Margie knows all too well how life can change in one terrifying instant. Or even two.
Twice in her 57 years, the Fort Worth native has had to struggle through sudden trauma and learn how to live through altered circumstances, all the while keeping the needs of her children and grandchildren front and center.
A single parent, Margie has been disabled for 30 years since being stricken with a brain aneurysm at age 27.
“I even had to learn how to walk again after that,” she said. Though she gradually regained her mobility, she has never been able to return to employment. Prior to the aneurysm, she worked in office settings, doing computing and data processing.
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A decade ago, after rearing her two children into adulthood, Margie was thrust back into the role of parent when her daughter Monica, 25, was killed in a head-on car crash.
Margie was given custody of her grandchildren: 3-year-old twin boys and a baby girl just 3 months old.
“The boys, they remember her very well,” said Margie, who tries to keep her daughter’s memory alive for the boys, now 13, and help the girl, 10, know her mother through recollections and photos.
The children’s father is still in their lives, as well as Margie’s son and his family. “We’re all trying to work together and do our best for them,” she said.
She receives disability Social Security benefits, but finances are always tight, she says. Her latest problem has been “life without a car.”
Since the engine gave out in her auto last year, her only transportation is Arlington’s Handitran and medical vans for doctor appointments. She hopes to have enough money put back for a car soon.
During the Christmas season, those $50 J.C. Penney gift cards from the Star-Telegram Goodfellow Fund for each child’s clothes and shoes “really helps a lot,” she said. She has applied for and received them for several years and says it is always a welcomed event.
Now that the children are older, they enjoy exercising their fashion sense.
“They can pick it all out themselves, and that’s important,” she said. “They have such a great time doing it.”
“I’m here with them and doing the best I can,” said she of her grandchildren. “I wouldn’t trade it for nothing in the world.”
Be a jolly Goodfellow
Since 1912, the Star-Telegram’s Goodfellow Fund has provided practical gifts for schoolchildren. Join this tradition by sending a contribution to Goodfellows, Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 76101. Or go online to goodfellowfund.org and make a secure credit card donation.