LIMA — Life has taken some rough turns for Larry and Tammy and their four children.
They readily admit that some of it has been of their own doing. However, the family is just simply trying to regroup and lead a normal life.
Several years ago, Tammy was battling addiction problems that ultimately landed her in prison in 2004 for six months. She has since successfully conquered her addiction problems. However, addiction problems had their effect at home, and the family has had to work through plenty to stay intact. Larry has left the home on a number of occasions. The couple and their four children, Clay, 14, Jonathan, 8, Marie, 12, and Cecilia, 6 have all turned to God and are trying to function as a normal family. Prayer is now not only an everyday ritual, but usually an hourly event. They are just thankful for what has went right rather than focusing on problems in the past.
“When I came home from a recovery program, I sit back and asked myself what I was going to do with my life,” Tammy said. “I used to tell myself, I can’t do this. We made some poor life choices and we have had several separations. Now, we believe in principals.”
Tammy was able to take her life experience and apply it to acquiring an associate degree in social services. She plans to return to school for a bachelor’s degree.
“I would be able to help a lot of people,” Tammy said. “I am not textbook. I have lived the life that they are living. Addiction does not choose backgrounds. It is real, but I am living proof of change.”
Despite her changes, Tammy has had problems landing a job because of her past. As a result, she is working three part-time jobs at minimum wage while trying to pay off college debt. She said the one gift that would help her family the most would be simply for someone to give her a chance. She would like to land a job in the social services field.
“I know I will never be able to obtain a government job because of my background,” Tammy said. “I just want someone to give me a chance to help people.”
In addition to landing a job, the family said gift cards for Menards or other places where home repair would be appreciated. The family recently purchased a mobile home for a good price that they could afford, but it was in need of some repair. They are fixing things slowly as money will allow. They are in need of flooring, carpet and other general home improvements.
“We believe in the power of prayer,” Tammy said. “I just want the kids to believe that everyone is Santa. We have been very thankful for food banks and other services that are available. Otherwise my kids would not eat. I want to be able to show them it is a hand up and not a hand out.”
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or on Twitter @LanceMihm.