THE STORY OF ANDREA AND MARTY
How do I begin to tell the story of Andrea and Marty? I wish I had kept a journal, because I could write a book with the ending in God’s hands. It has been four years since I met 32 year old single mom, Andrea, who had been abandoned by her mother and raised by her Grandparents and Andrea’s eight year old son Marty. My Sunday School Class had chosen Andrea and Marty as our “Christmas Project,” and later decided that we would continue to help them, hoping we could get them on their feet in a short time. How very naive of us!!!!!! You cannot turn a big ship on a dime.
Ten men and women arranged a meeting with Andrea to access the situation and hoped to come up with a plan for helping them help themselves.
MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS-
THE HOME– DARK DIRTY DINGY DEPRESSING (Would be mild words I might use). There was stuff everywhere and I really didn’t want to sit down if a chair was cleared. I certainly didn’t want to touch anything. Oh my, I had never seen living conditions like this.
ANDREA- Probably weighed every bit of 300 pounds and a little un-kept by our standards,
MARTY- We could see that he was a handsome boy, but he was very dark, sad, and very unresponsive. (a very whipped little boy) (I can remember later visits I would have to remind Marty to hold his head up and look at me when I was talking to him, in fact even today I sometimes have to remind him to look at me.)
HOPELESSNESS would perhaps be a good word to describe the feeling I had after that first meeting. Where do we begin?????
Andrea did not know how to be a mother or how to keep house. (She had no one for a role model). Andrea was a taker, but did not want anyone telling her what she should do. A couple of us helped Andrea get her house in some kind of order, laundry current, cupboards cleaned, etc. It wouldn’t be long before it was a mess again.
Before we came upon the scene. Andréa and Marty had lived for three months without electricity, and water. They had been going to the gas stations to use the bathroom, and carrying water jugs for their water supply. They had no telephone or TV service.
Later I would notice that Andrea would have toilet paper or napkins that she had retrieved from restrooms. She saved these for when she did not have money for toilet paper which was not covered with food stamps.
Caring for Andrea and Marty has been a roller coaster ride, with many downs that caused some screaming in frustration and a few ups which would cause a smile and I would say “life is a little better for Andrea and Marty because someone cared.” BUT THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES!!!!!
– Loretta Newton