I used to love coming to visit Nanna. Now Mum is in heaven, I have to live here. It’s not as much fun. But Nanna is trying really hard. She doesn’t know I know but I see her looking really sad sometimes.
She tells me we can’t put the heater on because the bills cost too much. We are lucky we have rugs to put over our knees while we watch footy on the TV. I like Crows but she likes Port!
I feel hungry a lot, but I don’t tell Nanna. I can’t concentrate when I’m hungry. I used to get blueberries but we can’t afford them anymore. Now the food in my lunchbox comes from the bag the Lutheran Care ladies give us. I don’t get invited to many birthday parties but when I do, my present is never as good as what the other kids bring.
Nanna is getting help from Lutheran Care to find out how we might get more money. Her place is small but she takes me to the park so I can kick the footy. I miss Mum but I know I’m lucky to have Nanna, and we’re both lucky to have Lutheran Care.
When I took on responsibility for Oscar, I really didn’t know how I was going to manage it. I’m on a pension and don’t have much in the way of Superannuation.
Money just doesn’t seem to go as far anymore. When my husband was alive, we ate meat most nights. Nowadays, it’s only once or twice a week. Even mince is expensive! Otherwise we eat soups and casseroles. I water them down to make them go further. I buy frozen vegetables as fresh ones are too dear. I don’t need much to eat – I prefer to let Oscar eat. I sometimes think Oscar has hollow legs, but I know he’s just growing. It breaks my heart when he feels hungry. He lies and says he doesn’t. I am ashamed I can’t provide better for him.
My friend who volunteers at Lutheran Care told us to visit them. They gave us food, blankets, and a $50 voucher for the Op Shop. There, I found Oscar some school clothes and football boots, basically brand new! I am so grateful – there was no other way I could afford them.
I’m in a small unit but the rent is rising. There are issues with the home but I’m nervous to complain in case we get kicked out. I saw on the news that homelessness is a rising issue for old people like me.
I am worried how we will go this Winter. It gets very cold where we are. In the mornings, as I get Oscar ready for school, I can feel it in my bones.
Life is hard but we have our health and each other. We are so very fortunate. I give prayers of thanks every day.
*Names and images have been de-identified to protect clients’ privacy.
There are many families out there that need some help this Winter. Your donation to Lutheran Care will help us provide Emergency Relief and ongoing support to people in crisis.