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Stories of Hope

Janet Francisco

Janet Francisco was enjoying retirement. She lived a frugal life. She saved for retirement and planned to spend her time volunteering at church and spoiling her grandchildren. Then, life threw her a curve ball.

Mrs. Francisco’s youngest daughter Kit had always had a wild side, but as far as she knew, Kit wasn’t doing anything that could get her in real trouble. That changed one day when Kit called from the police station. She had been arrested. Kit told her mother about her recent addiction to crystal meth and her arrest for possession of a large quantity of drugs that she was carrying for a dealer. Kit finished, “I made a big mistake mom, but right now, I’m worried about Henry.” Mrs. Francisco thought about her 4-year-old grandson and wanted to leave immediately to get him. “I need you to take Henry, mom,” Kit continued, “and it might be for a long time.” With that call, Mrs. Francisco’s life changed forever.

Her daughter was sentenced to a long jail term and Henry moved in with his grandmother. Mrs. Francisco loved her grandson, but a 4-year-old was a handful and the last time she had a child in the house fulltime, she wasn’t suffering from debilitating arthritis. After 4 months, she was struggling to make the new situation work. She didn’t feel well. She needed help. One of the women in her church suggested she contact Edgewood’s Kinship Support Network.

Within a week Mrs. Francisco met many other grandmothers going through the same thing. She began attending the Grandmother’s Who Care Support Group. She also took advantage of respite and recreation services that allowed Henry to have some enriching fun while she caught up on errands. “Without Edgewood, and the friends I’ve made there, I don’t know how I’d do it,” said Mrs. Francisco. “Now I see having Henry in my life every day for what it is, a blessing.”

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