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Anthony Came to Stay

Anthony came to stay the day his daddy died. He was stillborn just 18 months prior, was revived, and spent three weeks at Riley recovering until he could go home. Since he had a seizure ths-d-a-searsey put him on meds that made him cranky, cry at the drop of a hat, and become easily overstimulated. Even so, he was charming and loved very much by his family.

There was an adjustment with his jealous four year old sister. One night she dumped his medicine and formula all over the floor. His parents had coping issues and his daddy would say he self medicated himself for pain, having lost his father at a young age. The trailer was kept dark most of the time, reflecting their despondency. Two weeks before Zachary died, he asked us, “Would you take care of Anthony if anything happens to me?” We said yes. I remember Anthony crying once because he wanted to go out with me from the confines of the trailer and I thought at that time, if I had him his life would be so different. Little did I know….

We kept Anthony and his sister overnight on April 24, 2014. His daddy, Zachary, died that night in a car accident. His mommy nearly died and was incapacitated. We became guardians of Anthony, eighteen months old at the time. He suffered from separation anxiety, missing both his parents. I just couldn’t leave him in daycare when it was time for me to go back to work. So, I retired from nursing after a long and successful career. The  next few months were quite an adjustment. The tears, short nights, and tantrums made it tough in those early days. I did some research  on tantrums, and the best plan was to simply stand firm, give him stability and use distractions. At that time he was thinking beyond his speech capability, which was causing him a lot of frustration. He knew what he wanted or needed, but often just could not express himself with words. So, our daughter Kimberly, with her kids Grace and Ethan, taught him sign language, which helped him quite a bit.

You know how it is, you do what you have to in life, but despite the challenges we would not want him anywhere except in our home. For the joy of providing love, safety, and security we gladly give up our personal wants. Raising him to be a productive member of society, and a man that walks with God, is an awesome blessing.

You ask me how I you do it? Here’s some tips.

1 – Pray, a lot. God will give you strength and help each day.

2 – Place one foot in front of the other, and keep going on your journey. Things work out in time.

3 – Connect with others. Relationships energize you as you share, laugh, cry and minister to each other

4 – Get help. You can find help in surprising places for physical, financial, and emotional needs. Learn to ask, seek and knock. Sometimes grandparents  may have health, aging or stress  issues. There is government aid, food pantries, or medical help available.

Anthony is blossoming now. We keep him stimulated and involved in life. He plays with his cousins, his sister, friends. and family. His papaw is his best friend and playmate. We go to the zoo, the children’s museum, have traveled in an airplane, and  even went to Washington D. C.  We have had an abundance of joy, love and laughter. He makes our house come alive.

His mommy is still suffering, but he sees her frequently and loves her very much. The other day, after we went out somewhere, he sighed and said, “It’s so good to be home, don’t you think so grandma?” He feels safe, secure and loved here – at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.


We are starting a support group for Grandparents raising Grandkids. We have a passion for precious grands and their grandkids. Let’s face these challenges together, for there are millions of us! We will meet at Southview Church with Pastors Don and Marieve Young. Watch for a date and join us for fun, laughter, encouragement, ministry and education. We look forward to meeting you.


Remember to reserve April 29th as we launch our book , The Summer of Paintless Toenails at PASTAriffic, Kokomo, Indiana, from 2 to 4 in the afternoon. There will be refreshments, and women’s resource booths, door prizes and coupons. And all grandma’s love coupons!

Love, Debbie



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Sam is a businessman, writer, entertainer, speaker, husband, father to five children, grandfather and great grandfather. Sam graduated from Huntington University with a B.A. in psychology and drama and pursued a degree in Broadcasting from Illinois Central College with graduate degree in Christian Ministry from Christian Leadership University. Sam is the creator of Granpa Cratchet, one of the most successful touring shows in the history of the live events industry. Millions of people see Granpa every year all across the United States at fairs and festivals. His characters have appeared on every major network: Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show (4 times). Sam and his characters have made over 500 local appearances and on all the major networks; NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, PBN, The LeSea Network, The PTL Network and Praise the Lord. They currently appear all around the world every week on YouTube and Facebook, and on several satellite networks via the Kidz Television Network and The Captain Hook (children's) Show.

2 thoughts on “Anthony Came to Stay Leave a comment

  1. The pain of losing a child is something that simply cannot be described with mere words. But our loving God, in His infinite wisdom, sent you a grandson who needed you more than you needed to bury your head in your hands and give up. In lovingly receiving Anthony into your hearts and home, I hope you have been able to hold on to a little piece of Zachary every day. No child can ever replace another child, but Anthony must surely be a living, breathing comfort – the very best of your son, there with you every day, a gift from God in its purest, most precious form. God bless you and your husband, Debbie, for being the loving grandparents He meant you to be.


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