Mrs R. is an incredibly steady and calm woman.
Her husband, Mr. R., is only 57 years old but his health took a turn for the worse 8 years ago when he was found to have lymphoma, chronic hepatitis C and had four strokes over the next 3-4 years. He was obviously no longer able to work as a welder. He had also been a volunteer baseball and football coach. She assumed the caregiver role for him, in addition to continuing to hold down a full time job.
Their oldest son was 17 when Mr. R. became ill. He dropped out of school with 2 weeks remaining in his senior year.
The next oldest, a daughter was 15 when Mr. R. became ill. She became pregnant and had her child at age 16. The boyfriends family wanted nothing to do with their son, his girlfriend or their baby. They lived with Mr. and Mrs. R.. Shortly after the baby was born, her boyfriend, now her fiancee, was the passenger in a bad car accident and is an incomplete paraplegic.
The next oldest, a daughter was 13 when Mr. R. became ill. She dropped out of high school at age 15 and dabbled in the drug scene.
The youngest, a daughter was 9 when Mr. R. became ill. She's now 17.
Mrs R. has been resilient throughout. She understands her husbands health issues had a great impact on their kids. They all made some bad choices along the way, but she made sure "they all knew they were loved and that they always had a home."
Her husband health is now stable. He walks with assistance, his lymphoma is in remission and has had no further strokes on his current medication regimen.
The oldest son has completed his GED and is employed doing golf course maintenance. He's also a scratch handicap golfer and has some folks trying to sponsor him to become a teaching pro.
The next oldest is a devoted caregiver for her fiancee and 7 year old child and they recently bought a home. They live only 2 blocks from Mr. and Mrs. R..
The next oldest completed her GED, is working full time as well as going to night school for an Associate degree from a local college. She no longer dabbles in drugs.
The youngest is a junior in high school and on course to graduate next year with her high school degree. She does virtual school at home on her computer.
Things are looking up again for the R. family, thanks to Mrs. R..