Thursday, April 28, 2011

Frances Takes Flight

Well, here it is!  A lot of you have been asking for an update on Frances.  If you haven't read my previous story on her, you may want to read it here first.  She has been on quite a journey since she left TWCC.

Frances with 2 of her children
When Frances first returned home from rehab there was a rush of so many emotions that it was hard to put into words all that she felt.  First and foremost, she was proud of herself.  Frances had put in so much hard work while she was at the shelter.  She concentrated on getting herself well as an individual before she could committed to becoming the best mother she could possibly be.  She took parenting courses and really bonded with her children for the first time.  There were anger management classes and other issues that she had to face and tackle head on.  It was intense work.  So when she left to go home she was proud, excited, relieved and scared.  Frances had formed quite a bond with the other young mothers at the center and when she left she saw herself as a role model and mentor to them.  That made her leaving bittersweet.  She stays in touch with some of the them and has plans to visit.

There was a newly remodeled apartment waiting for her and the children.  The family moved there together, starting over...starting fresh.  While she had been in rehab, her husband had been working very hard on his own issues.  He also took parenting and domestic violence courses and now they are involved in couples counseling.  It is so exciting for Frances that they both now have the tools to build a solid relationship and be great parents.  They are literally rebuilding their family.

As you remember from my first story on Frances, not only were she and her husband involved in drugs, but her mother was also.  Frances had to be firm with her mother at first, telling her that it was not healthy for them to speak or to see each other.  It was not an easy thing for her to do.  Now her mother is clean and that relationship is what it should be as mother and daughter.

Life has definitely not been a walk in the park for Frances and her family since she's been home.  She started having severe abdominal pains and ended up in the emergency room and eventually had to have gall bladder surgery.  I can only imagine how difficult recovery from surgery was with a house full of little ones, including a newborn.  But Frances just pushed on through.  She had already worked through so much; this was just one more obstacle to overcome.

Shortly after Frances had her surgery, her little 8 year old niece was murdered.  They haven't solved the case yet, but it looks like another family member is the one who killed her.  So Frances has had to deal with that too.  Family is very important to her and I get the feeling that she is the glue that holds her family together.  I knew that when I first met her and she told me that she would do whatever it took to become a better person, a better partner, a better mom.

The doctors have told Frances that Baby Alonzo's heart appears to be good for now.  They are waiting and watching and doing whatever they can to make sure that he grows up to be a healthy whole individual.  They are hopeful that it is a situation that will correct itself.

Frances has a job with long odd hours.  She is unable to attend church right now because of that, but she makes sure to send her children while she is at work.  She is very close to one of her aunts who is a great emotional and spiritual support for her.

When I asked Frances what she had learned about herself, what she is proudest of, here is what she told me.  "I have realized that I am strong and capable of standing up for myself.  But I can still let other people help me.  I am proud that I got treatment and that I have changed my lifestyle.  I am so proud that I was able to help the other women at the shelter."  When I talk to Frances she does sound strong and confident.  She texts me with prayers every couple of days and in a recent situation, she asked me for prayer.

Frances still amazes me.  She still inspires me.  When I look at her, I see what the power of showing someone hope and kindness can do.  It can cause someone to look deep inside themselves and find the ability to become the person they were meant to be.  When we believe in someone, it can change the direction of their life.  The people at TWCC believed in Frances, they walked through the stink and the hard stuff with her.  They held her up and gave her the tools to fly.  I am so glad that I got to witness this transformation and I can't wait to see what's in store for her and her precious family!

5 comments:

  1. What a beautiful story, Erin! Praise the Lord for Frances!(Btw, that's my middle name.) May the Lord truly bless her.

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  2. What a wonderful story of the love and power of God; to change a person and to continue working in their lives. May God bless you for your willingness to be a part of Frances life.

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  3. Lynn and Shanda, I wish you could meet her. I have never seen anyone so determined to make their life right and make it count!

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  4. Wow!!! What an inspiration Frances is - for her children, her family and her TWCC friends...and really, all who she will witness to in the future! : )

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  5. What an inspirational story and so appropriate for me as I walk through the valley with a loved one currently battling and trying to overcome a very serious drug addiction. There is hope! Thank you! :)

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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