Together We Can Do So Much

For the last 32 years, I have been blessed to call Jane Reighard my mother-in-law.  She has been a constant support without judgement, always willing to do what she could to help.  Through word and deed she has touched the lives of so many in her family, neighborhood, church and community and now, at 87 years old, she is in her own season of need.  Strongly faithful and fiercely private, she did not share her financial worries with us until last week. 

In March of 2015, she lost her husband of 60 years and a year ago made the difficult decision to sell the beloved home that he had designed and built for her.  After making repairs on the 30+ year old house and paying off debt, she was not left with much money.  We moved her into an apartment that she has grown to love, where she  has established relationships, joined a Bible study, attends regular church services, and even enjoys aerobics.  But last weekend she finally broke down and shared her bleak financial situation with us.

The amount of money she needs to remain in her current apartment is too much for any of us to bear alone.  Even worse, she must re-sign her lease by this Tuesday or submit notice that she will vacate by April.  She is embarrassed and sad to be in this situation and despite our reassurance, her fear is that she has become a burden.  We have asked her to move in with us, but her greatest wish is to maintain her independence just one more year, and I can't say that I blame her.  Putting myself in her situation, while moving here may seem like a workable solution, I understand her fear of losing her independence, her close network of friends and regular activities within her building.  She is not against moving in with us, but would like it to be on her own terms.  She prays for one more year to live an independent life, time to go through her belongings, and sell or give away what she can.  She needs time to adjust her mindset and to prepare for the inevitable.  

She has not led an extravagant life.  She has enjoyed wonderful times, but also has had more than her fair share of valleys.  Her faith is unwavering, and even though it is being challenged by this situation, she has not lost hope.  After reaching out to family, I've realized that it will take more than what we can provide to make her dream of one more year of independence come true.  It would mean the world to me, and everything to her, if I was able to find a way to support her, as she has always supported me.  She is looking to me to help her and I can not give up until I've exhausted all of our options.

The amount she needs is significant, but I firmly believe that asking for help gives someone else the opportunity to do what they are uniquely gifted and purposed to do.  As Helen Keller said, "Alone we can do so little.  Together we can do so much."  Thank you for considering making a donation to this amazing lady that I adore.  My hope is that I can be the mother-in-law to my children's spouses that she has been to me all these years.  Truly more than a mother-in-law, but a best friend and confidant, too.
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Organizer

Ann McKenna Reighard 
Organizer
Algonquin Hills, VA
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