Our Neighbors

Monday, January 13, 2020

I was going to write an update today on the 2020 Reading Challenge (read my January book!), but something has come up, and I feel called to write about it on this blog.

Last year (my first in Georgia), Joe and I lived in a townhouse in Sandy Springs. There were several other townhouses in our community, but we never really go to know anyone except for one family that lived next door.

This family is a three-generation, all-female household that includes Mildred, the grandmother, who is 70; Mona, the daughter, who is a middle school teacher; and Chayce, who is 11, is in the 5th grade, and is a ballerina. Early on in our time living in Sandy Springs, Joe and I were taking Jane and Asha for a walk when Mildred introduced herself to us. In the course of our chat, we found out that Mona is (and has been for several years) suffering from breast cancer. We found out that Mildred, a retired schoolteacher, had come out of retirement, sold her home, and moved all of her things into storage to move in with her daughter and granddaughter to help take care of them since Mona could no longer work.

Over the course of the year we lived next to them, I believe we only saw Mona one time because she can so rarely go outside and is constantly ill. We saw Mildred fairly often, on our way in and out during the day, and also because Joe would occasionally work on Mildred's car. Joe actually saw and talked to her more often, due to working on her car and also my pregnancy which kept me in bed for several weeks last winter. When Joe had to tell Mildred we were moving, it was awful. She cried. Honestly, we cried too because, although we are SO HAPPY to be living where we are now, it's about 45 minutes from Mildred's family (without traffic), and they were awesome neighbors.

We keep in touch with Mildred and her family through texts, and we took Bert to visit them in early December so that they could meet him and Joe could work on Mildred's car. It was wonderful for me because I got to sit and visit with all three women, share Bert with them, and really get to talk to and get to know Mona for the first time. That day, I discovered that Mona had been a middle school teacher before she got ill. I also learned the BIGGEST NEWS EVER which is that Chayce was getting pointe shoes for the first time! (If you are a ballerina, or know a ballerina, you know what a big deal this is!) I was so touched when I saw that they were displaying Bert's birth announcement in their living room along with their family photos.

I'm not clear on all the details, but I know that Mona is about to have a surgery which will require an 8-10 day long hospital stay.

I say all this to say, Mildred's family could really benefit from some financial help. I know that the holidays are recently over, and many of us are recovering financially from buying gifts, travelling to see family, and donating to charities. I also know that there are so very many worthy causes that need our financial help and that so many of you reading this are constantly giving to charities, your church, and your neighbors in need. And may God bless you for it. I am going to post a link to a Go Fund Me page for Mildred and her family. I think what has touched me the most about their request is that they are only asking for exactly the amount they need so that Mildred can be with Mona in the hospital and take care of her at home for one week after: $1,520. Exactly. They are not asking for help with medical bills, groceries, rent, or anything of that nature. (Which I would totally understand if they were asking for those things. I lived where they live, and I know how the landlord is, which is terrible, so I know how much their rent must be.) I know this family, and I know how difficult it must be for Mildred to ask people for their money. She is such a hardworking person, and she continues to work hard to be the sole support for her family. It must be very difficult for her to admit she needs help, and I know she is doing all she can. One thing I try to tell other people -- and remind myself when I can -- is that we have the opportunity to bless other people when we ask for their help. If you allow someone to help you with something, it totally blesses their life because it makes them feel good that they can help you. Amazing. So if you need help, please ask!

If you are reading this, could you pray for this family? Guys, I'm going to just say it: we are scared about Mona. It doesn't look good. But we have faith and trust in God to do what He knows is best.

Go Fund Me link:

*I just want to be clear that I'm not sharing personal details here that were not already publicly shared on the Go Fund Me page. The only non-public information I have shared is about our personal interactions with our neighbors. 

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