Empty Stocking: Father quits job to take care of children after wife dies


By Bryan Reynolds - breynolds@limanews.com



The Empty Stocking Fund benefits three cooperating agencies, Bradfield Community Center, Mizpah Community Center and the Salvation Army. Money can be donated by sending it to The Lima News, 3515 Elida Rd., Lima, OH, 45807, or by dropping it off at any Superior 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. See past stories at LimaOhio.com/tag/emptystocking

LIMA — Bernard and his three children, Kyle, 8, Eliza, 11, and Emma, 14, will be facing Christmas this year without the most important person in their lives, wife and mother, Sara.

Sara died of a sudden heart attack on Sept. 9, Bernard said.

“She was visiting with the kids that day,” Sara’s mother, Carol, said. “She was talking and laughing and suddenly dropped.”

“In April, she was having heart problems,” Bernard said while holding Eliza as she rested her head on his lap. “Her heart was good but one of her arteries was collapsing.”

Sara was a stay-at-home mom but she was also so much more then that. She wasn’t just the cornerstone of her family but of the extended family as well. When anyone needed help or had a problem they knew to call Sara and she would help them out, Carol said. She was also completely dedicated to her children and had known she wanted to be a mother growing up.

“She was always true north on the compass,” Carol said. “She was something special.”

“She wasn’t a normal person,” Emma said with a sad but proud smile. “She told me growing up she always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.”

Sara and Bernard’s relationship was a childhood sweetheart tale, Bernard said. They grew up half a block from each other. She was a little older than he was so they didn’t date when they were children.

“But we always knew we were going to end up together,” Bernard said.

They were together for 22 years before she died and married for 16 of those years, he said. Bernard worked to provide for his family while Sara took care of doctor appointments, school stuff for the children, and all the other day-to-day concerns. After her death, Bernard quit his job to be there for his children and pick up the pieces.

Bernard said Kyle, Eliza and Emma really need winter clothing for Christmas and maybe a toy or two.

“With me not working I have not been able to get anything for winter,” he said, adding a replacement refrigerator would help out, too.

Emma said she wears a size 15-16 in pants and juniors large in shirts. Kyle wears a 10-12 in pants. Eliza wears a small or 1 in pants. Bernard said they could use extra large coats for the winter.

After a few minutes of thinking the three children decided on what they wished for this Christmas.

“All I can just think about is mom,” Kyle said while he considered what he wanted for Christmas.

Emma said she would really like an art tablet but any art supplies or one of the newer barbies would be nice too. Eliza said she wanted a Calico Critters Tree house. After a few minutes of listening to his older sisters Kyle decided he would like an Xbox One.

Bernard said once he gets the hang of all the work Sara did for the family and he was sure his children were going to be alright he would start working again. He just needed to focus on his family and their loss at the present time.

https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/11/web1_EmptyStocking-2.jpg

By Bryan Reynolds

breynolds@limanews.com

The Empty Stocking Fund benefits three cooperating agencies, Bradfield Community Center, Mizpah Community Center and the Salvation Army. Money can be donated by sending it to The Lima News, 3515 Elida Rd., Lima, OH, 45807, or by dropping it off at any Superior 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. See past stories at LimaOhio.com/tag/emptystocking

Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362

Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362

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