Thursday, March 1, 2012
For the children
Moving to the Rhythm
Original oil painting 28x22"
by Susan Roux
For some, when it rains it pours.
Imagine loosing your wife (or husband) to cancer and the following month loosing your only daughter because she was brutally murdered at the hands of her husband. Seems unimaginable doesn't it? Let's say she had three small children and you're the only one left to care for them.
I'm sad to say this isn't a hypothetical but reality for my good friend and mentor, artist Don Hatfield.
As if matters aren't bad enough, he's finding himself in a battle to gain full custody of his only grandchildren. It's very sad and I'm embarrassed to live in a society that prefers to put children in foster care/up for adoption rather than grant them effortlessly to a close loving relative. What has our nation come to, to make a grandfather fight for the custody of his orphaned grandchildren?
Think of those lovely adorable little ones. Big questioning eyes full of sadness, longing for their mother and their incarcerated dad. They're only babies. What do you tell them? All you want to do is hold them tightly in your arms. You cry silently... What would you tell them if the State ripped them from your loving embrace only to hand them over to strangers? As if dealing with two deaths isn't enough, you don't even have time to morn. Instead you're busy hustling trying to make some of the most important decisions of your life in order to reach the State's requirements of what's best for your babies.
Within 24 hours of his daughter Rachel's murder, Don was required to have a court hearing. Do you know what it's like scheduling a court hearing? Friends came to his rescue and luckily he did obtain one. No time to deal with the shock of his immediate loss. No, the State won't grant you that. If you don't get your court hearing within the 24 hour period, the children are immediately put into foster care.
This hearing granted Don a temporary guardianship that lasts but one short month. At that time, he'll be visited by social services to see if the living accommodations he's providing meet their standards. That is just one bullet point on their list of requirements.
Those of you who follow Don's blog know he filed bankruptcy over a year ago. His credit is as low as it can go. You could say it's nonexistent. No bank will loan him the funds he needs immediately to put together the pieces necessary to meet State requirements.
That's all he gets. Not one month of clear level headed thinking. No, one month when he's facing a crushing emptiness that can devour even the strongest among us. How he longs for his loving wife to be by his side during this trying time. But it's not the hand he's been dealt.
Don needs financial assistance at this time. He is a wonderful loving, giving man. The sadness that overcomes me at this time is indescribable. Please consider helping a fellow artist. Any contribution is helpful and greatly appreciated. Remember the March of Dimes? Their motto was based upon if each person gave one dime, they would have enough money to help those in need. Well times have changed and one dime doesn't go as far as it did back then, but the same principle exists. Small amounts by many add up.
Please go to Don's blog to help. If his story touches your heart, please do every effort to spread his information around. We have great power at our fingertips with the internet and our computers, laptops and smart phones. Wouldn't it be great if together we could make it go viral?
At the moment there is an effort to create an account on a fundraising website. I'll post a link to it as it becomes available.
Thank you for reading through this post. As you know Don is very dear to my heart. Please help.
Moving to the Rhythm