The Gift of a Second Chance

"All Kinds of Help"
The Gift of a Second Chance

  "I'm so happy to be her grandmother and her parent." - Gretchen

"I'm so happy to be her grandmother and her parent." - Gretchen

Gretchen started coming to Cope about 30 years ago, at a time in her life when she struggled to care for her young children. “I was an addict for many years,” Gretchen explained. “When my kids were younger, Cope helped me out with diapers and formula. Eventually I lost custody of my children because I couldn’t be the parent they needed.”

Gretchen got sober about ten years ago but by then, her daughter Lizzy had followed in her mother’s footsteps. Lizzy’s struggle with substance abuse was affecting her ability to parent her own daughter Abby. “I had a lot of guilt,” Gretchen recalled. “It was so bad for Abby. There was a lot of violence, a lot of drinking. She knew she could call me anytime. I always rescued her.”

Lizzy passed away suddenly two years ago and Gretchen found herself parenting a child again. “When I lost my daughter, I knew this was my second chance…my opportunity to do it right. I knew it would be difficult but I also knew I could come to Cope. This has been my support system. They’ve given me all kinds of help. I’ve received vouchers for food. Cope also referred me to Mentis so I could see a therapist and it’s been really great. At Christmas, we even got tickets to go on the Santa Wine Train which we had never been on.”

  "The one-on-one parenting that I had with Marti was so helpful and I learned so much. The instructors have been exactly what I need. Everyone is so kind."

"The one-on-one parenting that I had with Marti was so helpful and I learned so much. The instructors have been exactly what I need. Everyone is so kind."

In addition to the Family Resource Center services, Gretchen has taken Cope’s parenting classes. “The one-on-one parenting that I had with Marti was so helpful and I learned so much. The instructors have been exactly what I need. Everyone is so kind.”

Cope has given Gretchen a lot more confidence in her parenting abilities. “I know I’ve got people here for me and that makes a difference. I can come ask for help without feeling guilty. I’m truly taking care of what I need to take care of to be a good parent for my granddaughter.”

While losing her daughter was heartbreaking, Gretchen is grateful for the blessing of raising her granddaughter. “Lizzy gave me this gift - this little girl. I’m so happy to be her grandmother and her parent. I’m trying to do it on my own but when I do need help, it’s great to be able to come to Cope.”

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This story is featured in our 2017 Impact Report. You can view the full digital report to learn more about Cope's impact and read more featured stories like Gretchen's.