children who were sleeping in the same room seem to have any memories of what happened to their sister......so when they come crying to me about missing their daddy, who they are not allowed to have any contact with, and ask, "Why can't we see or talk to daddy?" I have replied over and over again, "Daddy is sick. The judge says this is what he needs in order to get better." When they have asked over and over, "What did daddy do that was so bad" I have replied over and over, "Daddy is sick. Daddy hurt children." Well, you see the littles are seven, six and four, so trying to process the reality that "Daddy is in jail. I can't see my daddy. Daddy hurt kids" is incomprehensible to them. They are his biggest defenders. They will say, "My daddy didn't mean to do bad things. He wouldn't hurt kids. He didn't know what he was doing" because to them He is still that hero. He is their defender. They don't know what he did AND we want to keep it that way......But they also don't understand that it's not socially acceptable to be going around and say, "My daddy is in jail." They are little and they don't understand the social baggage or connotations associated with that statement. They simply say the truth over and over again, "My daddy is in jail. He hurt kids." And sometimes, many times, they say this at school.
So, I apologize if these statements have caused any families that didn't know what was going on in our lives stress. I am thankful for the parent that called the school concerned wanting to double check if the statement, "My daddy in in jail. He hurt kids" is true. It is good to know that your child trusts you to come and talks to you about what one of my children said. We have had yet another conversation at home and have now come up with the line that my children can just say, "My daddy made bad decisions." I went over yet again that they don't need to mention their daddy at all.....BUT THEY ARE HURTING AND GRIEVING. THEY DON'T KNOW OR UNDERSTAND ALL THE CHANGES IN THEIR LIFE. One of them came back and asked me, "Do I raise my hand when the teacher asks, 'Who has a dad?'" To which I said, "Yes, you still have a dad." "But I don't. He's not here anymore." "Yes, sweetie. You still have a daddy. He may be in jail, but he is still your daddy. He loves you and he prays for you everyday. He's sad that he's sick. He's sad that he can't be here anymore. He misses you. He wishes he could talk to you He's still your daddy. You can just tell people that he doesn't live here anymore. That you don't get to see him. Unfortunately lots of kids don't get to see their daddies." Tears fall down all our cheeks......."Why would a daddy hurt kids?" "Why???" The only response I can give to my kids is "Daddy got sick." But we all know the reality is both an illness and SIN and other personal info that stays within just our family.....but that is for future discussions as they grow older. Not for right now. Right now, "Daddy is sick" is all they need to know.
The deal is that all five kids will now be in counseling starting in December and honestly, they are handling the situation better than most adults in their lives are handling the situation. Nothing is more important than my children. We are all doing the best we can, and I am doing the best I can at raising them. I make mistakes, but my end goal is still to raise their beautiful souls to heaven-that they stay honest, sweet and loving. That they grow up to serve "God, family and country." So, I don't want them NOT to feel like they can talk about their dad. They need to process the reality of their life and the reality is exactly what they say, "My daddy is in jail. He's sick. He hurt kids." And with time they will realize when they can and should talk about it and when they shouldn't. The first month of school we were having my most "adventurous kid"-the one who is the first to try something new become so anxious about going to school each day that she would throw up on the way to school. One day she refused to get out of the car. So I pulled over in the parking lot and got her out of the car and sat with her on my lap and cried with her in the parking lot in front of all the other families dropping of their kids as she kept asking, "Why? Why did daddy have to go to jail? Why can't you teach me anymore? Why did everything have to change?" And after I was able to convince her to go to school that day and made it to work I immediately called to put in the request with Victim's Services to get her in counseling immediately.
Honestly, if it was a perfect world, all five kids plus myself would have all started counseling last May, but Victim's Assistance is a reimbursement program, so I have to pay for all the counseling sessions up front and then be reimbursed......the paperwork for Round 1 and Round 2 of five out of 6 of us took me over 3 weeks to complete last month.....and I am an organized person......not dependent on drugs or alcohol or sex to comfort myself. I'm pretty good at staying organized even during chaos. I get up each day by God's grace and plug away at my endless to do list, but I now sympathize with all other victims or the parents whose children are in foster care. I thankfully am my own boss so I can set the schedule to get off of work for myself and the children, but it IS a burden both time and financially and I have now paid over $2,000 in counseling bills without reimbursement. Hopefully that money will be coming in time for Christmas, but MOST families can NOT do that. Most single moms have to worry about losing their jobs and can't make it to counseling sessions during the day. So, I know that God will have me become an advocate in the future to try to help other victim families. If I can help one other family then it will help all this endless pain be worth it.
|Rivers Family 2015: From the Sweetness of our Home to Yours|
We had our family picture taken last month by Eileen Marrow. The photos are gorgeous and she captured exactly what I wanted her to capture.....us walking into the future. God has been faithful for the past six months and somehow beyond understanding, we have heat-we just need to finish paying for it.....Our store is still open for business (truly every day it is open is a miracle).....but most important, we are walking through a dark time for our family together. My teenagers still choose to stay home most weekend nights with us.....we watch movies, we play games, we have dance parties, we go to church together, we experience the thankfulness of a beautiful family life.....an extraordinary, yet ordinary sweet family life.....
Thank you for walking with me on this journey: your prayers and financial help have made all the difference.
|The Sweetness of an Indian Summer Fall Day|
From the sweetness of our home to yours-Happy Thanksgiving!
If you can donate, please go here.......
If you want to read past posts regarding the crisis my family is now in, please visit the following links: