It was a life, she says, that meant excruciatingly little time with her three children, now aged 16, 15 and 11.
To make sure the children had the things they needed — food, decent housing, school supplies, transportation, and clothes — Brenda routinely worked two jobs. And for one nearly unendurable year, she held down three jobs. She says now she cannot explain how she did it, just that she did it with her children as the absolute, keep-on-pushing motivation. Her mother plus massive doses of prayer, she added, provided a solid rock of support.
“I worked seven days a week,” said Brenda. “During that year when I worked three jobs, I basically got no sleep on many day.”
For that one-year stretch, Brenda worked at a day care from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., then at a nursing home from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and at the post office from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
“I don’t know how I survived…I don’t drink coffee,” she said. “I just thought of those smiling faces I was eventually going to go home to.”
Although she made Herculean efforts to “be there” for milestone events such as baseball games, school plays and award ceremonies, Brenda’s work schedule sometimes made it impossible. Now that the FNS unit of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has helped her get overdue child support payments, things are much easier. She is down to one job and attends almost all her children’s special functions.
She always benefited from having considerate children.
“They would see me struggling and say things like, ‘Mom, if you have some money left over, can we go out or do something together?’ I always told them that they shouldn’t make it their concern whether we had enough money for something,” Brenda recalled. “I said we would certainly try to do what they were looking forward to…and that their only concern should be about being a kid.”
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