LIMA — A small Christmas tree stands barren and green in front of a window waiting to be decorated by a young family.
Misty has mixed emotions as the holidays approach. Her face becomes blank and emotionless as she stares ahead to the holiday season without her fiancé, who died in late December last year, but she begins to smile when she talks about decorating the tree with her 5-year-old son, Ethan, and twin 7-month-old daughters, Megan and Molly.
“I have been hanging in there since he died,” Misty said. “It was only a couple months later and the babies were born so it was quite an eventful year.”
She also claimed she would have been homeless this past year, but her aunt Sharon took in her and her children so they would have a place to live.
“She gave me a place to stay so I wouldn’t be out on the streets,” Misty said. “If I need diapers or anything else my daughters need or my son needs, she tries to help out as much as she can. She helps me with watching the children, too, but she can only give me so much help.”
Her aunt is not well and is on medication so she can’t always be available to help with the children.
With three young children and two newborns, she has looked but she hasn’t been able to find a job so she is doing the best she can with what she has.
“I have been really focused on taking care of my kids,” she said.
Looking ahead to the holidays, she shared that Megan and Molly could use clothes and little light-up toys. The girls are wearing clothes in sizes 6- to 9-months-old and they need dress clothes, onesies and undergarments.
Ethan likes cars and trucks, remote control cars and toy guns and she would like him to find some toys under the Christmas tree this year. He also could use clothes, shirts and pants, in size 4-T “because he just hit a growth spurt.”
While he is inquisitive and could benefit from a few learning toys, she also wants her son to have some toys because he still believes in Santa Claus.
“He likes to learn things, he likes to draw and color and he really likes to write his name a lot,” Misty said.
She prays each night that she can give her children the Christmas they deserve.
A smile spreads across her face as she glances over to the barren and green artificial tree.
“I can’t wait until my son gets home so we can decorate the tree,” Misty said, explaining she is doing whatever she can to give him and his half sisters a normal Christmas. “The past year has been tough on all of us and I just want them to have a good Christmas.”
The Empty Stocking Fund benefits three cooperating agencies, Bradfield Community Center, Cheryl Allen Southside Community Center and the Salvation Army. Money can be donated by sending it to The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima OH 45807, or by dropping it off at any Superior Federal Credit Union branch. Donations of new toys and nonperishable food items will be accepted at The Lima News office. These stories use assumed names to protect the participants’ privacy.