After David’s wife Sandy was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor in 2010, she began to go downhill quickly.
She lost her ability to walk without a cane, and wasn’t able to go up and down stairs without a lot of difficulty.
Her bedroom had been upstairs, so David had to move quickly to find her a new place to sleep– a room by the back deck was quickly remodeled for her.
David describes this place as “the sunniest room in the house.”
It was also where Sandy spent the last six weeks of her life, and the site of unimaginable pain for David and his children. After Sandy’s death, David struggled to find his way forward with his two daughters, Isabel and Maddy. In the devastating wake of losing their mother and wife, the Rivera family tried to push forward as best they could. Sandy had some life insurance that kept them afloat for a while, and the girls kept busy with activities at school.
Unable to go back to work, David struggled with their finances until one day he googled “widowed fathers” and stumbled upon the Liz Logelin Foundation.
He applied for and received a grant.
After learning about the origins of the foundation, he got in touch with Matt Logelin, and they shared stories. He says he is reading Matt’s book, but it has felt “too painful” to finish right now.For David, finding the Liz Logelin Foundation wasn’t just about money- it was a way to connect with others; a way to know that he wasn’t alone.
Since then, David says he’s thought a lot about how to use the money in the most meaningful way possible to honor his wife. Time and time again, he has looked at his young daughters and tried to think of what would be best for them.
Finally, he realized that a meaningful project was right in front of him- he wants to use the money from the foundation to remodel the room his wife spent her last days in. Since her passing, he says that the family barely ever goes in the room, and when they do, it’s just to pass quickly through on their way outside.
“It’s painful to be in there, but it’s been years now. I want to remodel it to be a place where my kids want to be. A new place.”
For his two daughters, who have been to camps and counseling, there is real value in being able to find some stability and fun where there has been so much pain. David wants to remodel the room how they’d like it, so it’s a place where they can hang out and have fun as they enter their teenage years.
“In many ways, they just want to be normal again. This could be a part of that,” he says.
Even with all the suffering they have experienced, with help from the foundation and the hard work of one very brave family, there’s a chance that this room might be the sunniest room in the Rivera house yet again.
Please help families like David’s rebuild hope by donating now. Join the $7 on the 7th campaign and help us continue to change lives all year round. Your support of $7 a month provides the LLF the opportunity to change lives.
David’s story was written by Rachel Nelson who lives and writes in Minneapolis.